New 12-inch MacBook as powerful as 2011 MacBook Air

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Macbook 1
The new MacBook probably isn't for most people. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

The 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is sexy to behold, but its specs may leave more to be desired.

Thanks to some new benchmarks, we have a clearer picture of what to expect from the new MacBook’s processor. And it’s basically as powerful as a 2011 MacBook Air.

Geekbench tests of the entry-level Retina MacBook, which was coincidentally unboxed today for the first time, have been posted (and removed) online, and they reflect the kind of performance that’s expected from Intel’s M processor (clocked at 1.1GHz with Turbo Boost at 2.4GHz).

With single-core scores in the 1924 ballpark and multi-core scores in the range of 4038, the new MacBook’s performance is very close to the top-tier MacBook Air from 2011 with an Intel Core i7 clocked at 1.8GHz. For further comparison, the 2015 MacBook Air’s processor is nearly twice as powerful as the new MacBook with scores of 2881 and 5757.

Processors aren’t everything, though. The new MacBook has a Retina screen, and its graphics performance will be far better than older laptops. Improvements in SSD technology will also make a big difference in overall speed.

The 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299 and will start shipping on April 10th.