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

Jobsian

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
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

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
13
First up, the much talked about Sony 2010 Vaio Z Series. I'm going to look at their top-specced one:



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

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,248
131
Canada
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

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2009
689
0
United Kingdom
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!
 

icanboogie

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2008
160
5
Berlin
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:
 

nj-mac-user

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2009
438
61
TX
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

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2008
160
5
Berlin
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

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
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

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
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

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
828
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.
 

Synchromesh

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2009
578
48
SF
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.
 

Gruber

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2009
105
3
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?
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,987
574
St. Paul, Minnesota
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

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2005
1,373
0
California
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

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2010
76
0
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.

 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Mar 2, 2009
3,375
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
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

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2008
480
7
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

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,987
574
St. Paul, Minnesota
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.