By Aaron Pressman
April 19, 2016

Apple has upgraded its thinnest laptop, the 12-in. MacBook, with newer processing and graphics chips but kept the exterior design of the year-old model largely unchanged.

It also added a version with its popular rose gold finish to the three existing aluminum case colors: gold, silver, and space gray.

The upgraded models use Intel’s sixth-generation Core M processors and Intel’s new HD Graphics 515 system. The upgrades added an hour of battery life to the MacBook, which can now perform up to 10 hours of wireless web browsing, Apple said.

The MacBook, only 13.1 mm thick, will retain its unique keyboard design that offers bigger keys with less travel than traditional laptop keyboards. The laptop also keeps its backlit, high-resolution 2304-by-1440 LED screen.

The new models will be available today on Apple’s website and Wednesday at Apple and third-party retail stores, the company said. The least expensive model still starts at $1,299 but now includes 8 GB of RAM, a 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor, and 256 GB of storage.

 

 

Upgrades to some of the company’s other models or wholly new designs could be coming soon as well. MacBook Air models, last updated a year ago, are still running the prior generation of Intel processors. The Retina MacBook Pro line was upgraded last May but also with older processors.

Rumors have circulated that Apple may be about to introduce a new thinner line of laptops with 13- and 15-in. screens that would more closely resemble the upgraded 12-in. Macbook.

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