Apple unveils new laptop that ditches mouse for iPhone-inspired touchpad

Apple have unveiled their latest laptop, which ditches the mousepad in favour of a glass multi-touch trackpad similar to the technology used on their iPhone.

Chief executive Steve Jobs, who revealed the new MacBook range at company headquarters in California, said he believed they would be a 'huge success'.

The sensitive trackpad has 39 per cent more tracking area compared to the  old mousepad. The key new feature and will allow users to switch between applications with their fingertips and zoom in and out of web pages and documents.

Consumers will also have the ability to pinch, rotate and swipe objects on the screen.


Changes: The new MacBook notebook dispenses with the mousepad

An Apple spokesman said: 'The entire trackpad surface is also a button, allowing users to both track and click virtually anywhere on the trackpad. Users can easily enable multiple virtual buttons in software, such as right-clicking.'

The product, which is already available to buy, has attracted favourable reviews. PC Magazine said the design alone would appeal to 'Mac fanatics and would-be Windows converts'.

Steve Jobs

Launch: Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the new MacBook notebook computer

'The typing experience is very responsive. The navigating is both better and more unique', they said.

'Swiping upwards with four fingers will trigger the Expose application, while swiping four fingers downwards will bring up the dashboard. Finally, applying three fingers will let you swipe through photos.'

Apple have also increased processor speeds and hard disk storage space for storing music and photos in all its MacBook machines.

In a move designed to counter-act the effects of the credit crunch, the technology giant lowered prices by up to $700 (£350), although the starting price for the range in the UK increased from £699 to £719.

However, there was no sign of a sub £500 budget 'netbook' computer that had been anticipated, with Jobs claiming Apple were in 'a nascent market that's just getting started.'

Many of Apple's rivals have cut laptop prices or released cheap, streamlined new machines in recent months.

The Asus Eee PC, which costs just £200, sold out almost everywhere it went on sale.