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Apple launches new 12-inch MacBook with faster processors and longer battery life

Apple has refreshed its ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook line, making improvements across the board to performance and battery life, as well as introducing a new colour to the range.

First and foremost, the design of the device appears to be completely unchanged: it’s still an ultra-thin laptop at just 13.1mm thick and weights 907g. Despite one of the main criticisms of last year’s device being its lack of built-in connectivity, Apple has kept the 12-inch MacBook ticking over with the same single USB Type-C port.

Related: Apple MacBook Pro 2016: Everything you need to know
New MacBook 9

Related: Everything you need to know about Intel Core M

Elsewhere, the processors have been updated to the latest Skylake hardware, although exact processor model numbers aren’t available.The 256GB base model still gets a 1.1GHz Intel Core m3 dual-core chip that can boost to up to 2.2GHz, while the more expensive model gets a 1.2GHz Core m5 that can boost up to 2.7GHz along with 512GB of flash storage.

Gone is the on-board Intel HD Graphics 5300, replaced by HD Graphics 515, which Apple says is 25% faster than the previous generation.

What’s most interesting here is the possibility to choose an even more powerful 1.3GHz Core m7 processor that has a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.1GHz, which should make this year’s MacBooks extremely nippy. At the time of writing the MacBook Buy page was down, so we couldn’t confirm the price of the Core m7-based units.

With the more efficient Skylake processor architecture, Apple reckons you’ll be able to squeeze an extra hour of battery life out of this year’s model. We managed 10 hours of Netflix streaming on last year’s model, so expect even more binging.
Memory speed is up, too, from 1500MHz last year to 1866MHz in 2016.

Related: USB-C: Everything you need to know

Finally, Apple has followed its iPhones and iPads to launch a ‘Rose Gold’ (pink) edition of the MacBook.

As an aside, all MacBook Airs will now ship with 8GB of RAM as standard, instead of the paltry 4GB that was previously available with the base-model Air.

If Apple makes review units of the 2016 MacBook available, we’ll be sure to get one in to test out the firm’s claims.

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