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Jobsian
Feb 15, 2010, 04:03 PM
List what you feel are those premium ultraportables attracting your attention as possible competitors to a Revision D Macbook Air. Please post specs, where available.

As a rough guide, when we're talking premium ultraportable, try to keep them at around the 13" screen, 3lbs weight, no Atom processors, preferably discrete graphics. But again, these are only rough guidelines and you may want to include good notebooks which don't match all of these.



Jobsian
Feb 15, 2010, 04:05 PM
First up, the much talked about Sony 2010 Vaio Z Series. I'm going to look at their top-specced one:

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/02/sonyvaiozgallery04.jpg

Design: Aluminium + Carbon Fiber
Weight: 3.07lbs or 3.3lbs (depending on which Sony website you visit)
Screen: 13.1", 1920 x 1080 Resolution
CPU: Core i7-620M. 2.66GHz, 3.33GHz Turbo. 35W TDP. 4MB L2 Cache
RAM: 8GB DDR3
SDD: 512GB (Raid 0 available)
Graphics: Nvidia 330M GT 1GB GDDR3 and Intel HD integrated - switchable
Battery: Sony: 6 Hours
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner
Other: x3 USB2.0, x1 HDMI Out, VGA Out, 802.11 a/b/g/n, GB Ethernet, 2.1 Bluetooth, webcam, mic, SD, Expresscard, Memstick


Initial impressions:
Absolutely superb specs. Looks ok, not MBA-head-turning, but better than most other manufacturer designs. I'm astonished that they've kept the weight to around 3.1lbs (remember the MBA is 3.0 lbs) with 2 SSDs, an optical drive and discrete graphics - astonished.

With a 35W TDP on the CPU it might blow hotter and be louder than I'd want though - my only real concern with this one. Another major downside for otherwise killer specs is the lack of USB 3.0. Otherwise I would have almost bought it already.

Also worth mentioning, had it not been for Windows 7, I wouldn't have even considered it (maaaaybe with an XP install), but now, it's such a powerful spec that if the next MBA upgrade isn't great, Sony get my money. This is the first laptop in a long time to get me excited.

Really hoping Apple respond powerfully.

MacModMachine
Feb 15, 2010, 04:22 PM
First up, the much talked about Sony 2010 Vaio Z Series. I'm going to look at their top-specced one

this is a very impressive computer....very impressive.

i like it alot....i will buy this if the mba does not get updated (good specs) very soon.

pricing must be killer on this.

the z series that you quote is 4500 us....nevermind....

Mintin8
Feb 15, 2010, 06:47 PM
The Sony Vaio is amazing. Bit expensive though. MBA needs new specs,

On another note, I'm glad I'm going to Uni in a few years time. Seems a lot of things will be coming out in 2011/2012. Lets hope we see quad core in the MBA by then!

Korbin
Feb 16, 2010, 05:10 AM
The Z series is amazing! However, for that price it has to be...

icanboogie
Feb 16, 2010, 09:42 AM
Screen: 13.1", 1920 x 1080 Resolution
:eek:

that resolution is too tiny, it's really not useable IMHO.

I have a Hi-Res 1920 on my 17"& I love it,
but going that Hi on a 13" screen is just crazy and pure buzz talk.
"Watching blu-ray in Full HD!"
Really.
:rolleyes:

TSE
Feb 16, 2010, 12:56 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you just lower the resolution through nvidia control panel?

Scottsdale
Feb 16, 2010, 02:06 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you just lower the resolution through nvidia control panel?

YUP!

nj-mac-user
Feb 16, 2010, 02:20 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you just lower the resolution through nvidia control panel?

I think the point he was making was why pay a premium for such high resolution on a small screen that's not really usable with it's default native resolution.

icanboogie
Feb 16, 2010, 03:44 PM
wouldnt lowering the rez via control panel make it fuzzy like when I do this on my macbook? is windows 7 resolution independent? if so, that would be great - for windows people...

mkrishnan
Feb 16, 2010, 03:49 PM
wouldnt lowering the rez via control panel make it fuzzy like when I do this on my macbook? is windows 7 resolution independent? if so, that would be great - for windows people...

Yeah, a screen like that would be amazing with a resolution independent interface, but without it, if you just turn down the resolution, it's probably not going to look too good.

bloodycape
Feb 16, 2010, 04:05 PM
Well the 1920 x 1080 res is optional, you could always go with the standard 1600 x 900 res. Nice thing is you could always increase the DPI to increase font size and such. Plus, the Z is still matte screen, with a hint of gloss). However, the base Z is priced a bit more fairly at $1700 or so, with the only difference being the base i5 cpu. I would have to think it be a bit lower if the base included HDD like it does in Asia. Not to mention I read the SSD config is 2x64gb raid standard.

BTW the out going Z weighs about 3.3lbs. The new Z is 1in thick, so for some I guess they rather have the thinner size as its more trendy?

Jobsian
Feb 16, 2010, 04:12 PM
I've just been watching a video by one of the Vaio Z's chief managers on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEOd8hbYf0E

Pretty interesting, very Apple-like though unfortunately not expounding as much, eg I'd love to have heard him mention exactly what this "latest in cooling technology" actually is. Nor was he waxing lyrical anywhere near as much. Perhaps it's just Japanese reticence, but if it was one of the Apple guys you find on their website, they'd be absolutely creaming over a notebook with this kind of spec!

Or worse, imagine it was Steve Jobs introducing this laptop at an event! "Phenomenal" "amazing" "this [component x] screams" overload!

I guess the only one he'd leave out for this laptop would be his other staple: "gorgeous"

"Isn't it gorgeous?"

And to be fair to the man he's usually right. Yes Steven, it's gorgeous.

So far this thread is pretty much one big endorsement for the 2010 Vaio Z. Not exactly a list so far!

So come on, any other competitors to a possible MBA D? The reason I've selected Vaio Z first is that it's the only standout one that I can think of at present.

Synchromesh
Feb 16, 2010, 05:09 PM
Not a fan of Sony laptops. Every one I had to deal with was engineered like cheap junk even though they're usually far from being cheap. I'd rather have an MBA even with less spec than Sony any day.

bloodycape
Feb 16, 2010, 05:49 PM
Well there is the upcoming Lenovo X201 line. Not really that nice looking but has a lot options and is well built. The X201i model with like base with an i3, with the thinner X201s having the LV i7 cpu, and X201 with the standard i7. http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/16/thinkpad-x201s-official-maintenance-manual-reveals-new-models/

Gruber
Feb 17, 2010, 06:24 AM
wouldnt lowering the rez via control panel make it fuzzy like when I do this on my macbook? is windows 7 resolution independent? if so, that would be great - for windows people...

Windows has been resolution independent since XP. Support has improved with each version, and Windows 7 is quite good in this department.
I remember the olden days when there were some applications with misaligned buttons, overflowing text etc. Now you only find some occasional grittyness in badly scaled icons.

Need I say that the lack of resolution independence in MacOS irks me, big time?

stylinexpat
Feb 17, 2010, 10:38 AM
Well there is the upcoming Lenovo X201 line. Not really that nice looking but has a lot options and is well built. The X201i model with like base with an i3, with the thinner X201s having the LV i7 cpu, and X201 with the standard i7. http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/16/thinkpad-x201s-official-maintenance-manual-reveals-new-models/

Supposed to come with stereo speakers too.:)

bloodycape
Feb 17, 2010, 11:37 AM
Supposed to come with stereo speakers too.:)
Only in the non S models, but I guess for its intended market its alright?

TSE
Feb 17, 2010, 06:16 PM
I currently own an HP DM3z with the specs in the signature for 500 bucks.

As I understand, an HP DM3 with an Intel SU9300 processor, nVidia G 105m, bluetooth, 802.11n, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB 7200 RPM HD, a 13 inch screen, a similar keyboard, Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium, and 10 hours of battery (7-8 is the more common expectation from reviews) can be had for $850. It is also made of metal and has excellent build quality, I've owned the inexpensive AMD one since October and I absolutely love it.

The only complaint I have with it is the trackpad takes some getting used to, but I don't even notice that anymore, I actually am starting to like it once you learn how to use it since it has a different feel than normal trackpads.

bloodycape
Feb 17, 2010, 10:07 PM
I currently own an HP DM3z with the specs in the signature for 500 bucks.

As I understand, an HP DM3 with an Intel SU9300 processor, nVidia G 105m, bluetooth, 802.11n, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB 7200 RPM HD, a 13 inch screen, a similar keyboard, Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium, and 10 hours of battery (7-8 is the more common expectation from reviews) can be had for $850. It is also made of metal and has excellent build quality, I've owned the inexpensive AMD one since October and I absolutely love it.

I have seen the model with the SP line cpu going for that much after coupons and such.
Then again the screen won't be as nice as the MBA, Vaio Z, or the lower end Envy 13 and 15.

inott
Feb 17, 2010, 10:46 PM
The closest thing I have yet to see design wise that even starts to measure up to the MBA, is well, a straight up MBA clone.

http://www.shanzai.com/images/stories/notebooks/MacAirCopy2.jpg

entatlrg
Feb 18, 2010, 03:12 AM
Yeah, a screen like that would be amazing with a resolution independent interface, but without it, if you just turn down the resolution, it's probably not going to look too good.

You got it .... imo it's a joke to have 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 13" screen unless you're buying it to watch movies and watch you tube clips ... but to work on, NO not possible and to resize from the native resolution fonts look horrible. Why Sony does this I'll never understand ... they still sell tons of them but for reading text ... EYE STRAIN....

Sander
Feb 18, 2010, 08:56 AM
You got it .... imo it's a joke to have 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 13" screen

I think everyone has this the wrong way around. In my opinion, it's a joke not to have resolution-independence on a hi-res screen.

I've never heard anyone complain that his 1200dpi laser printer makes text too small so he'd rather have a 9-pin matrix printer.

TSE
Feb 18, 2010, 04:36 PM
I have seen the model with the SP line cpu going for that much after coupons and such.
Then again the screen won't be as nice as the MBA, Vaio Z, or the lower end Envy 13 and 15.

True, the screen is inferior but I honestly don't mind it that much and for saving $1000 as long as you are cool with Windows 7 it's a great buy.

cloroxbleach4
Feb 18, 2010, 11:00 PM
The Sony Z is talked to be an amazing laptop. It's pretty much the MBA portability with MBP performance. Hopefully this is true.

Scottsdale
Feb 18, 2010, 11:47 PM
Since this thread is supposed to identify premium ultraportable competitors to the MBA, shouldn't we identify some more of the actual ultraportables coming to market?

LG X300 = I LOVE IT! Would make a great iPad replacement if I weren't planning on buying an iPad. I still haven't found a price for it, but I would expect half the price of an MBA with half the specs.

This one is beautiful, and it's not necessarily a competitor to the rev D MBA, or at least I hope not. It has an 11" display, but its very capable and obviously NOT a netbook. At the same time, I hope the MBA keeps its 13" display and more powerful core.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/07/lg-serves-up-11-6-inch-x300-ultraportable/

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/07/lg-x300-hands-on-thin-light-and-handsome/

MSI X-Slim X420 = $799! With ATI 5430 graphics!

Not as pretty, nor as powerful as the MBA but it's thin and lightweight!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/19/msi-outs-exceptionally-exquisite-x-slim-x420-laptop/

ASUS UL80JT = 12 hours battery! Autoswitching Nvidia graphics!

What's nicer to think about than an MBA with an autoswitching graphics solution ensuring more capabilities than previous MBAs and yet still utilizing the Intel Arrandale IGP for less intensive purposes to lengthen battery life! A big thumbs up from me! 14" display with no news on pricing as of this link.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/11/asus-ul80jt-spotted-with-automatic-switchable-graphics-brags-12/

Dell Vostro V13 = $449 sure traveling worry-free LUST! It's basically an Adamo on the cheap.

I have went online and priced this one out several times and even placed it in the shopping cart. The point wouldn't be to take the place of my MBA but to use as a "throwaway" computer where I don't worry if it gets robbed whether in the back seat of a car, in airline luggage, or sitting on my beach towel on vacation in Brasil! Seriously, I cannot imagine a better value.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/08/dell-vostro-v13-is-450-65-inches-thick/

Dell Adamo (original Pearl or Onyx) = $999... with a 256 GB SSD!!!

This is actually a heck of a value considering the price of a 256 GB SSD alone. It's like getting the rest of the Adamo for $500. If there wasn't an MBA, I would have probably bought the higher end Adamo with 2.13 GHz Penryn CPU. Beautiful HD display and BLU RAY EXTERNAL DRIVE! Why cannot Apple let us decide if we want Blu Ray... even charge us extra for it!

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/products/adamo/topics/en/us/adamo?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&redirect=1

Sony Vaio Z = Future LUST!

I know it has been the major topic of this thread, but it's the ultraportable I WILL SELECT IF APPLE DOESN'T UPGRADE THE MBA BEFORE MY 2 GB OF RAM BECOMES UNUSABLE AS A PRIMARY COMPUTER! Or if the MBA gets upgraded and only has Arrandale's IGP for graphics... a real possibility.

This Sony Z has an Nvidia GT 330M discrete graphics card that is what the MBA should shoot for... add dual SSDs, 4 GB RAM standard, Core i5 CPU (I think MBA will get a Core i7-6x0LM CPU)... again BLU RAY IS OPTIONAL... why cannot we have this option with the MBA or any Mac as far as that's concerned?

Here's a link to in depth review with photos... I visit it once weekly, honestly!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/sony-vaio-z-series-vpcz114gx-s-review/

And I haven't mentioned this in the MBA section, but I am establishing Tuesday March 2, 2010 as the MBA UPDATE DAY. Oh yes, I got Jobs on the line and demanded this be the update day... Jobs concurred! Okay, obviously not, as I am just having some fun, LMAO! We all have been fairly bent out of shape over the long update wait (ok, it's probably just been me out of shape and maybe Jobsian with all these threads for the mythical rev D MBA, LOL).

I actually believe nine months to the day will be the next MBA update day (it was last updated June 2, 2009). Let's all hope that with the MBA update we all are talking about the MBA as a much better solution than the Sony Z! In truth, I don't really expect the MBA to be better than the Sony Z. I will be ecstatic if all that is updated is the RAM and glass trackpad. I still don't know whether this update will be the big one or the next update will be the big one... but remember when the big update comes I predicted the new display technology first!

Has anyone ever thought up a union of Apple fans where we would all boycott Apple together and refuse to update our Macs if they weren't updated with our demands by the dates we require? We could have fan lockouts and boycotts if Apple doesn't meet our demands. Things like Blu Ray could be demanded as an option to the Mac OS X operating system. And perhaps most importantly, we could demand Flash on the iPhone/iPad. Okay, it doesn't seem very realistic but it sure sounds like a better way for us fans to unite than the forums where nothing we do really means anything to anyone except ourselves. I mean, Apple isn't coming here and reading the MBA thread determining that it needs to now make 4 GB of RAM standard in the MBA... but maybe it should be? Apple Fan Union! Just in case someone wants to push ahead with the idea, AppleFanUnion.com is available! Just kidding, sorta.

bloodycape
Feb 19, 2010, 02:39 AM
That is a pretty good right up with fairly accurate commentary I must say. I would have put the Asus UL30HT over the UL80JT as it is a 13in model with slight better build and optical drive is external unlike the 14in UL80. It has a pretty decent GT310m gpu.

There is also the Lenovo X301 and what ever the newer model the iX core cpu will be called, and the update X201 and X201s. There is also the obvious HP Envy 13. The slight older Samsung X360 and 14in X460 with an optical drive and nvidia 9300 GS gpu. LG P/X310 with the 9600gt gpu and external optical drive. Also, based on what I am reading the LG X300 maybe netbook-ish as the only cpu I can think of that 2.0ghz that could work for that form factor is the 2.0ghz Atom. Unless this is going the Lenovo U110 route, which as the same exact specs as the rev A. MBA.

If I can get a dual core(even if its a dual core celeron) Dell V13 for $400 I would get one for my pops to replace the ibook. BTW many of the Z configs are actually quad SSD, and in Asia the price is lower as you still get an HDD option.

roxygal9
Feb 19, 2010, 09:13 AM
Scottsdale, as always a brilliant post! Until I saw the Sony VAIO Z series i didnt think there was an ultraportable that could compete with the MBA! And it has all the new technology for about the going rate of the current MBA. A SSD for me is a must have, as someone previously mentioned it is much faster and really utilizes the speed of the processr and memory well. I have never had a Sony, though and some have complained about their durability. This machine is very nice and as a current PC owner itis very tempting. Having said that, I hope the MBA does get a revision soon, because I really think that Apple is going to lose sales. Someone please tell me why should I wait for the MBA or any apple product revision, is it really worth it? I have never owned one but I am curious, and will drop the money if it has specs like this. Of course the HDMI port would be a loss, as I love that option considering I have a 26 in. Samsung monitor, but I could run it via DVi too. Also, I noticed on the Sony it has a switch for the graphics power I am asuming. Can someone please kinda explain the functionality of this, why its unique/important, etc? Graphics is not my forte, and I think some other people may benefit from understanding what this new technology is, though I believe the Optimus is a bit more advanced right? Finally, after seeing Sony pack the graphics into this small design, wouldnt apple be able to do this as well? The macbook line is awesome from my little bit of playing around with them, but Windows 7 has really stepped up PC performance. Id like to take the Apple plunge, and though I find this fun and intriguing, I do need a new laptop soon. THanks for any information!

Cheers

nagromme
Feb 19, 2010, 11:39 AM
OS X is worth too much to me. (And my Air runs Windows should I need that.) And battery life is still great—on my version A Air that I bought when they first came out. I’ll keep getting MBA’s as long as they keep making them :) One day I hope they can reduce the margin around the screen a bit though.

I love that I can pick it up with one hand without putting down the glass/charger/bag/papers/whatever I’m carrying in the other hand. That’s not just about weight, it’s the tapered shape that makes an overhang all the way around.

And the trackpad gestures are great. Swipe to see my desktop, swipe to gather all my windows via Exposť and then send them back where they came from.

The coolest thing (though I only used it once) is that you can use Remote Disc to actually BOOT that machine off of a DVD wirelessly! I put the Snow Leopard disc in another machine and the Air will actually boot up from it. (To re-install the OS, or whatever.)

And don’t sneeze at the illuminated keyboard on the Air. That was mediocre on Apple’s silver keyboards, but it’s great with the black keys! I can’t go back to a non-lit keyboard on a machine I use in so many settings.

nullx86
Feb 19, 2010, 05:58 PM
I have to say it, even if someone already said it (tl;dr)

Ailenware m11x

Specs are in the attached pic. I dont know if it can be hackintoshed, but I really dont care. I would go back to Windows for that machine. Crysis in my pocket? Please!

Scottsdale
Feb 19, 2010, 10:00 PM
I have to say it, even if someone already said it (tl;dr)

Ailenware m11x

Specs are in the attached pic. I dont know if it can be hackintoshed, but I really dont care. I would go back to Windows for that machine. Crysis in my pocket? Please!

That Alienware M11x is isted as a "netbook!" Wow, I like the graphics Nvidia 335, and 1GB dedicated graphics RAM. My jaw would drop if the MBA got 512 MB dedicated RAM and a Nvidia 310! I really like the Nvidia Optimus rumor today for the MBPs. Gives me some hope I have been thinking correctly for the MBA. I have had Optimus and Nvidia in my mind ever since I read about the Asus UL80JT.

Remember the current Nvidia 9400m is used in every Mac except the Mac Pro! Whatever Apple chooses for 13" and low-end 15" MBP will probably end up in every Mac. Apple's system uses one graphics card and chipset across many models to save money via buying in bulk AND saving on software integration and product development costs!

BTW, not to bad for an Alienware netbook! $799 base price!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/28/alienwares-m11x-netbook-gets-a-base-price-799/

gman901
Feb 19, 2010, 10:48 PM
I was really thinking about buying the new Sony Z to the point I checked out with a configuration up to $2199 + taxes. I then thought that something good is about to come out from Apple that will probably be more affordable and give me what I really want - a thin, light weight, fast cpu, 4 GB ram and a sweet discrete graphics card. I am going to stick it out for Apple!:apple:

nagromme
Feb 19, 2010, 11:42 PM
I was really thinking about buying the new Sony Z to the point I checked out with a configuration up to $2199 + taxes. I then thought that something good is about to come out from Apple that will probably be more affordable and give me what I really want - a thin, light weight, fast cpu, 4 GB ram and a sweet discrete graphics card. I am going to stick it out for Apple!:apple:

I hope a really awesome new Air does not come out too quickly—because I will want it :p But it’s due for an update. A “buttonless” (errr, all-button) trackpad would be a welcome addition.

Scottsdale
Feb 20, 2010, 01:20 AM
I was really thinking about buying the new Sony Z to the point I checked out with a configuration up to $2199 + taxes. I then thought that something good is about to come out from Apple that will probably be more affordable and give me what I really want - a thin, light weight, fast cpu, 4 GB ram and a sweet discrete graphics card. I am going to stick it out for Apple!:apple:

The MBA hasn't really had an update since October 2008. It's overdue.

A new MBA will certainly have 4 GB of RAM... and hopefully an Nvidia GeForce 310M or better yet a GT 330M! But rather than just using the discrete card, we would be far better off if we got the hybrid Optimus system.

nullx86
Feb 20, 2010, 11:10 PM
That Alienware M11x is isted as a "netbook!" Wow, I like the graphics Nvidia 335, and 1GB dedicated graphics RAM. My jaw would drop if the MBA got 512 MB dedicated RAM and a Nvidia 310! I really like the Nvidia Optimus rumor today for the MBPs. Gives me some hope I have been thinking correctly for the MBA. I have had Optimus and Nvidia in my mind ever since I read about the Asus UL80JT.

Remember the current Nvidia 9400m is used in every Mac except the Mac Pro! Whatever Apple chooses for 13" and low-end 15" MBP will probably end up in every Mac. Apple's system uses one graphics card and chipset across many models to save money via buying in bulk AND saving on software integration and product development costs!

BTW, not to bad for an Alienware netbook! $799 base price!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/28/alienwares-m11x-netbook-gets-a-base-price-799/

Well hopefully Apple will see it as a threat and bump specs accordingly. The 15"/17" MBPs are fine, but the 13"B/MBP, Mini and iMacs with 9400m are lacking badly. I get better gameplay out of a 128MB GeForce Go 7300. 9400m should have been dropped completely with the new iMacs and the Macbook and Mini spec bump. My guess is that Apple will either use the i3 processor with the integrated IGP and have some hybrid graphics system, or will pick some off the wall graphics card for the MBA... As for the m11x, I am getting two to replace my Dell Mini 9's. I am going to check on hackintosh compatibility, but I would assume it will support it. Personally, I dont see the point in getting a MBA or even a MB/MBP until the specs get bumped and updated to stay with the current releases. 9400m and 9600m GT are soooo 2007. Its 2010 Apple, get with the program...

gman901
Feb 20, 2010, 11:45 PM
I just ordered the AW M11x and got full specs, including the SSD option. I found a great review of the unit -
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews.php?reviewid=924&pageid=1

I am keeping my MBP for now but based on the review, it seems like this unit runs cool and can handle 1080P through HDMI smoothly if you use programs that take advantage of the GPU. I was thinking that the CPU was going to be a problem, but these CUDA? programs seem to be the way to go. This netbook is small and compact enough for me to use on the go and as part of my media center. I also have a Dell mini 9, but I never use it. I experimented with putting OSX on it to see if it would work and it does. Should I take it off before selling it on ebay?

nullx86
Feb 21, 2010, 06:49 AM
I just ordered the AW M11x and got full specs, including the SSD option. I found a great review of the unit -
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews.php?reviewid=924&pageid=1

I am keeping my MBP for now but based on the review, it seems like this unit runs cool and can handle 1080P through HDMI smoothly if you use programs that take advantage of the GPU. I was thinking that the CPU was going to be a problem, but these CUDA? programs seem to be the way to go. This netbook is small and compact enough for me to use on the go and as part of my media center. I also have a Dell mini 9, but I never use it. I experimented with putting OSX on it to see if it would work and it does. Should I take it off before selling it on ebay?

iirc, the CPU in the m11x is basically a lower powered version of the T7200. Should be able to do some minor overclocking and get it to 2Ghz no sweat. As far as the CPU/GPU, since the 335M has 1GB Ram, you can do 1080P via HMDI, and you should have little or no issues; just depends on how big your screen is.. I doubt it can drive a 60+" screen. As for the Dell Mini 9, make an install disk/usb drive for OS X, and set it up for a normal install, but do not install. Go to Disk Utility, and partition it for FAT and set it for MBR. Once you have done that, click the Erase Tab and go to the button that says "Security Options" and select an option. Do either a 7 pass or 35 pass. Usually the one that the government uses works the best. Do that, and then you can sell it no problem. I would not sell it with OS X, because you are in essence doing what Psystar is doing, and Apple will nag at eBay until they either shut you down or remove the listing. Trust me on this, I know from first hand experience.

Jayomat
Feb 21, 2010, 10:26 AM
The Sony VAIO Z Series looks amazing (spec- and design-wise..) I can see me buying one ;) because I hate to have two computers, so I need decent graphics in my portable too..

does anyone know if the trackpad supports multitouch-gestures?

and has it already been released? everytime I hit the "your individual vaio" at sony's hp, I get an error^

appleguy123
Feb 21, 2010, 03:25 PM
The closest thing I have yet to see design wise that even starts to measure up to the MBA, is well, a straight up MBA clone.

http://www.shanzai.com/images/stories/notebooks/MacAirCopy2.jpg

What are the specs on that computer?

Scottsdale
Feb 21, 2010, 04:20 PM
What are the specs on that computer?

I wish some of these kerf computer manufacturers would not make fake Apple products, and would instead capitalize on the experience of Apple but brand it for a low-end cost with a competitive product "Orange Computers."

Seriously, why don't Dell, Lenovo, HP, and etc capitalize on what Apple is doing? It's much more intelligent to focus on the experience rather than low costs and spec differences. Where would Dell or HP be right now if they would have taken the Windows platform capabilities and focused on user experience? Sony focuses on high-end experience and component makeup... but that's not where Apple is focused.

Apple focuses on the mid-end components and uses single component makeup across multiple models to lower costs of the components, development, and software integration. Why cannot any other computer manufacturer understand this strategy? Why do they all ignore Apple as being a high-end brand and not a real competitor. If Apple was using Windows the whole way along they probably would have been even more successful!

JoeG4
Feb 21, 2010, 05:22 PM
The Sony Z is talked to be an amazing laptop. It's pretty much the MBA portability with performance that eats a MBP for breakfast. Hopefully this is true.

fixed. :D

randomtask
Feb 21, 2010, 06:58 PM
New here. I currently use a macbook 2,1 and run a business from it. I've been waiting to upgrade since december and was planning to stick with apple (although my other machines are Debian and Vista based).

This thread has been extremely useful for me because i'm now fairly sure that I'm going to pull the trigger and replace this machine with the Sony Z. My only reservation is saying goodbye to OS X which I have grown to love over the past .. 31 months (Coconutbattery).

I'm going to wait until March 2nd. Without a new mba with a large redesign and Vaio Z specs apple have lost me forever. I have no interest in the macbook pros, gf has one and I want ultra portable. If only the Z had dumped the useless optical drive. The one in my macbook broke a YEAR ago and I have only wanted to use it once.

I'm looking at the Vaio Z, 8gb RAM, 192gb SSD option with a couple of extras. It's looking like 2100 pounds/3146 dollars which is more than I wanted to spend. I'm going to have to go and hold one of these things before I make the jump actually.. and perhaps spend some time with Windows 7 (puke).

Jayomat
Feb 21, 2010, 08:07 PM
If Apple was using Windows the whole way along they probably would have been even more successful!

huh?? so if there would have been no OSX at all, apple would habe sold more of their "overpriced" (hard-spec-wise) laptops? why is that? care to elaborate? Isn't OSX the reason why we buy apple hardware at all?? (Ok, the trackpad is nice too^^)

Jobsian
Feb 22, 2010, 01:08 PM
Since this thread is supposed to identify premium ultraportable competitors to the MBA, shouldn't we identify some more of the actual ultraportables coming to market?

<snip>

Dell Adamo (original Pearl or Onyx) = $999... with a 256 GB SSD!!!

This is actually a heck of a value considering the price of a 256 GB SSD alone. It's like getting the rest of the Adamo for $500. If there wasn't an MBA, I would have probably bought the higher end Adamo with 2.13 GHz Penryn CPU. Beautiful HD display and BLU RAY EXTERNAL DRIVE! Why cannot Apple let us decide if we want Blu Ray... even charge us extra for it!

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/products/adamo/topics/en/us/adamo?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&redirect=1
Sterling, sterling work Scotts, comprehensive list with links much appreciated!

Dell putting in a 256GB SSD on the Adamo for $999 is insane. I literally don't know how they're managing that kind of margin

Jobsian
Feb 22, 2010, 01:27 PM
Someone please tell me why should I wait for the MBA or any apple product revision, is it really worth it? It's very tempting (certainly for me) to pull the trigger especially on that behemoth that Sony have unleashed in the Vaio Z. For me however, the equation is simple:

If you can do without an update at this stage, wait it out to see Apple's hand.

We can speculate but we simply don't know what Apple have up their sleeves. There has been recent talk that Apple's delay may be secondary to making the integrated graphics-to-discrete graphics transition more seamless.

Paperboy2010
Feb 22, 2010, 03:23 PM
Sterling, sterling work Scotts, comprehensive list with links much appreciated!

Dell putting in a 256GB SSD on the Adamo for $999 is insane. I literally don't know how they're managing that kind of margin

Perhaps the offers changed, but I'm not seeing an option with a 256 SSD pricing out at 999....

dudulang
Feb 22, 2010, 03:54 PM
Comparing to vaio Z, the new MBA will also lure me if it has two USB 3.0 ports. Only one USB port is really not enough.

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 12:06 AM
Perhaps the offers changed, but I'm not seeing an option with a 256 SSD pricing out at 999....

What he said. The $999 has a 128SSD. Where can I get a 256SSD for $999?

The Sony Z would be perfect if it were thinner. 1.3" is simply unacceptable for an ultraportable. It's more than 1/3 thicker than the thickest MBP. How is it an MBA competitor?

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 12:31 AM
The Sony Z is talked to be an amazing laptop. It's pretty much the MBA portability with MBP performance.

it's the ultraportable I WILL SELECT IF APPLE DOESN'T UPGRADE THE MBA BEFORE MY 2 GB OF RAM BECOMES UNUSABLE AS A PRIMARY COMPUTER!
It's very tempting (certainly for me) to pull the trigger especially on that behemoth that Sony have unleashed in the Vaio Z.
The Sony VAIO Z Series looks amazing (spec- and design-wise..) I can see me buying one ;)

Are you guys all serious? The biggest advantage/achievement of the MBA is its thin design and you are all ready to give it up for something as thick as a ten year old iBook G3? This is thicker than any computer Apple has made in a long long time.

I don't understand how it's "MBA portability". IMO, thickness is just as important as weight when it comes to portability. If thinness wasn't important to you, why did you even buy a MBA in the first place?

ghileman
Feb 23, 2010, 12:46 AM
It's very tempting (certainly for me) to pull the trigger especially on that behemoth that Sony have unleashed in the Vaio Z. For me however, the equation is simple:

If you can do without an update at this stage, wait it out to see Apple's hand.

We can speculate but we simply don't know what Apple have up their sleeves. There has been recent talk that Apple's delay may be secondary to making the integrated graphics-to-discrete graphics transition more seamless.

Agreed.

but i'm heading straight to check out this beautiful Z if Air rev D is a flop, which for me will be avoided if Apple delivers the following (in rank order):

1. 5+ hours of battery
2. reduce heat and fan noise even further than my Rev B
3. have a substantially better screen and better screen hinge!
4. 4 GB of ram
5. get the weight down to 2-2.5 lbs by using carbon or new aluminum design
6. USB 3.0 (although in all fairness the Z doesn't have 3.0 either) -- is this the reason for the delay? Apple has been known to get new specs, like wifi N, out pretty early
7. Toslink audio so 5.1 surround can be output (I won't even bother asking for HDMI since Jobs won't go there)
8. move the power to the same side as the other ports for better form factor connection to Apple's cinema display

the x-factor in all this is Win 7, which will need to be as good as people say it is.

bloodycape
Feb 23, 2010, 01:08 AM
What he said. The $999 has a 128SSD. Where can I get a 256SSD for $999?

The Sony Z would be perfect if it were thinner. 1.3" is simply unacceptable for an ultraportable. It's more than 1/3 thicker than the thickest MBP. How is it an MBA competitor?
Actually it 1.3 at the thicket point(which is mostly at the end) while at the thinnest point is 1in thick.

Maybe I am not seeing it, but how is the MBA being thin really make it more portable or advantageous? I can see if the device was fairly thick like lets say 2.6in thick, but I'm not seeing it?

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 02:18 AM
Actually it 1.3 at the thicket point(which is mostly at the end) while at the thinnest point is 1in thick.

Maybe I am not seeing it, but how is the MBA being thin really make it more portable or advantageous? I can see if the device was fairly thick like lets say 2.6in thick, but I'm not seeing it?

If we're going by thinnest point, the MBA is 0.16 with .76 at the end. An average of .46, more than twice as thin as the VAIO Z (1.15 average).

If you're taking out your laptop several times a day, it's definitely easier when it's that thin. It disappears on the table when you have it laying around. It feels more much comfortable on your lap or in bed. It fits better in small messenger bags. You are more likely to use it for quick tasks.

At its thickest point, the VAIO Z is more than 1/3 thicker than the thickest MBP. I carry my MBA in a thin messenger bag around my body and it doesn't look like I have a laptop with me. The bulk of the VAIO Z would make me look silly.

If there weren't an advantage to thinness, companies like Dell wouldn't put so much painstaking effort on computers like the Adamo XPS. When the MBA was introduced, Apple used its height as its main selling point and it's not just for aesthetic purposes.

If you've been using the MacBook Air for awhile and have gotten used to it, please go to the store when the VAIO Z is released and hold it in your hands, put it in your lap. If you still don't see the advantage of having a thin laptop, then buy it.

Occasionally, I use my wife's MB and it doesn't make me want to open it. It's just not as enjoyable. While it is heavier, it's really the size that makes it feel clunky.

ghileman
Feb 23, 2010, 02:28 AM
It feels more much comfortable on your lap

if you're wearing a heat resistant A/C pair of undergarments this might be true, but my Rev B air gets way too hot for much time on the cojones.

otherwise i agree completely with you about the thinness being a big advantage over the Z, and certainly one of the Air's biggest selling points. but Apple has to figure out a way to cool their thin, light "toaster computer" down.

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 02:44 AM
if you're wearing a heat resistant A/C pair of undergarments this might be true, but my Rev B air gets way too hot for much time on top of the cojones.

otherwise i agree completely with you about the thinness being a big advantage over the Z, and certainly one of the Air's biggest selling points. but Apple has to figure out a way to cool the thin toaster down.

1. Install CoolBook. Best $10 I ever spent.
2. Replace thermal paste.
3. Enjoy cool and quiet MBA with even longer battery life.

EDIT: If the VAIO X had a better CPU/GPU, now THAT would be a MBA killer.

Jayomat
Feb 23, 2010, 05:03 AM
Are you guys all serious? The biggest advantage/achievement of the MBA is its thin design and you are all ready to give it up for something as thick as a ten year old iBook G3? This is thicker than any computer Apple has made in a long long time.

I don't understand how it's "MBA portability". IMO, thickness is just as important as weight when it comes to portability. If thinness wasn't important to you, why did you even buy a MBA in the first place?

1. I don't own a MBA as it does not meet MY requirements.
2. I'm going to replace my macbook 2,1. I want portability and power..... I usually keep working on my machines as long as it does not limit my productivity.. If I buy a Z, I think it'll serve me quite some time... +3 years definitely...
3. I'm a "one-for-all" person ;) which means I just want to have one computer for all my computing needs.

that being said, the MBA is just not powerful enough for me.

The integrated graphics are not powerful enough if you (even if occasionally) want to play some actual games on a windows partition (I'm waiting for Starcraft2 and Halflife3.. I'm not a progamer, so all I want is decent graphics and constant fps.. I dont need 4443x2020 res, AAx100 etc.....)

the battery life of the MBA seems to be about 3-4 hrs (from what I've read on MR forums....5 hrs at best without video playback, I guess) which is, in my opinion, just too less. According to this review by engadget, the battery of the Z lasts 4:25 hrs while playing a video ( http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/sony-vaio-z-series-vpcz114gx-s-review/ )

As I already pointed out, I want one machine to do it all.. This is why 128GB is not enough for me. I know external HDs are cheap, but I like to have all my documents with me (I have plenty of iTunesU vids which are between 500-1000mb/vid).. and don't forget the win partition (50-100GB)...

2GB RAM? a joke at best...

I'd gladly sacrifice the thinness factor for all what the Z offers... my only concerns are the track-touchpad and OSX ... I love both :-/

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 05:24 AM
1. I don't own a MBA as it does not meet MY requirements.

That's fine but if the thread is about MBA competitors and potential replacements, the Vaio Z, to me, aims at a different demographic.

Although it comes close to the weight of the MBA, it is more of a MBP competitor with its overpowered GPU and optical drive.

The MBA market is more about producing the thinnest and most portable laptops still capable of functioning as a primary computer. The aim was never editing HD movies or playing Crysis on high settings. It was about minimalism, stripping away everything you don't need (optical drive, keeping ports at a minimum) while still retaining as much functionality as possible.

Jayomat
Feb 23, 2010, 07:49 AM
That's fine but if the thread is about MBA competitors and potential replacements, the Vaio Z, to me, aims at a different demographic.

Although it comes close to the weight of the MBA, it is more of a MBP competitor with its overpowered GPU and optical drive.

The MBA market is more about producing the thinnest and most portable laptops still capable of functioning as a primary computer. The aim was never editing HD movies or playing Crysis on high settings. It was about minimalism, stripping away everything you don't need (optical drive, keeping ports at a minimum) while still retaining as much functionality as possible.

OK. by that definition, the only competitor to the MBA is the Dell Adamo XPS. (http://www.adamobydell.com/xps/)

nevertheless, just because the MBA is an ultraportable which 'needs' to sacrifice power it doesn't mean that the Z, which does not sacrifice power, is not comparable to the MBA. To me, the biggest factor for a portable notebook os the weight. in the end, it's nice to have a thin laptop, but IMAGE (really, just try it to get my point ;) ) the MBA would weight >2kg while being so thin, would you still consider it?

codecadet
Feb 23, 2010, 08:02 AM
Cross-posted from the MBP forum...

Guys, check out the following from Sony HK - you get the TOP specced version for $2.5k!

http://www.sonystyle.com.hk/ss/product/vaio/index_2.jsp

VPCZ117GG (top left selection) -- 20,000 HK Dollars, which translates to about US$2,580

Specs (http://www.sonystyle.com.hk/ss/produ.../z117/spec.jsp)
i7-620
Windows 7 Pro
8GB RAM
256GB (4 * 64GB) SSD
DVD Drive
Geforce GT330M
13.1 HIGH DEFINITION 1920x1080 screen
3x USB 2.0 slots
Backlight keyboard
etc etc

All of this, for $2.6k USD... *GULP* :eek:

I've tried this in the Ginza store and it's light! Thickness or not, I consider this as a ultraportable in every right.

ghileman
Feb 23, 2010, 10:51 AM
my only concerns are the track-touchpad and OSX ... I love both :-/

agreed. giving up those would be tough to swallow.

ghileman
Feb 23, 2010, 10:54 AM
1. Install CoolBook. Best $10 I ever spent.
2. Replace thermal paste.
3. Enjoy cool and quiet MBA with even longer battery life.

I've read that people with Rev B Air's like me don't need CoolBook and that you lose performance. but click2flash for safari, which i just installed, is making a huge difference on reducing heat.

there are so many sites, including macrumors.com, that have flash ads or other flash stuff on the page that my air's was getting outrageously hot all the time. now i've got her in my lap, vents blocked, and no problems whatsoever. awesome!

drjsway
Feb 23, 2010, 11:28 PM
I've read that people with Rev B Air's like me don't need CoolBook and that you lose performance. but click2flash for safari, which i just installed, is making a huge difference on reducing heat.

I install CoolBook on all my laptops, including my Rev B and MBP. You don't lose any performance at all. You get the same amount of power at a lower voltage. The reason to do it on all your laptops is to gain battery life.

The reason this is possible is because the default voltage is set for the poorest performing CPUs. Let's say Intel makes a large batch of the same CPU. Let's say 5% of them can only run at 1.15v. As a result, they are all set at 1.15v even though most of that batch can run at full power on a lower voltage.


nevertheless, just because the MBA is an ultraportable which 'needs' to sacrifice power it doesn't mean that the Z, which does not sacrifice power, is not comparable to the MBA. To me, the biggest factor for a portable notebook os the weight. in the end, it's nice to have a thin laptop, but IMAGE (really, just try it to get my point ;) ) the MBA would weight >2kg while being so thin, would you still consider it?

No, I wouldn't, but the design of the MBA is now over two years old and the definition of an ultraportable changes all the time. I remember when under 6 pounds was considered "ultraportable". Then it became 5, then 4, then 3, and, soon, 2.

The Vaio X is Sony's MBA competitor (1.6 pounds/.55" thin), but is unusable currently because of the Atom CPU. I'm sure within 1-2 years, they'll fit something better than an Atom in it. When that happens, Apple should have a 2 pounder MBA ready.

The Vaio Z is a MBP competitor, which means Apple's goal should be getting the next-gen 13" MBP as close to 3 pounds as they can to stay competitive. That doesn't mean they are all ultraportables now. That just means the definition of ultraportable has changed once again, to 2 pounds.

Scottsdale
Feb 24, 2010, 12:05 AM
I install CoolBook on all my laptops, including my Rev B and MBP. You don't lose any performance at all. You get the same amount of power at a lower voltage. The reason to do it on all your laptops is to gain battery life.

The reason this is possible is because the default voltage is set for the poorest performing CPUs. Let's say Intel makes a large batch of the same CPU. Let's say 5% of them can only run at 1.15v. As a result, they are all set at 1.15v even though most of that batch can run at full power on a lower voltage.

No, I wouldn't, but the design of the MBA is now over two years old and the definition of an ultraportable changes all the time. I remember when under 6 pounds was considered "ultraportable". Then it became 5, then 4, then 3, and, soon, 2.

The Vaio X is Sony's MBA competitor (1.6 pounds/.55" thin), but is unusable currently because of the Atom CPU. I'm sure within 1-2 years, they'll fit something better than an Atom in it. When that happens, Apple should have a 2 pounder MBA ready.

The Vaio Z is a MBP competitor, which means Apple's goal should be getting the next-gen 13" MBP as close to 3 pounds as they can to stay competitive. That doesn't mean they are all ultraportables now. That just means the definition of ultraportable has changed once again, to 2 pounds.

I agree that the Z will be what the MBP tries to be in a few years. I believe the MBP will eventually look a lot like the current MBA. Sure it will have some extremely different features, but the MBA is the original vision of where all Mac notebooks are going.

I do believe the MBA will get smaller and lighter in a few revisions. I don't know if Apple is ready to eliminate the current MBA's form factor until the MBP is ready to replace it. As an MBA user, I can say that I don't care about it getting thinner, and I wouldn't give up a full-sized display nor keyboard. In addition, the iPad is the "netbook" alternative. The MBA needs to focus on providing MacBook like performance in an "Air" package/form factor.

I would accept a new MBA the same size or cut the extra space that takes up bezel and around keyboard but leave a 13.3" display, full keyboard, and make it just as capable. Reduce weight if possible. I care far more about weight than I do going thinner or lasting seven hours between charges. I will gladly take a current sized MBA at 2.5 lb. with four-hour-battery over a 3 lb. MBA with a seven hour battery.

Apple is too worried about the iPad to worry about making the MBA thinner, smaller, and much lighter weight to compete as an super-ultraportable. Right now ultraportable is enough for the MBA to take on.

ghileman
Feb 24, 2010, 12:18 AM
I will gladly take a current sized MBA at 2.5 lb. with four-hour-battery over a 3 lb. MBA with a seven hour battery

i understand why might feel this way, but i suspect you'd be in the minority on trading 1/2 a pound for 3 more hours of battery (and really more like 4 since a lot Air users on get maybe 3 hours right now) .

ghileman
Feb 24, 2010, 12:21 AM
I install CoolBook on all my laptops, including my Rev B and MBP. You don't lose any performance at all. You get the same amount of power at a lower voltage. The reason to do it on all your laptops is to gain battery life.

The reason this is possible is because the default voltage is set for the poorest performing CPUs. Let's say Intel makes a large batch of the same CPU. Let's say 5% of them can only run at 1.15v. As a result, they are all set at 1.15v even though most of that batch can run at full power on a lower voltage.

that makes a lot of sense, but I've read many posts on these forums from folks that disagree with you. has coolbook improved a lot recently, or has anyone conducted a definitive test? I think I remember reading posts from Scottsdale, who's posting in this thread, encouraging Rev B and Rev C MBA owners to stay away from CoolBook

drjsway
Feb 24, 2010, 02:31 AM
that makes a lot of sense, but I've read many posts on these forums from folks that disagree with you. has coolbook improved a lot recently, or has anyone conducted a definitive test? I think I remember reading posts from Scottsdale, who's posting in this thread, encouraging Rev B and Rev C MBA owners to stay away from CoolBook

I don't recall those posts. I see no reason why CoolBook would reduce performance. You can even lock the frequency at 1.86ghz if you want.

Scottsdale, is that true?

drjsway
Feb 24, 2010, 02:48 AM
As an MBA user, I can say that I don't care about it getting thinner, and I wouldn't give up a full-sized display nor keyboard.

Me neither. While the MBA doesn't need to get much thinner, could you be happy with a computer much thicker than a MBP? If you lay two MBAs on top of each other, at opposite ends, it would still be thinner than a Vaio Z.


In addition, the iPad is the "netbook" alternative. The MBA needs to focus on providing MacBook like performance in an "Air" package/form factor.

I would never want the MBA to devolve into a netbook, as I think the Atom is garbage, but I also don't think it needs to be much more powerful than it already is. Maybe more RAM but that's it.

I will gladly take a current sized MBA at 2.5 lb. with four-hour-battery over a 3 lb. MBA with a seven hour battery.

Is the MBA currently using Apple's new "flattened" battery technology (don't know if there is an official name for it)? I remember original MBA came out before that was introduced and I remember Apple making a big fuss over it but the subsequent revision of the MBA never saw a battery life bump.

Scottsdale
Mar 17, 2010, 02:13 PM
There is a full review on the V13, for those that are interested in the "Poor Man's Adamo" by Engadget. At $449 you get an aluminum outer case, Pentium processor, Ubuntu, 2GB RAM, Express Card 34, SD, 2x USB, eSata, and HDMI (w/VGA). Add $100 more for a CD and Windows, or $200 more for C2D and Windows and some extra RAM. Not a bad deal. It's no MBA, but it's a nice cheap ultraportable with features not even available on the MacBook PRO 15" like EXPRESS CARD/34 and ESATA! The business ultraportable user really wins with a Dell... and on Windows 7, this thing will do HD better than the MBA does in OS X.

For anyone interested, here's a link.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/17/dell-vostro-v13-review/

glitch44
Mar 17, 2010, 05:00 PM
There is a full review on the V13, for those that are interested in the "Poor Man's Adamo" by Engadget.

Interesting, although this comment from Engadget makes me worry a little:

Jetblac Posted Mar 17th 2010 3:15PMNEUTRAL
I had one of these for 3 days. I think I had one from the very first shippment because I could not find a review online anywhere. The battery was a deal breaker. plus my unit had a weird buldge underneath the trackpad. it was barley noticeably, untill my finger would cross it every minute or 2, also a deal breaker. I also think the reviewer gave the viewing angles too much credit, the viewing angles suck big time. If I was laying in bed checking a movie, my wife couldn't watch it with me, unlike her dell inspiron m700. 3 Strikes and you are out. But I tried to keep it anyway until I noticed how weak the performance was, response time was slow in the web browser, explorer and google chrome. Oh here is the other thing, Sure it was Thin and Light, but it was not sexy when I was just sitting in front of it... And then it went back into the box.
This machine was maxed out by the way.
I rate it a 6

Jayomat
Mar 17, 2010, 05:15 PM
2 1/2 h battery life.. lol..

sushi
Mar 17, 2010, 05:20 PM
Dell putting in a 256GB SSD on the Adamo for $999 is insane. I literally don't know how they're managing that kind of margin
The $999 price is for the 128GB SSD model.

On a different note, I would never purchase a Sony laptop again.

Sure they look nice but they are not made to last.

Scottsdale
Mar 17, 2010, 05:25 PM
Interesting, although this comment from Engadget makes me worry a little:

It is amazing how different people have different expectations and different results. Engadget was pretty reassuring that this was an exceptional ultraportable. Making several great statements but admitting the battery life was less than other ultraportables are getting.

Bottom line is it's a $450 to $650 laptop that is made of aluminum, and has a lot of ports and capabilities while still coming in at under 3.3 lb and less than 1/2" thick. As MBA owners, I am sure our expectations would be greater than others in terms of usability. Clearly this isn't a laptop for entertainment purposes, as someone would buy a Sony or MBA for ultraportable that had exceptional display and graphics capabilities.

This is an ultraportable meant for the business user on the go. Would work perfect for a business person or frequent traveler who needs to work. Want to watch movies, get an iPad. Need to work on some Word docs, check email, create a spreadsheet or make a PowerPoint presentation, the V13 would be perfect. Furthermore, it has far superior port selection to the MBPs. One thing PC manufacturers give is great ports and they all compete. Apple knows people will buy its products if they look pretty, but in the real world people work for a living. ExpressCard/34 is a huge advantage... add with that eSata, 2X USB, SD Card reader, and HDMI, and the thing is ready for business.

Maybe I am out of line here, this being an MBA thread, but I really think this is one heck of a little laptop that is business ready and will do the job for the average small business owner/entrepreneur or frequent traveler doing work on the run. No, it's not an MBA, and it's not really pretty, but it sure seems very business like and is more professional in terms of ports and connectivity than Apple's own MacBook PROs.

Or look at it this way, with the iPad one gets to pay for every bit of content and cannot use technologies like Flash whether it be for a web app, video playback, or just simple navigation of a text-based website. With the MBA, one pays a substantial premium for thin and lightweight with speedy SSD and beautiful display with shiny aluminum case. The MBA can do the business workload but still does entertainment stuff really well. The V13 can do Flash and provide "free" ad supported content for people who don't mind not watching HD or who refuse to pay $2 to watch Lost when they can watch it on Hulu.com for free with 2.5 minutes of commercials. So it's not good for multiple viewers to watch an HD movie in bed, it's a work computer thus the Vostro branding. We all get what we pay for unless it's from Apple... then we only get what we pay for if it was very recently released.

Scottsdale
Mar 17, 2010, 05:28 PM
The $999 price is for the 128GB SSD model.

On a different note, I would never purchase a Sony laptop again.

Sure they look nice but they are not made to last.

That has changed. The first two weeks they were including a 256 GB SSD when entering it into the cart. People were working it out as paying $500 for the Adamo and $500 for the 256 GB SSD. Now, Dell has changed it so the drive included is the same drive as the advertisement states.

sushi
Mar 17, 2010, 06:17 PM
That has changed. The first two weeks they were including a 256 GB SSD when entering it into the cart. People were working it out as paying $500 for the Adamo and $500 for the 256 GB SSD. Now, Dell has changed it so the drive included is the same drive as the advertisement states.
Interesting.

A 256GB SSD as a loss leader. :)

glitch44
Mar 17, 2010, 07:59 PM
It is amazing how different people have different expectations and different results. Engadget was pretty reassuring that this was an exceptional ultraportable. Making several great statements but admitting the battery life was less than other ultraportables are getting.

Bottom line is it's a $450 to $650 laptop that is made of aluminum, and has a lot of ports and capabilities while still coming in at under 3.3 lb and less than 1/2" thick. As MBA owners, I am sure our expectations would be greater than others in terms of usability. Clearly this isn't a laptop for entertainment purposes, as someone would buy a Sony or MBA for ultraportable that had exceptional display and graphics capabilities.

This is an ultraportable meant for the business user on the go. Would work perfect for a business person or frequent traveler who needs to work. Want to watch movies, get an iPad. Need to work on some Word docs, check email, create a spreadsheet or make a PowerPoint presentation, the V13 would be perfect. Furthermore, it has far superior port selection to the MBPs. One thing PC manufacturers give is great ports and they all compete. Apple knows people will buy its products if they look pretty, but in the real world people work for a living. ExpressCard/34 is a huge advantage... add with that eSata, 2X USB, SD Card reader, and HDMI, and the thing is ready for business.

Maybe I am out of line here, this being an MBA thread, but I really think this is one heck of a little laptop that is business ready and will do the job for the average small business owner/entrepreneur or frequent traveler doing work on the run. No, it's not an MBA, and it's not really pretty, but it sure seems very business like and is more professional in terms of ports and connectivity than Apple's own MacBook PROs.

Or look at it this way, with the iPad one gets to pay for every bit of content and cannot use technologies like Flash whether it be for a web app, video playback, or just simple navigation of a text-based website. With the MBA, one pays a substantial premium for thin and lightweight with speedy SSD and beautiful display with shiny aluminum case. The MBA can do the business workload but still does entertainment stuff really well. The V13 can do Flash and provide "free" ad supported content for people who don't mind not watching HD or who refuse to pay $2 to watch Lost when they can watch it on Hulu.com for free with 2.5 minutes of commercials. So it's not good for multiple viewers to watch an HD movie in bed, it's a work computer thus the Vostro branding. We all get what we pay for unless it's from Apple... then we only get what we pay for if it was very recently released.

I wasn't slamming it, Scottsdale. No need for the essay defense. I was just a little concerned about build quality from the most I showed. I might consider it except for the fact I can't go back to Windows.

Scottsdale
Mar 17, 2010, 09:44 PM
I wasn't slamming it, Scottsdale. No need for the essay defense. I was just a little concerned about build quality from the most I showed. I might consider it except for the fact I can't go back to Windows.

I was trying to say that the reviewer that posted what you quoted obviously was expecting Sony or Mac like performance from a $450 Dell ultraportable. Perhaps just that would have done the job. We all have different expectations... when I spend $450 for a Dell ultraportable, it isn't going to be to play HD video in bed and share the display with others. It's going to be for business use or light use on the go, as it's a perfect ultraportable and inexpensive traveling ultraportable. I believe it's a hell of a little ultraportable for the price. End of story.

Scottsdale
Mar 17, 2010, 09:45 PM
Interesting.

A 256GB SSD as a loss leader. :)

Perhaps it was a mistake, but they did it for two whole weeks.

entatlrg
Apr 5, 2010, 01:43 AM
If a person doesn't want to wait for a new MBA and isn't interested in a Sony product, what's the next best under 3lb, 13" screennote book out there?

Scottsdale
Apr 5, 2010, 01:23 PM
If a person doesn't want to wait for a new MBA and isn't interested in a Sony product, what's the next best under 3lb, 13" screennote book out there?

The Adamo has a 2.13 GHz CPU now. Or the lower CPU is $999 with a 128 GB SSD (include 256 GB SSDs on occasion for the same price). There's also the Dell V13 which starts at $449 and is the same size and shape case as the Adamo but is made with aluminum and is available with Ubuntu or Windows 7.

Asus has a ton of options including several lightweight thin ultraportables. Even some with Optimus featuring great graphics, and it's on Windows so it's going to run 3D and HD so much better spec for spec versus OS X.

Finally, my favorite advanced netbook or super ultraportable is the LG X300. It has an 11.6" display, is about half as thick as the MBA, and really solid computer. It's not a workhorse but again it's running Windows 7 so 3D and HD is a much easier workload. Runs around $1400, and is worth every penny just for the cool factor if nothing else. I would absolutely use this notebook if I had to have Windows 7 and I had to have extremely thin and lightweight. If I just needed lightweight, I would buy a Vaio Z (which I know you're not interested in). Asus is your second best bet to get functionality and performance of the MBA. Adamo is your second best bet to get cool and capable computing.

As sick as it is, no ultraportable on the market competes as well as the MBA (at 1.4 years of age (October 2008) and every feature of the MBA. There are thinner ultraportables, more powerful ultraportables, ultraportables with better batteries, displays, RAM, and options... but none of them compare overall while considering every spec EXCEPT THE RAM. If one needs RAM the MBA is the last option.

Good luck.

entatlrg
Apr 5, 2010, 03:52 PM
We may be in good shape ! Was just reading the lastest rumor about new MBA and new MBP's later this month.

I'll wait for sure, I'd prefer to stay with Mac's all the way.

An new amazing MBA would excite me as much as the iPad.

Huubster
Apr 5, 2010, 04:24 PM
As sick as it is, no ultraportable on the market competes as well as the MBA (at 1.4 years of age (October 2008) and every feature of the MBA. There are thinner ultraportables, more powerful ultraportables, ultraportables with better batteries, displays, RAM, and options... but none of them compare overall while considering every spec EXCEPT THE RAM. If one needs RAM the MBA is the last option..

I disagree. In my world a relatively expensive purchase is never made on based on "likes". It is a sum of many factors.
The sum of factors you mention is better in many alternatives at the moment. Despite the high score the MBA gets on uniqueness and cuteness.
Common, you've got to admit (and I've seen you admitting) that the MBA and MBP are hopelessly outdated.

Having said that, I still have set my deadline for jumping MacBook ship in June...unless... Anyway, I loved the MBA but it is time for a more contemporary change, unless...

gwsat
Apr 5, 2010, 06:11 PM
There are thinner ultraportables, more powerful ultraportables, ultraportables with better batteries, displays, RAM, and options... but none of them compare overall while considering every spec EXCEPT THE RAM. If one needs RAM the MBA is the last option.
As you have seen me say before, I agree. I would have an MBA right now but for its distressing 2Gb of RAM limitation. C'mon, Apple, help us out here! :)

Scottsdale
Apr 5, 2010, 07:33 PM
I disagree. In my world a relatively expensive purchase is never made on based on "likes". It is a sum of many factors.
The sum of factors you mention is better in many alternatives at the moment. Despite the high score the MBA gets on uniqueness and cuteness.
Common, you've got to admit (and I've seen you admitting) that the MBA and MBP are hopelessly outdated.

Having said that, I still have set my deadline for jumping MacBook ship in June...unless... Anyway, I loved the MBA but it is time for a more contemporary change, unless...

I agree that we both make great points and I have taken your side many times in this argument. For the value of the MBA vs. the value ten months and three days ago, the MBA is a bad value proposition.

At the same time there is no competitor that matches the MBA on all points as an all around ultraportable.

CPU - Most don't have 2.13 GHz C2D... if they do, they're much thicker.
Thinness - Most aren't thinner than the MBA... if they are, they're much weaker in terms of performance of the CPU.
GPU - The MBA has the best GPU/chipset for the thinness of the MBA.
SATA-II SSD - Most that are as thin as the MBA don't have the SSD drive option of the MBA.
RAM - The MBA is outdated here badly... however, most ultraportables that size only have 2 GB of RAM.

The opposition... the problem with the MBA is it doesn't compete well against recent specs on one-per-one basis. Meaning, when the MBA was introduced in October 2008, it was amazing. It was the thinnest, had the best CPU, had great DDR3 RAM, had SATA-II SSD drive with full 128 GB drive space, had best LED backlit display, had backlit keyboard, had mini display port driving up to 30" ACD, had Nvidia GPU capable of great things, and was the thinnest and most amazing Mac ever.

It still has a lot of potential... the problem is the price vs. the price ten months and three days ago. If Apple lowered the price to say $999, it would be a great deal. At $1799, not so much. Therefore, Apple needs to update the specs badly. I don't think the CPU is the problem, the RAM and a dedicated card would be nice. Most people want more drive space, glass trackpad, and one more thing... I think the next evolution of the Mac notebook will be either HD IPS displays, 3D, or OLED. I think it could be this but probably next update around January.

The problem now is buying before an update. The Sony Vaio Z is a better solution for power and performance at 3 lb. There are other ultraportables that beat the MBA on one or two points but not all points.

gwsat
Apr 5, 2010, 07:53 PM
The problem now is buying before an update. The Sony Vaio Z is a better solution for power and performance at 3 lb. There are other ultraportables that beat the MBA on one or two points but not all points.
The SonyVaio Z Signature Series does seem to be a powerful machine. Unfortunately, though, the Signature Series is still out of stock, with no estimated ship date even listed by Sony Style (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666073686). I last checked this site in the middle of March. Then they were saying that it would ship by 31 March but I guess it didn't. It's a good thing I didn't want one anyway because it can't run OS X without being hacked.

Bobjob186
Apr 5, 2010, 11:56 PM
the adamo did have a 256gb ssd when they first had the price drop. I made a post about it a month or so ago and we were all arguing about if it was a good deal or not. I'm still regretting not picking it up, 256GB samsung SSD! what an idiot I was to let that one go for $1k.

buddy1065
Apr 6, 2010, 08:09 AM
I purchased the Signature series Metal Mosaic Sony Z from my local Sonystyle store about 15 days ago. Windows 7 has been interesting; a love/hate experience; I have restored the laptop about 4 times now due to various issues till being reasonably satisfied, while I can't remember the last time I reinstalled the Mac OS on my 15" Macbook Pro except for upgrading to Snow Leopard. Naturally I take more care handling the Z over the MBP, but I must admit it seems so light in comparison that I remember wanting to check if it was still in the 13" Incase I bought from the Apple Store. I get up to 20 fps more playing my favorite game than on my 8600M GPU MBP. Takes about 35 seconds to boot up; not too shabby. Cost $2349, well worth the power to weight ratio IMO. So I am honestly pretty satisfied with my purchase and to this date do not see any product that would make me regret the Z. Certainly thin enough for me, and it's good to know I have a MBP at home if I ever need to fall back on things that may be difficult for the Z, as well as be able to do things in Windows that OSX may fall short on; best of both worlds. That said I am in the process of downgrading to Windows XP in order to get some software working that seems to have glitches in Windows 7, so here we go again...

Scottsdale
Apr 6, 2010, 10:21 AM
The SonyVaio Z Signature Series does seem to be a powerful machine. Unfortunately, though, the Signature Series is still out of stock, with no estimated ship date even listed by Sony Style (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666073686). I last checked this site in the middle of March. Then they were saying that it would ship by 31 March but I guess it didn't. It's a good thing I didn't want one anyway because it can't run OS X without being hacked.

The signature series has a different case option with a Signature Series logo on it... every other part of the Signature Z is the exact same as selecting BTO options through the Vaio Z standard computer. In fact, one can get the same performance and specs at a lower cost than the Signature series Z. The Vaio Z is one hell of a computer. It's DEFINITELY more powerful and capable than the next MBP, guaranteed.

One has to want Windows 7 if they want a Z, that's not really a downside anymore in terms of the OS itself. In addition, there are 10X the application options in the Windows platform. There are a lot of pros and advantages for Windows 7 and the Vaio Z, but in the end with a Mac we can run OS X and Windows 7. I wouldn't want to do without Windows anymore. On my MBA, if I want to do serious stuff like HD Video, or Flash videos on Hulu, I boot into Windows 7 and drop 70% CPU usage. Windows is the way to go for entertainment on the MBA. It's sad but true. So while the Z is great, it's obviously missing the capability to run OS X. I want an MBA that can run OS X for writing and my standard usage and Windows 7 for entertainment, and enough RAM to run Windows virtually when just using a business app, like Office.

gwsat
Apr 6, 2010, 11:45 AM
I purchased the Signature series Metal Mosaic Sony Z from my local Sonystyle store about 15 days ago.
Somebody posted last month that they had bought an i7 Signature Series Vaio, too, but that poster got his from a Sony Store in Australia. Where is the Sony Store that sold you yours?

gwsat
Apr 6, 2010, 11:50 AM
I wouldn't want to do without Windows anymore. On my MBA, if I want to do serious stuff like HD Video, or Flash videos on Hulu, I boot into Windows 7 and drop 70% CPU usage. Windows is the way to go for entertainment on the MBA. It's sad but true. So while the Z is great, it's obviously missing the capability to run OS X. I want an MBA that can run OS X for writing and my standard usage and Windows 7 for entertainment, and enough RAM to run Windows virtually when just using a business app, like Office.
I agree that the unique ability of Intel Macs to run both OS X and Windows is a wonderful feature. Ever since upping my MBP's RAM to 6Gb, I have been able to run Fusion in Unity mode and keep the Windows apps that I use frequently open on the OS X desktop, just as I do OS X apps. I have never been happier with a computer. That's why I hope that Apple will up the RAM for the MBA enough to allow me to do with one of them what I am now doing with my MBP.