Decent ultraportable's on the market ...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by entatlrg, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    ... from a Mac owners perspective.

    This could be a post suited for notebookreview/com but I'd like to get opinions from Mac owners.

    Other than the current MacBook Air and the hope of an update soon what other notebooks are there under 4lb's that at least have a decent screen and keyboard.

    The Sony Z is the first to come to mind, as is the x201/301 Lenovo, and Dell Adamo, HP has a few ... ALL of them I'm not interested in.

    What else is there to choose from? I've tried to find info on Asus ultra lights but everywhere I read they're as hot as an oven.

    Any input on Fujitsu, other Lenovo or Dell models, such as the Thinkpad Edge, or brands, Samsung, LG etc?

    The (quality) ultraportable market got left behind it seems, makes sense in a way since the market is small, R&D is expensive and innovation is limited to the hardware available.

    Hopefully the new MBA will come soon and set a new standard.

    If it doesn't what other ultraportables are there to choose from?
  2. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    none worth mentioning …
  3. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    I agree
  4. Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    Well Fujitsu is worth looking at, as their build quality usually is very good. Premium pricing to go with it.

    But for ultraportables, it's not looking so great. Really hoping Apple comes out with something good for the Macbook Air line. We're in the market for these and await the updated models.
  5. Jayomat macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2009
    might wanna take a look at the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810

    or the Timeline line :p in general, there are several different models
  6. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Thinkpad X201 is pretty damn good. 12", great build quality, great battery life (9-10 realistically), powerful (full-fledged Core i3/i5/i7), and a fullsized keyboard.
  7. Adidas Addict macrumors 65816

    Adidas Addict

    Sep 9, 2008
    LG x300 is nice, but really no more than a souped up netbook. And very hard to get hold of outside Asia. (I think the next Macbook Air will look A LOT like this)


  8. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    x201 not an option because the display is pathetic, there's hundreds if not thousands of posts on the forums about it. It's a shame, very nice computer in every respect, one of the best keyboards and sadly one of the worst displays.

    Same goes for the Dell Latitude e4300/4310 people are bitching about the low quality panels.

    What is it with all these companies putting low end panels in high end notebooks? Dell, Lenovo, Sony's 2010 Z's new anti glare screen is horrible compared to previous years xbrite, they used to be the leader ... it's sad.

    One thing about Macbooks regardless of the resolution their screen are beautiful.

    Who else make's an ultraportable with an excellent screen?
  9. Gruber macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    I happen to find the screen quite decent. It is good for writing and coding, but not well-suited for image manipulation. However, I do my photoshopping on my desk, with an external display.
  10. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Interesting, maybe you have an LG panel in it, they're the best of the bunch apparently.

    There's quite a following starting on the forums and notebook review from people that have had enough of their displays.

    What's really sad is you can read threads over there of people buying a brand new Lenovo x201 and then attempting to get the screens replaced by a 3rd party at their own cost.

    At that point I'd say enough is enough, pretty sad when you take an x201 or x301 into Best Buy and set it beside the $400/500 netbooks and the screens about about the same quality.

    It's a fact Lenovo makes a conscious decision to use poor quality panels in their premium notebook line, people accept it, I wish they wouldn't.

    Yes, I think so too, it will take on a squared look like the iPhone 4.

    I wish I knew when though :confused:
  11. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    At the moment the Sony Z is the best of the bunch. I just got the Z12 recently and it's pretty good. Keyboard is much better than I expected, touchpad very responsive and the unit is really fast with i5 520m and the SSD keeping things moving along. It's in a different class to the ultraportables really as it's a full powered machine with high res screen. The others have some elements of this but none others have it all.
  12. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    How's the screen? For example viewing in the evening under artificial light, do you notice dark area's, shadows, a 'dull sheen' to the display?

    I went through two Z's, both had bad screens, I went and was about to get another Z12, the kid at Sony didn't care and cracked the seal on one that had just arrived. He booted it right up, we played around with it and both agreed it's sucks. Their new AG screen idea failed, xbrite was perfect for that ridiculously hi resolution screen they put in there.

    Sad, when you see a Macbook Air or 13" MBP which have a MUCH LOWER resolution and their screens blow the Sony Z screens away.
  13. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    The Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830t ($699) gives the MacBook Air a run for it's money. Too bad it runs Windows. Spec wise it's very sweet for it's price.
  14. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Hopefully 3,1 will dominate as 2,1 did when released in October 2008

    I differ with your opinion on competing ultraportables. The Lenovo ThinkPads are amazing. The Sony Vaio Z is super powerful at the same weight as the MBA... however, the thickness really does kill a lot of the ultraportability experience.

    On the cheap, I like the Latitude 13 and Vostro 13. For around $450, either can be had with Linux. They have Express Card, many USBs, and even eSata. They're also made with aluminum. Now it's no MBA, but ultraportable that can really run Windows 7 amazing they are.

    I also think the Adamo is really nice in terms of design. Can be had all day long with competing specs to the high-end MBA and with 256 GB SSD for $1500... and has DOUBLE the RAM. Unfortunately, with only Windows 7 to run the RAM just isn't all that important.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the LG X300. If the MBA finds an 11.6" display in it, this is surely what it will aspire to be. This shows us that an 11.6" display actually makes a lot of sense in a Mac... but then so does OS X running on a 9.6" iPad!

    I had to order a new computer for a new client project this week. The client was paying the bill... so I ordered ... the ... of course. Well, it wasn't the MBA and it wasn't the Vaio Z. The Lenovo ThinkPad x301. Since the absolute most important feature for me is the keyboard and display, I had to go with the ThinkPad. I have to run Windows, and I really wanted something ultraportable. Since it's only Windows 7, I don't care about the slower CPU, 128 GB SSD, and other drawbacks. The x301 is going to be amazing for me. I don't have it yet, but I am looking forward to it. However, if it was MY MONEY, I would have bought the 1.86 GHz MBA refurbished for $1349.

    Since a new MBA is coming out soon, and just using my own MBA instead of getting a new ultraportable for no money out of my pocket, the Lenovo is the right computer right now for this job. I figure if Apple does fail us with an MBA update, the Lenovo could be a writing machine for a long time too.

    I sold one of my MBAs a few weeks ago for $1400 flat. I have another one left, and I got it as a "review product" for a third party parts provider. I just finished my report/review, and I am actually thinking about selling it too. With the last few MBA updates, Apple has KILLED the value of the prior MBA. The last update brought a $700 price drop, included 2.13 GHz bump, USB>Ethernet, and tiny battery bump in addition. With the MBA finally seriously rumored for September, I am willing to do without my MBA for a month in hopes that Apple has FINALLY remembered us MBA fans.

    I do plan to buy the new MBA the day it's released. That means a v 3,1 MBA with Core i7-6x0LM, ATI 5430 7W GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba SSD, IPS display, glass trackpad, thinner aluminum case, much smaller bezel and less wasted space around keyboard. An MBA that blows away the competition just as the v 2,1 did when it was introduced in October 2008... what a LONGGGG WAIT! However, I really think it will be worth it! I have faith in Apple. Just look at the iPhone 4 and we can see Apple can do ANYTHING it wants better than everyone else.
  15. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile6.0) Sprint T7380)

    The veverable Non-profit "Consumer Reports" mag (not Consumer Digest") recently published their big annyual computer survey. Apple was,tops in desktop build quality (avoidance of repairs), BUT in laptop quality Applw was in the middle of 7 mfrs. listed. Toshiba topped that list for laptop quality.

    I post this, 'cause I think the whole site has had a paywall for some time; you can see the site if you subscribe to the actual mag., and maybe they have a web-only subscription deal too, I forget. Worth it.

    AFAIK in all the surveys by other mags evaluating quality of customer service & troubleshooting... when Apple typically ranks #1, that's for laptop and desktop tbuyers all ogether. I've never seen that sort of research survey divided into laptops, separately.

    But these are computers we're talking about. What could go wrong?
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I saw an LG x300 once - I'm not sure if you'd call it an ultralight or an upscale netbook. It's sort of in between the two.

    I'm happy enough with my EeePC 1005H, now that I swapped out the defective 1GB memory stick it came with for a 2GB one that actually works. :rolleyes:
  17. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    OSX running on a 9.7" iPad makes absolutely no sense at all.

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