So just how anorexic is the new laptop Apple is touting as “the thinnest notebook in the world?” You can use a manila envelope as a computer case.
That’s just what Apple chief executive Steve Jobs did Tuesday when he introduced the svelte MacBook Air to an enthusiastic crowd at the annual Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Jobs pulled the ultra-sleek notebook from a regulation interoffice pouch as the enthusiastic crowd hooted and clapped.
The laptop, which Jobs said took two years to develop, ranges from .16 inches at its thinnest to .76 inches at its thickest. It weighs in at just under 3 pounds. The Air has a 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen, a built-in video camera and a full-size keyboard, one of the most desired features for many laptop users. “This is perhaps the best notebook keyboard we’ve ever shipped,” Jobs said.
The runway-model physique has a price, however. The Air retails for $1,799, hundreds more than other notebooks from the company that provide more memory and features. The Air works solely with wireless Internet connections and has only 2GM of memory, a small space in the era of huge video files and photo archives. It also has no optical disc drive. Buyers can add an external drive specially designed for the Air for $99 or connect remotely to another Mac or PC and use that computer’s built-in disc drive to install programs, transfer files or watch DVDs.
Perhaps hinting that discs and memory-sucking media archives aren’t the way of the future anyhow, Apple debuted the new laptop on the same day it announced a deal with all the major Hollywood studios to offer downloadable movie rentals. iTunes Movie Rentals lets users rent new releases for $3.99 and older films for $2.99. Renters have 30 days to start screening a film and then 24 hours to finish it. After that, the movie is erased from the user’s hard drive.