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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.

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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

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