Updated 12-inch MacBook gets better processors, longer battery life – still just one lousy USB-C port
Apple's 12-inch MacBook has received a
refresh today, giving the company's youngest notebook a processor
upgrade and longer running times. There's also one change that's not
under the hood, with the machine now available in a rose gold
It's been a little over a year since the 12-inch MacBook was first announced, and we found it to be a beautiful if somewhat flawed machine in our review. Apple finally gave consumers the Retina MacBook Air they'd been asking for, but then proceeded to make it less powerful than the Air – and to force us to make do with one lousy USB-C port (which is also used for charging). Hello, adapters!
Today, the system is getting a couple of upgrades that make it a little more compelling. This being Apple's thinnest and lightest notebook, it's still rocking a choice of lower-powered processors, but the sixth-generation dual core Core M chips here pack a little more punch than the fifth-gen CPUs in last year's model, with graphics performance increased by 25 percent. There's also faster PCIe-based flash storage on board, and battery life has been increased, with the company rating the new machines for 11 hours of movie playback.
Elsewhere, it's more of the same, with a 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 display, full-size keyboard, Force Touch trackpad and yes – still just one USB-C port. While more USB ports was easily the most-requested feature from owners of the first 12-inch MacBook, Apple appears to be doubling down on its all-wireless strategy with this device (it's a show of faith in wireless future more than it is a USB-C future ... otherwise Apple could have just added a second USB-C port).
The refreshed MacBook is available in the same gold, silver and space gray colors as last year's version, but you can also pick the updated system up in a new rose gold finish. It'll be available from tomorrow, April 20, with prices starting at US$1,299 for the Intel Core m3 system with 256 GB flash storage.
Apple made one other minor update today, confirming that the 13-inch MacBook Air (which still lacks a Retina Display) will now come with 8 GB of RAM as standard. The base model had previously had 4 GB memory up to this point. That system now starts at $999.