Apple has been a frequent target of environmental activists who claim its products are harming the Earth, but today the company unveiled a new more environmentally friendly laptop.

At this year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple chief Steve Jobs unveiled the new Macbook Air, which he dubbed the world's thinnest laptop. Aside from large screen and ultra-thin form factor, Jobs said the latest mobile addition to the Cupertino, Calif.-based company was also environmentally friendly.

The Macbook Air has a fully recyclable aluminum case, and is the first to have a mercury-free display with arsenic-free glass, Jobs said. All the circuit boards are BFR-free and PVC-free, and the retail packaging uses 56 percent less material than the MacBook packaging as well.

The environmental moves are part of the company's pledge, announced last May, to change its ways with regard to eliminating certain toxic chemicals and enhancing recycling.

In the past earth activist Greenpeace International placed Apple last in its rankings of major electronics makers for the company'senvironmental friendliness, while Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. jumped to the top of the list.

Apple has openly rejected Greenpeace's ranking system, saying its products are among the greenest on the market, pointing to more technical ratings used by the Green Electronics Council, funded by the U.S, Environmental Protection Agency.

Macbook Air will also feature a 13.3 display, a full-sized keyboard, and a 1.8 80GB drive. It will retail at $1799 and is expected to debut within 2 weeks, although consumers can already start placing their orders.

Macworld is Apple's largest event, showcasing technologies to come and setting the tone of the company for the year. It runs through January 18 in San Francisco.

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Expo 2008