Apple announces MacBook Air, HD movie rentals, Apple TV Take 2 at Macworld 2008

Steve Jobs took finally took the stage at Macworld San Francisco yesterday, and announced the rumored MacBook Air, the expected movie rental feature on the iTunes Store (in high-definition), and a new Apple TV labeled as "Take 2" The iPhone and iPod touch are also got some new features (but in the iPod touch's case for a price).

So after a slew of rumors, a suppose Keynote leak, Steve came gave his keynote and now it's over. Having said that the rumors were true (in part)...

MacBook Air
Steve unveiled Apple's latest portable, the $1,799 MacBook Air (pictured left), which he labeled as the "world's thinnest notebook." And's thin alright..although a bit too expensive for my taste..

The tech specs:
  • 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 80GB 1.8" Hard Drive standard, optional 64GB solid-state drive
  • 0.76" thick at thickest point, weighs 3lbs.
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5 hours of battery life
  • $1,799 for 1.6GHz, 80GB HD model; $3,099(!!) for 1.8GHz, 64GB SSD model
  • Full aluminum case
The iTunes Store Movie Rental Offerings
Apple is, as of this writing, offering high-definition movie rentals via the iTunes Store for your viewing pleasure. Content will be provided by the big Movie studios like: Miramax, Touchstone, MGM Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, Fox, Warner Bros, Paramount, Sony, and Universal. If you are keeping count, thats everybody that makes movies basically. The pricing is as follow: $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases in standard def. HD titles will set you back $1.00 more.

Apple TV Take 2
Once labeled as a just a "hobby side-thing" by Steve, the new Apple TV takes a more serious approach to serving up content to you TV (computer not required this time around). The new Apple TV sports a lower price tag of $229 and whole new UI. The new TV box supports buying content directly from the iTunes Store as well as renting flicks. Movies will be available in HD (and some) with full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Downloaded content will automatically sync with computers on the network. It is worth noting that the Apple TV Take 2 firmware will be available free of charge to all current Apple TV owners in 2 weeks time.

Other Stuff
Steve also took the time to announce a new software update for the iPhone (1.1.3) at no cost, as well as a new software update for the iPod touch for $20. The new features on the iPhone include: Multiple SMS messaging, Maps with location services using Google's cell tower system and Skyhook's WiFi system, webclips, and a new UI for Google Maps. The payed for iPod touch update brings five "new" apps to the touch: Mail, Maps, Stocks, Notes, and Weather. In short, all of the apps that are available on the iPhone. As you can see a bit lame.

Lastly Apple announced a new Aiport Extreme that doubles as NAS storage for your Macs by the name of "Time Capsule". Designed especially for use with Time Machine in 10.5, it is capable of backing up all of the Macs in your home. a 500GB version will run $299 and the 1TB version is $499.

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