1. #1

    Macbook Air vs Asus Zenbook

    Im thinking of buying either Macbook Air or Asus Zenbook, but I cant really decide. Rating wise Macbook is better than Zenbook. I know what windows is like, but can someone who has a Macbook tell me advantages of a Macbook?
    Last edited by Horseface; 2013-02-02 at 04:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Brewmaster Tegux's Avatar
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    If you are going to play any type of games don't get a Macbook, they are just a really expensive paperweight.
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    Stood in the Fire slasher0161's Avatar
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    The advantages of a macbook is you have a pretty paperweight to show you spent a lot of money on something that was worth roughly 50-60% what you paid for it. Not to bash macintosh they aren't bad but they have their niche and their niche is not bang for your buck by any stretch of the imagination. Also any particular reason for laptop over desktop, if it has a reason i'm sure find a decent laptop at a reasonable price for your needs wouldn't be hard the community is stupidly helpful if you feed them the necessary info.

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    get a moddded ux32vd. (10gb ram + ssd)
    you'll love it and still save money compared to the air of similar speccs.
    question for the OP is will there be any gaming involved or is there any specific reason to pick os X?

  5. #5
    The Lightbringer MonsieuRoberts's Avatar
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    If you're deciding between two computers that utilize different operating systems, you still have a lot of thinking to do before you look at models.

  6. #6
    I'm not particularly interested in trying to sell you a new operating system. If you like Mac OS X then your choice is made for you. If you like Windows it's hard to justify the price of Apple hardware just to run somebody else's operating system. In spite of its obvious shortcomings I still like the macbook product line well enough to buy one every year or two. I don't think it's better than any other comparable hardware for everybody, but if you're a long-term mac user or a big UNIX-nerd (ie: you have your .vimrc and .zshrc files on github) then it's worth considering seriously.

    Given that you're considering a macbook air I'm assuming you don't particularly care about specs. The obvious downsides are the low-resolution screen - it's just not big enough to use something like XCode or Photoshop comfortably. You can drive an external display but performance is "chuggy" on a high resolution screen so it's just not optimal (Mac OS X handles connecting/disconnecting multiple screens very well, better than Windows IMO, but the graphics kit in a macbook air just isn't up to the task of driving a large external display). The built in screens are alright for the class of machine but the glass is a glare magnet and there's no option for a "normal" screen so they kinda suck for a backyard web browsing toy.

    I typically get the 5-hours of advertised battery life out of my macbook air (browsing the web on wifi, youtube etc, I have a 9 month old 11" model). And my Macbook pro yields the advertised 7 hours pretty consistently too: you can bank on getting the advertised battery life from Apple hardware provided you run Mac OS X. Using bootcamp + Windows is an instant 20%+ hit to battery life. Maybe Windows sucks at power management, maybe it's Apple's terrible drivers - either way: if you don't like Mac OS X you lose one of the big reasons to own a mac. AnandTech gets better than advertised battery life in some cases but I think that's unusual. I rarely get over 5/7hrs, but I rarely get less either (doing 'real work' like watching something from netflix or browsing the web - not just idling with the screen turned off). I googled for Zenbook battery life and it seemed to match my experience with most PC laptop battery claims: about half what it says on the tin would be considered excellent.

    In your hands it feels pretty solid as does most of Apple's kit: more like it's carved out of a block of metal than assembled from bits. It's like comparing the feeling of an $80 wireless Logitech keyboard and an old IBM model M. It just feels good to hold even compared to comparably priced PC notebooks.

    Magsafe is a good feature that does what it says - it's kept my laptop on the table a few times after my dog has yanked the cable out. I think the new shape of plug disconnects a little too easily compared to the older style but it's not a deal breaker. I find my macbook air gets better wifi reception that my macbook pro but worse than a crumby lenovo laptop I've got from work. If you have a particularly large house/yard you'll almost certainly need some sort of wifi range extender or two. I use several but only because i want the ability to stream music to every room in the house. One or two would be fine for my fairly average (2600 sqft) house + small yard.

    Integration with Apple's hardware is first rate provided you stay on the golden path: Safari + iPhoto + iTunes + iPhone + Time Capsule + AppleTV -- if you buy into Apple's ecosystem life is pretty good. As soon as you start pressing the boundaries (like wanting integration with an XBox or Smart TV, or you want to use an Windows Phone) things deteriorate very quickly. Apple's online services are pretty crappy compared to what you get from Microsoft or third parties. Apple's mail service has been reliable for ~15 years now (since iTools anyway) but their online photo stuff, iTunes match, iDisk: all of that stuff is garbage. My understanding is that skydrive is pretty good, gmail is excellent, and everyone loves dropbox. If you're already using non-apple services for everything then there's absolutely no good reason to switch: it'll be painful.

    iMessage is awesome when it works, obnoxious when it doesn't. Most of my friends have Apple phones so the free texting works well. Having messages go from phone to desktop to laptop etc. is pretty awesome. The major issue is when you have more than one device. ie: I'm in my office on a Mac pro now, I have my iPhone on the shelf charging and an ipad on the table. There's a macbook in the living room behind me but I think it's sleeping. If somebody texts me I'm going to hear every single one of those damn things ring over a span of 10 seconds. "Buzz...Bong...Buzz...Ding...Buzz..." You can manually manage it: turning on some devices and off others but that sort of defeats the purpose.

    Time Capsule works really well with Time Machine. External hard drives (like an AWS share, or drive on your Windows computer) are less reliable in my experience. If you have to physically connect a drive via USB the feature is almost worthless because you just won't do it. Unless you're prepared to invest in the official hardware I think it's really difficult to use this as a selling point. If you are: it's bloody brilliant. The technology isn't particularly interesting but the interface is really good and that makes all the difference.

    Find my mac/iphone/ipad seems like an awesome feature - and it's great for figuring out if you left your kit at work or a friends house but if somebody steals your laptop it's gone. That service is useless for recovering things from a thief but if you misplace your laptop (is it at work, at the gym, or did I leave it at home) then it works reasonably well for letting you know where to look.

    Your best bet is to go pick one up at a store and play with it for half an hour. The selling point for the macbook air is the way it feels and the battery life. There really isn't anything special outside of that. If those things don't impress you enough to fork over $1000+, and you're not already married to Mac OS X because of software then you should probably consider something else.
    Last edited by evn; 2013-02-02 at 07:31 AM.
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  7. #7
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graph View Post
    If you are going to play any type of games don't get a Macbook, they are just a really expensive paperweight.
    He's getting an ultrabook. Ultrabooks aren't for gaming anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by slasher0161 View Post
    The advantages of a macbook is you have a pretty paperweight to show you spent a lot of money on something that was worth roughly 50-60% what you paid for it. Not to bash macintosh they aren't bad but they have their niche and their niche is not bang for your buck by any stretch of the imagination. Also any particular reason for laptop over desktop, if it has a reason i'm sure find a decent laptop at a reasonable price for your needs wouldn't be hard the community is stupidly helpful if you feed them the necessary info.
    Really? A $1200 dollar computer is worth 50-60% of that? Please find me an ultrabook that can stand toe-to-toe with a Macbook Air that only costs $600-700

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    Really? A $1200 dollar computer is worth 50-60% of that? Please find me an ultrabook that can stand toe-to-toe with a Macbook Air that only costs $600-700
    http://www.apple.com/uk/macbookair/specs.html

    Macbook air 13": £999

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...d_i=1000602443

    Acer Aspire S3-391, 13" pretty much identical to the Macbook specs: £517

    There is absolutely zero reason to ever buy a Mac over a Windows (or even Linux in some cases) PC.
    Last edited by Lollis; 2013-02-02 at 09:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Herald of the Titans RicardoZ's Avatar
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    Probably the only Mac that would do you any good gaming wise would be the 27" i5 iMac that goes for around $2'500. Comes with a 3.4 ghz i5 (I'm assuming the 3570, it doesn't say) and the GTX 680MX gpu. You could build a comparable PC for probably a little more than a quarter of that price.

    I personally have a Macbook that has served me very well playing WoW, but only ever on low settings, even when it was new. Also there is no possible way to ever update a Mac as the components are literally soldered to the motherboard, so once you buy it, that's that. No cpu upgrade, no gpu upgrade, no nothing. You'll take what they give you and be grateful.

    But, people who buy a Mac usually do so for a specific reason (although I think we'll all agree it's never gaming). I bought mine because I was producing a radio show at the time and had to be able to edit serious amounts of audio and create spots and record on the fly, for which Logic served me better than I can ever express with words and there's nothing on the PC that could even come close to doing what the Mac did in that regard.

    But for anything related to gaming, there's no Mac out there that's going to suit our needs except for the one I mentioned and at its price point, it's pretty absurd to even consider it.
    Last edited by RicardoZ; 2013-02-02 at 02:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    He's getting an ultrabook. Ultrabooks aren't for gaming anyways.



    Really? A $1200 dollar computer is worth 50-60% of that? Please find me an ultrabook that can stand toe-to-toe with a Macbook Air that only costs $600-700
    both of those statements are questionable.
    gaming is doable on a gt620m @1080p from personal exp. (twice the performance of a hd4000 is still a pretty good if not excellent by ultrabook standards)
    apple is overpriced which is pretty known fact once you start comparing speccs one on one. (see the acer linked by lollis)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    apple is overpriced which is pretty known fact once you start comparing speccs one on one. (see the acer linked by lollis)
    The acer has a lower resolution and lacks an ssd. Which are imo pretty big plusses, def the higher resolution :P
    Not saying Macs arent overpriced, but on the ultrabook front they are pretty much even.

  12. #12
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeara View Post
    The acer has a lower resolution and lacks an ssd. Which are imo pretty big plusses, def the higher resolution :P
    Not saying Macs arent overpriced, but on the ultrabook front they are pretty much even.
    1440x900 vs 1366 x 768 , neither of which are good for laptop when a zenbook offers a 1080p ips screen......
    minor resolution gain + small ssd don't warrant a nearly double price tag. (for that double price there are way better options out there)

    airs pale when compared to zenbooks hardware wise at stock and when modding/gaming comes into the equation only one still stands.

  13. #13
    If you are willing to pay you can get 13" Zenbooks with 1080p IPS monitor and GT650.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    1440x900 vs 1366 x 768 , neither of which are good for laptop when a zenbook offers a 1080p ips screen......
    minor resolution gain + small ssd don't warrant a nearly double price tag. (for that double price there are way better options out there)

    airs pale when compared to zenbooks hardware wise at stock and when modding/gaming comes into the equation only one still stands.
    Thats not really the point i was making. Demon asked for an ultrabook of 600-700 dollar which can stand toe-to-toe with the air. And im saying those 2 extras are in the airs favor when comparing it with the acer linked. Which will up the price to 700 pounds most likely.

  15. #15
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeara View Post
    Thats not really the point i was making. Demon asked for an ultrabook of 600-700 dollar which can stand toe-to-toe with the air. And im saying those 2 extras are in the airs favor when comparing it with the acer linked. Which will up the price to 700 pounds most likely.
    still a healthy 300 quid price gap then..... (300 pounds =/= the price of those 2 minor extras)
    even so the 519 pound one can also go toe to toe easy. (toss in an ssd self for what 50-60 pounds? only difference then is a slightly lower non odd native resolution.....)
    only sane reason to pick an apple these days is if you are software bound or like an AIO solution, since hardware wise apple never gets by compared to other options.
    however unless to OP tosses in some additional info both sides could be argued for , however im still putting my money on a zenbook.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeara View Post
    Thats not really the point i was making. Demon asked for an ultrabook of 600-700 dollar which can stand toe-to-toe with the air. And im saying those 2 extras are in the airs favor when comparing it with the acer linked. Which will up the price to 700 pounds most likely.
    Admittedly, it was only a quick link and I only looked at the one directly on the page. If you scroll down there are a couple of options on the same model.

    128 SSD Version is £574
    128 SSD Version with an i7 instead of i5 is £649

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by evn View Post
    Your best bet is to go pick one up at a store and play with it for half an hour. The selling point for the macbook air is the way it feels and the battery life. There really isn't anything special outside of that. If those things don't impress you enough to fork over $1000+, and you're not already married to Mac OS X because of software then you should probably consider something else.
    I did and I decided that my next laptop will be Mac. Also thanks for informative post you wrote as you seem to be only poster in this thread capable producing text that's worth to read.

  18. #18
    Pandaren Monk Klutzington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lollis View Post
    http://www.apple.com/uk/macbookair/specs.html

    Macbook air 13": £999

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...d_i=1000602443

    Acer Aspire S3-391, 13" pretty much identical to the Macbook specs: £517

    There is absolutely zero reason to ever buy a Mac over a Windows (or even Linux in some cases) PC.
    That was fast.

    OT: Asus.

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