CUPERTINO, Calif. – Apple Inc. unveiled new MacBook Air ultralight laptops and offered glimpses of its new Mac operating system Wednesday.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the two new MacBook Air models, saying, “We asked ourselves: What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up?”

One of the new laptops has a screen that’s 13.3 inches diagonally. The second has an 11.6-inch screen.

Like the past generation, the MacBook Air can’t read CDs or DVDs. This generation also doesn’t have a hard disk drive. Instead, it uses all flash memory, like the iPhone does.

The larger MacBook Air is 0.68 inches at its thickest point and weighs 2.9 pounds, and has a battery life of seven hours. The smaller one weighs 2.2 pounds and is rated to last five hours. Both can sit on standby for 30 days.

The smaller one costs $999 with 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage, or $1,199 with 128 gigabytes. The larger one costs $1,299 with 128 gigabytes or $1,599 with 256 gigabytes.

Apple also announced a new version of its operating system, called Mac OS X Lion, that will include a store for Mac software. It’s similar to the iTunes store that sells apps for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Other Lion features mimic those on the iPhone or iPad. Mac users can move from the main desktop to a “dashboard” filled with widgets by swiping a multitouch mouse or trackpad. People can drag one program icon on top of another to create a new folder.

Lion is expected next summer.

The company is also adding FaceTime video chatting to Macs, which debuted this summer on the iPhone 4.