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View Full Version : MacBook Air R2 vs X301




mgerbasio
Dec 2, 2008, 08:07 PM
Hi,
The OS doesn't make much of a difference to me although I do need to run WinXP to get VPN access into corporate as well as MS Project. Mostly I use the MBA for on the road VPN, email, browsing, note taking and light word processing/spreadsheets.

I have a MBA R1 and would like to upgrade to the R2 for a few reasons, speed, I can't get the wifi working reliably on the R1, and the R1 gets hot especially when running Fusion.

So, I'm really one the fence about buying another Apple, when the first one has its share of problems. Then I start thinking maybe a netbook is all I need and with the integrated 3G card, the Dell Mini is looking good. So, anyone look or try a X301 or even a netbook and have comments when compared to the MBA? Thanks.

Regards-Michael G.



descartes
Dec 2, 2008, 09:09 PM
dell mini is a solid little computer but is slow to boot up and the keyboard is virtually unusable for long periods of typing in my experience. the screen while small, is perfectly fine for surfing and email but the keyboard is what made me get rid of it.

HLdan
Dec 2, 2008, 09:23 PM
Give up on the Air, go for the Windows netbook. Now, I'm not against the Air as I have the new R2 model and LOVE IT but it doesn't sound like it's for you, just get the Windows netbook.

mgerbasio
Dec 2, 2008, 09:34 PM
As for the Dell, can you just hibernate, or is wake time slow too? On the MBA, it takes about 35 seconds to get from (Fusion) suspend to my XP VM running but the battery drains quickly lasting only about 2.5 hours. Looks like with the Dell I should get at least another hour on battery. There seems to be a lot of customization people are doing, changing memory to 2gB, upgrading the hard drive, installing Vista, etc. I'd probably opt for the memory upgrade.

I hate to buy and mail back, I'd like to see and try before I buy but they aren't selling Dell Minis locally. Before I plunk down $2.5k on the new Air, to replace a machine that doesn't quite work as advertised, I'll probably see how well the mini works for me. Thanks.

Regards-Michael G.

mgerbasio
Dec 2, 2008, 09:36 PM
Give up on the Air, go for the Windows netbook. Now, I'm not against the Air as I have the new R2 model and LOVE IT but it doesn't sound like it's for you, just get the Windows netbook.

One reason I'd rather have the Air is the larger screen as I sometimes need to remote desktop into another machine. But I'm probably just going to try out the Dell.

Regards-Michael G.

descartes
Dec 2, 2008, 10:52 PM
As for the Dell, can you just hibernate, or is wake time slow too? On the MBA, it takes about 35 seconds to get from (Fusion) suspend to my XP VM running but the battery drains quickly lasting only about 2.5 hours. Looks like with the Dell I should get at least another hour on battery. There seems to be a lot of customization people are doing, changing memory to 2gB, upgrading the hard drive, installing Vista, etc. I'd probably opt for the memory upgrade.

I hate to buy and mail back, I'd like to see and try before I buy but they aren't selling Dell Minis locally. Before I plunk down $2.5k on the new Air, to replace a machine that doesn't quite work as advertised, I'll probably see how well the mini works for me. Thanks.

Regards-Michael G.

Wake time from sleep wasn't too bad. The battery life was decent for a 4 cell but I really never used it for very long periods straight. You should check out other netbooks that you can get your hands on to see if you like the size and compare to the dimensions of the dell. One thing the dell mini really has going for it is its price. When you think about it, for around the same price of a 32gb ipod touch, you are getting a computer that can run full programs and an OS. At times I wish I kept it because it was so small and looked great. I am actually going the other direction you are and shopping for a Rev A MBA to replace it.

Sesshi
Dec 3, 2008, 04:16 AM
Many netbooks have Home, and especially if you have to futz with it to load Pro for a 6-year-old laptop experience, it may not be the ideal thing.

I really don't get netbooks. I bought an eee when the hype first started, Dell gave me a Mini for my feedback, I gave it to someone else after a couple of days (and my feedback was effectively 'it's a dirt-cheap, reasonable quality ultraportable back from the days of when I was recovering from the dot bombs, what more do you want me to say').

I'd say take a look at the Sony TT as well. That's what I'm currently transitioning to out of all the <1.4Kg laptops I've had in the last year (both Revs of Airs, Sony TZ, Lenovo X300, Tosh R500)

descartes
Dec 3, 2008, 07:35 AM
Many netbooks have Home, and especially if you have to futz with it to load Pro for a 6-year-old laptop experience, it may not be the ideal thing.

I really don't get netbooks. I bought an eee when the hype first started, Dell gave me a Mini for my feedback, I gave it to someone else after a couple of days (and my feedback was effectively 'it's a dirt-cheap, reasonable quality ultraportable back from the days of when I was recovering from the dot bombs, what more do you want me to say').

I'd say take a look at the Sony TT as well. That's what I'm currently transitioning to out of all the <1.4Kg laptops I've had in the last year (both Revs of Airs, Sony TZ, Lenovo X300, Tosh R500)

how did you like the x300? seems the best small pc laptop except for the price.

sangosimo
Dec 3, 2008, 09:05 AM
I would go with the mba or x300. netbooks are a huge drop in speed.

Sesshi
Dec 3, 2008, 09:13 AM
how did you like the x300? seems the best small pc laptop except for the price.

I didn't think so. In terms of runtime, handiness in use, etc as a true ultraportable, I have to say I found the rangetopping TZ better. Some may complain about the smaller screen size, but assuming this is not your main notebook I prefer the tradeoff in portability - especially I also retain one more class of laptop in the 1.5~1.8Kg category (The Sony SZ until now, now the Z).

But then, I've always thought Thinkpads a tad overrated for solid build.

For what it is next to the Sony, I found it overweight and wanting in terms of real-life battery life in a lightweight config. But it *is* a better ultraportable than the Air given non-GPU-intensive tasks.

If the OP doesn't mind a little more weight, the Z is pretty darned awesome as well - and while the increased res of the 13" screen on it does present the same issues that some have with the TZ/TT screen (the higher-end model packs in 1600 x 900), it does allow you to see more of what you're doing. I take the UX when I think I need a laptop but am not expecting any notetaking etc, the TT when I'm definitely going all-day travelling but expecting to do some 'real' work, but on many occasions I do prefer to take the Z instead as it is simply extremely functional, moreso than anything else which could be put in the 'ultraportable' category.

bloodycape
Dec 3, 2008, 01:07 PM
If I could make a suggestion how about the 10.2in Asus N10 model with built in 3G?