Apple unveils MacBook Air - thinnest, lightest laptop

Last Updated 21 October 2010, 13:15 IST

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the new MacBook Air Wednesday night which will incorporate FaceTime video conferencing and a suite of applications, which the company is now bringing to all its Macs. FaceTime allows for video calls between iPhones, iPod touches and Macs.

The new laptop has an 11.6-inch screen but weighs as little as 2.3 pounds. It comes with a multi-touch trackpad which lets users control by pinching, rotating, swiping and double-tapping just like on the iPad or iPhone, reports the Daily Mail.

The new MacBook Air uses flash storage rather than a hard drive like conventional computers, which means it can power up almost instantly from standby mode and store data twice as quickly as a standard hard drive.
However, it has less processing power compared with Apple's other laptops.

Apple will bring a version of its mobile applications store to the Mac, aiming to replicate its success and spur development of new programs.

"We asked ourselves what would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up? Well, this is the result," Jobs said at a media event in Cupertino, California, calling MacBook Air the "future of notebooks".

The MacBook Air comes in two sizes, one with a screen that's 13.3 inches diagonally and another with a 11.6-inch screen.

The larger one clocks in at 2.9 pounds and can be used for seven hours - thanks in part to a low-voltage processor from Intel that consumes less power than ones running in standard laptops.

The 11-inch model with a 64 GB memory will cost 899 pounds while the 13 inch version with 256 GB of storage comes in at 1,349 pounds.

"They're basically merging the product lines; they're simplifying it," said Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu.

"They're taking the strengths out of what they've learned on the iPhone and iPad and bringing that technology over to the Mac side. It makes a lot of sense," Wu added.

While plenty of attention is lavished on the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has been critical to the company's success over the past years. Apple sold $22 billion worth of Macs in 2010, comprising one-third of its revenue.

Nearly 50 million people worldwide use Mac.

(Published 21 October 2010, 13:15 IST)

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