New MacBook with Apple Silicon coming this year — with 20 hours of battery life

12 inch MacBook
(Image credit: Getty Images/Future Publishing)

It looks like Apple is readying the first MacBook with Apple Silicon, and it could blow away today’s best laptops in terms of battery life while matching or beating Windows notebooks on performance. 

According to Komiya on Twitter, the ARM MacBook will cost just $849 and it should be able to last 15 to 20 hours on a charge. A separate report from The China Times via MacRumors) says that the laptop will launch by the end of this year using a A14X processor and quotes the same fantastic battery numbers.

The Komiya leak says that the MacBook with Apple Silicon will feature a 12-inch Retina Display in a lightweight 2-pound design, just like the previous 12-inch MacBook. 

The China Times report also says to expect a 12-inch display and that the weight is less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). The A14X processor, which is codenamed Tonga, will allow for 15 to 20 hours of battery life because of its ARM architecture and TSMC's 5nm manufacturing process. The A14X chip will also reportedly be used in the next iPad Pro tablets.

The battery in the previous Intel-powered MacBook lasted under 9 hours, so this would be a huge improvement. By comparison, the 1080p version of the Dell XPS 13 endured for 12:39 on our web surfing test and the 4K model lasted 8:14. The latest MacBook Air lasted 9:31 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro turned in a time of 10:21.

Other leaked specs for the new ARM MacBook include 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage. Unfortunately, Komiya says that this system will have just a single USB-C port and a low-res 720p webcam. 

The biggest concern we have with the Komiya MacBook leak is that it predicts a 4th-generation Butterfly keyboard. Apple ditched this keyboard for its Magic Keyboard with scissor switches on the latest MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. So Apple would have to make some serious improvements this time around to reassure shoppers.

Based on leaked Apple Silicon benchmarks of Apple’s Development Transition Kits for Apple Silicon, it already beats the MacBook Air on Geekbench 5, and that’s with the overhead of emulation and with a slower A12X chip. We expect the A14X to be considerably faster.

In other words, Windows laptops could be in trouble. 

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Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.