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Apple's Stunning, More Affordable Update to Macbook Air

The Air isn't just for Kanye West and partners at graphic design firms anymore.

Apple's Stunning, More Affordable Update to Macbook Air

Apple nerds, sit down, put down your drink, and make sure you have a soft surface to faint on: The new Macbook Air has just been announced. And it's tiny, affordable, and gorgeous.

From the side, the thing looks like a mere door shim — just .68" at its thickest point in the back, at the screen's hinge, and .11" in the front. (Come to think about it, this might actually slip under a door.) It weighs as little as 2.3 pounds.

The new Air is firmly planted in the age of web-based computing: There's no optical drive, and the hard-drive has been replaced with Flash memory, of the sort you find in iPods and iPhones. (The benefits of Flash memory are both that it's 90% smaller than a normal harddrive, with no moving parts which might be damaged or malfunction in such a slim device.) The Flash memory also helps it achieve a purported seven hours on use on a single charge and up to 30 days of standby time (due to how Flash memory works when it's in standby mode).

And here's the kicker: Prices start at $999, for a 11.6" screen). Granted, that's just for 64 GB of memory. A 11.6" screen with 128 GB will be $1199. And there will be a new, larger size as well: a 13.3" screen with either 128 GB or256 GB for $1299 and $1599 — meaning that even at the top end, the new Air will be $200 cheaper than when it was first introduced.

More on the new Apple products announced today:

Apple Launches New Macbook Air, Lion OS X, Mission Control, Mac App Store, iLife 11