San Francisco – Apple Inc. CEO, Steve Jobs, alluded to there being “something in the air” during his keynote address at MacWorld 2008.
That something is the new MacBook Air, the world’s thinnest and latest notebook that will join the MacBook and MacBook Pro product lines.
The new MacBook Air notebook is set for release in two weeks. Apple classifies it as the world’s thinnest notebook as it measures 0.8 – 1.2 inches in thickness. It also weighs in at just three pounds, he said.
Job’s quipped in his keynote that the notebook is so slim it can also be placed in a manila envelope. The new MacBook Air also has a full size 13.3-inch widescreen LED backlit display screen. It runs off of the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which Intel has now made 60 per cent smaller in order to accommodate for MacBook Air’s small weight and form factor.
What’s different this time around, Jobs said, is that there is no optical drive. He said users can buy the SuperDrive, which is a USB powered device if they wish to use optical drives. The MacBook Air has been built to be a wireless machine. Software can be installed wirelessly.
Shipping for this product will begin in two weeks and pricing for the 1.6GHz MacBook Air will run for a suggested retail price of$1,899.
MacBook Air also comes with a new feature called Remote Disc. Essentially, it’s a feature that allows for users to access the DVD or CD drives of a nearby Mac or Windows station. When it comes to its battery life, Jobs said the MacBook Air can last up to five hours.
In addition to the MacBook Air, Jobs also announced the soon to be released a re-invented Apple TV, Time Capsule accessory product, software upgrades for the iPhone and iTouch, and new iTunes Movie Rentals.
The iPhone may not available in Canada, but Apple has updated its software to now include features such as: maps on location, Web clips, customizable home screens, the ability to SMS multiple people simultaneously, and chapters, subtitles and languages capabilities, along with lyrics support. Jobs said a free software update is available today for every iPhone user who wishes to upgrade. With the iPod touch, Jobs said five key applications were also created for the product and include, mail, maps, stocks, notes and weather options.
Jobs went on to explain that Apple TV has also been created with an entirely new user interface (UI). What’s different this time around is that even though Apple TV can still synch to the computer, no computer is required to use this product.
“Users can rent movies directly from their widescreen TV for Apple TV,” Jobs said. “You can also rent HD movies, can view podcasts, obtain photos from Flickr and .Mac, and can also purchase TV shows and music all using a widescreen TV.
Jobs also announced yesterday the launch of iTunes Movie Rentals, which will provide users with a selection of over 1,000 movies to choose from that can be watched on a Mac, a PC, or iPod or iPhone.
“We’re introducing this in the U.S. today and will be rolling this out internationally later this year,” Jobs said. “Once a movie is rented, the user has 30 days to start and 24 hours to finish (watching it).”
Jobs added that iTunes Movie Rentals will no longer take up space with already-watched movies because they are being rented. The movies become available 30 days after their DVD release and let users pick movies based on their genres. Today, Apple is also offering this as a free software update.
“So far in just two weeks, we’ve already announced software upgrades for the iPhone and iTouch, iTune Movie Rentals, a new Apple TV and the new MacBook Air,” Jobs said. “We’ve still got 50 more weeks to go so we’re all pretty excited about what this year has in store.