Apple updated its standard MacBook line this morning, adding the latest processor, better batteries, and the rose gold finish option to the 12-inch laptop.
The update comes just over a year after the MacBook was introduced. The new devices feature sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors — the first Skylake option to hit Apple’s portable lineup — which may solve one of the biggest problems with the last year’s model: speed. The processor is clocked at up to 1.3GHz, reaching 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost.
Graphics also get a boost, with the Intel HD Graphics 515 delivering 25 percent faster performance. Small improvements to flash storage speeds make an appearance on the new MacBook as well.
The update helps bring more battery life to the super-slim case, thanks to the more efficient processor. Apple now claims 10 hours of battery life when on WiFi, an hour more than last year’s model.
The MacBook Air also got a minor update, but it’s probably not what fans of the aging laptop have been waiting for. 8GB RAM is now standard for the 13-inch model, meaning it can run a lot smoother than previous entry-level models that came with just 4GB. However, the Air still lacks a Retina display, making it the only Apple portable with such low resolution.
Holding out for a Retina screen on the MacBook Air may be a fool’s errand. This may be one of the last updates to the MacBook Air, as Apple continues to focus on the standard MacBook and more powerful MacBook Pro lineups in its marquee updates.
As the MacBook Pro gets thinner, it becomes more feasible to it to be sold as a MacBook Air replacement. Right now, the Air is sticking around to fill the (relatively) low cost slot in Apple’s lineup, but as sales of the standard MacBook pick up pace, expect costs to drop and the Air to disappear.
Update: Clarified that 8GB RAM is standard on only the 13-inch model of the MacBook Air. Thanks Roy!