MBA vs. Vaio TT vs. Lenovo X200 vs. Lenovo U110

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mhnajjar, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. mhnajjar macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #1
    I would like to get your feedback about any of these machines if you have tested any of them by any chance. I myself enjoyed using the Vaio TT a lot and it felt very fast in doing everyday tasks. The screen is very crisp and it does not suffer any lines or light bleeding like the MBAs screen. In addition, the keyboard is dead silent compared to the Air's!

    Please keep your Vista sucks comments to yourself and try to judge these machines based on their performance, specs and looks and simply forget about the OS for now.

    I am kind of sick of waiting for a problem-free MBA screen so I might consider one of these machines (mainly the Vaio TT or Lenovo X200) to be my on the go machine since the OS isn't going to matter much on the go even though I would still prefer Mac OS any time.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback. :)
     
  2. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #2
    Well in terms of hardware I think the MBA is dead last in this crowd.

    -The Vaio TT is better looking and has a smaller footprint and longer battery life. It's also much better built than the Vaio TZ, but still flimsier than the MBA.
    -The X200 has insanely long battery life while offering sturdy construction similar to the MBA.
    -I've never used a U110 firsthand, but reviews indicate it has similar advantages as the Vaio TT.

    The reason why I went with a MBA over these three was because you-know-what is so painless compared to you-know-what-else.
     
  3. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for your input.

    I would choose the MBA anytime if it were not for the defective screen. I used to have a revA that was perfect and one of the best I have ever seen in the market compared to ultraportables. However, revB ruined it for me :(.
     
  4. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #4
    I have not tested all of the machines that you have listed here but I will still provide some feedback anyways since I own a 1.86 SSD MBA. I honestly think the lines issue aside, this is the best computer I have ever owned. The screen is absolutely beautiful and stunning and is probably one of the best 13" on the market. The build quality, all aluminum and unibody is unmatched anywhere....there is just no comparison. I also love the multi-touch trackpad which is again unmatched anywhere. The gestures are so awesome, it's honestly the first trackpad I have used that I can actually say is better than a mouse. As far as speed, this is the fastest computers I have ever owned probably because of the SSD. 15 seconds to fully boot and log in. 2 seconds to shut down. Safari loads in 1 sec from a cold start. It's frikin ridiculously fast! Even my 1 year old MBP feels slow compared to the MBA....but I know it's the SSD that makes it feel fast. In either case, it's a dream to use!

    I can't really imagine any of those other machines to be better than the latest Macbook Air! Add the OS to this package and it's not even close in my mind :)

    Can you tell I love my MBA :)

    Kan-O-Z
     
  5. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

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    Mar 3, 2008
    #5
    I see how much you love your MBA, but I cannot understand how you can live with a defective screen for over $2500 :confused:

    I wish that all the buyers who noticed the defect returned their machines for a refund so Apple would learn a lesson on dealing with their issues in a timely manner.
     
  6. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #6
    This better looking part is all opinion. The MBA for me is the best looking laptop on the market hands down. Yes the footprint is smaller but so is the screen. 11" is too small for me. To me when I slip a laptop into my bag, it's not the width that matters, it's the thickness...think about it. The MBA is way thinner than the Sony. It's so thin, you can slip it into any bag....heck even a manilla folder ;)

    Apple had to invent a new manufacturing process now known the brick resulting in unibody construction. This is a first for the laptop world. There is no equivalent. It's the thinnest and strongest laptop on the market.

    Kan-O-Z
     
  7. Kan-O-Z macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #7
    Actually Apple is replacing it for me. The thing is, the lines issue is soooo minor that I probably would never have noticed it had it not been for these forums. It's really THAT hard to see. You have to be at the right angle with the right lighting and the right distance and know what you're looking for.

    I do believe that there are many good screens out there. If you want a MBA, get it. There's a good chance you'll get a good one. If not, exchange it until you get what you want.

    Kan-O-Z
     
  8. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #8
    My revA's screen was almost perfect besides the light bleeding on top. However, I bought a revB which had the lines and bleeding all over the top and bottom of the screen. In addition, I checked more than six other machines on display and they all had the lines with bleeding.

    What really bothered me is that when I took it to the store, I was told "these lines are within specs".

    This is what is making me consider other brands unless Apple decide to get their act on and show us some respect.
     
  9. EnderTW macrumors 6502

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    For a thirteen inch, the MBA probably has the best portable screen.

    Trust me, if you can't handle the lines you won't be able to handle lenovo's poor displays.
     
  10. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #10
    You are 100% right. I just found out how bad they are.

    Now it is the MBA (after fixing the lines) vs. Vaio TT :)
     
  11. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #11
    Hopefully I can offer some insight here as I actually own or have owned a few similar machines:

    Sony Vaio TX
    IBM Thinkpad X60s
    Lenovo Thinkpad X61

    These are similar to the ones you're asking about. The Sony TX came before the TZ which came before the TT, but they are all part of the same high end model line. The screen was drop dead gorgeous, and Sony is quite well known for it's excellent displays at the high end. The keyboard is also where the Macbook chiclet style keys came from as Sony was the first to introduce that type of keyboard. So the feel of the keys is similar but the keys themselves are smaller and the layout is more PC friendly. The machine itself was rock solid and I had no crashes or anything like that, but the form factor was too small. You really will find yourself putting your face much closer to the screen than normal and will catch yourself hunching your back in the process. It's really that small. Battery life was excellent, with around 7 hours or more, and weight was excellent at about 2.5 lbs.

    The Thinkpads and the Lenovo had the absolute best keyboards I've ever used. IBM is legendary for making the best keyboards in the business. The notebooks also had a nipple for a mouse pointer with tap to click. I used to love that and hated trackpads until I used the glasspad. Now I find glasspad is better than the nipple which is better than a standard trackpad. Battery life was worse than the Sony Vaio but better than the Macbook. You could get some crazy battery life by getting the extended battery (9-10 hours), but then you get either an ugly 9 or 12 cell sticking out the back of the notebook and the weight starts getting closer to 3.5 lbs. But the screen quality was fairly bad. Both the x60s and the x61 had a screen where whites looked like parchment paper. I was not a fan of the IBM screens at all.

    My favourite PC notebook is still the IBM Thinkpad. My favourite OSX notebook is the Macbook. Now that I've been spoiled by multitouch and gestures, I don't think I could ever go back to a Thinkpad unless they added multitouch to it. You will miss that feature dearly if you go to anything other than an Apple. Meanwhile Sony is too small. There is a massive difference going from a 13 to an 11 inch screen.
     
  12. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #12
    tubbymac, you are one lucky person except the fact that you got the lines issue in your MBA :p. BTW, what did you do with it? Did you replace it with a MB or something? I remember that we discussed the lines on another thread :eek:.


    Thanks for your very helpful input. I am not able to get the MBA out of my mind yet, but my visit to the Sony store two days ago made me fall in love with that TT :D.

    My thoughts now are MBA (55%) vs. TT (45%) mainly due to the lines issue and some of the light bleeding which is not acceptable when the TT does NOT have any of that.
     
  13. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

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    Nov 6, 2008
    #13
    I don't consider myself lucky. I'm extremely picky and the only reason I've gone through so many brands/models is I'm still trying to find the "perfect" laptop. I've never had an MBA. The 2 gig fixed ram limit is what held me back on the MBA when it was introduced. It wasn't until Steve's keynote introducing the aluminum unibody MB and MBP that I went to the store the very next day and bought an MB. I didn't bother waiting for any reviews and assumed it was just a mini version of a MBP which would have been perfect for my needs. Got burned with the low quality MB screen due to my hastiness and that's why I'm being extra patient on the MBA. Already got burned on the junk MB screen so I don't want to get burned again with horizontal lines.

    The thing you should carefully consider about the Sony TT though is that unlike the MBA and the Lenovo which have "full size" keyboards that FEEL like a desktop keyboard in both size, spacing, and such, the TT is a reduced size keyboard. So your hands get closer together, your fingers aren't as spaced apart as usual, and the arch of your fingers is more cramped than usual. The feel is entirely different from what you're used to.

    Another thing to check is that for some reason I've heard Sony removed the vertical scrolling from the trackpad on the TT. They had that feature on the TX but yanked it from the TT. I haven't verified this personally as I'm not interested in a TT, but make sure you test that at the store. Scrolling by having to drag the scrollbar manually or with the arrow keys is painful when you're used to two finger Apple scrolling.

    The other thing I should mention about the Sony Vaio is that on my TX the drivers were locked to the OEM version of Windows installed on the machine. What this means is that if you want to do a "clean" install where you get a retail DVD of Windows, format the drive, and install from scratch, the drivers will error out saying that you need the OEM version and not the retail version of Windows. Made it quite painful to upgrade or change the OS (like for instance if you wanted to run Windows 7, the drivers won't work as you can't get the OEM version of Windows 7 yet).

    The Sony Vaio was the hotness back in the days before the MBA was invented. It started a lot of conversations when people saw how small it was. But I really think it's old news now. The MBA is a much better machine IF you can get one with a good screen.
     
  14. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #14
    Thanks tubbymac again :).

    I might get a MBA under my wife's name because she has a better luck than me when it comes to issues like the lines :D.

    BTW, the vertical scrolling works fine on the TT. As for the drivers, thanks for reminding me because it happened to me once when I tried to do a fresh install on my wife's Vaio. I thought the TT would be different since it is considered a highend business model.
     
  15. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #15
    Good! Looks like they fixed the scrolling issue at least. From the first few reviews of the TT some reviewers noticed that feature was missing from the trackpad. As for the OEM locked drivers, this is a standard Sony Vaio thing. From what I understand every model has it. I'm guessing it has something to do with their OEM agreements to ship some of that trialware/bloatware with the machine.
     
  16. alphaxono macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #16
    I actually own a Rev A MBA and a Thinkpad X60s. I love my MBA but I can't sell my Thinkpad because I still love the machine. For everyday tasks it was snappy and had crazy battery life, no battery discharge, the best keyboard and it is built like a tank. I actually like the Design of the Thinkpads as well. The X200 is even better so you will def. love it. The screen of the x60s is a bit darker than other screens but that did not bother me, since I always dim the screen down. Instead of getting a TT (owned a Z21/Z590 - great machine but a bit flimsy) buy a X200 and a refurb. MBA rev A.
     
  17. mhnajjar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mhnajjar

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    Mar 3, 2008
    #17
    Speaking of bloatware, the TT comes with a fresh install option where they do not install any of their bloatware IF you chose the Vista business. This might make it easy to upgrade to Windows 7. However, even though the hardware advantages of the TT are way ahead of the MBA, the OS itself is one major factor besides the hotness of that sexy MBA. I am still trying to figure out why Apple ruined their screens :mad:. Hopefully their new agreement with LG is going to provide a fix for this issue.
     

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