MacBook Line Gets Faster Chips, Battery Boost - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
4/19/2016
12:06 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
50%
50%

MacBook Line Gets Faster Chips, Battery Boost

Apple updated its ultra-thin MacBook laptops with improved processors, graphics, storage, and battery life.

iPad Pro 9.7 May Be Apple's Best Tablet Yet
iPad Pro 9.7 May Be Apple's Best Tablet Yet
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple has given its line of portable computers a boost with new components and colors. The Tuesday update comes mid-cycle for the machines and makes them a bit more competitive with new entrants from other PC manufacturers. The MacBook earned a decent upgrade, but the new MacBook Air's upgrade is more modest.

The MacBook now includes the latest Skylake processors from Intel. The sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M chips are clocked up to 1.3 GHz, with Apple's Turbo Boost pushing speeds up to 3.1 GHz. The entry-level MacBook ships with a 1.1 GHz processor and 2.2 GHz Turbo Boost. All variants gain faster 1866 MHz memory and Intel HD Graphics 515 modules, which improve graphics performance by 25%, according to Apple. Apple installed faster PCIe-based flash storage, too.

Power users will be most happy to learn that Apple has improved the MacBook's battery life. The refreshed MacBook bumps wireless Web browsing from nine hours to ten, and iTunes Movie playback to eleven hours.

(Image: Apple)

(Image: Apple)

All other specs of the device remain unchanged. The MacBook features a 12-inch Retina display, a full-sized keyboard, a Force Touch trackpad, and the single USB Type-C port. Some hoped Apple would add a second USB-C port, but that would have required a redesign of the circuit board and chassis. Maybe next time.

The MacBook weighs two pounds and is 13.1mm thick. It now comes in silver, space gray, gold, and, for the first time, rose gold.

The entry-level model ships with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for $1,299. The mid-range model improves storage to 512 GB and costs $1,599. These two are available in Apple Stores starting today. Users who want the high-end model need to configure the device on Apple's website.

Are you prepared for a new world of enterprise mobility? Attend the Wireless & Mobility Track at Interop Las Vegas, May 2-6. Register now!

"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 SVP of Worldwide Marketing in a statement. "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 13-inch MacBook Air now ships with 8GB of RAM standard, rather than 4GB of RAM. Previously, customers had to pay $100 to upgrade the RAM to 8GB. The 11-inch MacBook Air continues to ship with 4GB of RAM. The larger MacBook Air starts at $999; the smaller version starts at $899.

All Macs ship with OS X El Capitan and applications such as iTunes, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork.

The new Macs arrive as the worldwide market for PCs continues to decline. PC shipments totaled 64.8 million during the first quarter of the 2016, according to Gartner, a 9.6% drop compared to the first quarter of 2015. It marked the sixth consecutive decline in PC shipments. Apple's machines typically outperform the larger market.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Banacek
50%
50%
Banacek,
User Rank: Ninja
4/20/2016 | 1:39:49 PM
So....
The Macbook is actually lighter than the macbook air, the 'air', which implies light and simplicity, has more connectivity options than the macbook (which has one USB-C port to handle power, USB, networking, etc.).

Yeah, this makes all the sense in the world...
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
4/20/2016 | 7:01:42 AM
Refurbs
As much as the extra horse power and battery life as nice additions, I'd be quite tempted by Apple's last gen. refurbs now. They're around $400 cheaper than the high end new MacBooks, making them a much more attractive purchase, since the hardware is almost identical other than the CPU.
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
Commentary
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
News
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Video
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Slideshows
Flash Poll