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    Shopping for New Ultrabook

    I am shopping for a new ultrabook and for the first time in a really long time I'm considering Apple. I'm thinking of a Macbook Air. Does anyone have one or have advice to offer?

    Right now I'm mainly looking at the Air versus the Lenovo Yoga. Almost every review seems to agree that Apple has the best keyboard and trackpad but the Lenovo would offer a touch screen and can transform from notebook to tablet. I have been a Windows person for 20 years but have never used Windows 8 so the learning curve would probably be about the same for both.

    #2
    Hmmmmm.... good question.

    I have a MacBook PRO from a couple of years back, and I really love the fact that it is as fast as the first day I bought it. All my "Windows-laptop's" through my time has considerably slowed down a lot after a couple of years. That is what I can say out of experience. Switching over from Windows to MAC about 6-7-8 years ago, wasn't hard at all. And I was by no means a computer guru then (neither am I today)...

    I like the keyboard of the PRO because it illuminates in the dark (if you want to), and sitting in a dark place (overnight flight for example) that is really helpful.

    I'm not sure there is keyboard-illumination on the AIR models. But there is, that is really cool.

    Touchscreen is great when you use it as an tablet, but I'm actually glad my PRO is not a touchscreen (perhaps because of the very glossy glass?).

    The price is a whole lot higher than for windows-machines, but as I said initially - and very important for me - it's still as fast as the day it arrived at home for the first time.
    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
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      #3
      Thank you for the opinions. Surprisingly the cost of a Macbook Air is comparable to the Windows machines I'm considering and the Macbook outperforms many others in spite of its slower processor frequency. I think it says a lot that they (Apple) seems to work toward the end product and not care about being able to cite bit technical numbers.

      I am truly a nerd though. As I type this I have pieces of cardboard taped to my netbook making is the size of a Air 13" since it's overall size is one of my bigger concerns. I almost never use this computer at a desk. It's usually on an airline tray table or resting in my lap somehow so physical size is bugging me more than any other technical aspect.

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        #4
        Hi Dane! I use a Macbook Pro as my laptop and a Win 8 machine as desktop.

        Win 8 is nothing like as bad to learn as some people make out - once you get used to the fact that you don't have to use the 'Metro' interface, it's absolutely fine, fast, clean and very, very reliable.

        The Mac is gorgeous too though - purely as a solid lump of aluminium and glass. As J-O says, they're fast to start with and they stay that way - although I did invest in much more RAM which seems to help. The OS is very close to *nix any way, and Apple seem to be fairly good at supporting it.

        I reckon you'll be happy whichever you go for.
        Cheers,

        Mark.

        www.pologlover.co.uk

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          #5
          Mark, what's the "Metro" interface? I still have Vista on this machine, but I may have to start thinking about getting a new laptop one of these days.
          Ivy

          "To thine own self be true.......
          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

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            #6
            Something about it here, albeit rather negative:

            http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-metro...es-7000013036/

            Basically the Start button that Vista and Win7 had has disappeared, and you get a big graphical display in front of you - the Metro Interface. This can actually look quite good, and you can organise programs by group. If what you want isn't in front of you, just start typing the name, and it will find it for you - really quickly.

            What they don't seem to tell you in the reviews though is that you can get back to the familiar desktop really easily too.

            I believe it was really done to make the system work well on Touchscreens.

            I quite like the interface - I don't find a problem with it, but I know a lot of people don't. But to be honest Win7 and Win8 are nice, fast operating systems that are easy to live with, so getting used to the front screen is worth the effort.

            One other Win8 thing - my desktop has Win8 and a Solid State Disk Drive for the boot software, that combination allows it to boot from off to being able to run programs in about 10 - 15 seconds!! Not really used to that from previous versions of Windows. It's actually quicker to wake from off than my Macbook is to wake from sleep (but that has a conventional hard disk).
            Cheers,

            Mark.

            www.pologlover.co.uk

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              #7
              Luckily I have no time pressure since this will be my travel computer and my netbook (what I'm typing on now) is still functional. I hope to get into town next weekend and actually put my hands on some computers for their feel. I've gotta think that since my 10" netbook (Atom N550, 2 gig ram) gets me by that I would be happy with the performance of anything I choose. At first I was wondering if I should move up to 13" but today I'm back to thinking my travel computer should be as small and light as possible and right now I'm leaning toward the Macbook Air 11"... but I'm currently changing my mind faster than the weather. I think it will really come down to which one has the specs I want and puts a smile on my face when I pick it up.

              Comment


                #8
                Many thanks, Mark. Sounds as though I can view the probable purchase of a new machine one day with optimism instead of that shrinking feeling. Always provided that I can transfer everything across satisfactorily. You'd laugh to see the muddle last time, from XP to Vista. At a crucial point I misunderstood something and called myself Owner instead of Ivy as the destination and ended up with two complete sets of emails and goodness knows what else. I had to call in some help and he sorted it out, bundling all the Owner stuff into one vast folder. It was ages before I took a deep breath and deleted it, expecting everything to go up in smoke.
                Life was so much simpler back in the "old days" when I bought my first machine with Windows 98, which had just come out, and its floppy disks. I can remember first looking for a laptop which had the facility for using CD's as I didn't want a great big PC, and being told that they couldn't do it with laptops - no room. I muttered something equivalent to why can't they make it bigger then? Finally they did.
                Roll on.
                Ivy

                "To thine own self be true.......
                Thou canst not then be false to any man."

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                  #9
                  Ivy - Vista to Win8 not as bad as it may seem. Most things just copy across in a fairly logical manner, emails are always fun though.

                  Dane - will be fun to hear what you decide. If it's a 'look and feel' decision, I reckon I know what you'll go for!
                  Cheers,

                  Mark.

                  www.pologlover.co.uk

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am the owner of a Macbook Air 11". I almost immediately loved the hardware and I'm slowly learning the software. Most shocking is that it wakes from sleep before I can open the screen. I was not ready for how that would change how I use a computer. Without thought I close the lid when done and open it when I want the computer and it's ready to go before I get the screen all the way up. Not to mention how long it lasts on battery and the thing has yet to get warm.

                    I am very curious how this turns out now that I have one foot in the PC world and the other in MAC land. The Macbook was the easiest computer to set up that I've ever known. As much as I hate iTunes I must admit that tying my Gmail to the Mac's mail software was pretty painless. As I strugle with learning the new operating system and Internet software I'm in a love/hate relationship but shifting to like it more and more.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I guessed right then!! Yep, biggest shock for me was the fact that you nearly never turn a Mac off.

                      iTunes - I hate it too - but it runs better on the Mac, and sync to other devices is more straightforward.

                      The OS is great until you need to do something very different, then you're into *nix worlds.

                      Thanks for letting us know what you decided and thanks for letting us follow the thought process too - that was fun.
                      Cheers,

                      Mark.

                      www.pologlover.co.uk

                      Comment


                        #12
                        OSX has been intuitive and easy to learn but I was having trouble understanding Safari and it's tabs & pages. I noticed that when I side swiped back to previous pages that Safari was reloading. Every time I would go backwards and forwards it was reloading pages. Probably not a problem with better Internet connectivity but out here where Internet comes via a satellite dish it's a big problem. My Internet travels 44'000 miles just to get to my house and then I pay by the gigabyte and Safari's cloud approach was very slow and expensive. So... I downloaded Google Chrome and have to say that this Macbook is now almost perfect. The more I use it the more I love it and I thought I would never say that about a Mac.

                        I took it to work this morning and left the charger at home. A true test of confidence... and came home with over 4 hours of battery life so OMG I love this thing.

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