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The next MacBook may be Apple's cheapest laptop in years

(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s first ARM-powered MacBook might be its cheapest laptop yet, according to a new leak.

A rumor from Apple leaker iHacktu Pro (the tweet has since been deleted) and spotted by Apple Insider, claims Apple will debut a 12-inch MacBook powered by Apple Silicon at a special event on October 27, just weeks after it shows off the iPhone 12. While we've heard talk that the ARM-based device, which will allegedly pack a 5nm 12-core CPU, will be cheaper than Intel-based MacBooks, a new rumor claims it could be the cheapest MacBook yet.

Then, according to another leaker, @komiya_kj, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook will feature a starting price of just $799 (around £617, AU$1,115), making it $200 cheaper than the current entry-level MacBook Air.

  

The tipster also claims that Apple will release a MacBook Pro 13 running on its new ARM chipsets. The laptop, which will reportedly feature a Touch Bar and a cooling fan, will apparently cost around $1,099 (£848, AU$1,535). 

Currently, Apple’s cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro model – which comes powered by an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor - is priced at $1,299.

Although they look like cheaper than Intel-powered MacBooks, Apple’s ARM-based laptops look set to come out on top in the performance stakes. 

Apple’s A12Z-powered Developer Transition Kit recently made an appearance on Geekbench 5, where the ARM machine supposedly achieved a score of around 800 on the single-core test, and around 2600 on multi-core, all while running through the Rosetta 2 emulation layer. 

While we’re still yet to see the final performance of Apple’s ARM-based CPUs, these leaked scores are significant’y higher than those racked up by the ARM-based Surface Pro X, which uses the SQ1 chip co-developed by Microsoft and Qualcomm.