The new MacBook is a four-year step backwards

Tim cook with new macbookREUTERS/Robert GalbraithApple CEO Tim Cook reveals the new MacBook.

The new MacBook is Apple’s thinnest, lightest laptop ever. But it’s also a major step backwards.

Geekbench has run tests on the new device, MacRumours reports — and discovered that when it comes to the processor, it’s only on a par with the MacBook Air that Apple released way back in 2011.

The processor has a single-core score of 1,924 and a multi-core score of 4,038. (A higher number is better, indicating faster speeds.) In contrast, the mid-2011 i5 MacBook Air clocks in with 2,192 and 4,288.

For reference, the high-end mid-2014 MacBook Pro has a single-core score of 3,876, and 14,703 for multi-core.

The data comes from a single MacBook rather than a combined average of multiple tests (as is standard on Geekbench), and it’s since been deleted. (A cached version is available here.) But it’s in keeping with what we know about Intel Core M processors, which Digital Trends notes “are slower than their standard Core equivalents.”

Of course, the new Macbook will have other advantages over the 2011 MacBook Air. Its graphics processing will be considerably faster, for example, and likely contribute to faster overall performance.

But nonetheless: The device’s processor is weaker than one included in Apple devices four years ago. It’s just part of the extraordinary lengths Apple has gone to to cut down on the size of its latest laptop. The device has also been criticised for ditching all its traditional ports — including the charger — in favour of a single universal USB-C port. This means users can’t plug in a second screen or copy files to their iPhone at the same time as charging their MacBook unless they buy an add-on splitter cable.

Photos of the inside of the device also reveal that the actual logic board — the brain of the computer — has been shrunk down to a tiny size to make room for all the batteries required. According to Digital Trends, its logic board is actually smaller than the famously compact Raspberry Pi computer.

As Geekbench’s speed test proves, that size comes as cost.

Apple new macbook logic board 2 1180x787 gold early 2015AppleThat empty space will all be taken up by batteries.

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