An Affordable Apple Laptop? MacBook Air Now $999

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple computers get plenty of credit for the way they look, feel and perform: for the most part, they are well-built, thoughtfully-designed machines and the people that use them, love them. But they're not cheap, and for many consumers the high price of MacBook laptops is often a deal-breaker.

That may have changed now that the Cupertino-based company has unveiled the 11.6-inch MacBook air, a super-light computer for less than $1,000.

MacBook Air Receives Solid State Harddrive (SSD)

Apple on Wednesday announced that it would revamp its popular MacBook Air by cutting it down in size and weight by completely doing away with the standard hard drive in favor of a much faster and lighter solid-state storage package.

In addition, the screen size of the new Air will be reduced from a 15-inch standard to 11.6-inches, with a screen falling somewhere between a regular laptop and a netbook. (Source:

Apple Imagines MacBook, iPad Tandem

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new MacBook Air himself, in customary fashion leaving its presentation to the end of his speech. "We wondered what would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up," Jobs said while speaking via webcast from Apple's Cupertino, California home base. (Source:

This has not been a particularly well-veiled secret. Rumors that a smaller Air would be released in the near future have been swirling for some time -- after all, just as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is trying his hardest to get a Windows 7 tablet out the door to match Apple's popular iPad, the "other" Steve must match the rampant success of PC netbooks with something similar.

A $999 Netbook? Apple Says No Way

In the end, Jobs sees the new Air as something innovative, and not a low-priced notebook or premium-priced netbook branded with the Apple name. "We think that this is the future of notebooks ... [and that] all notebooks will be like this some day," Jobs noted.

The 11.6-inch, 2.3-pound Air will retail for a pricey $999, and its specs include a 1.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, and 64GB of storage space. The 128GB SSD drive option retails for slightly more: $1,199. A release schedule is not yet available.

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