MacBook Air or ultrabook alternative in Mexico

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by skaertus, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #1
    Here is the thing. I will be in Mexico in the month of June or perhaps July, shortly after WWDC. I intend to buy a new laptop for my girlfriend during the trip to Mexico. Yes, to Mexico. Just an explanation: I live in Brazil, not in the U.S., and prices of consumer electronics here are just out of this world due to extremely high taxes charged by the government (especially import taxes). So, yes, a laptop in Mexico costs almost half of a laptop in Brazil, even bein more expensive than a laptop in the U.S. (just for the sake of comparison, a low-end 13-inch MacBook Air costs US$ 1,099 plus taxes in the U.S., about US$ 1,250 in Mexico and about US$ 2,280 in Brazil). And I do not have any planned visit to the U.S., so I will probably buy this one in Mexico.

    She bought an 11-inch Asus VivoBook in a Best Buy Store in the U.S. last year. Although I am not absolutely sure, the laptop has an Ivy Bridge low-voltage Intel Core i3-3217U 1.8 GHz processor, has 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB 5400 RPM HDD. It weighs about 3.1 lbs. Although she thinks her laptop is small enough to be carried around (and she likes it), she complains that the laptop is too slow (and perhaps a little small) for use at home. Therefore, she is thinking of selling her laptop and buying another one, perhaps one with a larger screen (she has not decided yet, but she is willing to go with a 13.3-inch screen) and faster. The obvious decision is probably an ultrabook, a better one.

    If Apple releases the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air with a retina display in June at WWDC, then this is the one she is going to get. However, we can never be sure of what will happen, and the latest rumors point out to the release of this revamped Air in the end of the year. As I will travel to Mexico right probably after WWDC, there will be not much time to choose a different laptop if Apple does not release the 12-incher.

    Long story short, as a plan B, I am looking for recommendations on which laptop to buy if Apple does not revamp the Air. My girlfriend has never used a Mac before (just used mine for a while) and she does not know if she will get used to it (but she probably will). I would like to know which ones you would recommend, having in mind that the laptop must be readily available in stores in Mexico, and not in the U.S. I do not even know which laptop stores exist in Mexico City, so it would be nice if you could help me with that as well.

    Some obvious choices would be the current 13-inch MacBook Air (or perhaps even the 11-inch model); and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display. Besides that, I could go for the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro, the Asus Zenbook Infinity, the Sony Vaio Pro, the Acer Aspire S7, and other premium (or at least good) ultrabooks. They must have a faster processor, a good screen (preferably IPS), an SSD drive, a good and confortable keyboard and trackpad (she does not need a touch screen), and be very light.

    Which ones should I look at?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #2
  3. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #3
    Thanks. I really expect to find something big and chaotic like São Paulo.

    I saw that Best Buy has some stores there. But does it sell the very same products as the U.S. Best Buy stores? How are the prices of non-Apple laptops there? Is there a Mexican Best Buy website where I can check it?
     
  4. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #4
    I googled and I found the Mexican Best Buy website: https://www.bestbuy.com.mx

    However, the only decent laptops that I found for sale in the website are MacBooks. The other laptops are just crap (very similar to the crappy laptops I can find here in São Paulo). There is just this cheap crap such as Acer V5 and Lenovo G series. Some of them are even equipped with Celeron processors... No premium stuff. Very, very underwhelming.

    I want some premium stuff, with Haswell Core i5+ processors, Full HD or Ultra HD screens, fast SSDs, aluminum or carbon fiber shell... I could not find anything that came close to this in the Mexican Best Buy website. Are physical stores any different? Is there anywhere else in Mexico City that I could look at? I cannot find premium laptops for sale in São Paulo (other than Macs, they are all crap) and I am afraid that Mexico, even with much lower taxes, would be similar...

    Otherwise, the Mac is the only reasonable choice that I will have.
     
  5. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #5
    In that case just be sure what specific model you want and then look for it in other stores. Even online.
    I mean you can buy locally in Mexico or buy in the US and have it shipped to Mexico to the hotel or place where you will be staying.
    Check in Amazon.
    I will always prefer to buy a Mac so I cannot suggest you any other laptop.
    Sony will also have a store or distributors in Mexico City.

    Again first pick what brand and model you want to buy and then focus on finding it.
     
  6. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #6
    Thanks. I was thinking of buying locally in Mexico. I don't know how shipping from the U.S. works there. Here in Brazil, if I order a product from the U.S., I may receive, after one or two weeks, mail from the Federal Revenue telling me that the product is available for pick-up at their place after I pay the taxes. I don't know how it works in Mexico. As I am going to spend just a few days in Mexico, probably less than a week, I want to be absolutely sure that the laptop will arrive timely and that I won't have any trouble with the customs office in Mexico. Does anybody know how this specifically work in Mexico?

    I would of course prefer to buy in a Mexican store, even if I pay a few bucks more for it.

    I just saw Sony's website and they sell the Vaio Pro there. A little more expensive than the MacBook Air, but it's OK. Good to know that.

    I am not looking at a specific model. It must be a high-end ultrabook. Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus would be a good option, and so would be the Asus Zenbook Infinity or the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro. I have just seen at Lenovo's website that the Yoga 2 is not for sale in Mexico, so that is not an option.

    So far, the only contenders are the MacBook Air, the retina MacBook Pro and the Sony Vaio Pro. Is there any other high-end, top-of-line, ultrabook available in Mexico?
     
  7. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
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    #7
    One thing to consider in your purchase is the keyboard and OS language as it might be in Spanish.
     
  8. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #8
    That is true.

    For the Macs, is the keybord layout the same in Mexico as in the U.S.? I remeber in France it was different, but I think only in France as I am concerned. As for the OS, I can set the language of OS X.

    For the Windows PCs, I don't know how the keyboard layout looks like in Mexico. Is it the same as in the U.S.? As for Windows, I can buy a Windows license here and the laptop will still be cheaper than anything I buy in Brazil.
     
  9. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #9
    apple Mexico is selling both Spanish and English keyboard layouts on the website. I don't know what they have in stock at stores (in particular since there are no Apple stores).

    In my opinion the best choice would be the 13'' retina MBP. 8/256 GB version. The Air has very similar performance, but I prefer the look and feel of the rMBP, and of course the display.

    I don't have experience with any current non-Macs, so I had a look at a few reviews. It seems that the competition is finally able to offer good alternatives (i.e. where neither the screen nor the touchpad nor something else completely sucks). The biggest issue on the retina-like screens seems to be that windows can't handle it properly yet. Most models also use the HD 4XXX intel graphics as opposed to the 5000/5100 in the Macs, and slower (but more upgradable?) SATA SSDs. Finally in store availability might be difficult.
     
  10. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #10
    In Mexico City you can find almost everything, as said. If you go for Mac, there are plenty of I shop stores, in every mall. Ishop are in Mexico Apple stores, but simply franchised to a local music (mixup) store chain. They even have a web page: https://www.ishopmixup.com/ishop/

    In the main malls (I can suggest Perisur, Santa Fe, Antara, depending upon where you'll stay) there are also generally Sony stores, dedicated to laptop sell; even HP stores, at least in Santa Fe. There are also store chains such as Liverpool and Palacio de Hierro, which carry many laptops. Much more on site than in their web page.
    There is also a tax refund program for tourists shopping in Mexico, which of the 16% VAT saves you almost 2/3: http://www.taxback.com.mx

    Have fun!

    If you go for macs, MBA is cheaper than MBP if compared to US prices. Don't know why...
     
  11. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #11
    Thanks, this is very helpful. I would like to know what there is in store for sale. Of course a Spanish keyboard would not serve my purposes. I would need the US layout.

    The competition is fine in the US, but not here in Brazil and apparently not in Mexico as well. The Macs use a 5000/5100 video card, but they also must push higher resolutions (a 1920x1080-like resolution on my retina MacBook Pro means that the video card has to push a 3840x2160 resolution, and that requires a lot) than Windows ultrabooks even at high resolutions, due to the way OS X renders things. Anyway, either video card would do for me, as I won't play any games.

    ----------

    Thank you. Very nice and helpful information. You seem to live in Mexico, right?

    Do the stores sell Macs with a Spanish or US keyboard? Or both? I would need the US keyboard.
     
  12. aced411 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #12
    As far as the Asus feeling slow, I swapped out the hard drive for an SSD. It made a HUGE difference. It now feels lighting fast. After the upgrade you'll only notice the i3 processor if you're doing something processor intensive (for me it was trying to mix audio in Cubase with a lot of plugins) but for day to day usage (browsing, office etc) it feels at least as fast as my i7 Macbook Air. Unfortunately upgrading the hard drive doesn't help the fact that the screen on it is washed out with bad viewing angles.

    Resist the Vaio Pro. As awesome as it looks, they've been notorious for having wifi issues. On top of that, Sony is getting out of the PC business so if you may have issues sending it for warranty repair for getting updated drivers in the future.
     
  13. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #13
    Thanks. Still, the Asus is having wi-fi issues and the screen is not among the best (in addition to being very small for using at home).

    I don't think I will buy the Vaio Pro. It may look fine, but Sony will get out of the business soon as it has already sold the Vaio division. I will probably end up buying a 13-inch MacBook (Air or Pro, I have not yet decided), unless Apple releases the much rumored 12-inch Air before.

    Anyway, I will only buy it in Mexico if I find one with a U.S. keyboard. Anyone knows how it works in Mexico?
     
  14. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #14
    Does anybody know which kind of keyboard layout is sold in Mexican stores (US or Spanish)?
     
  15. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #15
    They offer both. Just depends on what store and brand you are buying and they are offering. Check with the stores.
     
  16. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #16
    You should be able to find both, at least Apple. Or you can order online in the Mexican Apple store, you have the choice of Spanish or US layout...
     
  17. skaertus thread starter macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #17
    Thanks.

    I do not know if I will have enough time to order it and receive it from an online store, unless it ships it really fast. I will spend less than a week in Mexico.
     

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