Alternative to MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by daigo, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. daigo

    daigo Junior Member

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    The sleekness and thinness of the MBA is definitely the strongest point for me, but the problem is that I never use OS X. I always end up installing Windows to run my applications, and OS X just takes up valuable SSD space, so I am looking for just a normal laptop that's as sleek and thin as the MBA.

    I don't know if the MBA in the class of laptops that it's in is the most powerful. I don't expect laptops these thin to be as powerful as their fully-featured, thicker laptops, but if there's something faster and better than the MBA, then I'd definitely take it.

    Another thing which isn't a big deal is that I don't like the aluminum colour. I prefer black, but colour isn't really a deal-breaker unless it's got some really odd, dodgy, unremovable designs on it or something.

    But anyway, is there anything as sleek and thin as the MacBook Air, but about the same power or more powerful than it?
     
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  3. ericloewe

    ericloewe Senior member

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    Asus Zenbook Prime. It's not available yet, and it may have been delayed a bit, but it's like the MacBook Air with better specs - Ivy Bridge processors, 1920x1080 screen, with some luck a better SSD...
     
  4. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    :thumbsup: to this. ASUS straight up cloned the MBA form factor, which is a good thing IMHO.
     
  5. 50

    50 Platinum Member

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    New macbook airs are going to be announced this week at WWDC, so we'll see if the whole specs advantage is still valid.

    Check this article out http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/08/ultrabook-roundup-computex-2012/. It has a lot of info about what's coming down the pipeline for ultrabooks in 2012. Personally I'm going to see what Apple has to offer this week, but otherwise I'll probably end up with the zenbook.

    One thing you may also want to consider is if you upgrade every couple of years, the macbook air will retain its value more than any other ultrabook.
     
  6. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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  7. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    Damn, I really want the retina display Macbook now. It has a higher resolution than a 30"!
     
  8. Bateluer

    Bateluer Lifer

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    I was hoping to see at least 1080P on the refreshed Airs. If Asus is able to do it, then I figured Apple wouldn't have a problem.

    Guessing its not related to available screen tech, rather, GPU tech. The HD4000 IGP is not going to do much of anything at 1080P very well. Asus uses a Kepler 630M, but Apple probably wanted to avoid that because of heat/battery concerns.

    I'll gladly sell off my 2011 Air for the upcoming Zenbook Prime though.
     
  9. ericloewe

    ericloewe Senior member

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    HD4000 (or even 3000) is more than enough for anything except gaming, which might not be a good idea on an ultrabook in any case.

    So, the only clear advantages right now are Thunderbolt, and more memory, both SSD and RAM (for more $$$)
     
  10. titan131

    titan131 Senior member

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  11. T_Yamamoto

    T_Yamamoto Lifer

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    Too expensive
     
  12. titan131

    titan131 Senior member

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    It is for me, but I still want. Maybe if I win the lotto... ;)
     
  13. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    you dont' need to run OSX...just wipe it and load windows 7
     
  14. titan131

    titan131 Senior member

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    That would be so sweet, but are there any potential problems with this? I mean with drivers, stability etc ?
     
  15. zerogear

    zerogear Diamond Member

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    ASUS Zenbook prime, definitely

    Maybe, but I don't think the work area actually increases, since with retina display, everything is scaled up, images/icons, etc. And 650M is way too weak to push 5 million pixels (gaming-wise).

    That and fixed/soldered memory/RAM killed any desire to get the Retina MBP.
     
    #14 zerogear, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  16. sygyzy

    sygyzy Lifer

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    My understanding, while some might argue it, is that the Air was designed with OSX in mind (obviously). Installing Windows 7 would work but you'd take a hit in battery life. Maybe you don't care about this, but you should.
     
  17. zerogear

    zerogear Diamond Member

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    He said he already used Windows on MBA to begin with, so I don't think it's a factor.
     
  18. sygyzy

    sygyzy Lifer

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    My mistake.
     
  19. mfenn

    mfenn Elite Member <br> Currently on <BR> Moderator Sabb
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    You can scale it up to an effective 1920x1200 workspace, which is pretty much at the limits of readability on a 15" for me. As for gaming, the full 2880x1800 resolution is actually exposed. Obviously the 650M is no powerhouse, but reports are that simpler games such as Diablo III work fine and look great at native rez.
     
  20. daigo

    daigo Junior Member

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    What about the Samsung Series 9? How do you guys feel about that one? It was suggested to me on another board.
     
  21. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Has it been updated with Ivy Bridge yet? The original ones had WiFi issues, but I think they got sorted out. They pre-date the whole Intel Ultrabook marketing push, but they are a shoe-in.
     
  22. daigo

    daigo Junior Member

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    It says on Amazon that it'll be available in 2 days with the Intel Core i5-3317U processor (http://ark.intel.com/products/65707/Intel-Core-i5-3317U-Processor-%283M-Cache-up-to-2_60-GHz%29) which I think is the Ivy Bridge model.

    I suppose it comes down to this one and the Zenbook Prime that's coming out? I can't seem to find a definite release date for the Zenbook Prime (USA).
     
  23. daigo

    daigo Junior Member

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    Also considering the ThinkPad X1 Carbon coming out this summer.
     
  24. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    Link to Samsung Series 9

    Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz 2.6GHz turbo ULV dual core Ivy Bridge
    4GB DDR3-1600 (single channel? IDK)
    128GB SSD (my guess - it uses a Samsung controller :p )
    quoted 9 hour battery life with 6-cell 3610 mAh
    0.50" thick, 2.55 pounds
    13.3" 1600x900 matte screen (no mention of panel tech so probably TN)

    Looks pretty nice for $1300.
     
  25. lehtv

    lehtv Lifer

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    If 3DMark is any indication, the GT650M performs similarly to a desktop HD5750 which is fine for 1440x900.
     
  26. Ken g6

    Ken g6 Programming Moderator, Elite Member
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