New 12-Inch MacBook Tidbits: 15% Faster, 41.4-Watt-Hour Battery, Refurb Price Drop, and More

macbook_2016Apple today announced the next-generation 12-inch Retina MacBook with several faster tech specs, one hour longer battery life, and a new Rose Gold color option.

The ultra-thin notebook is available on Apple's online store starting today from $1,299, and from Apple retail stores and authorized resellers beginning tomorrow.

15% to 18% Faster CPU Performance

Christina Warren has shared 64-bit Geekbench results that show the new 12-inch MacBook (1.2GHz configuration) has around 15% to 18% faster CPU performance compared to last year's equivalent model. The notebook earned a single-core score of 2,894 and a multi-core score of 5,845, versus 2,437 single-core and 5,049 multi-core scores for the previous generation 1.2GHz model.

Geekbench-2016-12-inch-MacBook
Primate Labs founder John Poole also shared 32-bit Geekbench 3 results for the new 12-inch MacBook (1.2GHz configuration) that confirms around a 15% bump in CPU performance compared to the equivalent 2015 model. The new 12-inch MacBook earned a single-core score of 2,670 and a multi-core score of 5,252, compared to 2,303 and 4,621 for the last-generation model.

Meanwhile, early BlackMagic disk speed tests have seen write speeds that are up to 80 or 90 percent faster than the write speeds in the previous-generation MacBook. Read speeds are also improved.


480p FaceTime Camera, No Thunderbolt 3 or DDR4 RAM

Initial reaction to the MacBook refresh among MacRumors readers has been mixed, with some appreciating the long-awaited arrival of faster Skylake processors and others disappointed that the notebook continues to have only one USB-C port, a 480p FaceTime camera, and no Thunderbolt 3 or DDR4 RAM.

MacRumors forum member PatriotInvasion writes:

No Thunderbolt 3, no extra USB-C port, and same $1,299 starting price. Ouch. Not what I expected. Let's see what the MacBook Pros will be like.

My guess is Thunderbolt 3 is overkill for the users this Mac is targeted at, but the starting price point is overkill as well.

12-inch MacBook supporters argue that the notebook was never intended to have such capabilities, nor might those additions even be feasible without jeopardizing its size and price point, and promote the MacBook Pro as a more suitable alternative for expanded connectivity and CPU-intensive tasks.

41.4-Watt-Hour Battery

12-inch-MacBook-battery
Apple says the new 12-inch MacBook has an additional hour of battery life for up to 10 hours on a full charge. The improvement was made possible by not only more efficient Skylake processors, but also due to a 41.4-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. The original 12-inch MacBook has a slightly shorter-lasting 39.7-watt-hour battery that delivers up to 9 hours of power per charge.

- Up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing
- Up to 11 hours of iTunes movie playback
- Up to 30 days of standby time

1.3 GHz Core m7 Upgrade Option

The new 12-inch MacBook is available with a faster 1.3GHz Intel dual-core Core m7 processor as a $150 to $250 built-to-order upgrade option.

12-inch-MacBook-1-3-ghz
The upgrade can be applied to both standard configurations, which offer 1.1GHz Core m3 and 1.2GHz Core m5 processors for $1,299 and $1,599 respectively.

Refurbished Price Drop

Apple has lowered the price of refurbished early 2015 model 12-inch MacBooks on its online store. The notebooks now range between $929 and $1,319 in the U.S. depending on the configuration selected.

The cheapest $929 model features a 1.1GHz Intel dual-core Core M processor based on previous-generation Broadwell architecture, along with 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM, 256GB PCIe-based flash storage, and Intel HD Graphics 5300.

Related Forum: MacBook

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Top Rated Comments

barkomatic Avatar
108 months ago
15 to 18% faster with no price drop is a very minor update indeed. I bet all the buyers of last year's model during the sales feel pretty good right now.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stiligFox Avatar
108 months ago
So reaction from MacRumors forum members is now worthy of a front page story?
I actually really appreciate MacRumors looking inwards towards it's own members for feedback on new devices - I don't think we see it often (most of the time we look at other critics). It's kinda refreshing and makes it feel like one big community :)
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
guychicago Avatar
108 months ago
Is this the smallest performance jump year over year we have ever seen in a mac lineup?
We have to blame Intel and not Apple for this. The tick tock cycle is changing per Intel.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
A MacBook lover Avatar
108 months ago
Apple is being quite stingy. Just add that extra usb port and I might buy it
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realeric Avatar
108 months ago
It's slower than smartphones. :p
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
108 months ago
So reaction from MacRumors forum members is now worthy of a front page story? Did anyone seriously think Apple would redesign this laptop only one year after release? The MBA had 3 spec bumps before it was redesigned in 2010.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)