What’s new with the 2017 MacBooks: tl;dr edition – CNET

Apple‘s 2017 WWDC keynote was chock full of big news — everything from new iPad Pros, new iMacs and even its new HomePod speaker, in addition to the usual overhauls of its Mac, iOS and Watch OS operating systems.

In fact, the company also refreshed nearly its entire laptop line, albeit with just a spec bump. The MacBooks are getting 7th generation Intel “Kaby Lake” processors in place of the 6th generation Skylake chips found in the previous models. The new MacBooks are faster across the board, with new top turbo speed of 4.1GHz for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is 300MHz faster than last year’s model. The top-line Pro models also get more robust graphics, topping out with a 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 560 for the 15-inch model. 

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Apparently the new MacBook Pros will look exactly like last year’s models.

Sarah Tew/CNET

For better or worse, the MacBooks are otherwise pretty much unchanged from their predecessors. Same enclosures, same keyboards, same ports, same trackpads, same screens and same battery life. 

There are a handful of tiny changes across the board, however, so here’s a product by product rundown of each model’s minor differences from the 2016 models, along with a comparison chart underneath.

12-inch MacBook

  • New Kaby Lake CPU (still Core M, not Core i)
  • 50 percent faster SSD storage
  • 16GB RAM option, up from 8GB only
  • Still only one USB-C port

13-inch MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar)

  • New Kaby Lake CPU
  • Price drop (with a catch): Now starts at $1,299 instead of $1,499 
  • But that’s with just 128GB. The 256GB version remains at $1,499

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

  • New Kaby Lake CPU

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

  • New Kaby Lake CPU
  • Improved graphics on baseline model

13-inch MacBook Air

  • 1.8 GHz Core i5 Broadwell CPU on baseline model, up from 1.6 GHz version

What about the older 2015 MacBook Pros?

New MacBook specs compared

12-inch MacBook 13-inch MacBook Pro 13-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar) 15-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar)
Starting price (USD) $1,299 $1,299 $1,799 $2,399
Materials Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Display 12-inch 2304×1440-pixel 13.3-inch 2,560×1,600-pixel 13.3-inch 2,560×1,600-pixel 15.4-inch 2,880×1,800-pixel
Pixel density 226 PPI 227 PPI 227 PPI 220 PPI
Dimensions (imperial) 11.04 x 7.74 inches 11.97 x 8.36 inches 11.97 x 8.36 inches 13.75 x 9.48 inches
Dimensions (metric) 28.05 x 19.65 mm 304 x 212 mm 304 x 212 mm 349 x 241 mm
Thickness 0.14–0.52 in (3.56-13.2mm) 0.59 in (14.9mm) 0.59 in (14.9mm) 0.61 in (15.5mm)
Weight 2.03 lbs (0.92kg) 3.02 lb (1.37kg) 3.02 lb (1.37kg) 4.02 lb (1.83kg)
Operating system Mac OS Sierra Mac OS Sierra Mac OS Sierra Mac OS Sierra
Processors 1.2GHz 2-core Intel m3 2.3GHz 2-core Intel i5 3.1GHz 2-core Intel i5 2.8GHz 4-core Intel i7
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615 Intel Iris Plus 640 Intel Iris Plus 650 AMD Radeon Pro 555 (2GB)
Up-spec 1.4GHz 2-core Intel i7 2.5GHz 2-core Intel i7 3.5GHz 2-core Intel i7 3.1GHz 4-core Intel i7, Radeon 560 (4GB)
Storage 256GB / 512GB 128GB/256GB / 512GB / 1TB 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB
RAM 8GB / 16GB 8GB / 16GB 8GB / 16GB 16GB
Battery 10 hours (mfgr. estimate) 10 hours (mfgr. estimate) 10 hours (mfgr. estimate) 10 hours (mfgr. estimate)
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 1x USB-C, can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset 4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset 4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset
Cameras 480p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime HD
Touch Bar/Touch ID No No Yes Yes
Trackpad Force Touch Force Touch Force Touch Force Touch
Colors Rose Gold, Space Gray, Gold, Silver Space Gray, Silver Space Gray, Silver Space Gray, Silver

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