Apple MacBook Air 13 (Ivy Bridge) vs Ultrabooks - HotHardware

Apple MacBook Air 13 (Ivy Bridge) vs Ultrabooks

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Our MacBook Air is running Mac OS X 10.8.2, which is the latest version of Mountain Lion (at the time of this writing), Apple's newest operating system. We already covered Mountain Lion in depth when we reviewed the OS back in August so we're not going to spend too much time rehashing those features, but we will point out some of the highlights that ship with the MacBook Air.

To quickly recap, OS X 10.8 introduces over 200 new features to the OS X platform and represents a synergy of sorts with Apple's mobile iOS platform -- master one and you'll feel reasonably comfortable poking around the other. It's just as easy to use, and if this is your first rodeo with an Apple notebook, you'll quickly fall in love with the Dock, which is where your favorite applications reside (assuming you take the time to customize it with your favorite apps).

Facebook integration plays an prominent role in the OS X experience, if you want it to. Linking your Facebook account to OS X merges your online friends into your Contacts, adds profile photos for contacts, delivers Facebook notifications on your MacBook Air, and generally makes the social experience more accessible.

Apple opened its Mac App Store back in January of last year, further reinforcing the fact that that Mac OS X and iOS are on a convergent path. That's especially true of the MacBook Air, which isn't much larger than an iPad, albeit with a keyboard permanently attached.

FaceTime isn't new to the MacBook Air, but the integrated webcam -- *ahem* FaceTime HD camera -- is improved to 720p. It's still not fantastic, but it's a definite improvement over last year's model. You can make out more detail, which is always a bonus when you're FaceTiming your significant other while you're stuck in a hotel room. How you take advantage of the higher resolution is up to you...

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If you want a windows machine, I can't see how this will be of comparable value to an ASUS Zenbook UX32VD-DB71. Granted the Zenbook costs $100 more, but you get a lot for that money over the Air: IPS @ 1920x1080, i7 processor at 1.9GHz, nearly identical dimensions, and a dedicated NVDIA 620M graphics card. You sacrifice a bit of speed on the hard drive 500gb + 24GB caching SSD and it weighs a little less than 4oz. more than the Air.

If you are invested in iOS, of course you would opt for the Air. But if I'm a windows user, how can I justify not spending the extra $100 to eliminate Boot Camp and/or virtualization? If you don't have a spare one, you'll have to purchase a copy of windows for installation with Boot Camp bringing the price points to about even.

Since ASUS is relatively new to the Ultrabook game I guess my only area of concern is how the system holds up to the portable lifestyle and durability, something the Air gets high marks for. Based on the ASUS transformer infinity tablet I own, I think ASUS will be up to snuff.

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thebitdnd, if you want a Windows machine, there is no reason to look at the MacBook Air at all. However, if you want the benefits of OS X and the build quality of this notebook, with the flexibility to boot both, then this is an obviously better option.

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Thank you so much for this informative and reliable information.i sure have learned many things.

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I have this macbook air, obviously I am writing down this comment with my macbook air.

I am a value-minded person, but this macbook air is such a machine. First stop, Ultrafast! This machine handles all my applications at the same time well without getting hot (Browsing Safari, Video-chatting on Skype, Editing iPhoto, Sending e-mails with attachments via mail). This is a great performer. Battery life, when I do a lot of stuffs, it's not n the level of 5 hours 4 hours and 30 minutes to be exact. When I do just simple things, typing, and browsing, battery life is astonishing. I've got 7 hours and 20 minutes. I think the design is rather..beautiful. This is thin yet really feels nice in our hand and solid. It becomes one of the part of the design in my house. I bought the 256 gb, because 128 gb is rather too small.

Things I don't like:

1.There is no cd drive, yes I have to admit that is rarely found on ultra books

2.Thunderbolt peripherals are ...shall we say next to none, because If I can find it,the price will not be justifiable

3.Still searching

Conclusion:Great, not perfect. This notebook may not have the bargain of the century, you can have a super desktop, or a superb standard notebook for 1500 bucks. I have no regret spending my 1500 on this apple machine

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Eclass, good to hear. I think we agree. You get what you pay for with respect to quality and performance when it comes to this machine.

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