Should You Skip The Apple MacBook Air?
If you’ve been a regular reader of Tom’s Guide for the past three years, you might remember the very first Tom’s article I wrote: Why NOT To Buy A MacBook Pro. Well, you’ll be happy to know that my anti-Apple sentiment has not waned over the years, and now I’m back to tell you why NOT to buy a MacBook Air.
Apple’s grandiose marketing techniques may have you think that the MacBook Air is a one-of-a-kind platform, but it’s really just an “Ultrabook” – a term trademarked and defined by Intel. Essentially, an Ultrabook is an exceptionally portable laptop (generally very thin with remarkable battery life) that offers nearly the same performance of a full-size laptop.
Giving credit where credit is due, Apple’s MacBook Air is largely responsible for popularizing the Intel-inspired Ultrabook form factor, which, not without some sense of irony, is significantly helping Windows notebook sales fend off the tablet invasion. The growing Ultrabook popularity has also meant that more manufacturers are giving the form factor a shot, offering consumers something Apple doesn’t want them to have – a choice.
Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t fit everyone, and that’s why it’s important to know what your other options are. We’ve put together a list of worthwhile Ultrabook offerings from Acer, Asus, Dell, Samsung, and Sony that each have their own little something extra to offer.
If I had to choose, I'd get the Zenbook because I love its design and 1080p output. Not gonna be gaming on it, sadly, but watching movies on it would be great. Plus I love the design.
By the way I agree with fudoka711 about the general view on this article. Nice to see than PC builders finally created something that is worth a macbook air!
My counter argument: You can go with the Sony Vaio T-Series with a hybrid drive and save $400, taking a small hit in load times for apps you don't use often, or you can go with the T-Series with a SSD and save $200 and get the same SSD performance that "makes the Macbook Air great." :-)
altrisswithout beeing specially an Aple fan, I find this stupid. Be honest if Aple hadn't created McBookAir, Intel would never had the Idea of UltraBooks.
If you want to go with who came first, Gateway had the very first "subnotebook" form factor with the Gateway Handbook back in 1992.
In 2002, Sharp had its Ultranotebook PC-UM20. It used a specialized Ultra-Low Voltage Intel processor (just like today's Ultrabooks) and was only .65 inches thick, thinner than even the current MacBook Air. I'd argue that this was the first "Ultrabook" in the non-Intel defined sense of the term.
In 2004, four years before the MacBook Air, Sony released the PCG-X505. It featured the same processor specs as the full-sized laptops of its time, but was 10.4" laptop that was only 0.8 inches thick.
There was also the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 which was a contemporary of the MacBook Air (released just weeks after the Air) and was actually thinner.
Apple was by no means the pioneer of the Ultrabook platform. The MacBook Air just happened to be the most well-known one. If Apple didn't exist, Intel would still have gone forward with its "Ultrabook" concept. I would absolutely not give Apple credit with coming up with the Ultrabook idea. It gets credit for popularizing it, and that's all.