The single ported MacBook has been granted a small refresh with more powerful and more efficient Skylake Intel Core M processors. These are paired with a slightly larger battery at 41.4Wh up from 39.7Wh which should increase usage time a little. RAM speed has also been increased to 1800Mhz, up from 1600Mhz.
Second generation products are often better in ways not seen on a specification sheet, improving the internals based on a year’s worth of technical support queries. The most notable example of this is the change in metal alloy seen on the iPhone 6S compared with the 6, which made the new device much less likely to bend. If you’re in the market for a portable notebook then the update could be enough to tip the balance in the MacBook’s favour.
I do admire Apple’s approach to minimalism. They were famously the first major manufacturer to remove the floppy drive from their flagship device, heralding in a new era of USB mass storage. However, I still feel the one port approach is too ambitious. As soon as a user needs to charge the device then there are zero ports available. Of course there are adapters – but who wants to use those? I would have liked to see an extra port added to the device – but for that we’ll need to wait until next year.