Breaking Down the 2016 Macbook Update

The annual refresh of the mighty Macbook has arrived.

New Macbooks! It's a bittersweet announcement for Apple fans, simultaneously stirring up excitement for the new hardware and disappointment in the two year old Macbook you've been using and loving that now feels like leftovers from a fancy restaurant. Apple's latest under-the-radar refresh comes in the way of an update to their super-slim Macbook line (don't call it an Air) and adds some boosted power in both the processing and battery department as well as the introduction of a rose gold finish.

Apple's 12" Macbook was introduced around this time last year and was the culmination of Apple's mobile know-how being integrated into their laptop-making lineage. Interior shots of the Macbook were jaw-dropping when you consider the amount of power they were able to jam into the exquisitely thin form factor of the notebook computer. This year's update to the Macbook builds on that foundation, pushing out an ostensible 10+ hours of battery (we get about eight from last year's model). Combine that battery life with the super slim form factor and impossible one-pound weight and this is easily the best Macbook for anyone in need of a fully portable computer that still runs OSX.

Of course, it’s what those batteries are powering that makes the new Macbooks so lustworthy. Intel's sixth-gen core-M series does the heavy lifting for the burdensome tasks you throw at it and the latest integrated Intel GFX graphics boost GPU performance 25% which is noticeable on the Macbook's 12" high-res retina display. Faster SSD hard drives in 256 and 512 GB flavors contribute to keeping performance at a maximum with weight and power consumption at a minimum.

Rounding out the update is the introduction of the new(ish) rose gold finish for anyone concerned with keeping the pink theme going from Macbook to iPhone to Apple Watch. We're not quite stylish enough to keep a colorway through our entire tech life but we know there are people who actually pull off that feat. However, we do love a svelte physique and the Macbook pulls that off admirably at the expense of a full-blown range of ports. Instead, you'll be remaindered to a stereo output jack - the same one rumored to be disappearing from the iPhone this year - and a single USB-C port, used both for data transfer, connecting peripherals and charging. If the diminished versatility of a single USB-C proves problematic for your life, hubs are available to mitigate that annoyance. We've found it easy enough to make due with the single port as long as we're diligent about charging.

At $1299 for the base model, the Macbook sits squarely in the middle of Apple's laptop lineup with the higher end setup eclipsing the base models of Macbook Pro at $1599. The new Macbooks are now available on Apple's website and in stores.


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