In many ways the story of the MacBook Air is the story of a series of compromises, all made in order to fit an entire Mac in a 1.3kg package that's 4mm thick at its thinnest point.

Apple MacBook Air - full technical review

Updated: 31 January 2008

There was no mention of Steve Jobs' favourite "one more thing" keynote sign-off at Macworld Expo in January, but the biggest product launch at the annual Mac event could still have a major impact on the Windows-based laptop market - the Apple MacBook Air.

Macworld Expo in San Francisco has become the most highly anticipated event in the IT calendar in recent years, with techies desperate to learn what Steve Jobs has lined up as Apple's biggest product launch of the year.

In 2007, the Apple iPhone captured the imagination of those in the audience and millions of people around the world who monitored Jobs keynote via the web, while the event has previously been used to launch iTunes, the Mac mini and various versions of the iPod.

This year, rather than introducing a completely new product category, Apple chose to launch a variation on a theme, but what a variation it was. The MacBook Air has arrived, a third MacBook model that brings incredibly small size to Apple's laptop line at a premium price, and a model Apple claims to be the world's thinnest laptop.

However, in many ways, the story of this laptop is the story of a series of compromises, all made in order to fit an entire Mac in a 1.3kg package that's 4mm thick at its thinnest point.

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