Apple revs its MacBook line with new processors, longer battery life, new rose gold finish

So much for waiting until its Worldwide Developer Conference for Mac announcements.. Apple has updated its tiny (two pounds and 13.1 mm thin) MacBook with the latest Intel processors, improved graphics performance, faster flash storage and an additional hour of battery life. 

Plus, its all-metal unibody enclosure is now available in four aluminum finishes — gold, silver, space gray, and for, the first time on a Mac, rose gold. Rose gold “flavors” have previously only be offered on iPhones and iPads.

The updated MacBook features sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors up to 1.3GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1GHz, and faster 1866MHz memory. New Intel HD Graphics 515 deliver up to 25% faster graphics performance, and faster PCIe-based flash storage makes everyday tasks feel snappier, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. 

The faster stats will (partially) help overcome one of the biggest complaints about the MacBook: its relatively sluggish performance, at least compared to other Macs. The revved laptop also now offers up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 11 hours of iTunes movie playback.

The MacBook is available through starting today, and in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers starting tomorrow. It comes with a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.2GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage for $1,299, and with a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.7GHz, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage for $1,599. Configure-to-order options include a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core m7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz.

Apple also today made 8GB of memory standard across all configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Air. I expect this will be the last update of the MacBook Air line and that it will be replaced entirely by an expanded MacBook line-up.