Apple Refreshes Macbook and Macbook Air

Published: April 20, 2016 12:59 AM /



After being leaked by an OS X Server update, Apple has officially launched the second generation Macbook. The second generation uses the largely the same chassis design and the same screen, changing primarily the internals. Apple has added a Rose Gold option, joining the existing Space Gray, Silver, and Gold options.

Replacing the earlier Broadwell Core M processors is the new Skylake Core M processor. This is Apple’s second computer to use Skylake, after the iMac revision that was launched in November. Apple’s site claims 10 hours of battery life, an hour’s worth of improvement over the previous generation. The Macbook comes in three configurations, with a Core M3, Core M5, or Core M7 processor, all of which are dual core processors with Hyperthreading, for a total of four hardware threads.

Like the previous generation, 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM is the only option, though the second generation slightly increases the speed from 1600MHz to 1866MHz. The storage options are also the same 256GB or 512GB options, but Apple has upgraded to PCI Express 3.0 as the interface on this revision, giving the drive more total bandwidth. The display is also an unchanged 12” 2304x1440 panel, which is a 16:10 ratio. Absent however is Thunderbolt 3, an anticipated feature as Thunderbolt 3 switches its physical connector from MiniDisplayPort to USB-C.

Other than the internals, most of the Macbook is the same as the old model. The keyboard is unchanged, the dimensions are unchanged, and it retains the single USB-C port and the single headphone jack. The price remains the same with the base model at $1,299 US Dollars.

The most surprising news, however, was that the Macbook Air received a small update. It was not updated to use Skylake processors, but the 13” model is now standard with 8GB of RAM, while the 11” model remains the same. Despite most people writing it off as end of life, it seems Apple isn’t quite ready to discontinue the Macbook Air yet.

Both updates are currently available in the Apple Store, and should hit retail in the coming weeks. 

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I've been a lover of video games, writing, and technology for as long as I remember. I have a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana… More about John