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View Full Version : MBA 11.6 ultimate vs. Samsung 9 Series 11.6 inch




612kimx1853
Feb 15, 2011, 08:03 PM
Hi. I am a newbie to this forum and need to get a laptop in the next few weeks. I was about to order the MBA 11.6 Ultimate when I came across this:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/samsung-9-series-laptops-to-include-11-6-inch-model/

From the provantage website, its supposed to come out in 5-7 days.

So I am at a lost for which one to get. The Samsung seems to have newer internals, i.e. Sandybridge (no turbo boost though), USB 3.0, though I am not sure if these are better. Also it only comes with 2gb ram and 64 gb ssd though I don't know if these are upgradeable. Design-wise, I like the MBA 11.6 Ultimate more. I am going to be using this computer primarily for word, office, movies, music, very light photo editing, and statistical software packages (STATA, SAS, Matlab).

Does anyone have any suggestions. Thanks in advance! :)

P.S. Another possiblity might be going with the MBA 13 with 1.86 ghz, 4gb ram, 128 gb ssd.



KPOM
Feb 15, 2011, 08:09 PM
USB 3.0 is nice since it's significantly faster than USB 2.0 and faster than eSATA at some tasks.

To me it comes down to whether you plan to run Windows as your primary OS. If so, then the Samsung is your best bet. The Core i3 would be faster, and Windows 7 isn't as taxing as OS X on the GPU. If you want to run OS X, then the MacBook Air is your only choice unless you feel like hacking.

Note that the Samsung doesn't taper as much as the MacBook Air. They did do a good job with the weight, though. Samsung seems like one of the few Windows notebook manufacturers who "gets" the MacBook Air concept.

612kimx1853
Feb 15, 2011, 08:15 PM
USB 3.0 is nice since it's significantly faster than USB 2.0 and faster than eSATA at some tasks.

To me it comes down to whether you plan to run Windows as your primary OS. If so, then the Samsung is your best bet. The Core i3 would be faster, and Windows 7 isn't as taxing as OS X on the GPU. If you want to run OS X, then the MacBook Air is your only choice unless you feel like hacking.

Note that the Samsung doesn't taper as much as the MacBook Air. They did do a good job with the weight, though. Samsung seems like one of the few Windows notebook manufacturers who "gets" the MacBook Air concept.

Yes, I like the design of the MBA more. I am comfortable using either Windows 7 or OSX. Right now, I use Windows 7 a bit more but that can change.

Would the Core I3 be faster? It is set at 1.33 ghz and doesn't turbo boost. Think it has a faster FSB though. Is there a big difference in terms of GPUs? For 720p video off youtube, do you think the Sammy can handle that?

Funkymonk
Feb 15, 2011, 09:06 PM
The core i3 should be faster and I suppose it beats the air in that. But the air beats the samsung in graphics. Everything else looks equal to me so it comes down to OS amd since you use windows I guess you should go with the samsung. I bet it could handle 720p videos just fine.

The series 9s are made of a metal called duralium that's apparently very light and strong. I wish some reviews would come out for this thing because I find this laptop very exciting.

612kimx1853
Feb 15, 2011, 09:17 PM
The core i3 should be faster and I suppose it beats the air in that. But the air beats the samsung in graphics. Everything else looks equal to me so it comes down to OS amd since you use windows I guess you should go with the samsung. I bet it could handle 720p videos just fine.

The series 9s are made of a metal called duralium that's apparently very light and strong. I wish some reviews would come out for this thing because I find this laptop very exciting.

The only thing that makes me hestitate is the 2gb ram and 64gb ssd. Not sure if they are upgradeable. I am leaning towards the MBA. The samsung looks like fingerprint magnet.

Cerano
Feb 15, 2011, 09:17 PM
The core i3 should be faster and I suppose it beats the air in that. But the air beats the samsung in graphics. Everything else looks equal to me so it comes down to OS amd since you use windows I guess you should go with the samsung. I bet it could handle 720p videos just fine.

The series 9s are made of a metal called duralium that's apparently very light and strong. I wish some reviews would come out for this thing because I find this laptop very exciting.

the 1.33ghz core i3 wont outgun the 1.6ghz c2d

hcho3
Feb 15, 2011, 10:01 PM
No thanks. Apple has way way better customer service and support than Samsung. If I haven an issue with my MBA, I know apple will back me up for sure. With samsung? Not really...

I also hate those drop ports that samsung 9 series has. Oh.. that's right. It's the design from first generation MBA and samsung copied. I do not like samsung. They never come out with original ideas.

neko girl
Feb 15, 2011, 10:10 PM
Differences as I understand them:
-The processor and graphics don't necessarily seem to be superbly better for the Samsung or worse for the MBA. I'm not sure how Core i3 architecture compares to Core 2 Duo with an nVidia chipset. You might want to see if the Samsung beats the MBA's battery life (I sort of really doubt it).
-In terms of graphics I don't believe even the Intel HDA on Sandy Bridge is on parity with 320M. It may be good enough, however.
-Samsung has USB 3.0 (for what it's worth)
-Samsung has an RJ45 Ethernet jack
-Samsung has Wireless Display - if you have a compatible television, or a Wireless Display receiver, you can basically use a TV (or anything else) as a secondary display, even for DRM content. With the MBA you can Air Display, but Apple's Air Display infrastructure is limited to movies, and even then mostly only videos that conform to Apple's restrictive codec requirements (MP4 only, more or less).

I would say the biggest disadvantage the Samsung has is the Windows OS, as your MBA can safely run Mac OS X and Windows & (parallels is really fast on the MBA).

Also, the Samsung 2GB 64GB model is $1164, which is $150 more than the equivalent MBA, and $200 more than a refurbed MBA with the same specs.

I hope this helps you!

wisty
Feb 15, 2011, 11:16 PM
It's nice to see that the MBA isn't a rip-off compared to equivalent PC netbooks.

People keep comparing the MBA to Atom-based, plastic-cased netbooks with platter drives. So many threads with "OMG THE MBA IS LIKE $500 MORE THAN THE INSIPID MINI!!".

Quality netbooks cost about the same as the MBA.

This Samsung looks like a quality netbook, and it's more up to date than the current MBA, but it's not miles ahead. If you like OSX, then the MBA is for you.

Funkymonk
Feb 15, 2011, 11:19 PM
Lol I didn't even see the price of the samsung. Get the mba

GadgetX
Feb 15, 2011, 11:36 PM
It's nice to see that the MBA isn't a rip-off compared to equivalent PC netbooks.

People keep comparing the MBA to Atom-based, plastic-cased netbooks with platter drives. So many threads with "OMG THE MBA IS LIKE $500 MORE THAN THE INSIPID MINI!!".

Quality netbooks cost about the same as the MBA.

This Samsung looks like a quality netbook, and it's more up to date than the current MBA, but it's not miles ahead. If you like OSX, then the MBA is for you.

Hmm I think you're confused on the definition of a netbook. Which the MBA definitely is not nor is the Samsung Series 9. No way would a $1000 computer still be considered a netbook...

On a side note I really wish Samsung would've put an AMD Fusion processor in the 11.6" version and knocked off a couple hundred dollars from the retail price. Oh well...

That being said I do love the design of the MBA but I think the 9 looks better. I was considering buying a MBA as my new computer but will wait and see how the 9 Series 9 does... You should really wait until reviews are out before making a decision one way or another.

MacRumorUser
Feb 16, 2011, 05:40 AM
Hmm I think you're confused on the definition of a netbook. Which the MBA definitely is not nor is the Samsung Series 9. No way would a $1000 computer still be considered a netbook...

Read the posters comment again. They are not confused, they are saying that the MBA is not a netbook and wish that people stop referring to it as one. ;)

Kauai
Feb 16, 2011, 06:07 AM
Read the posters comment again. They are not confused, they are saying that the MBA is not a netbook and wish that people stop referring to it as one. ;)

Really? I just read his comment and it seems to me, too, like he is calling it a netbook. He refers to the 9 as a netbook and then says "like the MBA".

The MBA definitely isn't a netbook.

Netbook = Computer with minimal power so as to mainly be used for web browsing.

Portable Notebook = A small notebook but still sufficiently powerful to run notebook programs, applications etc.

aniketroxx
Feb 16, 2011, 07:14 AM
lol If you love apple then don't look at configuration :D:D APPLE ROCKS :D:D

KPOM
Feb 16, 2011, 07:25 AM
Something to keep in mind about the Samsung is that USB 3.0 partially makes up for the lack of internal storage. A USB 3.0 SSD would be about as fast as the internal one.

wisty
Feb 16, 2011, 08:05 AM
Really? I just read his comment and it seems to me, too, like he is calling it a netbook. He refers to the 9 as a netbook and then says "like the MBA".

The MBA definitely isn't a netbook.

Netbook = Computer with minimal power so as to mainly be used for web browsing.

Portable Notebook = A small notebook but still sufficiently powerful to run notebook programs, applications etc.
Well, I did refer to the MBA as a netbook.

You are right, technically, it's more like an ultraportable, which the same thing as a netbook but it uses very expensive high quality parts (like ULV CPUs), not cheap parts (like Atoms).

A ULV CPU and an SSD does push up the price, which is why I find it a little annoying when people compare the MBA to a cheap netbook.

Compared to the Samsung (another ultra-portable), the MBA doesn't look so expensive.

GadgetX
Feb 16, 2011, 08:16 AM
Compared to the Samsung (another ultra-portable), the MBA doesn't look so expensive.
Agreed. For its category I think the MBA is a steal. I remember how stupid I thought the MBA was when Steve Jobs first pulled it out of a manila envelope with a price close to $2000 IIRC. But Apple has done a lot over the years to bring the price down considerably and I think they've finally hit the sweet spot for $999. Hopefully Samsung follows their lead.

AppleScruff1
Feb 16, 2011, 11:46 AM
No thanks. Apple has way way better customer service and support than Samsung. If I haven an issue with my MBA, I know apple will back me up for sure. With samsung? Not really...

I also hate those drop ports that samsung 9 series has. Oh.. that's right. It's the design from first generation MBA and samsung copied. I do not like samsung. They never come out with original ideas.

What issues have you had with Samsung customer service?

hcho3
Feb 16, 2011, 01:12 PM
What issues have you had with Samsung customer service?

1. Samsung promised update on galaxy S phones with 2.2, and apparently most of people still don't have them. Nice job.

2. I had issue with their TVs, and they never called me back. I got keep running around.

3. They don't have store like apple where you can take laptop for quick repair, advice and learn how to use their devices. No.

4. My families owned their cameras and had issues. It was under warranty, but they tried to charge us for something we did not do. The camera was damaged while in transit and they were like, "We don't care."


Do I have to go more?

Feel free to like samsung, but their service is crap. The hardware and software means nothing to me without customer service to back it up for warranty.

I would stay away from samsung for my life especially their phones and cameras.

bloodycape
Feb 16, 2011, 02:57 PM
3. They don't have store like apple where you can take laptop for quick repair, advice and learn how to use their devices. No.

You would be surprised how much service can vary from Apple store to Apple store. I've experienced it.

And I dunno why people keep comparing cpu speeds of different architecture as they aren't directly comparable. Both have gpu that are quickly being outdated, but that not what this market here is looking for. As long as it can play HD(be it flash, mkv, or HTLM 5)video with battery life than can at least last 4 hours that's all that really matters.

hcho3
Feb 16, 2011, 02:59 PM
You would be surprised how much service can vary from Apple store to Apple store. I've experienced it.

And I dunno why people keep comparing cpu speeds of different architecture as they aren't directly comparable. Both have gpu that are quickly being outdated, but that not what this market here is looking for. As long as it can play HD(be it flash, mkv, or HTLM 5)video with battery life than can at least last 4 hours that's all that really matters.

Apple has stores, and samsung doesn't even offer one.

AppleScruff1
Feb 17, 2011, 01:14 AM
1. Samsung promised update on galaxy S phones with 2.2, and apparently most of people still don't have them. Nice job.

2. I had issue with their TVs, and they never called me back. I got keep running around.

3. They don't have store like apple where you can take laptop for quick repair, advice and learn how to use their devices. No.

4. My families owned their cameras and had issues. It was under warranty, but they tried to charge us for something we did not do. The camera was damaged while in transit and they were like, "We don't care."


Do I have to go more?

Feel free to like samsung, but their service is crap. The hardware and software means nothing to me without customer service to back it up for warranty.

I would stay away from samsung for my life especially their phones and cameras.

You've really only provided a few vague anecdotal examples which would be as valid as someone saying Apple customer service is poor based on an incident or two.

Grolubao
Feb 17, 2011, 04:16 AM
Buy the Sammy and put Ubuntu on it :)

Aegis90
Feb 21, 2011, 07:09 PM
Hmm I think you're confused on the definition of a netbook. Which the MBA definitely is not nor is the Samsung Series 9. No way would a $1000 computer still be considered a netbook...

On a side note I really wish Samsung would've put an AMD Fusion processor in the 11.6" version and knocked off a couple hundred dollars from the retail price. Oh well...

That being said I do love the design of the MBA but I think the 9 looks better. I was considering buying a MBA as my new computer but will wait and see how the 9 Series 9 does... You should really wait until reviews are out before making a decision one way or another.

actually I think there is a $1000-ish computer that is considered a netbook. It's called the Sony X...

2IS
Feb 21, 2011, 07:37 PM
the 1.33ghz core i3 wont outgun the 1.6ghz c2d

4 threads
Higher memory bandwidth
Higher Instructions Per Cycle

I'd say the i3 would outgun the C2D by a bit.

narayanagame
May 13, 2011, 05:07 AM
You've really only provided a few vague anecdotal examples which would be as valid as someone saying Apple customer service is poor based on an incident or two.


well said.to be frank i had bad experience with apple.when i called the customer service and told that my display port isnt working on MBP they told me that laptop is an electronic item and electronics do get damaged and they took over 10days to get my laptop repaired.

but i still think apple has good customer service.
BTW I never had a single problem with any of samsung products till now.

the OP should look into backlit keyboard of samsung 9 which is definitely a plus for something of this price.

Abstract
May 15, 2011, 09:09 PM
There's no point comparing cpu speeds and graphics because the Samsung 11.6" Series 9 is what the next 11.6" MBA will be spec'ed like very soon anyway. In terms of CPU and graphics, there's just nowhere else to go for Apple.

So ignoring the CPU and IGP for now, the MBA will still have the advantage in terms of max RAM capacity, which appears to be 2 GB. Also, that 64 GB storage capacity isn't adequate for me, and I would have liked to see Samsung give you 128 GB as standard. You're not going to beat Apple by selling something with lower specs, and at a higher price.

If the next 11.6" MBA update includes a bump to the low-end model in SSD capacity, and you can get it with 4 GB of RAM, I don't know why anyone would get the Samsung.


What the Samsung has going for it is USB 3, which the MBA may also get very soon. If I had to guess, I'd guess that Apple won't include it, because.....well....they're Apple.


Also, the 11.6" MBA is far uglier, with its misproportioned small screen, massive bezel, and relatively large keyboard. It's an ugly baby. :o

pgiguere1
May 16, 2011, 12:45 PM
The Samsung seems to have newer internals, i.e. Sandybridge

Only the 13.3" Series 9 has a Sandy Bridge processor. The 11.6" has an Arrandale Core i3 380UM.

I think Samsung should have priced it lower since it's more expensive than the current MBA without having considerably better specs, and the next Sandy Bridge MBA, probably coming in a month or so, will be both faster and cheaper.



Comparison:

- MBA's design is (IMO) better, and Apple computers usually have better built quality and reliability.

- Both are the same weight but the Air has a more tapered design. They're as thick in their thickest point though.

- The Samsung has a faster processor and weaker graphics. If you wait a month though MBA's CPU will be faster.

- The Apple Store and Genius services are a plus, yet the Samsung comes with a standard 3 year warranty.

- The MBA is cheaper. If you take AppleCare the MBA gets more expensive though. Apple also offers student pricing.

- Apple computers have higher resale value.

- OS X + iLife + no antivirus > Windows 7 (on 2GB RAM) + bloatware + having to buy an antivirus.

- The Samsung has WiMAX and USB 3.

- The next MBA will probably have Thunderbolt, Facetime HD, and (hopefully) a backlit keyboard.



Overall, I say go with the MBA.

superpalmtree
May 16, 2011, 01:32 PM
mba

nefan65
May 16, 2011, 01:49 PM
In reply to this thread, and another on the new Lenovo...

1. All the comparison's are subjective. If you're looking at pure spec's, I'm sure both the Samsung and Lenovo will have slightly better specs, at the same cost, or a little cheaper. It's the whole Mac vs. PC Costs argument. Also, the eraser pointer vs. trackpad, etc. is also subjective. Some like them, some don't. Doesn't mean it's better or worse...

2. For me it boils down to the user experience, and what makes that experience good at the presentation level. For me it's OSX. That' why to me these threads always seem MOOT to me. I'll gladly pay a little extra for an MBP/MBA so I can use OSX, AND use a piece of hardware that looks good, is functional, and is durable. Realizing this is also subjective, but for me it's also the trackpad. The MBP/MBA trackpad is the best, IMHO. It's glass, and is multi-gesture. I can't use a regular notebook/laptop now, because of the Mac trackpad...

My 2 cents...