Apple merges MacBook and iPad into new MacBook Air

What would happen if a MacBook were to meet an iPad? asked Steve Jobs before introducing the news of the day, at the press conference that the company has just given in the United States. The answer to the question is, as expected, a new generation of MacBook Air, which the company defines as one of the most “fantastic” products in its history.

The new Air actually has two versions that share much of the specifications and the bet on a unitary body design, as Apple had already done for the MacBook Pro.

In the 13.3-inch version, the LED screen offers 1440 x 900 pixels, Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce 320m graphics and, of course, a camera for videoconferencing through FaceTime. The memory changes to Flash (as in the iPad) which, according to the company, has a strong impact on the device’s quick start-up and operating noise (which reduces by 90 percent). This new Air costs 1,299 euros in the 128 GB version and 1,599 euros in the 256 GB version, both with 1.86 GHz processor.

The company also launches an 11.6-inch version of the equipment, which is lighter and smaller. The specifications are basically the same (the memory of 2 GB, included) but there are some differences, for example, in terms of the screen resolution, which is in this case 1366 x 768 pixels. In this case, prices vary between 999 and 1,149 euros, for a storage space of 64 or 128 GB, in both cases with a 1.4 GHz processor. The various models are on sale as of today.

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The presentation also served to show the new version of the MAC OS, called Lion, which will be available in the summer of 2011. The touch screen support that could be expected continues to be left out because the company does not believe in the attractiveness of the option for this type of devices. Touch only horizontally, trackpad. Another novelty is a new App Store.

The store will be a mix of paid and free applications with automatic installation and updates and all downloaded applications can be used on the various Macs by the same user. For the developers of the applications that will feed the store, 70 percent of the revenue generated will go to Apple and 30 percent.

As Jobs explained at the presentation, this news will not wait for Lion and will be available before the new version of the operating system. Thus, Snow Leopard users will have access to the novelty in 90 days from today. Developers can start submitting applications as early as November.

Apple also announced a new version of iLife. Version 11, available from today, has free access for those who buy a new Mac and an upgrade cost of $ 49 for current users.

FaceTime also had a prominent place at the event. According to company figures, videoconferencing technology is present in 19 million pieces of equipment sold by the manufacturer in the past four months. The information served to introduce another novelty: the technology is now also available for Mac.

Users just have to go to the contact list to choose a name and start the video call, whether the recipient is on another Mac, on an iPhone or iPod Touch. The beta version of FaceTime for Mac is also available as of today on the manufacturer’s website.