Apple launches new MacBook Air and talks up OS X Lion

New smaller 11.6-inch notebook costs under $1000
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Apple has introduced a revamp of the MacBook Air, reducing the weight and the cost while adding a new model with an 11.6-inch screen.

The 1.3Kg MacBook Air weighs just 1.3Kg with a 13.3-inch screen and sports a 1.86Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The two new MacBook Air models have ditched physical hard drives in favour of flash with versions available, a $1,299 version with 128GB of flash storage and a $1,599 version with 256GB of storage. 

Steve Jobs introduced the smaller MacBook Air by saying “We asked ourselves: What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up?” A statement that could be viewed with irony given the Apple front man's lambasting of crossover 7-inch tablets on the infamous earnings call earlier this week. 

The new smaller model is also the cheapest MacBook Air yet with the $999 entry level 11.6-inch version with a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage while a 128GB version will cost $1,199. Steve Jobs described the sub $1000 price as “aggressive”.

Apple also chose the launch of the new MacBook Air notebooks to talk about the upcoming Macv OS X Lion due summer next year. The new OS borrows features from the firm's runaway success iOS for mobile devices, adding a built-in store selling Mac software – a move Apple had previously denied.

OS X Lion will also present iOS like gestures on input devices such as a multi touch trackpad. Users will be able to switch between a traditional desktop and a dashboard populated by on-screen widgets including clock, weather and news feeds and so on.

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