Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 29, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
mkrndll
macrumors member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Thumbs up Up-to-date alternatives to 11in MacBook Air?

So I like everything about the 11in MacBook Air and I will most probably renew mine with the upcoming June 10 update.

However, just for the sake of being thorough and not buying only based on past experience, what would be some alternatives at the moment? I am most interested in small form-factor and most importantly smallest possible weight and longest battery-life.
mkrndll is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 01:03 PM   #2
Mrbobb
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
All you have to do is to Google "ultrabook" for the latest offerings.

But the fundamental hasn't changed. All Wintel competitors are only interested to do "just enough" and cheaper than the Macbook to entice you to purchase theirs.

Ultrabooks are for people who are on a budget constraint, or already heavily invested in Windows.
__________________
Solution: FREE, Explanation: Is gonna cost ya.
Mrbobb is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 05:02 PM   #3
mkrndll
Thread Starter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: May 2011
lol, yeah, I'm well aware of that and I tried it too, along with checking CNET's ultraportable reviews and other forums. I'm looking for real people's opinions here
mkrndll is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 05:12 PM   #4
Mrbobb
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrndll View Post
I'm looking for real people's opinions here

U maybe disappointed.

1. Traffic kinda slow here.
2. Few posts about anything other than the Air.
3. The few posts about other than Air invariably generates arguments toward OSX vs Windows.
4. Is a rarity for a Mac user to look over the fence unless there are specific reasons to do so, say gaming, and you gave none other than curiosity.

But OK, lets see if ur forage into MR Air is fruitful.
__________________
Solution: FREE, Explanation: Is gonna cost ya.
Mrbobb is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 05:35 PM   #5
dkersten
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Have you considered a Windows tablet with a keyboard attachment? I think you are more likely to find a tablet with an 11 in display versus an ultrabook. I could be wrong though as I am not in the market for either a tablet or ultrabook at the moment.
dkersten is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 06:58 PM   #6
Grove86
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2013
If you want tablet/laptop hybrid. look into Samsung ATIV 500T. Apparently has a good battery life and a form factor. Also has a WACOM digitizer tech built in, which is pretty neat if you want need to annotate on powerpoint/PDF.

Asus zenbook seems to be the windows version of macbook air. I used my friends for a bit and it is very well built, has this very solid feeling to it.

That said, I don't recommend buying these right now. You'll probably want to wait for a device with the new Haswell cpu if battery life is one of your concerns.
Grove86 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 29, 2013, 07:42 PM   #7
B...
macrumors 68000
 
B...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grove86 View Post
If you want tablet/laptop hybrid. look into Samsung ATIV 500T. Apparently has a good battery life and a form factor. Also has a WACOM digitizer tech built in, which is pretty neat if you want need to annotate on powerpoint/PDF.

Asus zenbook seems to be the windows version of macbook air. I used my friends for a bit and it is very well built, has this very solid feeling to it.

That said, I don't recommend buying these right now. You'll probably want to wait for a device with the new Haswell cpu if battery life is one of your concerns.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/te...anted=all&_r=0
B... is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2013, 04:47 PM   #8
mkrndll
Thread Starter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkersten View Post
Have you considered a Windows tablet with a keyboard attachment? I think you are more likely to find a tablet with an 11 in display versus an ultrabook. I could be wrong though as I am not in the market for either a tablet or ultrabook at the moment.
I own an iPad and a keyboard too, unfortunately iOS really is limited in terms of content production. A windows tablet why not I guess. The only real alternative I know about is the surface, and its price tag is very similar to that of the 11in MacBook Air, while far less of a machine. Do you have any example in mind?
mkrndll is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2013, 04:53 PM   #9
B...
macrumors 68000
 
B...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrndll View Post
I own an iPad and a keyboard too, unfortunately iOS really is limited in terms of content production. A windows tablet why not I guess. The only real alternative I know about is the surface, and its price tag is very similar to that of the 11in MacBook Air, while far less of a machine. Do you have any example in mind?
Surface Pro is a good option because battery life is similar and it has similar specs. Don't know why it's less of a machine.
B... is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 2013, 06:12 PM   #10
WilliamLondon
macrumors 68000
 
WilliamLondon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrndll View Post
So I like everything about the 11in MacBook Air and I will most probably renew mine with the upcoming June 10 update.

However, just for the sake of being thorough and not buying only based on past experience, what would be some alternatives at the moment? I am most interested in small form-factor and most importantly smallest possible weight and longest battery-life.
Personally, I think you'd be crazy to get anything but another MBA 11" (it's what I own currently), but I do have a friend that isn't an Apple person and I looked at all the Wintel options at the time and convinced him to buy one of the tiny Sony computers (VAIO T I think it was). That laptop was tiny and every time he brought it with him on holidays I was so envious (I'd pull out my work IBM ThinkPad) - his Sony was so small and so portable, very lightweight, but of good quality. He bought an extended battery (which actually elevated it in the back and made typing even nicer than it being flat) and that thing would run for hours and hours on a single charge. Recently, I looked at them again, they are nice, but wow depending on the model and options you choose, they can be expensive. Still, if you're going to go Wintel, from the experience of my friend, the Sony is a very nice system, and has lots and lots of options. He just replaced that old machine and went for a Toshiba, but I don't think it's nearly as nice as the Sony, and I don't think he likes it nearly as much as the Sony (he's actually talking about trying an MBP!). Good luck in your search!
WilliamLondon is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 08:11 AM   #11
kwijbo
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
I'm in the same boat as the OP, currently have a 2012 i7/8GB and love it. The MBA is just the most complete package out of all the ultraportables and its tough to find others that stack up. I'm looking forward to seeing what the new MBA brings at WWDC.

That said, the closest competitors to the 11" MBA (IMO) are:

Disclaimer: Ignoring OS differences, and placing higher value on DisplayPort for high resolution desktop monitor usage.

Surface Pro - very different, but has close to equivalent computing power. No 8GB RAM option, slightly smaller screen (but higher resolution). Does have some narrow usage scenario pros (tablet use, stylus).

Toshiba Kirabook - screen on par with rMBP 13" but bigger form factor, decent looks. No DisplayPort, new product so I'd be hesitant to try it out.

Asus UX21A Prime - Good aesthetics, no 8GB RAM option, no DisplayPort. 1080p. Has been around for a few iterations so should have some polish to it.

Dell XPS 13 - Seems to be best of the bunch. 13" screen in form factor slightly larger than 11" MBA, has equivalent processor options and 8GB RAM, DisplayPort, 1080p, good aesthetics.



To the OP: the XPS 13 has matured into what appears to be the most complete competitor to the MBA, and with Windows 8.1 + Haswell it will be very good. It still remains to be seen what 10.9 and the 2013 MBA will bring, but the OS-agnostic user searching for a new computer has 2 very good options to choose from.
kwijbo is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 10:07 AM   #12
Verix
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Thanks for the useful post gwijbo. If the next MBA doesn't get a screen spec bump, things will get very tempting to go ahead with the Dell. It looks great! I didn't realize it was this close to the 11'' MBA in size.
Verix is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 10:59 AM   #13
notjustjay
macrumors 603
 
notjustjay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canada, eh?
I've been keeping an eye on the "convertible tablet" ultrabook market, with products like Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 (and new Yoga 11S) as well as Dell XPS 12 (and of course, Surface Pro).

Very torn, I tell ya... I may just end up with a 13" MBA for the 'it just works' factor but I really like the idea of selling my iPad and having one machine to do it all.
__________________
.
notjustjay is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 01:09 PM   #14
Verix
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
**** it, I don't want to settle for that dell, though.
I really hope Apple will be smart enough to offer a (slightly) more HD screen option like they offer for the 15-inch, that way they compete directly with the increasing amount of full HD ultrabook offerings. It would be perfect!
Having high resolution things get downscaled to the air resolutions is a major pain.

Looking at the dell, they managed to get a great 13'' 1080p IPS display in a 13 inch compact chassis. Apple should definitely be able to up the ante. *fingers crossed*
Verix is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 02:47 PM   #15
notjustjay
macrumors 603
 
notjustjay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Canada, eh?
Hopefully we'll find out in less than 2 weeks!
__________________
.
notjustjay is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 31, 2013, 04:35 PM   #16
racer1441
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrndll View Post
So I like everything about the 11in MacBook Air and I will most probably renew mine with the upcoming June 10 update.

However, just for the sake of being thorough and not buying only based on past experience, what would be some alternatives at the moment? I am most interested in small form-factor and most importantly smallest possible weight and longest battery-life.
Ipad with keyboard cover. It's the only real alternative. Most of the 'high' end ultra books are expensive, flakey, stuck with windows 8, and knock offs of the Air!
racer1441 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2013, 02:58 AM   #17
d3vilsadvocate
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
I went from 2011 MBA 11 inch to a 13inch Zenbook and...

BOY DID I REGRET THAT

The build quality of this thing is sooo lousy, I can hardly believe it. I'm currently trying to sell it at a huge loss. To no avail so far...

Stick with MBAs for the love of god.
d3vilsadvocate is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2013, 09:44 AM   #18
kwijbo
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verix View Post
Thanks for the useful post gwijbo. If the next MBA doesn't get a screen spec bump, things will get very tempting to go ahead with the Dell. It looks great! I didn't realize it was this close to the 11'' MBA in size.
I too was surprised at how Dell was able to squeeze a 13" screen in such a small size. The bezel on it is just amazing, and its still a pretty thin machine. The taper at the front of the machine isn't as aggressive as the MBA but the back hinge is just about the same thickness.

Personally, I'd love to see the MBA lineup consolidated into one 13" model with the smallest footprint possible (like the Dell), with a retina screen and Haswell ULV options. Give both rMBPs a discrete GPU so there is a tangible "pro" threshold between the Air and Pro, and can the cMBP. Re-release the 17" as an "ultra" model with 4k resolution, a Core i7-4930MX, GTX 780M, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. Ok, enough of that tangent...back to reality.

As I just went to look up those specs on Dell's site, the XPS 13 page has removed the "Buy" link...seems like an update is coming soon! June 10th needs to hurry up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustjay View Post
I've been keeping an eye on the "convertible tablet" ultrabook market, with products like Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 (and new Yoga 11S) as well as Dell XPS 12 (and of course, Surface Pro).

Very torn, I tell ya... I may just end up with a 13" MBA for the 'it just works' factor but I really like the idea of selling my iPad and having one machine to do it all.
It has been interesting to see the concepts PC manufacturers have been coming up with. I thought most of them would be gimmicky but they have been getting some good reviews online. The dual sided capacitive screen of the ASUS Taichi is pretty cool, among others.

Last edited by kwijbo; Jun 1, 2013 at 10:05 AM.
kwijbo is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2013, 10:03 AM   #19
AppleMark
macrumors 6502a
 
AppleMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: The CCTV Capital of the World
Unless to need to save money, I do not see the need to look elsewhere given your requirements. Out of curiosity, is your current 11" faulty? We have one from launch and it is still a very capable machine for what it is, as they were never intended as power machines.
__________________
Although I may not always reply to negative comments, this will not necessarily mean that I concede the point.
AppleMark is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 05:35 AM   #20
mattferg
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer1441 View Post
Ipad with keyboard cover. It's the only real alternative. Most of the 'high' end ultra books are expensive, flakey, stuck with windows 8, and knock offs of the Air!
Haha the iPad an equivalent to a proper computer, you have to be kidding. It's useless for productivity.

As for Ultrabooks, they pretty much match the air these days in terms of price, spec and build, and there's nothing wrong with Windows 8.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3vilsadvocate View Post
I went from 2011 MBA 11 inch to a 13inch Zenbook and...

BOY DID I REGRET THAT

The build quality of this thing is sooo lousy, I can hardly believe it. I'm currently trying to sell it at a huge loss. To no avail so far...

Stick with MBAs for the love of god.
Odd you say this as they're basically the same computer. They're built very similarly, spec and construction wise, by the same company, pegatron. They even look almost identical inside. If you say the Zenbook has poor build quality, so does the air
mattferg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 07:54 AM   #21
racer1441
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattferg View Post
Haha the iPad an equivalent to a proper computer, you have to be kidding. It's useless for productivity.

As for Ultrabooks, they pretty much match the air these days in terms of price, spec and build, and there's nothing wrong with Windows 8.[COLOR="#808080"]
Are you crazy? I've used the iPad as my only machine for about 4 months now. I haven't had a problem since. Considering I am running a company off the iPad, I would say it isn't even close to useless.

Ultrabooks are not even close to the build quality of Macbook Airs. They are knock-offs at best. And nothing wrong with Windows 8? That's like saying the Titanic hit a minor speed bump.
racer1441 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 10:21 AM   #22
mattferg
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer1441 View Post
Are you crazy? I've used the iPad as my only machine for about 4 months now. I haven't had a problem since. Considering I am running a company off the iPad, I would say it isn't even close to useless.

Ultrabooks are not even close to the build quality of Macbook Airs. They are knock-offs at best. And nothing wrong with Windows 8? That's like saying the Titanic hit a minor speed bump.
Well I feel bad for you - evidently you've forgotten what a full computer feels like. An iPad is terrible for multitasking and Safari struggles as a full web browser.

Again, the Zenbook is made by the same company and follows the same design. It's an extremely similar machine. It might be a copycat but the build quality is extremely similar. I've compared both side by side, it's obvious why apple is mad they're made by the same company - apart from the keyboard it matches the air.

As for Windows 8, it's sold as much as 7 in a declining PC market, and has gained 8% of tablet share. This means more people are going out and buying 8 separately than they did with 7. 8's barely different to 7 UI wise and is actually an improvement in a lot of areas, it's extremely good and anyone insulting it has barely used it.
mattferg is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 12:01 PM   #23
racer1441
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattferg View Post
Well I feel bad for you - evidently you've forgotten what a full computer feels like......


As for Windows 8, it's sold as much as 7 in a declining PC market, and has gained 8% of tablet share. This means more people are going out and buying 8 separately than they did with 7. 8's barely different to 7 UI wise and is actually an improvement in a lot of areas, it's extremely good and anyone insulting it has barely used it.
1). Your ignorance is astounding. The ipad is more than capable for all but the most graphical and video work, which I have no interest in.

2) I have worked a good bit with windows 8. I worked with a surface pro for over a month to try and give it a fair chance. It was such a piece of crap (windows 8, I was very impressed with the actual hardware) I tossed the thing in the basement to rot, I didn't even feel like inflicting the pile of hurt on someone else by giving it away.

I don't know why this bugs you so much. Go play with windows, it work for you, so that's great, I'd rather pull my own fingernails out with pliers.
racer1441 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 05:17 PM   #24
mattferg
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by racer1441 View Post
1). Your ignorance is astounding. The ipad is more than capable for all but the most graphical and video work, which I have no interest in.

2) I have worked a good bit with windows 8. I worked with a surface pro for over a month to try and give it a fair chance. It was such a piece of crap (windows 8, I was very impressed with the actual hardware) I tossed the thing in the basement to rot, I didn't even feel like inflicting the pile of hurt on someone else by giving it away.

I don't know why this bugs you so much. Go play with windows, it work for you, so that's great, I'd rather pull my own fingernails out with pliers.
1) I've used a tablet as a daily driver for a few months now. I find myself resorting to the PC quite a few times because a tablet OS just can't handle certain parts of the web. FACT. The iPad is NOT an alternative for a full MBA, an ultrabook IS.

2) I've listed what's wrong with an iPad and what's good about Ultrabooks, why can't you actually argue what's wrong with 8?

You bought a Surface Pro, didn't like it, and didn't return it? errr yeah sure you did....

Oh and FYI I use a Macbook Air and an 8 desktop, they both have their pros and cons, shame I can see that and you can't.

Last edited by 840quadra; Aug 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Removed insults and name calling
mattferg is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2013, 06:38 PM   #25
racer1441
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattferg View Post
1) I've used a tablet as a daily driver for a few months now. I find myself resorting to the PC quite a few times because a tablet OS just can't handle certain parts of the web. FACT. The iPad is NOT an alternative for a full MBA, an ultrabook IS.

2) I've listed what's wrong with an iPad and what's good about Ultrabooks, why can't you actually argue what's wrong with 8?
You bought a Surface Pro, didn't like it, and didn't return it? errr yeah sure you did....

Oh and FYI I use a Macbook Air and an 8 desktop, they both have their pros and cons, shame I can see that and you can't.
Did you work on making Windows 8 that you have your knickers twisted up so much?

I have encountered exactly zero web sites that I use that have any issues at all on the iPad. That argument doesn't hold much weight any more.

As for what's wrong with Windows 8....

The touch nature makes Windows 8 a big fat pain in the rear for the majority of computers, you know ones that don't have the touch screen.

On top of which, you are forced into the interface formally known as 'metro' instead of a more traditional desktop. That's a big pain in the rear end to support if you have any more than about 6 or so customers. Imagine pushing that interface out to dozens or hundreds of employees that have used the same interface for 20 years.

Additionally, you have apps, if you are lucky enough to find any that are worth while, that do not work between the two conflicted sides of the operating system. Go play with Skype, and you'll see what I mean.


As for the Pro, i was beyond my return period, and I wouldn't push windows 8 on anyone. I'm waiting for the Blue update, see what that's like. I'll play with that for a month, just like I did before. If it's better, I'll most likely donate the thing off to a school or library. If it's not, the pro will be taking a one way trip to the dump, or I'll see if the thing can get a good Linux distro put on it.

Last edited by 840quadra; Aug 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM. Reason: removed insluts from quoted post
racer1441 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Air

Tags
alternatives, macbook air

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Macbook Air 11in 2013 Kushp14 MacBook Air 4 Jun 20, 2013 09:26 PM
Macbook Air alternatives blanco.juanfeli MacBook Air 1 Nov 6, 2012 11:03 PM
Using my Macbook Air 11in as a Client Machine hunterheath33 MacBook Air 2 Aug 16, 2012 04:00 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:22 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC