Apple updates 12″ MacBook with faster CPU/GPU, Rose Gold model, longer battery life & more

By , Apr 19, 2016

MacBook twelve-inch early-2016 family image 002

Apple on Tuesday via a press release and a website update announced a second-generation twelve-inch MacBook with Intel’s latest Skylake chips with faster graphics, a longer battery life, faster flash storage, a brand new Rose Gold color option and more.

The twelve-inch notebook is now available in four aluminum finishes: Gold, Silver, Space Gray and Rose Gold. In addition, the Cupertino firm has made 8GB of memory standard across all configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Air.

The refreshed twelve-inch notebook starts at the same $1,299 like before and will be available starting tomorrow.

“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.”

An additional hour of run time

The new twelve-inch MacBook provides an additional hour of battery life thanks to Intel’s latest-generation Skylake platform and the use of a 41.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery versus a 39.7-watt-hour one inside last year’s models.

The updated MacBook offers up to ten hours of wireless web browsing and up to eleven hours of iTunes movie playback versus nine hours of power per charge on the first-generation model.

Twelve inch MacBook Early-2016 Rose Gold Space Gray 001

Faster everything

There’s also a faster 1,866 MHz memory inside, a faster PCIe-based flash storage and up to 25 percent faster graphics (Intel’s HD Graphics 515). Though Apple did not mention how speedy the new Skylake chips are nor did the company divulge how performant the overhauled SSD storage is, first benchmarks point to a modest 15-20 percent improvement on the CPU side and up to ninety percent faster disk-write operations on PCIe-based flash storage.

Apple MacBook Air NAND Flash image 001

Things new MacBooks don’t have

The resolution of the Retina screen on the new MacBook model has remained unchanged from the original model. Contrary to some rumors, the updated model still offers a single USB-C port, meaning customers who want to connect a bunch of peripherals to their machine will have to buy pricey adapters.

“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,” said Apple.

MacBook twelve-inch early-2016 Rose Gold image 001

In addition to the same low-quality 480p FaceTime camera like on last year’s MacBooks, the new machines lack features like Thunderbolt 3 or DDR4 RAM.


The $1,299 entry-level MacBook now offers a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.2 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. The $1,5999 mid-range model comes with a 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7 GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage.

Configure-to-order options include a 1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core m7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz.

Pricing and availability

The new MacBook will be available starting tomorrow through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores and via select Apple Authorized Resellers. The entry-level models starts at $1,299, with a more powerful $1,599 one and configure-to-order options available as well.

If you’d rather buy last year’s models, Apple is now offering refurbished first-generation MacBooks with up to an additional fifteen percent discount. These are good as new, include one-year warranty and are eligible for extended AppleCare coverage.

Source: Apple

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  • Vince Reedy

    I guess it’s pointless to keep saying this is not a pro machine, hence the lack of ports. It’s a retina netbook, nothing more, meant only for streaming netflix, browsing web pages and checking email. I can’t justify $1300 plus for a machine with these capabilities.

    • TJ

      I think you’ll find that it can be used for a lot more than that, I’ve used one for photo editing, Final Cut Pro X and various other tasks without issue. Others that I know have also used Photoshop and Logic Pro on the MacBook, as long as you’re not doing anything too demanding with said applications then it’ll run them fine if you need it to.

      • Martin Lauritsen

        I second this! I’m loving this nifty little machine. While I wouldn’t call it a pro machine, it’s definitely not limited to streaming and browsing only. I use Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop – often at once – and everything runs fine.

    • People saying this haven’t really used the device. Most of the reviewers claiming it’s slow give slim to no real reason as to why they say that. It’s just standard based on the spec sheet. But when you get down into the device itself and use it on an everyday basis.. you can see that it does everything you need to do and more. I sold last years Air and picked up an entry level of the macbook retina.. have had zero issues with it. I do photo editing, video editing, tons of word processing and excel for work. None of those things slow the machine down to a crawl or cause me to have issues. I can have my final cut project compressing and still watch videos with no issue. Just because this doesn’t have a million ports doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Most ports aren’t going to be used daily anyway and that is why the adapter system works.

    • Iskren Donev

      It really depends on what profession you are in when you say that it isn’t a pro laptop. I have an 11″ MacBook Air that I use for software development when I’m out and about and I have literally zero complaints. Nowadays even the more energy-efficient processors offer more than enough power to let you do most, if not all, of your work.

  • Joey_Z

    Looks gorgeous but I’m sorry say that two cores are just not enough in year 2016…

  • Andres

    3rd paragraph from the bottom – $1,5999

  • Andres

    Still no upgraded FaceTime camera?

    • hkgsulphate

      what a joke Apple

  • klouud

    You have to keep things in perspective: People don’t upgrade their computers every year, or even every other year. I personally hold on to a computer for 4-6 years. I’m going to try to hold on to my 2011 iMac for as long as I can. The generation 1 macbook had close to the umph of a 2011 macbook air plus some upgrades. If you view the macbook that way then its a viable option. My 2011 macbook air 11″ is more than enough for what I do. I could use more RAM, better screen, and more battery life – all of which are delivered by the 1st and 2nd gen MacBooks. So for people like ME this line is awesome. The air line is not an option if you are going to be staring at your screen for any length of time – I used my 11″ through my doctoral program and now I need glasses again (after laser eye surgery) due to excessive strain. Yes, it would be nice to have more ports, yes it would be nice to have more power. But if you need that then go with the pro line. I’ll probably be getting a new computer after my residency is up and I still have no idea which one I want – pro/macbook. Anywho, food for thought.

    Oh right: I use my macbook air for research, writing papers, making keynote presentations, photo editing, and stuff like that. So 4gigs of RAM runs out real quick when I’m doing all of this stuff at the same time. Plus my MBA’s screen sucks and it dies REALLY quickly. I’m more of a moderate user on my laptop… i guess you could say.

  • Dallas Groot

    There is a mistake in the article. ‘Has made 8GB standard across all configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Air. (Might want remove air and fix the 13-inch part)

    • Inseltraeumer

      Not a mistake – 13″ MBA models used to be available with 4 and 8 GB of RAM. Now it’s only 8.

      • Dallas Groot

        Yes, but if your going to include a separate model, why include it in the same paragraph? I didn’t read the other articles that just came out, so to me, and I’m sure other readers, that sounded confusing. Your starting out with talking about the colours of the MB, then in same paragraph jump gears to the ram of another device.

      • Inseltraeumer

        I see your point, just didn’t seem so misleading to me. I admit that they could have added a line break before the sentence though.

  • ravinigga

    I’m sold when they add 3 usb c like the new HP spectre 13.
    Also gold with black perfect combination