Oxigen_Waste

Macbook Air vs ?????

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Ok, I'm gonna be going away for a year. Internship and bla bla bla whatever.

 

Basically I need a portable laptop. The thinner the better... Right now I'm really leaning towards the 11" MB air... what are my alternatives?

 

As thin as possible basically, and as cheap as possible as well.

 

(OS isn't an issue, I feel at home with Windows, Mac OS and Linux)

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There isn't an alternative.

 

Buy one

Buy one

Buy one

Buy one

 

Sorry I'm being no help am I?!

 

Hmm, well when I looked at reviews of the Air for my own purchase (got one last November), there wasn't much around in terms of 'rivals'.

 

The problem is, not many companies have managed to cram a machine as powerful as the MBA into as small a form factor. The only alternatives you will probably find are very top of the range netbooks which in my experience seem to be cheap and nasty.

 

The Air is fantastic because it basically replaced my 2009 Macbook Pro. It runs quicker, loads applications and programs quicker, and the only thing I gave up was the storage and higher quality screen. These were easily fixed for me though with an external screen and storage space.

 

The portability of the Air is just crazy good and if that's the biggest reason I say go for it.

You are spending big money, but you do get what you pay for IMO.

 

The only other thing I cam across at the time was this:

 

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/samsung-series-9-900x1b-11-6-laptop-11296558-pdt.html?srcid=867&cmpid=comp~Google~~11296558&istCompanyId=9a35962d-802d-4e67-9721-0a3328ca1f02&istItemId=imwpalrp&istBid=t&gclid=CKvOnZT35K4CFWIntAodXDs8xQ

 

It's basically Samsung's alternative to the Air and looks pretty decent! It's a bit of an Apple rip off with the back lit keyboard and materials etc but it may be worth looking at.

 

I would also say go into an Apple store and have a look at the 13 and 11" Air's side by side. (If you haven't played with them / used one already!) The screen sizes are quite a bit different with the 13" giving you a 'fuller' screen. Also, the 13" gives you an SD card slot which I think is always a nice to have. If you intend to use the full screen apps that came with Lion however, the smaller sized screen shouldn't be much of an issue on the 11".

 

When I researched before buying, some people complained at typing on the 11" saying they felt it too cramped. I personally don't have a problem with it, but it may be worth checking all these things off before you go and spend that amount of cash.

 

Let me know what you do though - be good to see if anyone else knows of any alternatives for you!

Edited by Aneres11

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You want something as cheap as possible...yet your first choice is a Macbook? :p (They are very thin and light, though.)

 

What are you mainly going to be using it for? Does it need a lot of processing power/RAM, good graphics, good display (digital photography/artwork) etc.?

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You want something as cheap as possible...yet your first choice is a Macbook? :p (They are very thin and light, though.)

 

What are you mainly going to be using it for? Does it need a lot of processing power/RAM, good graphics, good display (digital photography/artwork) etc.?

 

Yep. I say as cheap as possible because most candidates are at the 1000$ mark. And the Macbook air is surprisingly cheap compared to competitors. Was I not clear on wanting a thin laptop? I do not want a netbook or a notebook, I want an ultrabook... and they seem to be expensive, in general.

 

It doesn't need any power or RAM for what I need regarding work (writing mainly...) but it should have at least 1.6GHz and 4GB RAM for recreational purposes. And it must be highly portable.

 

I would also appreciate decent storage, as opposed to the Air's ridiculous 128 cap...

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There's this one from ASUS. Which seems to be exactly the same as a Macbook Air (i5 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage) but with Windows 7. It's £799. The Samsung Series 9 is the same, but the 11" model doesn't seem to be out over here.

 

There are a few more ultrabooks, but they all seem to be only 13".

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We've got the larger version of that laptop in the office. Never seen Win 7 boot so fast, lightning SSD.

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The real alternative is the ThinkPad x220, its not as thin as the MacBook air, but (provided you get the good battery) it has a better battery life, and can be customized to be much more powerful (than a loaded MBA) for significantly cheaper. ThinkPads also have pretty good Linux support, if you ever need a Unix like OS, as well as TrackPoint, which is much better than any trackpad, including Apple's.

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That HP Folio 13 looks nice. You've got me thinking of getting one! I've always loved the look of the MacBook Air, but everytime i think about it i stop myself because i can't make the leap from Windows.

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If you're looking for saving a lot of money, and will only be using it for basic usage, I'd recommend the Asus eee PC X101H (which I'm using right now).

 

Not only is it amongst the cheapest netbooks on the market, it's also the second thinnest (the thinnest being the X101, which uses a small capacity SSD), it's extremely well built for the money, and due to it using the Pineview platform for it's CPU and also using DDR3 ram, it definatly runs better than the average netbook.

 

If you want more ram memory in it, it's extremely easy and cheap to upgrade it to a 2GB ram stick. (just a case of removing a panel from the back, popping out the old stick and in with the new)

 

Edit: It's currently available from Argo's at around 199 pounds, although I would've thought you'd be able to get it cheaper if you search around (I got mine for about 185€, or 154 quid)

Edited by triforcemario

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Toshiba and a few other companies do what's called an ultrabook. I've found these to be much lighter than the MBA.

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Toshiba and a few other companies do what's called an ultrabook. I've found these to be much lighter than the MBA.

 

This is true, but they are often more expensive than an Air and for the most part less powerful, or exactly the same in terms of power.

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I think the cheapest MBA is about a grand?

 

An i5 powered ultrabook with 6GB ram 128GB SSD runs in at £800. Not going to explore this option further just wanted to provide a better like for like answer to the thread title than a netbook.

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I think the cheapest MBA is about a grand?

 

An i5 powered ultrabook with 6GB ram 128GB SSD runs in at £800. Not going to explore this option further just wanted to provide a better like for like answer to the thread title than a netbook.

 

Nah, cheapest Air is about £850, although the specs aren't quite as good as the one you've mentioned. Which one is it that you're talking about? The £850 Air has an i5 but only 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM, double both of those and the price does hit £1000.

 

Oxigen - in terms of storage if you DO go for the Air, there are some fantastic mobile drives out there. The G-Drive Slim is awesome, or for speed there's a new SSD with Thunderbolt that Elgato have just released. Haven't tried it yet but for extra storage they could help...although that will add cost.

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Well if you want thin, samsung series 9 or the sony vaio z are looking nice, but neither are cheap, and I don’t know how they compare spec / performance-wise. And I don’t think they come in versions with 11" screens.

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Nah, cheapest Air is about £850, although the specs aren't quite as good as the one you've mentioned. Which one is it that you're talking about? The £850 Air has an i5 but only 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM, double both of those and the price does hit £1000. .

 

I just looked on a random DSG group site (currys, pcworld, comet they're all the same.)

 

Found the one I posted the specs for: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/toshiba-satellite-z830-10u-13-3-ultrabook-metallic-grey-11486165-pdt.html

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