Apple has updated its 12-inch MacBook with Retina display by beefing up the processors, using faster memory, faster storage, increasing the battery life by another hour, and offering a new Rose Gold color option.

The new, second-generation MacBook now has sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors up to 1.3 GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz. The memory is a bit faster, running at 1866 MHz. The new built-in Intel HD Graphics 515 gives you up to 25 percent faster graphics performance, and the PCIe-based flash storage is faster, too.

The battery is now good for up to 10 hours of wireless web usage — up from the previous generation’s 9 hours.

So Apple Updates MacBook, But What Does It Really Mean?

Even though the 1.1 GHz processor in the base model has the same clock speed, the newer generation from Intel — along with improvements to the SSD storage speeds, memory, and graphics performance — all results in a tidy performance boost.

Early benchmarks are reporting around a 20 percent improvement.

Does this mean the new MacBook is significantly better than the old Macbook? For the same price, yes. But there are caveats. For instance, if you can find a previous-generation for $100+ less before they go out of stock completely, that savings will outweigh the slight performance boost that most users might not even notice while they go about their everyday Mac work.

Of course, if you’re wondering if the MacBook with 12-inch Retina display is right for you, there are a lot of other factors that are more important, like the size, Retina screen, keyboard, and single USB-C port. To learn more, check out my review, “MacBook Review: An Ultralight Retina Wonder.” Even though the latest generation is a bit faster, all of the core considerations covered in the review still hold true today.

About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and great tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.