2015 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Refresh: What’s New

At their press event on Monday, March 9, Apple unveiled a new 2015 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro to go along with the new ultra-thin 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display. They showed these off after giving details about a lower cost Apple TV with the new HBO Now unbundled service and before sharing final details about the new Apple Watch.

2015 MacBook Air

macbook air price

The MacBook Air is the new “budget” MacBook from Apple.

The headline for the refreshed 2015 MacBook Air comes primarily from the new processor. The machine offers 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost mode up to 2.7GHz. That means, at a lower price, we get a slightly faster processor in the 2015 MacBook Air than in the more expensive ultrathin 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display. The new MacBook with Retina only sports an Intel Core M processor which provides longer battery life, but less speed.

The 13-inch 2015 MacBook Air will ship with the 2X faster flash storage that also comes on the new 12-inch MacBook. The 11-inch won’t get this faster storage that Apple claims runs at twice the speed.

2015 macbook air

Apple boosted the onboard graphics putting Intel HD Graphics 6000, which also should run faster than the 12-inch MacBook’s slower graphics chip.

Here’s the other important specs, most of which mirror the old version. First the 11-inch 2015 MacBook Air:

  • 4GB of RAM
  • 1366×768 display resolution
  • Older generation 128GB or 256GB flash storage
  • 720p FaceTime HD Camera
  • Full-size backlit keyboard and clickable trackpad
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 1 Thunderbolt 2, MagSafe 2 Power, Headphone/mic combo port, dual mics
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi compatible with a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 9 hours of battery life
  • .11-.68-inches thick, 11.8-inches wide and 7.56-inches deep
  • 2.38lbs.

Here’s the specs for the 13-inch 2015 MacBook Air that differ from the 11-inch model above.

  • 1440×900 display resolution
  • 12-hours of battery life
  • .11-.68 inches thick, 12.8 inches wide, 8.94 inches deep
  • 2.96lbs.
  • adds an SD card slot

2015 MacBook Air Battery Life

The MacBook Air prices start at $899 making it the “budget” option for potential MacBook buyers. Compare that to the MacBook Pro with Retina Display and the new ultrathin MacBook, both of which start at $400 more than the intro-level 11-inch 2015 MacBook Air. Apple also offers a 13-inch MacBook Pro without a Retina Display for $1,099, but we don’t think very many buyers will find it appealing.

Buyers can get the updated 2015 MacBook Air now at the Apple Store online and in retail stores “coming soon.”

See the new ultrathin MacBook with Retina Display reveal video to compare it with the new 2015 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

2015 MacBook Pro

macbook pro

MacBook Pro offers more power in a thicker design for the same price as the new MacBook.

The new 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina gets a few new features to bring it forward. We assume Apple will update the 15-inch version later this year.

The new 13-inch model crams some power into the small design for serious mobile warriors who need a machine for editing big images or video, playing video games and running power-hungry software. People like this need power more than they need a super thin machine that’s extremely light, like the new MacBook with Retina Display.

There’s a slight processor speed increase in this model. The entry-level machine comes with an Intel Core i5 2.7GHz processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz. It’s still got 8GB of RAM standard with configurations up to 16GB available. The storage will hold 128GB configurable up to 1TB of flash storage. The faster flash storage in these models will run at a promised 2x speed boost over the older flash drives we get in the 2015 MacBook Air and older MacBook Pros.

force touch trackpad on 13-inch 2015 macbook pro

The biggest change comes from the new Force Touch Trackpad available only on the 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro and not on the 15-inch yet. This new technology doesn’t click like the old trackpads. Instead it’s touch only, but senses the amount of force the user applies. Instead of a simple tap to click, the user can exert greater pressure which OS X will treat differently depending on where the person’s mouse cursor hovers. For example, Apple demonstrated a video game where the presenter pressed harder and it sped up the game’s character. We assume Apple will add it to the 2015 model later this year.

Here’s the list of detailed specs for the 2015 MacBook Pro.

  • 2.7 to 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor or 2.9 to 3.1GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB to 16GB RAM
  • 128GB to 1TB of flash storage
  • Intel Iris 6100 on 13-inch
  • Intel Iris Pro or Intel Iris Pro+NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of dedicated RAM on 15-inch
  • 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 2 Thunderbolt 2, MagSafe 2 charger, Headphone/mic combo, dual mics, SD card slot
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi compatible with a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 720p FaceTime HD Camera
  • 10 hours of battery life on the 13-inch model and 8 on the 15-inch
  • .71 inches thick
  • 12.35 inches wide on 13-inch or 14.13 inches wide on 15-inch
  • 8.62 inches deep on 13-inch or 9.73 inches deep on 15-inch
  • 3.48lbs on 13-inch or 4.46lbs on 15-inch



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