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Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ShrubbySoup, May 5, 2012.
Hi what's the best ultra book/slim laptop for under £1500?
Maybe you should start with why a Macbook Air (or used Macbook Air) won't work for you.
Ahh sorry, basically I like the MBA design but if the new one hasn't come ut in a week or so then I will probably get a ultrabook. I don't want to get a MBA now if a new one comes ut soon basically and would like to see my alternatives to see weather I can get more ram/storage/processor for the money.
I would say the Air. And part of it is OS X.
Well, first off, a Macbook Air is technically an ultrabook (and the majority of ultrabooks being marketed today are not, based on Intel's specification of what defines an ultrabook).
And secondly, the ultrabooks being released currently have very similar specs as does the Macbook Air since no Ivy Bridge processors are out for laptops (especially the ULV type needed in machines of this size). Perhaps a few more ports in some of the ultrabooks, but since you're likely using it to move, ports are not as big an issue as with a desktop replacement machine.
None of the ultrabooks by other companies (such as Acer) have specs that are too much better than the Macbook Air, but the ratings for the Macbook Air are better than all of the others.
Check out CNet.com for reviews. They pick the Macbook Air as the best slim/ultrabook laptop. Everything else is just a copy.
It's very unlikely any new ultrabooks will come out in the next few weeks considering Intel hasn't released the Ivy Bridge ULV chips.
If you're looking for alternatives to MBA I would say the Asus Zenbooks and Samsung 9-series are both excellent ultrabooks.
The Dell XPS series is a decent machine and generally gets good reviews. However I don't see why don't want a MBA, if it suits your needs and does what you need why does it matter if a rumored refresh is coming? Your machine isn't going to be obsolete just because there is a refresh. Also the performance difference between sandy bridge and ivy bridge is going to be pretty marginal, its not going to be like going from a Core 2 Duo to a core i series. Again I say if the current machines meet your needs get one, unlike windows ultrabooks, the MBA will work and continue to work problem free. There are many imitations but only one is the real deal.
You won't see any "new" ultrabooks before June/July given that many manufacturers (including Apple) are waiting for the release of the Intel Ivy Bridge ULV chips which aren't released yet. It would be better to wait until then to consider the options since we don't have much details regarding upcoming ultrabooks yet.
As for the current options with Sandy Bridge, I think the best ultrabooks are the Asus Zenbook followed by the Samsung Series 9, but nothing beats the current MacBook Air.
The Zenbook is slightly cheaper and has similar specs and form factor as a MacBook Air, but lacks a backlit keyboard, has worse viewing angles, and its trackpad (and Windows drivers for it) isn't nearly as good as the MacBook Air's.
The Series 9 is slightly more expensive than a MacBook Air, does have a backlit keyboard, but its battery life isn't as good, it has a lower screen resolution, doesn't have a SD card slot (only micro-SD), and it's a bit bulkier given that it has about the same maximum thickness as a MBA but doesn't have its taper. Again, its trackpad also doesn't match the MBA's.
It's also worth nothing that both will obviously won't have a resale value as high as a MacBook Air, won't get you a student discount or a 100$ gift card this summer, and don't have any way to output to a resolution higher than 1920x1080 since they use HDMI output.
In other words, you'd be better off waiting a couple of weeks if you want to find a better value than the current MacBook Air.
I would suggest getting an ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31. I've read many reviews comparing it to other ultrabooks and it has scored really well.