Apple MacBooks Get Faster Processors, Increased Battery Life

In a round of update announcements, Apple also improved the graphics performance and flash storage speed in the latest MacBooks.

Apple MacBook, Apple MacBook Air, Intel, memory, updates, upgrades, Retina display, iPhone SE, iPad Pro

Apple's MacBooks just got a round of key improvements, including the latest Intel Core M processors, faster graphics performance and flash storage, and as much as an hour of longer battery life.

The updates, which also for the first time include a Rose Gold color finish on a MacBook, were unveiled by Apple in an announcement on April 19.

The latest MacBooks will now feature sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors with up to 1.3GHz speeds and faster 1,866MHz memory, as well as new Intel HD Graphics 515 graphics processing units that deliver up to 25 percent faster graphics performance, according to Apple. Also, faster PCIe-based flash storage will give the machines improved performance. In addition, the new MacBooks now offer improved battery life for up to 10 hours of Web browsing and up to 11 hours of movie playback.

In addition, all 13-inch MacBook Air computers get an increased 8GB of memory standard from Apple, according to the company.

The MacBook continues to feature an all-metal unibody case, a 12-inch Retina display, a full-size keyboard, a Force Touch trackpad and a USB-C port. The machine weighs 2 pounds and is 0.51 inches thick. It comes in gold, silver, space gray and the new rose gold colors. The MacBook also has built-in 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity on the go.

"MacBook is the thinnest and lightest Mac we have ever made and it's our vision for the future of the notebook," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement. "Customers are going to love this update to MacBook, with the latest processors, faster graphics, faster flash storage, longer battery life and a beautiful rose gold finish."

The improved MacBooks are shipping immediately through and will be available through Apple stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers starting April 20.

A MacBook that comes with a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage will retail for $1,299, while a machine with a 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m5 processor, 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage will sell for $1,599.

MacBooks can also be configured with up to 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core m7 processors and other options.

In March, Apple unveiled its latest iPhone, the smaller iPhone SE, as well as a smaller iPad Pro machine.

The iPhone SE has a 4-inch display, a 12-megapixel camera, an improved battery, Apple's latest 64-bit A9 processor and an M9 motion coprocessor. The new phone replaces the iPhone 5s, which debuted in September 2013. The iPhone SE is the first iPhone that can shoot and capture 4K video, according to an earlier eWEEK story. It is priced at $399.99 for a 16GB model or $499.99 for a 32GB version.

The new smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes a 64-bit A9 chip, wide-color Retina display, four-speaker audio, 4K video, a 12-megapixel iSight camera, Retina flash and iOS 9.3. It is priced at $729.99 for a 32GB tablet or $879.99 for a 128GB model.