Apple’s Latest: iPad Inspired MacBook Air

Written by Annabel Choy. Posted under Headlines, Netbooks on October 21st, 2010

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company’s newest family member at Wednesday event entitled “Back to the Mac”. The 55 year old Jobs proudly introduced the iPad-Inspired MacBook Air, saying it is the thinnest and lightest Mac laptop yet.

The newest MacBook Air laptops, with Job’s signature “one last thing” set up, fuses features of iPhone and iPad with its traditional Mac computers.

The newest gizmos will be debuting Wednesday in 11″ and 13″ inch-display model at $999 and $1,299 respectively. At 2.3 to 2.9 pounds, they are really light and thin — measuring just over two-thirds of an inch at the widest edge.

Apple did not include a hard drive or DVD player in this model. “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.

Referred to as “future of notebooks”, the MacBook Air uses flash storage, like in iPad. It is a more efficient technology — can power up easily from standby mode– Apple is banking on with their other portable products. It is, however, a bit pricey. As seen in The MacBook base model, which only has 64 gigabytes of space, consumers will have to shell out an additional $200 to upsize the storage.

The flash storage increases the new MacBook Air’s battery life– between five to seven hours– when surfing the Web and standby time –30 days. This technology also can store data twice as quickly as a standard hard drive. But there is a drawback with this kind of memory, compared to Apple’s other laptops, the processing power is behind in several steps.

“We really see these as the next generation of MacBooks,” Jobs said at the event. “We think all notebooks will be like these someday,” he added.

Jobs also unveiled a new version of Mac operating software, which is due to release next summer. Nicknamed “Lion,” it has an improved “iLife” multimedia suite and incorporates video chat ability launched on the iPhone.

The newest MacBook will be using an App store, similar to the digital marketplace on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, to install softwares. It will not use DVDs.

Aside from the Apps, the video chat program for iPhone and iPod Touch, FaceTime, is also installed in the new MacBook Air. While the latest Apple gizmo is turning to be like the company’s other hand-held products, a touchscreen is not likely to materialize with this laptops.

“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” Jobs said onstage. “After a short period of time, you start to fatigue. And after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible.”

The Mac line of products has been a huge part of Apple’s success over past years. To date, Apple has sold $22 billion worth of Macs in 2010, comprising one-third of its revenue. “Computers made up a third of Apple’s revenue last year,” Tim Cook, chief operating officer, said during a news conference.

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