Apple rolls out new, improved MacBook sans fanfare

20 Apr 2016


Apple has quietly rolled out a new version of its tiny 12-inch MacBook, bringing its internals up to expectations but otherwise leaving the basic formula untouched.

The MacBook now uses new Core M CPUs based on Intel's sixth-generation Skylake architecture. Both CPU and graphics performance should see a boost, but Apple is also touting the new model's improved battery life, which now goes up to a claimed 10 hours of Web surfing or 11 hours of video playback.

''MacBook is the thinnest and lightest Mac we have ever made and it's our vision for the future of the notebook,'' said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. ''Customers are going to love this update to MacBook, with the latest processors, faster graphics, faster flash storage, longer battery life and a beautiful rose gold finish.''

The MacBook also gets slightly faster RAM and PCIe-based flash storage, which should result in quicker booting and load times. However, the most noticeable change to the lineup is a new colour option -, the MacBook joins current-generation iPads and iPhones, and is now also available in Rose Gold.

The MacBook still starts at Rs1,06,900 ($1,299 in the US) and features the same 2304x1440-pixel Retina display as the original model. For that price, you get a 1.1GHz Core m3 CPU with integrated Intel HD 515 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. You can pay more to step up to a 1.3GHz Core m7 CPU and 512GB of storage at Rs1,29,900 ($1599 in the US).

Apple said the MacBook comes with the incredibly small and versatile USB-C port for charging, data transfer and video output in a single connector that is one-third the size of a traditional USB port. Following the introduction of USB-C on MacBook, the ecosystem of Apple and third-party USB-C accessories has continued to grow, giving users added flexibility and capability.
With no moving parts or vents, MacBook is entirely fanless for silent, efficient performance. Designed for the wireless world, MacBook is equipped with the latest wireless technologies, including built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 for fast wireless connectivity. It is perfect for tasks like streaming content from your MacBook to your Apple TV using AirPlay, exchanging files quickly using AirDrop or using wireless headphones.

Surprisingly, Apple has not taken the opportunity to add Thunderbolt 3 functionality, leaving the new MacBook with the same single USB Type-C port that was one of its defining features.

The notebook is 35mm thick at its thinnest point and weighs just 920g. Apple developed a new kind of keyboard switch mechanism and a touch-sensitive trackpad to enable this thinness. It is also famously devoid of ports and impossible to upgrade.

Apple also made a slight tweak to its MacBook Air line: the 13-inch model now comes with 8GB of RAM by default at the same starting price of $999. Apple's former ultraportable is now its budget option, but going from 4GB to 8GB of RAM used to be a $100 upgrade. The 11-inch model has not been changed, with 4GB still the base spec.

Apple is rumoured to be planning an overhaul of its entire MacBook lineup later this year, with ultra-thin new 13-inch and 15-inch models presumbaly replacing the existing MacBook Air or MacBook Pro models.

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