Enlarge / The one-ported MacBook. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is usually all about software, but every once in a while it brings some hardware along with it too.
Today Apple provided a minor but wide-ranging refresh to its modern MacBooks and MacBook Pros, adding new processors from Intel and making a handful of other tweaks.
The new processors are from Intel’s “Kaby Lake” family, and some of them have been available for the better part of a year.
Compared to the outgoing Skylake architecture, Kaby Lake introduces a gently tweaked version of Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process, provides small boosts to CPU clock speeds, and supports native acceleration for decoding and encoding some kinds of 4K video streams.
The 12-inch MacBook, last updated in April of 2016, stands to benefit the most.
The low-power Y-series chips the MacBook uses see the biggest performance boost from the Kaby Lake upgrade, and Apple has also added the refined butterfly switch keyboard introduced in the MacBook Pros last year.
The keyboards both have the same layout and offer the same amount of key travel, but the newer version of the keyboard has a slightly more satisfying feel.
The new MacBook will also get a faster SSD.
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