Apple kills off hard disks in MacBook Air

Apple’s MacBook Air range has moved exclusively to solid-state storage with the launch of two new models.

CEO Steve Jobs said Apple has taken what it learned from the tablet market and applied it to the ultra-thin laptop. “What would happen if a MacBook met an iPad?” asked Jobs.

The two new devices, one 13.3in and a smaller 11.6in, only have Flash storage to keep them lighter, allow for instant-on access, and extend the battery life. The larger edition offers a claimed seven hours using wireless, and a whopping 30 days on standby.

“Just as interesting as what it’s got, is what it doesn’t have,” Jobs said. “There’s no optical drive, and there is no hard drive. We have gone to Flash storage, complete solid-state storage.”

MacBook Air

“We think it’s the future of notebooks,” he said. “It’s like nothing we’ve ever created before.”

The device has a aluminium unibody construction, with the larger one weighing in at 2.9 pounds and the smaller one only 2.3 pounds. The new 13.3in MacBook Air features a full-sized keyboard and full-sized glass trackpad. At it’s thickest point,it is 0.68in; at it’s thinnest, it’s 0.11in.

“We’ve taken everything we know about miniaturisation from iPods, iPads and iPhones and applied it to the Mac,” Jobs said.

The 13.3in LED backlit display features 1,440 x 900 pixels – more than the 15in MacBook Pro – while the 11.6in edition has an 1,266 x 768 pixel display. Both run a Core 2 Duo Processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics.

The smaller version will start from £849 inc VAT for a 64GB, 1.4GHz edition, rising to £999 inc VAT for a 128GB version. The 13in version, with a 1.86GHz processor and 128GB of storage, starts at £1,039 inc VAT, while the 256GB version will cost £1,349 inc VAT.

Both will be available starting today.

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