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MacBook Gets Skylake CPU, Better Battery Life, Rose Gold Option; 13-Inch Air Now With 8GB RAM Default

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MacBook Gets Skylake CPU, Better Battery Life, Rose Gold Option; 13-Inch Air Now With 8GB RAM Default

Apple has quietly rolled out a new version of its tiny 12-inch MacBook,bringing its internals up to date 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 nice 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.

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 - predictably, the MacBook joins current-generation iPads and iPhones, and is now also available in Rose Gold.

The MacBook still starts at Rs. 1,06,900 ($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 step up to a model with a 1.2GHz Core m5 CPU and 512GB of storage at Rs. 1,29,900 ($1599 in the US), or custom order either variant with a 1.3GHz Core m7 for an additional charge. 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 today 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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Jamshed Avari

Jamshed Avari has been working in tech journalism as a writer, editor and reviewer for over 13 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to PC components and accessories, and has also written guides, feature articles, news and analyses. Going beyond simple ratings and specifications, he digs deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape. He's happiest when something new comes ...More

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