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Old Jul 2, 2013, 11:58 AM   #1
LarmanF
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MBA or Windows Alternative?

I've been considering purchasing a MacBook Air and I still feel that it's the one I like the look of best, but having seen some Windows 8 alternatives that are quite good, I'm a bit confused as to which would be best.

I'm considering laptops of similar power to the MBA (obvisouly not battery life), but is it true that the MBA is actually quite modestly priced compared to Windows alternatives of similar size, weight and power etc.?

In short, what reasons would you give to help persuade me to get an MBA over a cheaper Windows alternative?
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:37 PM   #2
cake1
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Hi. You know, you are on a mac specific forum, its even obvious from the domain name "macrumors". What sort of response are you expecting?

I dont think anybody should be "persuading" you to buy anything - its your money.
However I suspect that you are on this forum since you have pretty much decided that you want a macbook air.
If that is the case I dont think you would be disappointed if you got one.

The computer should be just a tool for you to do your things - whatever those things may be. The only use case for which I would not recommend a macbook is gaming, since most games are on the windows platform.

A week ago i bought my first apple computer (13in mba) because it is a very good computer that offers a lot to me in terms of portability, speed and battery life and I can do pretty much most of my work on it (software development).

The things I can not do on it I cant really do on a desktop machine anyways, but I have access to server nodes for that.

Anyways, if you can afford it, get the computer and focus more not on the computer itself (as i said, its just a tool) but on the stuff you produce with it.

/cake
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:52 PM   #3
Mrbobb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarmanF View Post
In short, what reasons would you give to help persuade me to get an MBA over a cheaper Windows alternative?

What are we, Apple Salespeople?

Get an Air because it doesn't force u to run Windows8 that's my reason. REALLY, Windows8 doesn't know if it wants to be a laptop or a tablet.

Cheaper alternative? Windows8 is designed for a TOUCHSCREEN, did u factor that in? Touchscreen Ultrabooks are not cheap.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 02:19 PM   #4
scaredpoet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarmanF View Post
I've been considering purchasing a MacBook Air and I still feel that it's the one I like the look of best, but having seen some Windows 8 alternatives that are quite good, I'm a bit confused as to which would be best.
Before you continue: Have you actually used Windows 8 and are happy with it? So far reviews for it are fairly bad on the desktop/laptop segment. While it's decent as a tablet OS, the interface largely gets in the way if you're using anything but your finger and a touch screen.

That alone keeps me away.


Quote:
I'm considering laptops of similar power to the MBA (obvisouly not battery life), but is it true that the MBA is actually quite modestly priced compared to Windows alternatives of similar size, weight and power etc.?
They're fairly competitively priced if you compare spec for spec. You might see a small premium for the Apple hardware, but I would say the extra cost is worth it.


Quote:
In short, what reasons would you give to help persuade me to get an MBA over a cheaper Windows alternative?
That's a tall order, considering we don't have a lot of info on what you want to use it for. Different use cases call for different features, and for some of those cases, a MacBook Air will excel and in others, a Windows laptop might be better.

Speaking in generalities though: Apple gives you the best hardware support there is. If you have an Apple store near you, you're in good shape if your Mac runs into trouble. Even the Microsoft store is very limited in terms of the support they can give you ThinkPad, or Toshiba or HP or Acer.

And for what it's worth, blogs and review sites have consistently claimed that even for running Windows, Apple hardware is the best hardware for the job.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 03:01 PM   #5
Mezmorizor
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MBA are definitely as cheap as windows ultrabooks.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus---U...&skuId=6906246

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD760LL/A?

Notice the similarities? Keep in mind that Macs have the best trackpad on the market too, and they don't come with nearly impossible to uninstall bloatware. Basically, if you like the idea of OS X, get the Mac. Don't like the idea of OS X? Get a windows ultrabook(Asus is the best brand imo).
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 03:48 PM   #6
mkeisu
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As others pointed out, probably not the best place to ask the question on a mac forum. But I think you'll find, as I did, that Ultrabook alternatives with Windows 8 don't tend to come cheaper than the current MBA, at least not if you want similar specs.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 04:44 PM   #7
Hermes Monster
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Macs are a joy to use, that's my main thing - I just enjoy using it, looking at the screen, the dock, finder, launch pad etc etc. Finder and spotlight give you instant access to all the files on your computer - much slicker than the windows version

One of the other benefits though is the residual value - Macs simply keep their value better than any MS PC I ever had. I bought a base iMac in 2010 for 950 and sold it this week for 550 to a friend, I could have got over 600 looking at recent eBay sales. There's simply no way you would get that for a three year old PC
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 02:03 PM   #8
iterva
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As said already, Apple might be slightly more expensive, but imo you pay for a premium.

I have the ASUS UX31A, i purchased it back in December, and have had my MBA for a few weeks now. That said, all opinions will differ, but here are mine, maybe they can "help" somewhat..

ASUS Pros/Cons
+ Screen, IMO a very good display
- Windows 8, Worst crap MS has pushed out. Added/Edited: Even ME and Vista were a joy to use in comparison.
- Touchpad/Keyboard, Unresponsive (Also tested similar Samsung Ultrabooks, same issues for me)
- Poor battery life
- Heat, the i7 generated alot of heat on backside and palm rest when running CPU intensive tasks.

MBA Pros/Cons
+ Touchpad/Keyboard, Best response and quality.
+ OS X
+ Overall build quality
+ Battery life
+ Does not heat up that much with CPU intensive tasks.
- Screen, no issues, but woud have been nice to have higher res.

Needless to say the ASUS has not been opened/used since i got my MBA...
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Last edited by iterva; Jul 3, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 02:18 PM   #9
Lucille Carter
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Apple hardware is what I love. My new MBA will be running both Windows and OSX. Had a Lenovo X1 carbon but the MBA will be replacing it. I used a friends and the battery life is awesome!
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 02:39 PM   #10
Kaenon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iterva View Post
As said already, Apple might be slightly more expensive, but imo you pay for a premium.

I have the ASUS UX31A, i purchased it back in December, and have had my MBA for a few weeks now. That said, all opinions will differ, but here are mine, maybe they can "help" somewhat..

ASUS Pros/Cons
+ Screen, IMO a very good display
- Windows 8, Worst crap MS has pushed out. Added/Edited: Even ME and Vista were a joy to use in comparison.
- Touchpad/Keyboard, Unresponsive (Also tested similar Samsung Ultrabooks, same issues for me)
- Poor battery life
- Heat, the i7 generated alot of heat on backside and palm rest when running CPU intensive tasks.

MBA Pros/Cons
+ Touchpad/Keyboard, Best response and quality.
+ OS X
+ Overall build quality
+ Battery life
+ Does not heat up that much with CPU intensive tasks.
- Screen, no issues, but woud have been nice to have higher res.

Needless to say the ASUS has not been opened/used since i got my MBA...
I will gladly take the Asus off your hands then =]
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 02:50 PM   #11
luisito
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Get a MBA. Break out of the chains of windows.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 02:55 PM   #12
mattferg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iterva View Post
As said already, Apple might be slightly more expensive, but imo you pay for a premium.

I have the ASUS UX31A, i purchased it back in December, and have had my MBA for a few weeks now. That said, all opinions will differ, but here are mine, maybe they can "help" somewhat..

ASUS Pros/Cons
+ Screen, IMO a very good display
- Windows 8, Worst crap MS has pushed out. Added/Edited: Even ME and Vista were a joy to use in comparison.
- Touchpad/Keyboard, Unresponsive (Also tested similar Samsung Ultrabooks, same issues for me)
- Poor battery life
- Heat, the i7 generated alot of heat on backside and palm rest when running CPU intensive tasks.

MBA Pros/Cons
+ Touchpad/Keyboard, Best response and quality.
+ OS X
+ Overall build quality
+ Battery life
+ Does not heat up that much with CPU intensive tasks.
- Screen, no issues, but woud have been nice to have higher res.

Needless to say the ASUS has not been opened/used since i got my MBA...
Yawn, such a fanboy comment about Windows 8. I'm a joint MBA/Windows 8 desktop user, and as someone who's used every version of Windows since 3, I can attest it's much better than ME/Vista, and those who find it horrible to use are just not bothering to adapt to a new way of thinking... you know, the same way of thinking you need to use a Mac?
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 03:05 PM   #13
oldhifi
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Windows

Windows: constant viruses, spyware, malware, daily updates

OSX free from the above..you will never look back..
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 03:18 PM   #14
Mezmorizor
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Originally Posted by mattferg View Post
Yawn, such a fanboy comment about Windows 8. I'm a joint MBA/Windows 8 desktop user, and as someone who's used every version of Windows since 3, I can attest it's much better than ME/Vista, and those who find it horrible to use are just not bothering to adapt to a new way of thinking... you know, the same way of thinking you need to use a Mac?
This is true. Windows 8 is better than Windows 7 in every facet. People don't like it because it looks different, but it's true. Hell, it even has the best Antivirus on the market built in.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 03:27 PM   #15
iBram15
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Originally Posted by oldhifi View Post
Windows: constant viruses, spyware, malware, daily updates

OSX free from the above..you will never look back..
That's not true anymore, if you are careful, you won't have constant viruses.. I use Windows and Mac OS X daily and they are both good OS's! I prefer Mac, and I will buy the 13" Air for my studies this summer but Windows isn't that bad as everyone says!
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 03:54 PM   #16
hockeyfanatic
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Sony pro 13 haswell is a good alternative. Lenovo also has some nice ultra light 13 models.
I already decided on macair over lenovo, especially with haswell. Looked at the Sony also, but still leaning towards mac air 13. Expecting to pull trigger on macair when my security deposit check finally arrives.

It's good to look at alternatives to verify your making the best decision for your needs.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 04:00 PM   #17
old-wiz
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I wouldn't buy a Windows machine, period.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 04:02 PM   #18
cake1
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As a new OSX user i do find it much nicer than a windows environment, for development at least. As it turns out, with osx you get a standard unix bash shell and all the tools you would expect to have - awk, sed, vim, openssh, everything. With windows its quite a bit of a pain - you need something like cygwin to emulate a unix environment. I know of only one nice terminal emulator for windows (mobaxterm) while for osx and linux there are many more.

In my opinion these days windows is only nice for playing games. Kinda sucks, but the win8 interface really gets in the way, and i believe this is what ppl dislike about it.

Also I kind of think that a touchscreen on a laptop doesnt make sense. Does anybody else agree? I find it really exhausting reaching for the screen. On a tablet yeah sure, but I think for a laptop its not a natural or ergonomically nice thing to reach for the screen.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 04:27 PM   #19
Mezmorizor
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Originally Posted by cake1 View Post
As a new OSX user i do find it much nicer than a windows environment, for development at least. As it turns out, with osx you get a standard unix bash shell and all the tools you would expect to have - awk, sed, vim, openssh, everything. With windows its quite a bit of a pain - you need something like cygwin to emulate a unix environment. I know of only one nice terminal emulator for windows (mobaxterm) while for osx and linux there are many more.

In my opinion these days windows is only nice for playing games. Kinda sucks, but the win8 interface really gets in the way, and i believe this is what ppl dislike about it.

Also I kind of think that a touchscreen on a laptop doesnt make sense. Does anybody else agree? I find it really exhausting reaching for the screen. On a tablet yeah sure, but I think for a laptop its not a natural or ergonomically nice thing to reach for the screen.
While this is true, development is a pretty niche market. It's kind of like me saying that people need to get a Mac because Logic is OS X exclusive and every other DAW worth using works on both(except for Acid, but that's a whole different beast). It's true, but it's not very meaningful for the population at large.

Definitely agree on the touchscreen thing though. It just doesn't work well unless the touchscreen is also the keyboard.

Also, Windows 8 will have an option to look exactly like Windows 7 with it's next update. Really though, Metro isn't as bad as people make it out to be. It takes some fiddling to be great, but it does have the potential to be great.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 04:57 PM   #20
iterva
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Originally Posted by mattferg View Post
Yawn, such a fanboy comment about Windows 8. I'm a joint MBA/Windows 8 desktop user, and as someone who's used every version of Windows since 3, I can attest it's much better than ME/Vista, and those who find it horrible to use are just not bothering to adapt to a new way of thinking... you know, the same way of thinking you need to use a Mac?
Well, as i said "all opinions will differ, but here are mine"... So if your comment is that im a fanboy, based on that, obviously that is your right, and it is your opinion
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