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Jobs showcases new Macbook Air & OS X Lion

Steve Jobs held a conference yesterday in Cupertino, California to talk about the new Macbook Air and the new operating system OSX 10.7 – codenamed ‘lion’.

Steve Jobs revealed two new Macbook Air’s and said they were ‘the future of notebooks’. There are two new Air products, 13.3 inch and 11.6 inch with 1440×900 and 1366×768 screen resolutions. They both have two USB ports and the larger machine has also added an SD card reader, which should help ease criticism from the press. Neither obviously have an optical drive, due to the sizing but there is a new flash instant on and off system with over twice the speed on the previous model. Battery life has been improved from a 5 hour rating to a 7 hour rating however how this translates into the real world has yet to be seen. The design is still based around the unibody aluminum construction.

The 13.3 inch model weighs 2.9 lbs and the 11.6 model is 2.3 lbs. Pricing has only been confirmed for the USA at this stage with $999 a starting point for the 11.6 inch and the 13.3 inch with 256gb of storage available for $1,599. Both should be available immediately.

The new Macintosh OS has multi touch gesture support and Jobs says it is ‘OSX meets the iPad’. The app store is also available, with app home screens, full screen apps, auto save and apps that resume when launched. MAC OSX Lion will be released in the summer of 2011, but the Mac App Store will be available on Snow Leopard within 90 days.

“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” says Jobs. “After an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off … touch surfaces want to be horizontal, hence pads.”

KitGuru says: Exciting developments and we like the sound of the 11.6 inch Macbook Air. Portable, quick and sexy and most importantly, finally more than one USB port.

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