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View Full Version : New base 13'' MBA vs. X220




docgerrard
Jul 22, 2011, 10:49 PM
I am trying to decide between the two.

don't do anything processor intensive, except stream videos and webcam. don't need more storage than 128

With a SSD, webcam and bluetooth, the X220 may be similar in price, but most probably cheaper.

the MBA is half a pound lighter. awesome, but not a deal breaker.

the MBA is thinner, but this scares me in terms of durability
on the other hand, the X220 is such a rugged machine. incredible build quality (not saying the MBA doesn't)

the MBA has a higher resolution screen, but its not an IPS... and I have seen many people having problems with viewing angles in the new one

aesthetically, the MBA is the most magnificent piece of technology i have ever seen



nebulos
Jul 22, 2011, 10:54 PM
i have a thinkpad, and the X220 is a good machine, which you can get crazy battery life from if/when needed, but to me the only reason to go thinkpad over mac is to get a tablet. the Air is hard to beat. remember the awesome trackpad and other Lion touches!

gcans
Jul 22, 2011, 10:54 PM
get the air you can run both windows and lion...

docgerrard
Jul 23, 2011, 08:54 AM
i have a thinkpad, and the X220 is a good machine, which you can get crazy battery life from if/when needed, but to me the only reason to go thinkpad over mac is to get a tablet. the Air is hard to beat. remember the awesome trackpad and other Lion touches!

wow..

Intel Core i5-2410M Processor (2.3GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64
12.5" Premium HD (1366x768) LED Backlit Display, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2x2 Antenna
4 GB DDR3 - 1333MHz (1 DIMM)
No Fingerprint Reader
720p HD Camera
128gb SSD
ThinkPad Battery 29++ (9 cell)
Country Pack North America with Line cord & 65W AC adapter
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2x2 AGN)
Integrated Mobile Broadband - Upgradable

for 1000

i think im going to go with the macbook air. i definitely don't mind the 300 premium for it, considering all of its benefits

but if i have any of the problems others have been having, like fan running like crazy, im going to have to return it and go for the x220

anyways, do the new ones get hot at all?

s.hasan546
Jul 23, 2011, 09:19 AM
wow..

Intel Core i5-2410M Processor (2.3GHz, 3MB L3, 1333MHz FSB)
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64
12.5" Premium HD (1366x768) LED Backlit Display, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2x2 Antenna
4 GB DDR3 - 1333MHz (1 DIMM)
No Fingerprint Reader
720p HD Camera
128gb SSD
ThinkPad Battery 29++ (9 cell)
Country Pack North America with Line cord & 65W AC adapter
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (2x2 AGN)
Integrated Mobile Broadband - Upgradable

for 1000

i think im going to go with the macbook air. i definitely don't mind the 300 premium for it, considering all of its benefits

but if i have any of the problems others have been having, like fan running like crazy, im going to have to return it and go for the x220

anyways, do the new ones get hot at all?

you have to add the ssd option to make it comparable tho. I think the x220 is gonna be my next windows laptop for work. It still is expensive tho. With the options i need it's almost $1600.

docgerrard
Jul 23, 2011, 09:27 AM
you have to add the ssd option to make it comparable tho. I think the x220 is gonna be my next windows laptop for work. It still is expensive tho. With the options i need it's almost $1600.

no the 1000 is with the ssd option!

So basically, for $300, I am...

getting:

Extremely thin and lightweight computer
Excellent resolution screen
Incredible trackpad

losing:
IPS screen
Unbeatable durability

Maybe its worth it. I'm going to do it anyways. One of the biggest complaints other users have about Apple computers is nonupgradeable parts but i haven't once upgraded my laptop so this is not a big issue for me.

Philflow
Jul 23, 2011, 09:30 AM
If you don't mind the looks of the Lenovo it seems like the superior machine to me.

Personally I think the aluminium and design of the Air look much better. Lenovo is not a serious option for me. Even though the build quality may be great, it looks like a plastic laptop to me.

tbobmccoy
Jul 23, 2011, 09:37 AM
no the 1000 is with the ssd option!

So basically, for $300, I am...

getting:

Extremely thin and lightweight computer
Excellent resolution screen
Incredible trackpad

losing:
IPS screen
Unbeatable durability

Maybe its worth it. I'm going to do it anyways. One of the biggest complaints other users have about Apple computers is nonupgradeable parts but i haven't once upgraded my laptop so this is not a big issue for me.

Personally, the IPS screen is the noticeably sad loss in the MacBook Air, and I noticed it for the first day or so I had my MacBook, but after that, I was fine with the screen. The high resolution matters more to me as this MacBook Air just looks beautiful on a 1440 x 900 display for 13".

As for heat and durability, I have a time machine backup going right now and the CPU temp is at 49C. The most I've gotten it up to on normal use was 82C working on some iMovie files. It's surprisingly cool for the size of the notebook! Durability seems pretty great to me now; I don't feel uncomfortable doing anything with my MBA (including picking it up from an edge of the case, moving it around, etc). I've got a soft slip-case that I'll use for it, so I guess that might help, but I feel like the unibody aluminum build helps the Air a lot.

Typswif2fingers
Jul 23, 2011, 09:40 AM
docgerrard, tbh I don't know about the other notebook, but MBA is more than sufficient for what you wrote.

Noted there are some reports of fan noise, heat etc. in relation to MBAs but, I really don't think that it will be a problem when it comes to doing what you wrote, and more.

I got an i7 13" MBA and the only time I heard the fan was when I opened all the apps and utilities yesterday, kind of "just to see what happens"...

All day today I've been doing my normal stuff, web, MS Office, grappler, VLC, and a little bit of Rome total war (which is the only game I play... it seems that I have sick perverted fantasy of being an emperor of Rome :) ).

The temperature during the game was up around 80dC and the rpms at ~4200, but during other tasks it was in the lower 40ies range at ~3000. Worth also saying I have smcFan Ctrl. and the lower setting is at 3000 rpms..

Did not feel any (concernable, uncomfy) heat, and that was at all times.

Not sure what others do with their MBAs. Obviously some tasks will generate heat and to mitigate the fan will be operating at higher rpms than normally.

Unfortunately, I cannot compare both machines, but, such is life.

As far as sturdiness is concerned, MBA looks fragile, but that is due to the design, it is a bloody thin machine... unbelievably thin and light.

I believe it to be durable, and well made. Also, I generally don't drop my notebooks :)

Not sure what else to tell you..

Good luck making a decision.

Enjoy.

Lord Appleseed
Jul 23, 2011, 09:56 AM
So you need help deciding between this:

http://www.shaswatpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Lenovo-ThinkPad-X220-Review-1.jpg

and this:

http://pinoytutorial.com/techtorial/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/macbook-air-13-inch.jpg

???

Philflow
Jul 23, 2011, 10:04 AM
That's what I meant Lord Appleseed. Well said :)

Typswif2fingers
Jul 23, 2011, 10:14 AM
Oh god...

I am sorry.. I know it is all subjective...

But...

That is one ugly notebook..

oBMTo
Jul 23, 2011, 10:32 AM
The x220 is a timeless design. The MBA will loophole and old dated when the redesign happens next year.

Lord Appleseed
Jul 23, 2011, 10:35 AM
The x220 is a timeless design. The MBA will loophole and old dated when the redesign happens next year.

MBA was redesigned last Fall, there is not going to be one so soon.
And even if, the so called "timeless" design of the x220 is ugly as hell, period.

entatlrg
Jul 23, 2011, 10:43 AM
x220 has a 'times-up' design :D

The Air is a futuristic notebook concept not yet reality to anyone but Apple :)

oBMTo
Jul 23, 2011, 11:17 AM
Not worth arguing with mindless Apple fanboys.

nebulos
Jul 23, 2011, 12:07 PM
... meant to come back and maybe revise my initial statements. in fact, as i was always pricing the tablet, i guess i overlooked the price difference between the non-tablet and the Air.

still, it's a tough sell. personally, i'd be much happier with the Air. it sounds like you would too.

as for looks, Thinkpads have stuck to their now 'classic look'. timeless? well, they have ignored time, yes. i think most people would agree it's not a beautiful machine, while most would agree the Air is. it's a matter of opinion. saying the Air is going to look foolish next year isn't much too different from saying the X220 looks foolish now.

personally, i think the Air is very slick physically, and again, i find the trackpad (plus gestures) to be one of the defining features of a mac, which, knowing its out there, is hard to pass up. ... and yeah, better resolution compared to the X220 is big for me also.

my vote is MBA, but if you're taking votes here, you might as well just get the MBA now. ;)

TJ391
Jul 23, 2011, 12:48 PM
CPU Performance: X220
Battery Life: X220
Price: X220(maybe lower a little bit)
OS: X220(for someone, win7 is already there)/Air(new Lion)
Portability: Air
Appearance: Air
Customer Service: Air(Apple)

That's what came into mind

Lord Appleseed
Jul 23, 2011, 12:56 PM
Not worth arguing with mindless Apple fanboys.

Exactly, its always a good idea to post such things on a Mac forum.

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 01:29 PM
Oh god...

I am sorry.. I know it is all subjective...

But...

That is one ugly notebook..

Just to interject here for some conflicting opinion.

I don't personally find the Lenovo physically appealing either. However, that's not the question, nor is it the consideration of the OP.

He didn't ask anyone about the most good looking laptop because he wants to impress people at Starbucks. He has identified concerns:

- general durability and build quality. In this arena I would give the edge to the Lenovo if for no other reason than the fact that despite the aluminum, the MacBook Pro and Air have been frequently known to dent when dropped. Once the thing is dented it loses all aesthetic advantage, evident by the substantial numbers of people who have mistreated theirs listed on eBay and Craigslist. Also not everyone wants a thin machine.

- Like-for-like specs. Functionally the Lenovo is identical except for certain things such as the ability to add mobile broadband, which some might consider an advantage. It also contains a SSD at the current spec. Can't see the graphics card from this thread and I'm not going out to the site because it's effectively moot.

- Windows. Maybe they prefer Windows. Maybe they don't care about Mac OS. This needs to be considered.


My suggestion to the OP is to consider usage type and software availability. If you're a casual user, you might lean towards the Lenovo. Mind that Lion's software support appears to be lacking at this stage. It will improve obviously, but there are likely to be applications that just don't work right. Whereas Windows 7's support is already there for the variety of applications most people use. Of course you can run Windows in Bootcamp or VM, but be mindful of issues people have had with VMWare on Lion.

I was on a plane last night where I tried to access a site in Safari and it kept redirecting me to the mobile site. Google Gears doesn't even see Firefox 3.6 on Lion as a "supported browser" even though it clearly says that 3.6 is supported. Lots of other quirks. Be mindful of these, and see if some are absolute dealbreakers if you need a machine now.


Ultimately, determine what you need to be doing and pick the machine that will do them when you buy it.

Lord Appleseed
Jul 23, 2011, 02:20 PM
Just to interject here for some conflicting opinion.

I don't personally find the Lenovo physically appealing either. However, that's not the question, nor is it the consideration of the OP.

He didn't ask anyone about the most good looking laptop because he wants to impress people at Starbucks.

I see where you come from. But the X220 is just too ugly to ignore.

docgerrard
Jul 23, 2011, 04:26 PM
New consideration.

I am going to medical school.

I will have to watch a lot of lectures and animations. My guess is that most of these will be in flash.

Should this be a major consideration? I have heard the airs are terrible at flash.

finduz
Jul 23, 2011, 06:48 PM
Should this be a major consideration? I have heard the airs are terrible at flash.

Isn't that software related, as in OSX?

nebulos
Jul 23, 2011, 07:38 PM
... I don't personally find the Lenovo physically appealing either. However, that's not the question, nor is it the consideration of the OP.

He didn't ask anyone about the most good looking laptop because he wants to impress people at Starbucks.

read:

... aesthetically, the MBA is the most magnificent piece of technology i have ever seen

OP is the one who brought up looks.

you are the one who brought up Starbucks.


He has identified concerns:

- general durability and build quality. In this arena I would give the edge to the Lenovo if for no other reason than the fact that despite the aluminum, the MacBook Pro and Air have been frequently known to dent when dropped. Once the thing is dented it loses all aesthetic advantage, evident by the substantial numbers of people who have mistreated theirs listed on eBay and Craigslist. Also not everyone wants a thin machine.

you have not argued that the Air is more or less durable, only that it may dent when dropped. the fact they still work after such drops may in fact say something about their durability.


- Like-for-like specs. Functionally the Lenovo is identical except for certain things such as the ability to add mobile broadband, which some might consider an advantage. It also contains a SSD at the current spec. Can't see the graphics card from this thread and I'm not going out to the site because it's effectively moot.

the X220 is not identical. it uses a full voltage CPU. there is no dGPU, so the IGP is, of course, the Intel 3000 HD.

one big advantage to the X220 is battery life. you can get a 6-cell or 9-cell and opt to use buy/use a detachable 'slice' battery that brings battery life to something crazy like 20 hours.

read this review for more info (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-thinkpad-x220.aspx?page=3).

revelated
Jul 23, 2011, 08:47 PM
read:



OP is the one who brought up looks.

you are the one who brought up Starbucks.


The point is that his decision is not based on how pretty the damn thing is. He observed it; he doesn't require it. Learn the difference.



you have not argued that the Air is more or less durable, only that it may dent when dropped. the fact they still work after such drops may in fact say something about their durability.


The question wasn't "will it still work after a drop?" Because the majority of notebooks with SSDs will still "work" after a drop. Durability is, how sensitive is it to DAMAGE. Lenovos are tanks; you can drop them and have nary a scratch. The Air falls from 3 feet and falls "just right" and BAM, a corner is dented in.

In the general durability arena, the Air falls short compared to Lenovo.


the X220 is not identical. it uses a full voltage CPU. there is no dGPU, so the IGP is, of course, the Intel 3000 HD.

You do realize that to a regular customer, what you said is all gibberish, right? PEOPLE DON'T CARE. Functionally, they are identical except that one is cheaper, one is uglier, one is Windows and one is Mac. Stop trying to push your agenda with meaningless specs.

nebulos
Jul 23, 2011, 09:49 PM
The point is that his decision is not based on how pretty the damn thing is. He observed it; he doesn't require it. Learn the difference.





The question wasn't "will it still work after a drop?" Because the majority of notebooks with SSDs will still "work" after a drop. Durability is, how sensitive is it to DAMAGE. Lenovos are tanks; you can drop them and have nary a scratch. The Air falls from 3 feet and falls "just right" and BAM, a corner is dented in.

In the general durability arena, the Air falls short compared to Lenovo.




You do realize that to a regular customer, what you said is all gibberish, right? PEOPLE DON'T CARE. Functionally, they are identical except that one is cheaper, one is uglier, one is Windows and one is Mac. Stop trying to push your agenda with meaningless specs.


i think you should take a deep breath and reread my post. not sure what prompted this response or what my agenda is.

:confused:

docgerrard
Jul 23, 2011, 10:44 PM
1) I need to use flash pretty often. Is this a big deal?

2) When I watch lectures online, one of the biggest perks is being able to watch videos at 1.5 and 2 times speed. The format used does not support this option on Macs but does on Windows. Is there any way to get around this.. without having to dual boot with Windows 7?

Thanks everyone!

maclaptop
Jul 23, 2011, 11:03 PM
I am trying to decide between the two.
You're not about to get a fair comparison in any Apple forum. Not even close.

That revealed, I've got first hand experience with both models in question, because I've owned them since they were released.

Having used Mac laptops, & ThinkPads concurrently in my work & personal use for years, I have high regards for them both.

It's all personal preference.

The best advisor is you, after you've done your research, via all the reviews Google will serve up for your consideration.

That's the highest & best use of your time. Time spent on a forum will only mislead you.

Good Luck :)

docgerrard
Jul 23, 2011, 11:06 PM
1) I need to use flash pretty often. Is this a big deal?

2) When I watch lectures online, one of the biggest perks is being able to watch videos at 1.5 and 2 times speed. The format used does not support this option on Macs but does on Windows. Is there any way to get around this.. without having to dual boot with Windows 7?

Thanks everyone!

I'm definitely going to buy the MBA first. Especially because now that I figured out a little (maybe unethical) loophole, I will get to try it out and then buy it tax-free if I am happy, if not have enough time to order the X220.

I know if I bought the MBA, I would regret it because of the price of the X220.
I know if I bought the X220, I would regret it because I have always wanted a Mac and the MBA is such a powerful machine but also quite durable and incredibly pretty.

I think I would regret the X220 more.

I was just hoping I could get the questions I quoted answered if anyone has experience! Thanks :)

nebulos
Jul 23, 2011, 11:47 PM
Time spent on a forum will only mislead you.

exactly, don't listen to this guy; he wrote that on a forum.

;)


You're not about to get a fair comparison in any Apple forum. Not even close.

... It's all personal preference.

agreed. (unless you need the battery potential of the X220, i don't see a huge difference functional between these two machines, ... well, the trackpad, OS))


I know if I bought the X220, I would regret it because I have always wanted a Mac and the MBA is such a powerful machine but also quite durable and incredibly pretty.

wait, haven't you heard? you don't care about looks!

and when you did you decide it was durable? in fact, i hear it dents quite easily.

by the way, the MBA is not really all that 'powerful', relatively speaking. the X220 is more powerful. (but if you're not pushing the CPU, as you describe, no difference.)



i can't answer your flash question, but i wonder how much of a concern this is with this year's processors. if you can go to a store and test out the vids first hand, that's obviously your best bet.

nrgflow
Oct 15, 2011, 07:42 AM
I personally own the MBA and X220 and based on your usage, a MBA would suffice. For myself, I tried using the MBA for work where I need to access a Windows environment. To accomplish this, I installed VMWare running Windows 7 and the MBA was seriously under load. This caused the bottom of the unit to get hot and the fan to run almost constantly. I tried tuning VMWare, more memory, to prevent paging to disk and other tricks but no luck on reducing load.

For typical users, the MBA looks, feels, and works great. Bottom line would be your usage.

johnhurley
Oct 15, 2011, 12:27 PM
I am trying to decide between the two.

don't do anything processor intensive, except stream videos and webcam. don't need more storage than 128

With a SSD, webcam and bluetooth, the X220 may be similar in price, but most probably cheaper.

the MBA is half a pound lighter. awesome, but not a deal breaker.

the MBA is thinner, but this scares me in terms of durability
on the other hand, the X220 is such a rugged machine. incredible build quality (not saying the MBA doesn't)

the MBA has a higher resolution screen, but its not an IPS... and I have seen many people having problems with viewing angles in the new one

aesthetically, the MBA is the most magnificent piece of technology i have ever seen

Do you use windows or mac os x most?

If you want a dedicated windows machine then you have a solution.

3dflyboy1
Oct 15, 2011, 12:38 PM
I don't know if this was already pointed out, but the X220 has a full-power sandy bridge i5, not an ULV version.

Also, the X220 has a 9hr battery life. (minimum! with an extended batt it jumps to 14)

Worth considering.

zap2
Oct 15, 2011, 12:59 PM
Not worth arguing with mindless Apple fanboys.

Yea, I hate when those type of people go on PC forums and bash PCs :rolleyes:

Isn't that software related, as in OSX?

Yes, although I don't think Flash performance in OS X is as bad as many people make it out to be. But running Windows will be a fine solution to an OS X software issues


1) I need to use flash pretty often. Is this a big deal?

2) When I watch lectures online, one of the biggest perks is being able to watch videos at 1.5 and 2 times speed. The format used does not support this option on Macs but does on Windows. Is there any way to get around this.. without having to dual boot with Windows 7?

Thanks everyone!

You could install a virtual machine and run Windows alone side of Mac OS X.
Parallels or VMware Fusion are paid software which run VMs while Virtual Box is freeware that does the same(although VMware is a bit more staples in my experience) Either way you'll still need a Windows install. Another choice is to running WINE under Linux which lets you run Windows apps,but if you're going that in a VM you'd be virtualizing inside of a virtual machine.


Another way I run Windows is through Citrix XenApp which pulls down a XP desktop that is running on a server elsewhere. It's a real cool piece of technology, although it requires a rather expensive set up(but my work provides it to me)



Do you use windows or mac os x most?

If you want a dedicated windows machine then you have a solution.

The Air is a wonderful Windows laptop as well. The things it brings to the table are fantastic and only now are PC vendors just starting to match some of them(although not build quality)