I'm going to buy a non-retina 15" MacBook Pro which will become my main system. To supplement that, sort of as a lightweight machine that will probably be carried around more frequently, I was considering buying an ultrabook. My 15" MBP will single-handedly have all of my OS X needs covered; the PC tower I have in my signature has my Windows heavy-lifting (read: gaming) needs covered, so I was thinking a secondary laptop of extremely light weight running Windows 7 could be cool. Toward that end, I'd like to not spend more than $800 before tax. I don't need anything with Ivy Bridge in it, though I'd rather something newer than the ULV Penryn. I figured something with Sandy Bridge would be perfect. Again, this machine would solely be running Windows; I have no need for a second laptop running OS X. That said, I'm torn between the following two machines: MacBook Air (13" Mid 2011 MC965LL/A), the lower-end 13" model from the most recently discontinued rev. 1.7GHz Sandy Bridge Core i5; 4GB of RAM; 128GB SSD, two USB 2.0 ports, one Thunderbolt port, SD card slot. Asus Zenbook UX31E-ESL8, 1.6GHz Sandy Bridge Core i5; 4GB of RAM; 128GB SSD, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, mini HDMI, mini VGA, SD card slot. The former retails refurbished on the Apple Online Store's "Refurbished Mac" section for $919.00 and is sold on eBay used for anywhere from $750 to $900. The latter retails new from the Microsoft (online) Store for $800, and $800 to $900 on eBay. Specs-wise, the 100MHz disparity between the Sandy Bridge Core i5 on those models is negligible to me. Same with my video output options. Thunderbolt would be nice, but seeing as the machine would solely be a Windows machine, I have a feeling that the USB 3 port on the Zenbook would be proven much more useful. A guaranteed lack of bloatware on the MacBook Air (as it would simply have a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8 and the machine-specific Boot Camp support software) would be nice; having my copy of Windows come with the machine is also nice, though I imagine that if I wanted to later do a clean install of Windows 8; that task would be much easier to deal with on the MacBook Air given how easy it is to acquire Windows drivers for Apple machines via the Boot Camp assistant versus having to navigate Asus's website and hope that they issue Windows 8 drivers. I work at an Apple Authorized Service Provider and thusly have access to whatever replacement parts I would ever need and could perform my own repairs. But buying the Zenbook from the Microsoft Store, I could be given their retail equivalent of the Genius Bar experience (namely, you hand it in and they deal with the repair without you having to contact the manufacturer directly). There's also the issue of price; the Zenbook appears cheaper in cost than the MacBook Air, and seems more or less similarly designed (so I can't chalk up the extra cost as much to Apple simply making a better constructed product). So I can make an educated decision based purely on best use of my dollar toward whatever Sandy Bridge i5 4GB of RAM 128GB SSD ultrabook I end up getting, which one is better and why? Please spare me whatever anti-Windows and/or anti-Asus sentiments that you may have; even if I go with the MacBook Air, it will SOLELY be used to run Windows (read: No OS X partition on that SSD drive). I'm really just looking to see what my best option for the dollar is for the hardware.