New Macbook Air – First impressions

Apple demo’ed the new MacBook Air at its press event today, along with iLife 11 and a preview of Mac OS X 10.7, “Lion”.

The nwe MBA is still a wedge shape, 13.3″ screen, but the sole storage option is now flash. No more hard drives. Flash storage and memory chips are mounted directly on the logic board, precluding DIY (or any post-purchase, for that matter) upgrades. The MBA starts at 128MB storage, upgradeable at purchase to 256MB. Memory is 2GB. Screen resolution is upgraded – more pixels than the current 15″ MacBook Pro.

That said, it’s less than 3 pounds, and super fast.

And… It comes with a baby brother. There is now an 11.6 inch version, with the same specs, upgradeable to 128MB of storage, also with a higher resolution screen (1368×768). For comparison, the current 13″ MacBook Pro is 1280×800.

As with the previous MacBook Air, there is no built-in optical drive. Ports appear to be limited to power, USB (x2?), headphone.

That is, I think, about as close as we’ll come to a netbook from Apple. Drool.

The 11.6″ model starts at 999. The high-end 13.3″ model tops out at 1599. Pretty aggressive pricing from Apple.

Combine that with OSX Lion’s App Store and Mission Control (Dock + Expose + Space) and Launchpad (OS 9’s Launcher meets the iPad) and it’s looking like the best of both worlds.