What's new with the 2017 MacBooks: tl;dr edition

Apple's laptops get the latest Intel chips across the board -- and a handful of other minor additions.

Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors
Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.
Xiomara Blanco
2 min read
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Watch this: Hands-on with Apple's new MacBooks

Apple 's 2017 WWDC keynote was chock full of big news -- everything from new iPad Pros, new iMacs and even its new HomePod speaker, in addition to the usual overhauls of its Mac, iOS and Watch OS operating systems.

In fact, the company also refreshed nearly its entire laptop line. On the surface, it just appears to be a spec bump: The MacBooks are getting 7th generation Intel "Kaby Lake" processors in place of the 6th generation Skylake chips found in the previous models. The new MacBooks are faster across the board, with new top turbo speed of 4.1GHz for the 15-inch MacBook Pro , which is 300MHz faster than last year's model. The top-line Pro models also get more robust graphics, topping out with a 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 560 for the 15-inch model. 


Apparently the new MacBook Pros will look exactly like last year's models.

Sarah Tew/CNET

By and large, the 2017 MacBooks are otherwise pretty much unchanged from their predecessors. Same enclosures, same ports, same trackpads and same screens. There are a handful of tiny changes across the board, however, so here's a product by product rundown of each model's minor differences from the 2016 models, along with a comparison chart underneath.

Editors' note (June 6, 6:41 p.m. PT): This story has been updated to reflect Core i CPU options and keyboard changes on the 12-inch MacBook.

12-inch MacBook

  • New Kaby Lake CPU (Core M baseline models, with Core i step-up option)
  • 50 percent faster SSD storage
  • Updated keyboard mechanism based on that of 2016 MacBook Pros
  • 16GB RAM option, up from 8GB only
  • Still only one USB-C port

13-inch MacBook Pro (no Touch Bar)

  • New Kaby Lake CPU
  • Price drop (with a catch): Now starts at $1,299 instead of $1,499 
  • But that's with just 128GB. The 256GB version remains at $1,499

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

  • New Kaby Lake CPU

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

  • New Kaby Lake CPU
  • Improved graphics on baseline model

13-inch MacBook Air

  • 1.8 GHz Core i5 Broadwell CPU on baseline model, up from 1.6 GHz version

What about the older 2015 MacBook Pros?

Apple's biggest WWDC announcements

See all photos

New MacBook specs compared

12-inch MacBook13-inch MacBook Pro13-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar)15-inch MacBook Pro (w/TouchBar)
Starting price (USD) $1,299$1,299$1,799$2,399
Materials AluminumAluminumAluminumAluminum
Display 12-inch 2304x1440-pixel13.3-inch 2,560x1,600-pixel13.3-inch 2,560x1,600-pixel15.4-inch 2,880x1,800-pixel
Pixel density 226 PPI227 PPI227 PPI220 PPI
Dimensions (imperial) 11.04 x 7.74 inches11.97 x 8.36 inches11.97 x 8.36 inches13.75 x 9.48 inches
Dimensions (metric) 28.05 x 19.65 mm304 x 212 mm304 x 212 mm349 x 241 mm
Thickness 0.14–0.52 in (3.56-13.2mm)0.59 in (14.9mm)0.59 in (14.9mm)0.61 in (15.5mm)
Weight 2.03 lbs (0.92kg)3.02 lb (1.37kg)3.02 lb (1.37kg)4.02 lb (1.83kg)
Operating system Mac OS SierraMac OS SierraMac OS SierraMac OS Sierra
Processors 1.2GHz 2-core Intel m32.3GHz 2-core Intel i53.1GHz 2-core Intel i52.8GHz 4-core Intel i7
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615Intel Iris Plus 640Intel Iris Plus 650AMD Radeon Pro 555 (2GB)
Up-spec 1.4GHz 2-core Intel i7 2.5GHz 2-core Intel i73.5GHz 2-core Intel i73.1GHz 4-core Intel i7, Radeon 560 (4GB)
Storage 256GB / 512GB 128GB/256GB / 512GB / 1TB256GB / 512GB / 1TB256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB
RAM 8GB / 16GB8GB / 16GB8GB / 16GB16GB
Battery 10 hours (mfgr. estimate)10 hours (mfgr. estimate)10 hours (mfgr. estimate)10 hours (mfgr. estimate)
Networking 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 1x USB-C, can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset4x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), any can charge; 1x 3.5mm headset
Cameras 480p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD720p FaceTime HD
Touch Bar/Touch ID NoNoYesYes
Trackpad Force TouchForce TouchForce TouchForce Touch
Colors Rose Gold, Space Gray, Gold, SilverSpace Gray, SilverSpace Gray, SilverSpace Gray, Silver