June 6 2017
WWDC saw Apple update the MacBook with faster Kaby Lake chips, and better integrated graphics.
Here, we examine how the new specs add up, and also look through the latest rumours surrounding the MacBook to see what else might be in store in the future.To find out how the new MacBook compares to the 2016 12in MacBook can take a look at our 12in MacBook review, which covers everything from pricing to performance and design, along with our personal opinions of Apple's latest MacBook.And for buying advice related to the current MacBook crop, read our Best MacBook buying guide and Best cheap MacBook deals UK articles.2017 MacBook: Processors
The new MacBook features faster processors, now starting at 1.2GHz m3 (up from 1.1Ghz).There are also options for a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 or 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 for the MacBook.
2017 MacBook: Graphics
The integrated graphics has also seen an update - from the Intel Graphics 515 to the newer Intel Graphics 615.
2017 MacBook: Availability
You can purchase the new MacBook from Apple now.
2017 MacBook: Price
The price of the entry-level MacBook hasn't changed from £1,249. Apple rarely changes the price of its Macs from generation to generation, unless it's a fairly hefty upgrade.
Predictions about the future of the MacBook
Despite the update to the range, there are still a lot of rumours about future generations of the MacBook.The main rumour relates to price. Looking ahead to the future, there is a possibility that Apple will reduce the price of the MacBook, turning the range into its entry-level Mac laptop, especially if it discontinues the MacBook Air (read more MacBook Air rumours here.)There is certainly a place for a lower cost Mac laptop and until now the MacBook Air has fulfilled that role. Many years ago it was the MacBook that was the entry level, with the MacBook Air in the middle, costing more despite its apparently lower specs. There is an expectation that something similar is happening here.Currently the cheapest Mac laptop is the MacBook Air at £949, however, until October 2016 the cheapest MacBook was the 11in MacBook Air (since discontinued) which cost £749. We'd like to see Apple introduce a new MacBook at the same price point as the 13in MacBook Air and, should the MacBook Air remain we'd like to see it priced around the £749 mark again.
UK prices are a little complicated by currenty flucturations, so we will look at US prices here:
13in MacBook Air - from $999
12in MacBook - from $1,299
13in MacBook Pro - from $1,499
If you can refrain from trying to calculate the UK to US conversions here (it's not entirely fair to convert dollars to pounds as there is also VAT to add to the US prices, and there are other 'costs of doing business' to take account of - at least that's Apple's excuse) the price differences are roughly the same between products, with the entry-level MacBook being £300/$300 more than the entry-level Air, and the entry-level Pro being £200/$200 more than the MacBook.If Apple reduces the MacBook price by £300/$300 we will have a new entry-level price that's below the magic £1000/$1000 mark.
Apple's decision to get rid of the 11in MacBook Air makes sense when you consider that it can reduce the price of the MacBook to the level of the 13in MacBook Air without it looking like it's raised the price of entry to the Mac laptop range.We don't expect Apple to drop the MacBook Air from the line up until it is willing to bring the price of the MacBook below $1000. If does so expect the entry-level MacBook to offer much slower processors and probably less storage than it does currently, though Asus Customer Service
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