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Cheap MacBook announced, but Jobs disappoints netbook fans

Apple unveils new laptops at US product launch

Apple has launched an all-new MacBook which "eliminates more than 60 percent of the parts, and it's much stronger," according to CEO Steve Jobs.

Jobs, announcing a range of new laptops at a product launch in California, said the new MacBook offers a 5x boost in graphics performance over previous MacBooks, together with 5 hours of battery life. It also features corner-to-corner glass, a precision aluminium unibody enclosure, an LED display, next-gen graphics and a multi-touch glass trackpad.

But the company disappointed those hoping to find out about a budget MacBook, or a new netbook version in Apple's laptop range. Apple did cut the price of the MacBook, but only by $100. That means the entry-level, plastic casing MacBook now costs $999 in the US.

Thinnest-ever MacBook Pro takes lead from MacBook Air

However, Jobs said the new MacBook now has MacBook Pro features but costs $700 less in the US. "Yesterday these features cost $1999 for a MacBook Pro. Starting today, you can get them for just $1299."

There are two models: a $1299 MacBook featuring a 13.3in display, 2GHz Core 2 Duo/3MB L2 cache processor, 2GB 1066MHz DDR 3 memory, GeForce 9400M and a 160GB hard drive. The second new model costs $1599 and features a 2.4GHz processor, 250GB hard drive, and a backlit keyboard - the first time this feature has been included in a MacBook.

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