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View Full Version : Macbook Air vs. (insert PC here)




Dhaobin
Oct 19, 2011, 06:54 PM
I've been needing a new computer for a while now, and I recently ordered a 2011 macbook air 11" w/ 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD. Unfortunately, it will take about three weeks to arrive.

Although I'm excited for my first mac, (:D) I can't help but feel like I've been had. It seems that the 11" macbook air doesn't get more than 60-70% of its advertised battery life. :( Also, almost every other computer in the ultraportable class has much better internals (full-voltage processors, upgradable RAM). To clarify, I am not comparing to those "ultrabooks."

Specifically, I've been comparing the macbook air to the Lenovo X220, which outclasses it in almost every way. Now that I consider it, I actually like the look and feel of a sturdy business notebook better. To boot, apple is ridiculously proprietary with its hardware, making repairs and upgrades exorbitantly expensive.

As a side note, I personally think that win7 is just as good as OS X, and that is obviously not the viewpoint of most members here.

To recap, my main point is that although the macbook air is undoubtedly a wonderful machine, it lacks battery life, the raw processing power present in other ultraportables, sturdiness, and user-friendly upgrades/repairs.

That said, I'd like to see what current macbook air owners have to say about this. Please try to keep your responses as mature as possible and back up your statements. I've regrettably seen some undignified rants on some threads here, and I honestly don't want that kind of thing. :)

I'm not an apple hater, just an unsatisfied consumer. :o



CardboardGiant
Oct 19, 2011, 07:00 PM
I am using a 2011 13-inch Macbook Air i5 and I get 6 - 7 hours of battery life.

If I'm not using too much resources and keep my apps closed at a minimum, I get around 8 - 9 hours!

MacDawg
Oct 19, 2011, 07:02 PM
Absolutely love my 13" i7 1.8 256 GB
Most amazing computer I have ever used

Dhaobin
Oct 19, 2011, 07:05 PM
I am using a 2011 13-inch Macbook Air i5 and I get 6 - 7 hours of battery life.

If I'm not using too much resources and keep my apps closed at a minimum, I get around 8 - 9 hours!

Interesting...maybe I shouldn't be too concerned about the battery life then? :confused:

TheJing
Oct 19, 2011, 07:13 PM
Interesting...maybe I shouldn't be too concerned about the battery life then? :confused:

Well... the 11 inch is a lot worse than the 13 inch when it comes to battery life. I was very disappointed.

But man I love this thing!

vitzr
Oct 19, 2011, 07:19 PM
I've been needing a new computer for a while now, and I recently ordered a 2011 macbook air 11".

1) Although I'm excited for my first mac, (:D) I can't help but feel like I've been had.

2) I personally think that win7 is just as good as OS X

3) Please try to keep your responses as mature as possible and back up your statements.

I'm not an apple hater, just an unsatisfied consumer. :o
1a) It's very important you pay attention to your gut feeling.

2a) I agree, although my personal preference is OS X.

3a) This request is next to impossible, this is an Apple forum.

I have both Mac & PC laptops. I'm a hardcore laptop enthusiast and being an engineer I make my living in a cross platform environment. For personal usage I have new MacBook Pros & MacBook Airs.

There's nothing wrong with the MBA you've ordered. While waiting it's not unusual to have moments of buyers remorse. Because I also have equivalent ThinkPads, I can honestly say while Lenovo makes a very good product, in this category the MBA is the one to have.

I have put lots of time on mine since I frequently fly. Not once have I regretted buying a MBA. They are very enjoyable.

e747
Oct 19, 2011, 08:20 PM
You sound a little confused as to what you want from your new computer..

The MacBook Airs are popular for several reasons:
- lightweight
- great battery life
- fast SSD
- great build quality
- it's a Mac!

If none of these features appeal to you then you might be better off with the Lenovo.

I recently changed from my MacBook Pro 15" to a MacBook Air 13" and love it - it weighs half as much and runs twice as long on batteries and has the same screen resolution as the old 15". I use an external 1TB drive for data I don't need on the SSD.

Most of my work is done on Windows PC's but my preference is for OS X - if I need to run PC software I just use VMWare which runs Win 7 and XP perfectly.

Hope this helps in some way :)

3dflyboy1
Oct 19, 2011, 08:20 PM
Lenovo definitely makes some great laptops. It really comes down to which you need more: processing power (you mentioned full voltage vs ULV) or an extremely light design that has enough power for everyday use. (no gaming, etc.)

Dhaobin
Oct 19, 2011, 08:26 PM
Thank you everybody for your replies. I'm still a little worried about the battery life, but I'm now convinced that the macbook air more than suffices in every other way. I can do with the ULV i5; I just won't do any gaming on it.

Anyway, I will eagerly await the delivery of my box of goodies. :D (in 3 weeks :()

Thanks again!! :)

convergent
Oct 19, 2011, 08:30 PM
I've worked fin IT for nearly 30 years and had more Thinkpad T series laptops than I can remember. Two of my kids also have them. Bottom line is my early 2008 Macbook Pro with OSX outperforms my brand new company issued Lenovo T series. They make nice solid machines, but you really can't compare to a Mac in my humble opinion. I just got a Macbook Air 13" this week and couldn't be happier. I don't think I would like the 11" personally, but my vision isn't the greatest. Have you gone into an Apple store and played with one? They are solid machines.

matixryder
Oct 19, 2011, 11:58 PM
Mac OS is designed to run fast and stable even with old generation Mac you still notice the OS run faster than Windows. To tell you the truth, I have worked with windows for many years. My family just gave me my first macbook air as a birthday gift a few days ago. To me, this is the best birthday gift ever!! It is blazing fast and user friendly. But I think 64gb is a bit too small to install all the awesome apps tho :) Have fun with ur machine.

summitRun
Oct 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
I'm not an apple hater, just an unsatisfied consumer. :o

Not yet you aren't...as vitzr correctly points out its not uncommon to have a little buyers remorse on a four figure computer purchase. Read up, get excited and spend a good month with your new machine before making any judgments. You can always sell it for a small loss and go back to Lenovo. I have owned four ThinkPad's over the past decade and considered myself a die-hard loyalist... With the exception of the keyboard (which I miss dearly), I have not regretted the switch. Though in full disclosure I did keep my last TP as a backup...and for when I have to log multiple hours on the keyboard writing addendum's. Having two machines you love is not such a bad thing :cool:

KylePowers
Oct 20, 2011, 12:27 AM
I've always been a fan of Sony laptops... more specifically, their high-end ultra-mobile ones (like the Z*). Despite their price, they're definitely power houses that - I believe, at least - beat any other PC manufacturer in terms of aesthetics. I feel as if they're sort of the 'Apple' of the PC world.

Would I ever go back to a Z? Doubtful. I'm with Apple because of OSX. If the Z could ever run Lion, then maybe I'd take another look.

*Note, I actually don't like the newest version of the Z. It kinda looks weird. I had one from 2009.

litchblade
Oct 20, 2011, 12:51 AM
Seriously guys if you need more battery power, buy the 13". I think you guys knew this before you ordered your 11"... :)

bwhinnen
Oct 20, 2011, 12:51 AM
I have the i5 / 4G / 128G MBA 11" and I think it is a fantastic machine. It has the processing I need in a portable device, it has more than enough battery life for general usage, I get between 4 and 5 hours out of it generally just browsing on wifi with it doing time machine backups and me looking at files on the NAS (no flash enabled).

So if that sort of battery life is what you are wanting then I think you'll be very happy with your purchase.

Otto J
Oct 20, 2011, 01:00 AM
Thank you everybody for your replies. I'm still a little worried about the battery life, but I'm now convinced that the macbook air more than suffices in every other way. I can do with the ULV i5; I just won't do any gaming on it.

Re: Battery life. I don't know _anyone_ who actually gets the advertised battery life on _any_ laptop on a regular basis. The advertised spec is "best case", most people seem to forget when critisizing mac's for not meeting the spec, that the competition don't meet spec in actual use either. Compare apples to apples, and you have nothing to worry about.

Re: Win vs Mac, I can only speak for myself: I've only used Mac for a couple of months, and I still use Win7 regularly (at work, and for specific tasks on my Air). I've been amazed at how quickly I've turned very negative towards working in windows, after getting used to Mac. I totally disagree with the notion that Win7 and OSX are "different, but equal". OSX is far, far superior as an operating system, BUT, there are just things you can't do with it that you have to turn to windows for. This has nothing to do with the quality of the system, this is simply because Windows has a bigger user base, so a lot of software is windows only. Still, I'm very happy that I chose to do whatever I can in OSX, and only turn to win7 for those specific tasks, instead of sticking with Win7. They might seem equal if you work with them for 5 or 10 minutes, but use OSX for a month for everyday work, and I bet you'll agree. I've heard a lot of people say that Win7 and OSX is equal - but none of those have actually owned a Mac for an extended period of time (although I'm certain someone will pop up now that I'm asking for it).

Abazigal
Oct 20, 2011, 01:35 AM
It's funny that windows computers seemed allowed to get away with a lot. Maybe it is because people generally expect them to suck, so don't really care or bother when their computers don't live up to expectations (or maybe those expectations were already heavily moderated to start with). :p

But with Mac, you expect the moon and the sun for what you are paying, so people start throwing a hissy fit if their precious MBA comes with so much as a microscopic scratch on it. Is Apple being a victim of its own success? :D

Usual
Oct 20, 2011, 01:54 AM
You sound a little confused as to what you want from your new computer..

The MacBook Airs are popular for several reasons:
- lightweight
- great battery life
- fast SSD
- great build quality
- it's a Mac!

I recently changed from my MacBook Pro 15" to a MacBook Air 13" and love it - it weighs half as much and runs twice as long on batteries and has the same screen resolution as the old 15". I use an external 1TB drive for data I don't need on the SSD.

Hope this helps in some way :)

I am not an expert but as far I know, the cpu works faster in MBP. But, for me, I am not going to feel the difference. However, I will feel the difference because of SSD, weight and the size :)

I think, love is what we feel when we see MBA :)

dzigg
Oct 20, 2011, 02:56 AM
SSD makes all the difference.. I think this is the first time since I use a laptop where I don't say 'hmmm, I wish running this-or-that program is quicker'. Especially in the load time, it's almost instant in most cases.Granted I don't use 'heavy' apps. Garageband and Photoshop is the heaviest for me..

Now coupled that SSD with OSX, core i5/i7, best trackpad on the market, sleek and light design, it's almost perfect.

The only downside that I can see is the integrated GPU and probably it could be better with more RAM.. but I don't game that much (it runs FIFA 12 fine btw), and I don't use RAM-hungry apps (Final Cut X, Aperture, etc).. so no complaints.

billidan
Oct 20, 2011, 11:08 AM
I have both air(13") and X220, I replaced the HDD in the X220 with a 120G Vertex 3. Both of them are wonderful machines, I think you would not go wrong with either of them.

I have to have both because I need a Unix machine with iTunes (so Mac OS X is my only choice I guess), as well as a Windows machine (I hate boot camp). I am an undergraduate student and work part time in a software company. I always carry the air to school and the thinkpad to work. However for daily use other than school and work I always use the air because I like Mac OS better than Windows.

In mo opinion, if you like Mac OS better than Windows, keep the air. Otherwise X220 will make you really satisfied.