The MacBook is Apple’s ultraportable laptop, trading portability for speed and connectivity. It has a slower processor than the MacBook Pro, but it still performs well enough to keep you productive. And it has only one USB-C port. But because of its size and weight, it could be the ideal laptop for frequent travelers.
The MacBook was released at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2017. You can learn more about the MacBook by reading about its main features below.
To get in-depth analysis, read our full review of the new 2017 MacBook.
Also, take a look at our Mac laptop buyers guide, where we compare the MacBook, MacBok Air, and MacBook Pro.
Faster processors and solid-state drives
The main new feature in the new MacBook is that it sports seventh-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. The previous MacBook used sixth-generation Skylake processors. You’ll see a significant speed boost from the 2017 MacBook over its 2016 and 2015 predecesors.
Apple also said during the introduction of the MacBook at its June 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference that all of its laptops now have solid-state drives that feature a 50 percent speed improvement.
Graphics and screen
The MacBook still uses an integrated graphics chip (where the graphics processor is part of the main CPU and uses part of a computer’s main memory). The 2017 MacBook uses the Intel HD Graphics 615. It replaces the Intel HD Graphics 515 from 2016.
The MacBook’s 12-inch Retina screen has a native resolution of 2304x1440.
Size and weight
Apple promotes the MacBook as its ultraportable laptop. It weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures 11.04 x 7.74 x 0.52 inches. It is Apple’s smallest and lightest laptop.
The MacBook has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connections.
For external devices like a printer or hard drive, you’ll have to figure out a way to use the MacBook’s lone USB-C connector. If your external device has a USB-C connector, then you can just plug it in. But if it has a different USB connector, you will need an adapter. Most likely, you will need Apple’s USB to USB-C adapter ($18.75 or Amazon). You can also invest in a USB-C hub, like Dodocool’s DC30 7-in-1 USB-C Hub ($44.99 MSRP; $36 on Amazon).
Apple offers the MacBook in four finishes: Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray, and Silver.
Models and prices
Apple offers two standard configuration and each model can be customized, which can drive up the price. Here are the key specifications for the two models.
$1,299: 1.2GHz dual-core Core m3 processor, 8GB memory, 256GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 615 (integrated), one USB-C port
$1,599: 1.3GHz dual-core Core i5 processor, 8GB memory, 512GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 615 (integrated), one USB-C port