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Apple Debuts Ultra-Thin MacBook Air

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) Steve Jobs unsheathed two shiny steel MacBook Air notebooks Wednesday, describing them as the result of a "hookup" between the notebook and an iPad.

Sure to be considered hot in some tech circles were these new MacBook Airs, which come in an 11-inch and a 13-inch size and are priced between $1,000 and $1,600 (depending on processor speed and flash storage capacity).

Apple started selling the devices Wednesday. The company also still sells the previous plastic MacBook, which also starts at $1,000.

Apple Mac

Jobs gushed over the 0.68-inch thickness of the device during the presentation, saying, "we think all notebooks will be like this someday."

The MacBook Air has a so-called solid state flash drive instead of a hard drive and two UBS ports with no internal optical drive.

Apple also introduced its new Mac operating system called Lion. This software replaces Snow Leopard and continues the big cat theme for Apple (perhaps its limit, unless there something Sabertooth in the works). Apple will start selling Lion in 90 days -- early next year.

A refresh of Apple's lower priced computers will no doubt spark some additional interest in Macs during the holidays. Jobs said Macs now account for one out of every five computers sold in the U.S.

Unlike prior product shows, Apple shares remained largely unchanged through the presentation and afterwards as investors seemed to take the announcements in stride.

Apple shares were up $3.21, or 1% to $312 71 in late afternoon trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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