Opinions on MBA's competitor(s)

lv4q

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
22
0
I was initially looking to buy the Lenovo Carbon X1 because I've been a ThinkPad user for years, but since Apple came out with the new MBA, I'm contemplating on which laptop to buy. I know this is being posted in Apple fanboy/girl territory, and bias is undoubtedly there, but I'm sure there are some people that might have insightful opinions that could help me decide :)

or... you can just try to fully convince me into getting the new MBA... gogogo!
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
21
The Tri-State Area
My favourite Windows Ultrabook is the Asus Zenbook (though the Samsung Series 9 isn't a bad option either). But I currently own a MBA (well, technically right now I'm in between MBAs as I wait for my new one) because as a daily driver I prefer using OSX. However if I could afford it, I would definitely buy the Zenbook just a as a secondary computer to replace my current secondary computer (a Sony Vaio, if you're curious). I switch between both OS options regularly, so I don't have a clear bias either way.

Basically I would say it comes down to preference. Windows Ultrabooks have come a long way to actually compete with the MBA so you can't really go wrong with either of them (except the trackpad. Haven't tried out a Windows laptop yet that can compete with the MacBook trackpad).
 

barrk

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2012
58
0
Macbook Air 13" with similar/superior specs to Lenovo X1 carbon seems to cost less so unless you like Windows much more than OSX I'd go with the Air

Zenbook seems to be in the same position as the X1 but a little bit cheaper.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
One thing is that a lot of the true Macbook Air competitors are still rolling out since the Haswell chips were just released.

The most interesting one to me is the Zenbook Infinity but as far as I know there's no price or ship date yet:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7035/asus-zenbook-infinity-hands-on-with-the-most-beautiful-notebook-at-computex


I think the Air is pretty favorable on build quality and battery life (under OSX), and now that they've reduced the price on the 13" and boosted storage on the 11" it's a pretty good value.

The real weak point is probably the screen. Lots of competitors are now doing 1080p displays, higher quality IPS displays with better viewing angles, or even retina-class displays like the Zenbook.

It probably will depend a lot on what you would use it for. The Air running OSX will probably give you the best battery life for that size and weight. Apple also still has the best trackpads, although driver support under Windows isn't as great as it is under OSX.

If you're just going to run Windows on it then the advantages aren't so clear.
 

lv4q

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
22
0
My favourite Windows Ultrabook is the Asus Zenbook (though the Samsung Series 9 isn't a bad option either). But I currently own a MBA (well, technically right now I'm in between MBAs as I wait for my new one) because as a daily driver I prefer using OSX. However if I could afford it, I would definitely buy the Zenbook just a as a secondary computer to replace my current secondary computer (a Sony Vaio, if you're curious). I switch between both OS options regularly, so I don't have a clear bias either way.

Basically I would say it comes down to preference. Windows Ultrabooks have come a long way to actually compete with the MBA so you can't really go wrong with either of them (except the trackpad. Haven't tried out a Windows laptop yet that can compete with the MacBook trackpad).
Thanks for your insight Perry :p

@Stetrain whoa, that Zenbook looks so alike to carbon and the MBA! So you wouldn't suggest that I have Windows on the MBA? Like parallel?
 

TC25

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2011
2,201
0
or... you can just try to fully convince me into getting the new MBA... gogogo!
If you think Windows8 = OSX, all the strangers on the Internet won't be able to convince you of anything.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
17
Thanks for your insight Perry :p

@Stetrain whoa, that Zenbook looks so alike to carbon and the MBA! So you wouldn't suggest that I have Windows on the MBA? Like parallel?
If it's in addition to OSX then sure, but if you want to just install Windows and almost never boot to OSX then you probably won't get the battery life claimed by Apple and you may be a bit disappointed with the lack of trackpad settings in Windows.
 

lv4q

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
22
0
If you think Windows8 = OSX, all the strangers on the Internet won't be able to convince you of anything.
No, no. I much prefer Windows 7 than Windows 8! I've been an XP user for a long time :p I think I could work with MAC, I just don't get to use them that much, but I think I could adapt to it.

If it's in addition to OSX then sure...
Do you know if running Parallels has a significant effect on battery life? Like really significant? Not necessarily only pertaining to MBA's, but other macs?
 
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TC25

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2011
2,201
0
No, no. I much prefer Windows 7 than Windows 8! I've been an XP user for a long time :p I think I could work with MAC, I just don't get to use them that much, but I think I could adapt to it.

@Stetrain do you know if running Parallels has a significant effect on battery life? Like really significant? Not necessarily only pertaining to MBA's, but other macs?
I'll rephrase my comment to include Windows7 and WindowsXP.

I use Parallels-Win8 on my MBA13 to run Quicken.
 

mj1108

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2007
611
357
California
No, no. I much prefer Windows 7 than Windows 8! I've been an XP user for a long time :p I think I could work with MAC, I just don't get to use them that much, but I think I could adapt to it.
Going OSX after using Windows for so long can be a little scary at first, but I think may end up enjoying it and end up liking it even more than Windows once you get the hang of it. You will find that some things are the same and some are a little different. Don't worry though, we all started somewhere. :)
 

Agent-P

macrumors 68030
Dec 5, 2009
2,502
21
The Tri-State Area
One thing is that a lot of the true Macbook Air competitors are still rolling out since the Haswell chips were just released.

The most interesting one to me is the Zenbook Infinity but as far as I know there's no price or ship date yet:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7035/asus-zenbook-infinity-hands-on-with-the-most-beautiful-notebook-at-computex


I think the Air is pretty favorable on build quality and battery life (under OSX), and now that they've reduced the price on the 13" and boosted storage on the 11" it's a pretty good value.

The real weak point is probably the screen. Lots of competitors are now doing 1080p displays, higher quality IPS displays with better viewing angles, or even retina-class displays like the Zenbook.

It probably will depend a lot on what you would use it for. The Air running OSX will probably give you the best battery life for that size and weight. Apple also still has the best trackpads, although driver support under Windows isn't as great as it is under OSX.

If you're just going to run Windows on it then the advantages aren't so clear.
I forgot to mention the fact that with Haswell finally released Windows Ultrabooks should be getting better. I'm pretty excited about the Zenbook Infinity.

And I completely agree that based on the fact these Windows Ultrabooks can have 1080p screens with a form factor that is similar to the MBA, we could've at least gotten a screen resolution bump this time around (I'm not saying we needed to go retina, but a small increase would've been nice).
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,288
4,811
I was very impressed when I first read about the X1 but it quickly ceased after I actually had the thing in my hands. The build quality is not really comparable to the MBA, the later feels much sturdier.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,570
3,148
or... you can just try to fully convince me into getting the new MBA... gogogo!
"Convince me"? Why should we? It's your money. Buy a Lenovo laptop with Windows 8, just don't come back here crying.
 

snowboardpunk

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2013
109
5
I just came from a xps and returned the 11 mba air and just placed an order for the the mba 13 inch. I love the trackpad and last years zenbook had horrible trackpad. And thats the one thing I love about macbooks. It did take time getting used to everything but I love them now.

I would consider that new asus depending on battery life and trackpad. But I hate windows 8. I use windows 8 at work and I honestly cant stand it.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,216
1,882
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Seems to me that you first need to decide what operating system you want, then pick the best hardware to run it.

I don't use Parallels on my MacBook Air, but I ran it on my 2008 15" MacBook Pro. With Windows running, that machine would get so hot that I really couldn't use it on my lap.

I have both Windows and Mac computers. I use windows to run some powerful GIS software that isn't available on the Mac. Tried doing that under Parallels but it really works better on a dedicated machine.

Why would I want to talk you into buying a Mac? It's up to you, based primarily on what software you need to run.
 

jjfcpa

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2009
84
0
I was initially looking to buy the Lenovo Carbon X1 because I've been a ThinkPad user for years, but since Apple came out with the new MBA, I'm contemplating on which laptop to buy. I know this is being posted in Apple fanboy/girl territory, and bias is undoubtedly there, but I'm sure there are some people that might have insightful opinions that could help me decide :)

or... you can just try to fully convince me into getting the new MBA... gogogo!
I swore by Thinkpads - having used them for 10 years or more - until about 5 years ago when I bought my first mac. It was about that time that I came to the realization that all the "tools" that Lenovo puts on their computers just gets in the way of my productivity. I can't begin to understand how the average user comprehends all the messages their tools can generate.

While I think their hardware has really come back to the pack, I still like what they deliver, but I like what Apple delivers even better. I develop for Windows and have said from the very beginning that the Mac is the best Windows computer that I have ever used - and that includes Lenovo.

The only trade off might be the non-retina display on the air, but I think it's excellent for development. And when you consider the resolution scaling problems that Windows has on HD screens, I'm not sure the 1080p screens are worth putting up with.

If you want to have the advantage of using both OSX and Windows on hardware with a good screen, excellent keyboard and trackpad, there's really only once choice. The only time I touch a PC is if I want to experience the frustrations that some of our users report to us when trying to run our software on their PC's.
 

lv4q

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
22
0
I appreciate all the comments!! I've come to the conclusion that I should try something new. I'm sure using OS X full time will be breath of fresh (MacBook) air :D
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,271
3,412
I appreciate all the comments!! I've come to the conclusion that I should try something new. I'm sure using OS X full time will be breath of fresh air :D
5 minutes with the trackpad and you will never look back.
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
I bought the Haswell Air but I didn't open it and returned it to Apple. Ordered a Sony Vaio Pro instead after checking out how good a 13" 1920x1080 IPS screen would be. Looking forward to the delivery - if only Apple could have used the same display I might have stuck with the Air.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
192
I appreciate all the comments!! I've come to the conclusion that I should try something new. I'm sure using OS X full time will be breath of fresh (MacBook) air :D
If u use OSX full time, I assume you already factored$ in the re-purchase of your Windows apps to OSX? There is a switching cost.

But, Apple world, regardless of horsepower whatever, tend to run smoother, more responsible than Wintel, IMO. Windows on Air, I cannot vouch. Even Firefox/Chrome don't run as smooth as Safari on the Mac.
 

james1758

macrumors regular
May 26, 2013
195
10
UK
The OS on macs is just so user intuitive that I honestly couldn't switch to any other system no matter what the hardware was (well, unless it was supremely superior)