Apple Updates MacBook Lineup with Kaby Lake Processors

Apple's all-in-one desktops got most of the love during the Worldwide Developer Conference today (June 5). But Apple is updatings its laptop lineup, too, with 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors inside.

The new processors aren't the only change Apple has planned for its notebooks. The MacBook lineup will get faster SSDs, according to John Ternus, Apple's vice president of hardware engineering. Storage is now 50 percent faster on the MacBook, according to Apple, and you have the option of doubling memory to 16GB on the notebooks.

MORE: Which MacBook Should You Buy? MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro

Meanwhile, the 15-inch MacBook Pro will be getting faster discrete graphics, which now come standard on the 15-inch models. Apple added a lower-priced 13-inch MacBook Pro that now starts at $1,299, but it only features a 128GB PCIe-based SSD, compared to 256GB of storage on the $1,499 model.

Details were hard to come by during Apple's WWDC keynote, but Apple has since updated its product pages with more details about the assorted laptop configurations.

MacBook: The $1,299 base model features a Kaby Lake processor, but it's a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 by default. You can upgrade that to a 1.3GHz Core i5 if you prefer. That's the default processor in the $1,599 MacBook, which can be upgraded to a 1.4GHz Core i7. 

Both machines ship with 8GB of RAM, but you can max them out to 16GB now. The lower-priced MacBooks offers a 256GB SSD, while the $1,599 model features 512GB of storage.

MacBook Pro: You can now pick up a 13-inch model for $1,299 but it's one of the Touch Bar-free models; it also has half the storage of the $1,499 MacBook Pro, though both those machines now have the latest generation of Intel processors (a 2.3GHz Core i5 that you can configure to a 2.5GHz Core i7). The most noteworthy thing about the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the new Kaby Lake processor, a 3.1GHz Core i5, that powers the $1,799 configuration.

The bigger story on the MacBook Pro side is with the 15-inch Touch Bar version, which now offers discrete Radeon graphics on both 15-inch configurations. The $2,399 model features a Radeon 555 with 2GB of memory to go with its Intel HD Graphics 630 and 2.8GHz Core i7 processor; the $2,799 laptop has a Radeon Pro 650 with 4GB of memory along with its 2.9GHz Core i7 CPU, and it doubles the storage of the other 15-inch MacBook Pro to 512GB.

In hands-on demos with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple touted the new processing power of its updated laptop, particularly when the notebook was attached to an external GPU plugged into one of its Thunderbolt 3 ports. (External GPU support is coming with macOS High Sierra, a new version of the operating system that Apple previewed at WWDC.) With the external GPU plugged into a new MacBook Pro, I could get a 360-degree view of various Hawaiian scenes from a sneak peek version of Final Cut Pro due out later this year.

MacBook Air: Apple didn't make a big deal about this update, primarily because its $999 laptop is still using the Broadwell generation of Intel processors. But at least it's a faster version of the older CPU at 1.8GHz.

Like the iMacs Apple announced at WWDC today, the updated MacBook and MacBook Pros are available now from Apple.

Apple Laptop Guide