Apple launches world's thinnest laptop

San Francisco: Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs took the wraps off a super-slim new laptop at the Macworld trade show on 15th Jan, unveiling a personal computer less than an inch thick that turns on the moment it's opened.

Jobs also confirmed the consumer electronics company's foray into online movie rentals, revealing an alliance with all six major movie studios to offer films over high-speed Internet connections within 30 days after they're released on DVD. Always a showman, Jobs unwound the string on a standard-sized manila office envelope and slid out the ultra-thin MacBookAir notebook computer to coos and peals of laughter from fans at the conference.

Apple Macbook Air At its beefiest, the new computer is .76 inches thick; at its thinnest, it's .16 inches.

It comes standard with an 80-gigabyte hard drive, with the option of a 64GB flash-based solid state drive as an upgrade. The machine doesn't come with a built-in optical drive for reading CDs and DVDs, a feature Jobs says consumers won't miss because they can download movies and music over the Internet and access the optical drives on other PCs and Macs to install new software.

They can buy an external drive, however, that will retail for $99. The new laptop, which has a 13.3-inch screen and full-sized laptop keyboard, will cost $1,799 when it goes on sale in two weeks, though Apple is taking orders now. The company's Web site is already touting the machine. The price is competitive with other laptops in its market segment.

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