MacBook 2017 release date, news and features

After making its debut at Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote, the 2017, 12-inch MacBook is finally here. And for the same price it’s retained for the past two years, it boasts improved specs in addition to a refined butterfly mechanism-wielding keyboard.

Bringing itself more in line with the MacBook Pro 2017 models, this all-new MacBook is the first of its kind to sport Core “i” processors, which are more specifically of the 7th generation Kaby Lake variety. It also packs faster SSDs and more RAM, but with the same thin and light dimensions you’ve grown to know and love from the previous MacBooks.

Getting right into it, here's everything you need to know regarding the newly-debuted 12-inch MacBook for 2017.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The new 12-inch MacBook refresh
  • When is it out? Released on June 5, 2017
  • What will it cost? Starting at $1,299, just like before

MacBook 2017 release date

Back in May, a report out of Bloomberg quoted sources ‘familiar with the matter’ stating that Apple was planning to debut three different MacBooks during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote held on June 5, 2017.

Starting that same day, you could order one for yourself – no pre-order needed. After doing so, in classic Apple Store fashion, it takes only two days to receive your MacBook at no additional charge for expedited shipping.

MacBook 2017 price

Absolutely nothing has changed about the MacBook price for 2017 despite the internal hardware upgrades (frankly, as it should be).

So, the 12-inch MacBook starts at the same price as before: $1,299/£1,249/AU$1,899. However, Apple's secretly made an interesting move in regards to MacBook pricing.

For 300 more in any currency, Apple is now selling a 12-inch MacBook with an Intel Core i5 processor and 512GB of SSD storage. Then, if you need even more power, you can upgrade to an i7 processor for $150 (£135, AU$240) on top of that.

MacBook 2017 specs

Not much concrete information regarding the 12-inch MacBook's internals was revealed on-stage at WWDC. But over a month removed from the event, we now know much more about what's new inside the laptop.

Naturally, the new 12-inch MacBook for 2017 rocks Intel's latest Kaby Lake, 7th generation processors as well as solid-state drives that are 50% faster. However, Apple has also introduced Intel's more powerful Core i5 processor with a 1.3GHz clock speed to the platform – there's the option to upgrade to an Intel Core i7 chip, too.

Mind, however, that these are likely Core i-Y series chips, essentially a re-branding of the Core M line with much of the same power profile. Also, Apple still hasn't bothered to upgrade the MacBook's poor, 480p webcam. (Seemingly nothing regarding battery life has changed.)

If the past two years have been any indication, the 12-inch MacBook has struggled with power and memory. Luckily, Apple has resolved much of the latter as well. That’s right, you can now opt for 16GB of DDR3 memory for $200 (£180, AU$320) over the price of the 8GB config.

The keyboard has also seen some improvement. Whereas the last two MacBooks have used extremely low-profile, first-generation butterfly keys, the 2017 MacBook makes the move to Apple’s second-gen butterfly mechanism used by the latest MacBook Pros.

Unfortunately, the weight of these improvements is offset by the report from Greenpeace that the MacBook, and compact notebooks like it, are having an adverse effect on the planet. Because its components can’t be replaced down the line, the MacBook promotes e-waste, as you’ll have no choice but to trash it once it slows down or stops working.

This makes the $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899) price tag of the MacBook a lot tougher to digest, though unlike other thin-and-light notebooks, Apple’s laptops do have the advantage of macOS Sierra (and, pretty soon, macOS High Sierra). With features like a built-in video autoplay blocker and comprehensive photo editing tools, it’s a hard deal to pass up.

As has been the case for many years now, MacBooks are renowned not for their horsepower as much as for their simple yet versatile suite of proprietary software, made even better by the utilitarian App Store. Plus, if you’re a student and you act fast, you can enjoy a complimentary pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of your MacBook for a limited time.