Apple announces MacBook Air

Well folks, it looks like the rumors were true, though we certainly didn’t expect it to be quite this thin. Say hello to the MacBook Air: what Steve Jobs is calling “the world’s thinnest notebook.” In many ways, this thing is a fanboy dream: a mere .16 inches thick at the bottom and .76 inches thick at the top, the laptop can easily fit into a manila folder. It sports an LED-backlit 13.3 display with ambient light sensor, full-size keyboard, a multitouch trackpad, 2GB of RAM, an optional 64GB SSD and 5 hours of battery life.

So, how did they make this thing so darn thin? First off, they removed the optical drive, though there are two options for folks who still need the old CD/DVD drive: a $100 external drive or “Remote Disk,” which allows you to “borrow” another Mac or PC’s optical drive wirelessly. Speaking of wireless, the MacBook Air is almost totally wireless (hence the name) save for a few ports: a headphone jack, a micro-DVI, 1 USB and a MagSafe power connector. Of course, it’s got 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 on board–sorry rumormongers, no WWAN or WiMAX. Apparently, that didn’t get the thing thin enough though, so they used a 1.8″ hard drive for the standard model (the same hard drive found in iPods) and had Intel custom make two Core 2 Duos (1.6Ghz and 1.8Ghz) that were 60 percent thinner than existing Core 2 Duos. Apparently the MacBook Air’s CPU is the width of a dime, the thickness of a nickel and so thin that Intel CEO Paul Ottellini was heard to remark “”When we started this project, we didn’t think it was possible.”

So there you have it folks, the latest drool-worthy notebook from Apple. The standard config with 1.6Ghz Core 2 Duo and 80GB hard drive goes for $1800, while the 1.8Ghz, 64GB SSD-sporting model will run you a massive $3100. Pre-orders are available now, shipping in two weeks.

For more on the MacBook Air:
– see Apple’s website
– and this Ars Technica liveblog

More stories about Batteries   Hard Drive   iPods   Steve Jobs   SSDs  


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