Apple has finally revised its 12-inch MacBook for 2017. Revealed at this year’s WWDC 2017 keynote, the new MacBook brings itself more in line with the hardware found inside the MacBook Pro 2017 models.
This includes, of course, the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors as well as 50% faster SSDs inside.
Getting right into it, here’s everything you need to know regarding the newly-debuted 12-inch MacBook for 2017.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new 12-inch MacBook refresh
- When is it out? New models are shipping now
- What will it cost? Starting at $1,299, just like before
MacBook 2017 release date
Back in May, a report out of Bloomberg quoted sources “familiar with the matter” stating that Apple was planning to debut three different MacBooks during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote held on June 5, 2017.
Now, we know for certain that the new MacBook models began shipment that same day – no pre-order needed. After you’ve ordered online, you can choose to receive your new device in as fast as two days, as of this writing.
MacBook 2017 price
Absolutely nothing has changed about the MacBook price for 2017, despite the internal hardware upgrades (frankly, as it should be).
So, the 12-inch MacBook will start at the same price as before: $1,299/£1,249/AU$1,899 to start. However, Apple’s secretly made an interesting move in regards to MacBook pricing.
For 300 more in any currency, Apple is now selling a 12-inch MacBook with an Intel Core i5 processor and 512GB of SSD storage. Then, if you need even more power, you can upgrade to an i7 processor for $150 (£135, AU$240) on top of that.
MacBook 2017 specs
Not much concrete information regarding the 12-inch MacBook’s internals was revealed on-stage at WWDC. However, we now know much more about what’s new inside the laptop.
Naturally, the new 12-inch MacBook for 2017 rocks Intel’s latest Kaby Lake, 7th generation processors as well as solid-state drives that are 50% faster. However, Apple has also introduced Intel’s more powerful Core i5 processor with a 1.3GHz clock speed to the platform – there’s the option to upgrade to an Intel Core i7 chip, too.
Mind, however, that these are likely Core i-Y series chips, essentially a re-branding of the Core M line with much of the same power profile. Also, Apple still hasn’t bothered to upgrade the MacBook’s poor, 480p webcam. (Seemingly nothing regarding battery life has changed.)
If the past two years have been any indication, the 12-inch MacBook has struggled with power and memory. Luckily, Apple has resolved much of the latter as well. That’s right, you can now opt for 16GB of DDR3 memory for $200 (£180, AU$320) over the price of the 8GB config.
The keyboard has also seen some improvement. Whereas the last two MacBooks have used extremely low-profile, first-generation butterfly keys, the 2017 MacBook makes the move to Apple’s second-gen butterfly mechanism used by the latest MacBook Pros.
The MacBook has been a tough sell in previous years, but what’s especially perplexing is that the latest $799 (£679, AU$1249) iPad Pro outpaces even the MacBook Pro 2017 in recent benchmarks conducted by tech blog BareFeats (via 9to5Mac).
As has been the case for many years now, the MacBook is noteworthy not for its horsepower, but for its simple yet versatile suite of built-in software, made even better by the utilitarian App Store. Plus, you don’t get the pleasure of using a gratifying Force Touch trackpad with an iPad.
- These are the best laptops that the MacBook is up against
By Joe Osborne
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