New MacBook Air Borrows Tech from iPad [Update]

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a new version of the MacBook Air during the company’s “Back to the Mac” media event on Wednesday. The redesigned ultra-light laptop sports unibody construction, offers instant-on, and solid state storage instead of a built-in hard drive.

“MacBook Air is the first of a new generation of notebooks that leaves behind mechanical rotating storage in favor of solid state flash storage,” Mr. Jobs said. “We’ve taken what we have learned with the iPad — solid state storage, instant-on, amazing battery standby time, miniaturization and lightweight construction, to create the new MacBook Air.”

The new MacBook Air family

The new MacBook Air is available with a 13.3- or 11.6-inch LED backlit display, a 1.4 GHz Core 2 Due processor, glass trackpad, built-in FaceTime camera, built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 64 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics with 2 GB RAM, two USB ports, weighs less than three pounds, and offers up to seven hours use time or 30 days of standby time. The 13.3-inch model also sports an SD card slot for uploading photos from your digital camera.

Unlike netbooks, both MacBook Air models include full-size keyboards and a full-size multitouch trackpad. They measure .68-inches at their thickest point.

Like Apple’s other laptop models, the MacBook Air includes a MagSafe charger, Mini DisplayPort

The 11.6-inch model is priced starting at US$999 with a 1.4 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM and 64 GB storage, or $1,299 with 128 GB storage. The 13.3-inch model costs $1,299 with a 1.86 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, or $1,599 with 256 GB storage. A 4 GB RAM build-to-order option is available, too.

Both models are available today.

[This article has been updated with additional information about the new MacBook Air models.]