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New MacBook 2017 release date, design, features and spec rumours

Lewis Painter | June 23, 2016
Apple’s 2017 12in MacBook may boast a Force Touch-enabled keyboard.

Here's why it doesn't matter that the MacBook is expensive, underpowered and only has one port.

The last time that there was a Mac laptop that had more advanced specs than a more expensive model was the old MacBooks (white and black, and then eventually aluminium). Those were eventually discontinued and the price of the MacBook Air reduced. It seems likely that the same will happen with the new MacBook models replacing the MacBook Air models at a lower price than they are now, at least eventually - especially considering the MacBook Air's less-than-exciting 2016 update.

According to trusted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 12in MacBook is now Apple's best-selling computer, closely followed by the 13in MacBook Pro, which adds further fuel to the rumour that it'll soon replace the MacBook Air thanks to its popularity.

That said, there are plenty of rumours about a new MacBook Air, including aparticularly persistent one that suggests the 11in MacBook Air is about to be ditched in favour of a 15in model to join the 13in. See more MacBook Air rumours here.

New MacBook 2017 UK pricing rumours: How much will the new 12in MacBook cost in the UK?

While we're still a way away from the official announcement of the 2017 MacBook, we can already speculate about the pricing as Apple rarely changes the price of its range from generation to generation, unless it's a fairly hefty upgrade. With that being said, we imagine that the 2017 MacBook Pro will set you back £1.049 for the basic variant and £1,299 for a more powerful variant.

New MacBook 2017 design rumours: What will the 2017 MacBook look like?

Looking at the change in design from the 2015 MacBook to the 2016 MacBook, it suggests that we won't be seeing huge physical changes. In fact, the only change in design from the original MacBook and the 2016 MacBook was the addition of a new colour option, Rose Gold, to go alongside the readily available Gold, Silver and Space Grey options. Aside from that, the design hasn't changed for the MacBook. It's incredibly thin at 13.1mm, and it weighs just 0.9kg, making it 24 percent thinner than the MacBook Air, and we don't expect that to change dramatically in future.

Will Apple discontinue Thunderbolt?

One question that has arisen is whether the introduction of USB-C spells the end of Thunderbolt. We don't think that Apple will drop Thunderbolt from its Pro Mac line up any time soon, but the standard may well disappear from the consumer level Macs eventually. The reason we think it will remain on the MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and the iMac is Apple's efforts to convince the industry to adopt it since its introduction in 2011. However, Apple also promoted FireWire to the industry and eventually removed that from its Macs.

 

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