First look: Apple's new rose gold 12" MacBook with Intel Skylake CPU

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Apple's new 12-inch MacBook features the same chassis as last year's debut model, but the company has brought a new color into the mix -- rose gold -- that brings it in line with the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch product lineups.




The new rose gold MacBook is joined by the same colors as last year: space grey, silver, and gold. Like the 2015 model, the early 2016 MacBook features a single USB-C port on the left side for syncing and charging, while a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and two small microphone inputs are located on the right side.

The ultrathin keyboard and Force Touch Trackpad also return for this year's model, as well as the gorgeous 12-inch Retina display. Also unchanged is the low-resolution 480p FaceTime camera, likely a limitation of the thinness of the device.




As with the other rose gold products in Apple's lineup, the new MacBook can look subdued in soft light, but the pinkish hue certainly stands out more in brighter environments.

Aside from the rose gold color option, the real changes for the 2016 MacBook are on the inside, in the form of Intel's latest ultra-low-power Skylake processors, as well as faster flash memory. Apple also upped the clock speed for the 8 gigabytes of RAM in this year's model, and it says battery life is improved by an hour.




Without any major, showstopping changes, and the same $1,299 starting price point, this year's MacBook seems unlikely to change the mind of anyone who formulated an opinion on last year's model. Tests have shown the new processor is 15 to 20 percent faster --?a welcome improvement, but not likely enough to win over users who need more processing power.




Of course, power users are not who this notebook is intended for, and there is certainly a segment of the market who appreciates the minimalist design of the 12-inch MacBook. Those who are content with the concessions made to achieve such an impressive, ultra-thin design will find a lot to like in this svelte, gorgeous chassis.

AppleInsider will have much more on the early 2016 12-inch MacBook in our full review. For now, take a closer look at the new notebook in our gallery below.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Single USB port is a deal breaker. Bring Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type C Generation 2 and SDXC with maximum speed (300 MB/s) read/write speed.
    bradipaopentaeentropys
  • Reply 2 of 49
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,630member
    Fanless full OS X computer: check
    Force Touch: check
    Pencil: check
    Battery: ?

    Thanks to Intel Core M, Force Touch / Force Click and Apple Pencil we are one step closer to imagine a "tablet Mac". The fanless Retina MacBook may be even tought as its prototype. Tech is almost ready maybe except some powerful tablet-size battery that would support the full multitasking of OS X. Retina MacBook has a huge battery placed in a layered design.


    edited April 2016
  • Reply 3 of 49
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Out of curiosity: How does it compare to a 12 inch iPad Pro? In context of the *iPad replacing PC* debate.

    >:x
    edited April 2016 brakken
  • Reply 4 of 49
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,119member
    I am buying this machine, but a bit disappointed that Apple decided to make such a modest update instead of aggressively pushing this machine as the future of the mainstream Macbook. Still retains all the pain points of the 1st gen, including a ludicrously bad webcam and a starting price that's on the high side. With the Air, Apple aggressively dropped the price for the 2nd generation- not so here.
    mr orezwitsthepixeldoc
  • Reply 5 of 49
    Still not interested. The iPad Pro offers superior functionality with a better camera, the ability to edit 4K video, the use of the pencil, superior battery life, the option of Apple Pay (though I use my iPhone for that one fairly exclusively), a wealth of apps not available for OSX, and the ability to use the machine as a portable external monitor. 

    I don't need a USB dongle for accessing a cellular network and better video/graphics performance. I have replaced my MacBook Air with the iPad Pro and do not feel the need to purchase an x86 powered machine again, ever. 

    While the macbook book comes with a USB-C port the Lightning port on the iPad Pro is capable of interfacing with the USB 3 interface at high speed. 

    I remained convinced that OLED panels are coming eventually to the iPhone/iPad line of machines and probably never to the MacBook lines. 

    The Skylake bump is nice with 20% better performance than the outgoing machine, but I suspect the A10X is going to bring greater improvements to the iPad line and much better graphics performance. 

    The only thing that may have made the MacBook a better machine would have been Thunderbolt, but that port isn't available. 

    I am really digging the 12.9" iPad Pro. Once Apple releases an OLED version, I will be immediately upgrading. 
    pscooter63
  • Reply 6 of 49
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,630member
    mr o said:
    Out of curiosity: How does it compare to a 12 inch iPad Pro? In context of the *iPad replacing PC* debate.

    >:x
    It doesn't compare and never it has to. This is an artificial debate. No one in Apple said anything like that. Steve Jobs said "PCs will become trucks", not "cars will replace trucks". iPad is a information appliance, Retina Macbook is a full featured OS X computer. The two just target different needs and address different customers.
    edited April 2016 nolamacguymr omknelsonbradipaomacguiadonissmuentropysiosenthusiastthepixeldoc
  • Reply 7 of 49
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,452member
    Somebody has a lot of money to waste.
    Sorry, it just comes across as an unnecessary purchase.
    edited April 2016 entropys
  • Reply 8 of 49
    When the eff are they going to update the MBPs?  Seriously it's been years and this thing get updated after a year. I don't get it.
    entropys
  • Reply 9 of 49
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cpsro said:
    Somebody has a lot of money to waste.
    Sorry, it just comes across as an unnecessary purchase.
    to you. you forgot that part. 

    its an ultraportable. to someone who wants the best ultraportable it won't be a waste of money. dur dur
    williamlondonbrakkenmacguiai46pscooter63iosenthusiastthepixeldoc
  • Reply 10 of 49
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,288member
    Could be a nice product when equipped with an A9X or A10 processor.
    Although the price tag in that case (around $800) is still a bit high (although 33 hours battery life is unheard-of).
    bradipaoentropys
  • Reply 11 of 49
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    mr o said:
    Out of curiosity: How does it compare to a 12 inch iPad Pro? In context of the *iPad replacing PC* debate.

    >:x
    It doesn't compare and never it has to. This is an artificial debate. No one in Apple said anything like that. Steve Jobs said "PCs will become trucks", not "cars will replace trucks". iPad is a information appliance, Retina Macbook is a full featured OS X computer. The two just target different needs and address different customers.
    I concur with that.

    >:x
    edited April 2016 mknelsonai46entropysiosenthusiast
  • Reply 12 of 49
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    cpsro said:
    Somebody has a lot of money to waste.
    Sorry, it just comes across as an unnecessary purchase.
    Take care of your own fracking money, and let others spent theirs like they want.
    If you're too poor to buy Apple, well, though luck on that bud; cry me a river somewhere they actually need water

    You're kind of useless, rambling, droning repeated troll comment is free, but that still doesn't make it worthwhile.

    As for necessity, get a dictionary about what necessity actually means and then come back.
    mknelsonbkkcanuckpatchythepirateadonissmuiosenthusiastthepixeldoc
  • Reply 13 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member
    appex said:
    Single USB port is a deal breaker. Bring Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type C Generation 2 and SDXC with maximum speed (300 MB/s) read/write speed.
    My understanding is that Intel has not released TB3 chips.  It's not Apple holding it up.  Is that the case?  
  • Reply 14 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member

    cpsro said:
    Somebody has a lot of money to waste.
    Sorry, it just comes across as an unnecessary purchase.
    That's just arrogant.  I'm kind of surprised you would say something like that.

    Just because it's not for you, doesn't mean it applies to everyone else.

    It's a beautiful piece of tech.  I'd love to have one, but I know it's not for me... I don't harp over it, and certainly don't judge others for buying one.  People said the exact same thing about the Macbook Air before the popularity of it shut their pie-holes quickly.

    I'd love a modern Macbook Air with 16GB RAM.  I'll buy one in a heartbeat.  I love the lightness of the Macbook as I haul my rMBP on my motorbike and the weight is noticed after a long ride, but after the occasional tinkering with it at an Apple store, it's woefully underpowered for my needs, but I know I'm not the target audience for it.

    Let it go.
    mknelsonbrakkenpscooter63adonissmuiosenthusiast
  • Reply 15 of 49
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,591member
    These new MacBooks are real nice.

    So thin and so light, and they look great too. I haven't tried the keyboard on one of them yet, but I wonder how that is, since it's so slim.

    If somebody doesn't need mega power, then I can definitely see these as being useful for certain people.

    Too many people make self centered, ignorant comments, and they fail at viewing things objectively. It's not about you and it's not about your wallet either. Nobody cares.

    williamlondonmacguipscooter63
  • Reply 16 of 49
    sflocal said:
    appex said:
    Single USB port is a deal breaker. Bring Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type C Generation 2 and SDXC with maximum speed (300 MB/s) read/write speed.
    My understanding is that Intel has not released TB3 chips.  It's not Apple holding it up.  Is that the case?  
    There are notebooks out there already with Thunderbolt 3. Have been for months.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,025member
    For AI to put this "first look" article under the guise of a "Hands On" review is disappointing to say the very least. There is absolutely no new insight being provided beyond what is obvious in Apple's product page and spec sheets. It's simply filler material for a slow news day.

    As far as the product goes, it looks like a great machine for someone needing portability above all else and especially Lovers of Pink (LOP) who must be on a pink product induced high by now. I'd like to see the MacBook slotted into the spot formerly held by the MacBook Air when it first represented groundbreaking portability but eventually moved to tweak up the performance to make it less of a compromise. Of course this begs the question about where the heck the MacBook Air fits in Apple's lineup. As much as I love the Air it seems like Apple is struggling mightily to figure out where it should fit in the lineup. It's not the top dog in portability and its non-Retina display is now a serious detractor. Despite the monoport design of the MacBook I would absolutely buy it over the current Air because it's a forward looking product and the Air is stuck in the past. The MacBook's display is stunning compared to the Air's.

    I hate to say it but I think Apple's current lineups are looking a bit too much like they're riding too many of their cash cows and not bringing the heat on new product introductions. They have a sizable workforce and a massive brand equity. I hope they aren't squandering it on something silly like an overpriced electric car and losing sight of the markets and customer base that got them to where they are today. They are still years ahead of the competition but the gap is shrinking and some of the current products are losing their luster as they show signs of advanced age and neglect, most notably the Air and the Pro. We really need something to totally wow us and remind us that Apple still has a few tricks up its sleeve - beyond making everything Pink that can be made Pink.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 18 of 49
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    appex said:
    Single USB port is a deal breaker. Bring Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type C Generation 2 and SDXC with maximum speed (300 MB/s) read/write speed.
    The single port is a limitation but there are options like the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/HT-UC001-Shuttle-Delivery-MacBook-ChromeBook/dp/B019R9ILTG



    There are cheaper models that reduce the number of ports. TB3 would be better but USB C satisfies entry-level use where TB3 would serve primarily as a display output.

    In terms of performance, the Macbook is about 1/3 the performance of a quad-core MBP. Anyone upgrading from 2008-2010 Macbook Pros would find it to be faster than what they are used to. Price is a bit high but that's just because of the base spec. If you put 8GB/256GB in either the 11" or 13" Air, it's $1199 so the Macbook with a Retina display is $100 more.

    They could always have a 128GB model Macbook but the SSD is soldered to the motherboard, which makes upgrades impossible. The Macbook price will come down with component prices but it won't be able to hit $899. If they can get it to $1099, they can discontinue the 13" Air and just maintain a couple of entry 11" models.
    williamlondonmacgui
  • Reply 19 of 49
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 837member
    foggyhill said:
    cpsro said:
    Somebody has a lot of money to waste.
    Sorry, it just comes across as an unnecessary purchase.
    Take care of your own fracking money, and let others spent theirs like they want.
    If you're too poor to buy Apple, well, though luck on that bud; cry me a river somewhere they actually need water

    You're kind of useless, rambling, droning repeated troll comment is free, but that still doesn't make it worthwhile.

    As for necessity, get a dictionary about what necessity actually means and then come back.
    You really have no class. 
    macguielijahg
  • Reply 20 of 49
    jdwjdw Posts: 733member
    Worshippers of the status quo think they are defending Apple and sanity itself when they foolishly excuse the 480p camera for being "the only thing that would fit in a thin chassis."  But what proof can be shown to prove that?  Apple innovates "thinness" so we would be fools to think it impossible of Apple too create a 720p camera that could fit in that thin frame.  Furthermore, with all the talk of multiple cameras in iPhone's these days, why not put 2 or 4 480p cameras in that thin chassis to yield higher resolution and/or more creative options?  It doesn't matter if most people would use it fully or not.  It would be awesome and awesomeness sells.  Vanity sells too, and a lot of people vainly shoot selfies.  A better camera would also lessen the negative reviews of the MacBook.  Since the very first model that came out in 2015, nearly every single review mentions that 480p camera negatively.  Apple, end the negative reviews with a better camera and another USB-C port with TB3 tech.  It wouldn't please everyone, but it would probably please most who are looking for a light and thin Mac laptop that will last 6 years or so.  I myself waited a year to see if Apple would add another USB-C port and fix the camera tech.  They didn't, so I will wait another year.  If Apple expects me to pay that much for this class of machine, they'd better give me modern tech and more than a single port.  That holds true for most people, I would think.
    entropys
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