MBA vs. new ultralights?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MMedia, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. MMedia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #1
    Am considering purchase of a new or reconditioned MBA, but judging from posts in this forum, it is pretty frustrating waiting to see whether/when MBA will be upgraded or even discontinued.

    At the same time there are growing numbers of alternatives w/modern hardware. Recent example is Toshiba R700 series (just released). The version at Best Buy (R705) has i3, 500GB, 4GB DDR3, a DVD-RW (!), LED backlit 13.3" screen, magnesium body, and 3 pounds light, all for $800. (But, Intel graphics, thicker - 1" - and less solid keyboard.)

    Anybody with comparative experience on the new rigs, or purchase advice?
     
  2. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #2
    Have a look at the Sony Vaio Z, like the high end 17" Macbook Pro spec wise (including the same i7 processor as well as FULL HD screen), however about 30% less expensive at $2,000 including 256 GB of SSD RAM and with a weight of just 3 pounds. And it even includes an optical drive! (which is the only thing I don't like about ti).

    Oh the current Air's are SO outdated!!!

    If there was a way to get Linux to fully run this thing, I would be all over it...
     
  3. MartiNZ macrumors 65816

    MartiNZ

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    #3
    Damn the vaio z is even more impressive than I realised! And it somehow manages to have the same discrete graphics card as the 15/17" MacBook Pros? Time to pack one in a new MBA if they can't have the integrated NVidia one. And yes, higher res screen, and up to 8GB RAM - bring it in an MBA!
     
  4. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #4
    Yes, it made me realize how I betrayed myself by limiting myself to Macs for several years. While Apple's market share has grown, innovation began to stall, while the competition has taken off!

    After waiting for more than a year for a real upgrade, I've given up on the Air. All the parts needed are clearly in place, the only thing lacking is Apple's will to improve their product.
     
  5. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    #5
    If Sony can do it then apple can do it. That is if they want to
     
  6. soph macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2010
    #6
    Might be Apple has different standards than Sony. Like tapering.
     
  7. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #7
    true enough :)
     
  8. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #8
    Standards? Tapering?

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/

    One important aspect of good design is practicality. The tapering idea (with the sole purpose of making devices look thinner than they are) has forced Apple to increase the bezel sizes of their laptops to be humongous and makes it hard to cram other components in without wasting space. They finally realized this with the iPhone, but apparently not yet with the Macs.
     
  9. chadklass macrumors newbie

    chadklass

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico City
    #9
    Sony Vaio Z

    I just checked out the Sony Vaio Z.... it actually made me drool ! Too bad switching over to that machine would require an even more expensive conversion to Windows software (Adobe CS5, Quickbooks, etc)
     
  10. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #10
    That and the lack of virus protection, i.e. non-UNIX OS.

    The real question for me is whether Lunix (Ubuntu?) could be installed on it. I asked this question at the Ubuntu forum but nobody answered...:-(

    Have you tried Linux? It's by far the most stable, versatile, and fast OS I've used. Of course it requires some getting used to like any OS change (you won't have iApplications, etc), but well worth it.

    In the meantime time to buy the Vaio with the display upgrade is running out. It sucks to be stuck with Apple's outdated computers only because other laptops only work with Windows. Pathetic situation.
     
  11. abriwin macrumors member

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #11
    Twixt the devil (Mr Jobs) and the deep blue sea (windblows)

    No netbook, no MBA updates just an excuse for a netbook the closed system iPad, imagine having to hack it so that you can use a wireless or BT mouse or back up files onto an external hd or memory stick?

    Not good enough Mr Jobs! Ignoring folks who would rush to buy an updated MBA.

    I'd turn to windblows if it were not so utterly useless. Can you imagine a system where to find the size of a folder you had to resort to an application not included with windblows you had to download!

    I'd resort to hackintosh-ing my little Acer Aspire One again if it were not for the fact that I already got ripped off once trying it! It has SD slots, usb ports, where are they on the iPad?

    Ubuntu folks are not much help either up to their eyebrows in technical jargon and command lines.

    Twixt the devil (Mr Jobs) and the deep blue sea (windblows)

    signed
    an unhappy bunny.
     
  12. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #12
    These Windows laptops are still an inch thick, which is the thickness of the MacBook Pro's. And most are grossly underpowered when compared to the MBP's. I don't get it. Even though the Air is outdated spec wise compared to the MBP's it still compares very favorably against the new Windows machines imo.
     
  13. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #13
    Despite the impressive specs of the Sony Vaio Z and a few other ultra-lightweight laptops, I have no interest in them, primarily for two reasons.

    First, Apple's peerless track record in laptop design has not been touched by any other manufacturer. Windows laptops are uniformly thicker than Macs and, with a few exceptions, heavier, too.

    Second and far more importantly, to me at least, Macs are designed to run both OS X and Windows with off the shelf software. In stark contrast, Windows machines can't run anything but Windows without kludgy hacks. No thanks, my hacking days are over and, if I had known then what I know now, might never have begun.:)
     
  14. chadklass macrumors newbie

    chadklass

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Mexico City
    #14
    Sony Vaio Z

    Actually the Vaio Z weighs the same as the MBA... but I'm not actually arguing for anyone to go buy it. Another drawback is that the model I looked at is locked to Verizon's My Connect or something like that. Why can't I buy a laptop or iPhone that isn't locked to some company or another.

    I'm from the U.S. but currently live in Mexico and that makes it a bit difficult sometimes. I know I can buy an iPad since they're unlocked, but I'm not impressed enough with it yet to buy.... maybe next year. But if I buy a Vaio Z in the U.S. some of the features become useless outside of the U.S. same thing for the iPhone which is crazy. If I buy it, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Wherever I want.

    But I'm ranting .... I'll stick with Mac and wait for an update to the MBA. The combination of iMac at home, MBA all the time, LogMeIn and the almighty cloud make what I have a good combination.
     
  15. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    May 12, 2010
    #15
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    The tapering doesn't just create what some may consider better "looks".

    Intentionally or not, the Air's taper also functions as a concession to ergonomics.

    It's an area of functional superiority over so many other laptops. Carpal tunnel syndrome is no joke.

    .....

    Now, to make a little more space inside the case, the end to thicken isn't the thin end, it's the thick end.

    The current Air's thick end falls just short of being thick enough to have a normal handling of the right side jacks. That little UFO-like popout door for the USB is an awkward* solution to a problem they didn't need to create. (*Some 3G modems fit, some don't.) All -- so that ONE Steve Jobs speech could brag -- that the Air's maximum thickness is less than the Z's thin end? Who cares about that?

    (Some day Jon Ive will write his memoir and say "I tried to talk Steve out of picking the thicknesses by that rationale.")

    If the Air's thick end was allowed to get 1/4" or 3/8" thicker -- if that's not enough to fit in normal jacks (and thus - more of them), then un-round the left/right edges a bit. The boffo ergonomics would be preserved. The amount of cubic inches inside the case would increase enough, to cram in a little forward progress in chips/memory/battery/3G/whatever.

    To stop any whine-a-thon about how it got a tiny bit thicker and heavier... they could just name it something else. "Wind". "Flyer" since it's popular with people who fly. Then throw in a little something new as a little geek-sugar on top, to "justify" the slightly bigger form... and Voila!

    With less cramped specs, meaning that now the number of folks who can use it gets multiplied manyfold... sales go through the roof! ...

    ... justifying further design development effort, for years to come. :eek:
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #16
    I have a Dell Vostro V13. It's a thin and light, 3 hours of battery life, it's about as impressive as the MBA, but with an SD slot and Express card slot, eSata port, and about $1000 less than the MBA.

    As long as you can stand using Windows, it's a wonderful machine.
     

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  17. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #17
    Those are very nice and impressive computers. It is amazing that Dell can make an ultraportable with amazing features, while Apple cannot put new port tech on its high-end and "Pro" Macs.

    I love the design and capabilities of both the Vostro 13 and Latitude 13. They are really nice. The Vostro 13 can be had for $449 with Ubuntu!
     
  18. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #18
    I got the Vostro 13 off of Dell's refurbished site for $449, with Windows 7. It's really a phenomenal piece of engineering.
     
  19. sevimli macrumors 6502a

    sevimli

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    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    ChiTown
    #19
    I can't even find that model on Dell Outlet? When did you get it?
     
  20. abriwin macrumors member

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    Apr 1, 2009
    #20
    Dell Vostro 13

    I think we might be straying off track a bit with this thread. This is after all a Mac orientated site.
    1) the Dell Vostro 13 has not been available with Ubuntu since xmas,
    2) I wouldn't want one if it's only going to run flakey windblows
    be nice if one could hackintosh it, if one knew how. :( but then looking at the problems some folks have had even trying to get the windows version to run Ubuntu it's probably not worth the effort.
     
  21. Huubster macrumors regular

    Huubster

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    Mar 1, 2010
    #21
    Ubuntu on Vaio Z is possible, but...there are a few tricky problems regarding some specific hw features, most notably the graphic processor switching. If you do a search you will see certain geek skills are required to get things working.

    Having said that, things are being fixed and it is only a matter of time untill the Linux community will have solved it to a point that you can install it and run it smoothly without any problems.
     
  22. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    U.S.A.
    #22
    Um, the thread is about the MBA vs. other ultraportable computers. I think this is exactly why people come to these threads. People want to determine if the grossly outdated and untouched since October 2008 MBA is worth buying or if they should consider competing products at 1/3 of the price... I say this is all fair game. It is Apple that makes the biggest case for people to buy other ultraportable computers than Macs, because Apple doesn't seem to care about the segment right now... it's too focused on iOS products to remember it actually makes computers.
     
  23. n2arkitektur macrumors member

    n2arkitektur

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    Jun 25, 2010
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    OC
    #23
    The 'tapering' doesn't just make it look thinner. Tapering reduces weight and makes the notebook more ergonomic. Obviously, it wasn't doing anything for the iPhone, but I guarantee you it saves weight on the MBA.
     
  24. Cottonsworth macrumors regular

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    May 11, 2008
    #24
    I still like the MBA's styling although I think Sony is giving Apple a run for its money. Performance-wise, there are much better ultralights on the market but I just can't get away from using OSX. I got a Toshiba netbook as a tester and I simply do not like using Windows.
     
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Tulsa
    #25
    I agree. The cheapest Vaio Z goes for $2,449.99, which is a whole lot more than the $1,799 Apple charges for a top of the line MBA. Admittedly, the Zs have better specs than the MBA has but they will only run Windows unless they are hacked.
     

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