Apple unveils thinner, more powerful MacBooks

Apple on Monday unveiled a new lineup of Macintosh laptops, including a revamped MacBook Air, the lightest of the computers, and a thinner, more powerful MacBook Pro.

The move keeps Apple, which has been dominating the market for tablet computers like the iPad, in the game against a new line of slimmer laptops using Microsoft Windows or the Google Chrome operating system.

"Today we've updated the entire MacBook line with faster processors, graphics, memory, flash storage and USB 3 connectivity," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

"We've made the world's best portable family even better and we think users are going to love the performance advances in both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro."

The MacBook Air is facing new competition from PCs which have slimmed down for extra portability but Apple boasted about the superiority of the MacBook.

"Everyone is trying to copy it, they find it's not so easy," Schiller said, adding that the new models will see a boost in speed and memory and cost $100 less than previous versions.

The high-performance MacBook Pro will include the so-called retina display used on the new iPads, giving an extra high resolution screen.

"It is simply the best computer Apple has ever made," Schiller said.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will be 0.71 inches (1.8 centimeters) thick and weigh 4.46 pounds (2.02 kilos) and include the retina display, described as "the world's highest resolution notebook display with over five million pixels, three million more than an HD television.

"The MacBook Pro with Retina display pushes the limits of performance and portability like no other notebook," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive.

"With a gorgeous Retina display, all flash architecture and a radically thin and light design, the new MacBook Pro is the most advanced Mac we have ever built." Prices start at $1,399.

The MacBook Air is as thin as 0.68 inches (1.7 centimeters) and weighs as little as 2.38 pounds (1.08 kilos). Its price starts at $999.

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