Steve Jobs unveiled Apple’s first MacBook Air in 15 years today

The range of laptops available in 2008 was a stark contrast to the iconic MacBook Air that Steve Jobs revealed at Apple’s keynote. Today marks the 15th anniversary of the announcement of the sleek machine and how it likely inspired the company’s competitors to raise the bar in terms of build quality and slimness.

Crowd was in awe when Steve Jobs revealed the first MacBook Air by removing it from an envelope

Before revealing the first MacBook Air, Apple had two portable Macs in its lineup; MacBook and MacBook Pro. As Jobs made the presentation, the co-founder said in a sentence, “It’s the world’s thinnest notebook.” Soon after, he began comparing competing products based on their thickness and performance, starting with the Sony TZ series.

After presenting the physical differences, Jobs was seen unwrapping the 13.3-inch MacBook Air from an envelope, featuring a full-size keyboard with white backlighting. One area the press gasped to hear was that the thinnest part of the competing Sony TZ notebook was still thicker than the thicker part of the MacBook Air, and this certainly created a statement in the big room.

The right side features an inverted tray, providing access to a single USB-A port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a micro-DVI port for connecting an external hard drive. The first MacBook Air was also powered by a dual-core Intel processor, which means that while it may not have affected performance, it certainly had thermal limitations due to the lack of thickness.

Compared to today’s standards, where Apple’s M2 MacBook Air launched at $1,199, the first model carried a whopping $1,799 price tag, and that’s also without the SSD option. In 2023, Windows 11 laptop manufacturers have achieved their goal of producing ultra-thin laptops, but in terms of build quality, the MacBook Air is still a solid piece of hardware.

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There are rumors that Apple intends to release a 15-inch MacBook Air later this year, so we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can watch Steve Jobs unveil his “thinnest laptop ever” as well as the first advertisement for the MacBook Air in the videos above.

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