Apple confirmed weeks of speculation today when it introduced an ultra-thin notebook at the Macworld Expo.
The Macbook Air is under three quarters of an inch thick and features a 13.3in screen along with a full-screen keyboard. Pricing starts at $1,799.
VIDEO: Meet the Macbook Air
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs demonstrated just how thin the notebook is by pulling it out for its grand introduction from a standard envelope.
Small size aside, the Macbook Air sports a number of standard notebook features, including Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a 1.6ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. All the ports are protected by a fold-down door on the side of the device.
Users will have the option of an 80GB hard-disk drive or a 64GB solid-state drive at an additional cost. Jobs said that battery time would be roughly five hours.
The track pad on the new notebook will include multi-touch capabilities similar to the iPhone's touch screen. Users can scroll through the screen, zoom in on objects, and rotate photos.
One standard feature will be absent from the Macbook Air, however. Apple will ship the notebook without an optical disk drive as standard. Jobs told the crowd that he does not see the omission as a big deal.
"We don't think most users are going to miss the optical drive," he said, noting that an external Superdisk drive will be available for $99.
Users will also have the option of 'borrowing' CD and DVD drives from nearby computers via special software included with the notebook.
All the Macbook Air's motherboard, storage and cooling systems fit on a single board roughly the length of a pencil. To fit into the laptop, Intel had t o shrink its processor to the size of a £1 coin.
"When we started this project, we didn't think it was possible," said Intel chief executive Paul Otellini.
As opposed to last year's iPhone rollout, Mac users will not have to wait very long to get their hands on the hardware. Apple plans to ship the notebook in two weeks and is currently accepting pre-orders.
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