*List of Premium Ultraportable competitors to a Rev D MBA*

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jobsian, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #1
    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.
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #2
    First up, the much talked about Sony 2010 Vaio Z Series. I'm going to look at their top-specced one:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    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....
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Mintin8

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    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!
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #5
    The Z series is amazing! However, for that price it has to be...
     
  6. macrumors regular

    icanboogie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin
    #6
    :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:
     
  7. TSE
    macrumors 68030

    TSE

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #7
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you just lower the resolution through nvidia control panel?
     
  8. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #8
    YUP!
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    icanboogie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin
    #10
    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...
     
  11. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #12
    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?
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #15
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #16
    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?
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #17
  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Only in the non S models, but I guess for its intended market its alright?
     
  19. TSE
    macrumors 68030

    TSE

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #21
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #22
    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....
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #23
    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.
     
  24. TSE
    macrumors 68030

    TSE

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    cloroxbleach4

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #25
    The Sony Z is talked to be an amazing laptop. It's pretty much the MBA portability with MBP performance. Hopefully this is true.
     

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