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Noth 02.04.2015 20:10

Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Since the current Macbook & Macbook air are looking decidedly naff when it comes to screen res + those huge bezels, I present you a new challenger:

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conten...88-980x756.jpg

The Dell XPS13 with 3200x1800 screen, in a case the size of an 11" laptop. This seriously rocks! Still 1.2 Kg but comes with your choice of Broadwell processors (i3 to i7) and either Windows 8.1 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and 4 to 8 gigs of RAM. And plenty of ports, unlike something that got announced a month ago. I usually don't endorse Dell but this one looks much much better than usual.

I haven't seen anything else like it... Especially screenwise. We can use this thread to add whatever the competition comes up with...

Phil_MCR 02.04.2015 20:16

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
As well as XPS13, you might look at Asus UX305 or UX303LA and the Lenovo X250

p42 02.04.2015 20:24

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Will it run OSX?
This is a Hackintosh thread right?

Noth 02.04.2015 20:26

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Resolution at or below 1080p not accepted, of course. And I prefer the 11" formfactor...

Faltrad 02.04.2015 20:31

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
The weak point of Macs is the sound. The in-built speakers are not impressive. My old Toshiba was wolrd better ten years ago. Why?
For anything else, I sold my soul to Apple, sorry.

Phil_MCR 02.04.2015 20:34

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
I prefer 12" to 11" form factor, but agree that 11 is preferable to the 13.

However, for any screen <13", I would prefer 1080p resolution to the pixel doubled 1600x900 resolution which has poor screen real estate in doubled mode and is too small in native mode as well as being much more battery hungry.

Also would only go for non-touch matte screens. glossy screens == useless/yuck.

Slaphead 02.04.2015 20:38

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 2368981)
The weak point of Macs is the sound. The in-built speakers are not impressive. My old Toshiba was wolrd better ten years ago. Why?
For anything else, I sold my soul to Apple, sorry.

No inbuilt speakers are impressive, or even remotely good, and that goes for all laptops or desktops.

Phil_MCR 02.04.2015 20:40

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Slaphead (Post 2368986)
No inbuilt speakers are impressive, or even remotely good, and that goes for all laptops or desktops.

i guess it is relative. i was impressed by the speakers in the cheapo c710 chromebook. was enough to blast sound across the room to watch a film (video went via HDMI).

Slaphead 02.04.2015 20:43

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil_MCR (Post 2368987)
i guess it is relative. i was impressed by the speakers in the cheapo c710 chromebook. was enough to blast sound across the room to watch a film (video went via HDMI).

I'm talking quality, not quantity.

Noth 02.04.2015 21:17

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Just use bluetooth speakers...

Not really a Hackintosh thread but I'm sure things can be done with these devices. Just make sure it's the Dell wifi chip (Broadcom).

Sean Connery 02.04.2015 21:38

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
having had my paws on an XPS13 i7 with touch recently......there is no competition.

I'm also quite happy with my new T450s at work too. But the Dell is monumental....now I await the death of my XPS12! Since my last XPS13 lasted over 5 years......I might be waiting :D

dawiz 05.04.2015 19:12

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
I've had my XPS 13 for about two months now and it's hands down the best ultrabook I've ever had the pleasure to use. I'm a Mac enthusiast, but this thing stomps my 13" rMBP into the ground and the MBA is a dinosaur compared to it. I basically had to buy it because we exclusively use Windows at work and our IT has been doing everything to keep Macs out - but I couldn't be happier with it and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Up to the XPS 13, I hated every single Windows Laptop I had ever used.

rainer_d 05.04.2015 20:11

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dawiz (Post 2370091)
I've had my XPS 13 for about two months now and it's hands down the best ultrabook I've ever had the pleasure to use. I'm a Mac enthusiast, but this thing stomps my 13" rMBP into the ground and the MBA is a dinosaur compared to it. I basically had to buy it because we exclusively use Windows at work and our IT has been doing everything to keep Macs out - but I couldn't be happier with it and can wholeheartedly recommend it. Up to the XPS 13, I hated every single Windows Laptop I had ever used.

I agree that the new XPS13 looks good.
Though, I'd need to get the Developer-edition.

According to this: http://www.heise.de/open/artikel/Del...t-1823594.html
it then has a battery-life of about half of what a rMPB could achieve - and you can't swap batteries...
Maybe things have improved since then (a month ago).
(Edit: argh, that's the previous edition - must look for a review of the current edition)

The thing about Macs is that you can have a nice OS with an integrated Unix shell but without all the hassles of using Windows - and great battery-life with all the features working as advertised by the vendor.

I haven't used anything beyond Windows 7 (and that only in an atrociously slow VDI) , but given I don't need or want to run any Windows-apps, I doubt I'm really missing something.

dawiz 05.04.2015 20:16

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rainer_d (Post 2370109)
I agree that the new XPS13 looks good.
Though, I'd need to get the Developer-edition.

According to this: http://www.heise.de/open/artikel/Del...t-1823594.html
it then has a battery-life of about half of what a rMPB could achieve - and you can't swap batteries...
Maybe things have improved since then (a month ago).
(Edit: argh, that's the previous edition - must look for a review of the current edition)

The thing about Macs is that you can have a nice OS with an integrated Unix shell but without all the hassles of using Windows - and great battery-life with all the features working as advertised by the vendor.

I haven't used anything beyond Windows 7 (and that only in an atrociously slow VDI) , but given I don't need or want to run any Windows-apps, I doubt I'm really missing something.

I definitely prefer Mac OS, but Windows 8 on a touch-screen laptop has its benefits. As far as battery life goes: the 13" rMBP typically lasts me about 9 hours, so does the XPS13. The Macbook Air would probably last longer, but my workday doesn't require that.

rainer_d 05.04.2015 21:05

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dawiz (Post 2370110)
I definitely prefer Mac OS, but Windows 8 on a touch-screen laptop has its benefits. As far as battery life goes: the 13" rMBP typically lasts me about 9 hours, so does the XPS13. The Macbook Air would probably last longer, but my workday doesn't require that.

My work is unix system administration. Windows hasn't been my "main" OS at work for well over a decade.
I don't use Windows or own a Windows computer at home.
So, I have no place for it ;-)

It would be OK if all my work consisted of was using Outlook, though.

Using OS X is very nice and pleasant (provided you have a Magic Trackpad or a Notebook-Trackpad) - but for my line of work, Linux seems to be bit better suited.
Mainly, due to the way it deals with multiple "desktops". How Windows 10 performs in that area remains to be seen.

People complain about the screens of Apple's MBAs - but if you look around, most other laptops have much worse screens (1366x768 on a 13" is nothing unusual).
The XPS is probably what a lot of people would have wanted the 2015 MBA to be.
Apple will probably lose a few sales over the XPS - but of all the people who bought the MBA, most almost certainly bought it for the battery life (and the weight).

Once it's actually available in the stores, I will have to take a look at the MacBook.
That thing looks interesting - if only by virtue of not having a lot of stuff we previously thought we need ;-)

dawiz 05.04.2015 21:10

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rainer_d (Post 2370118)
My work is unix system administration. Windows hasn't been my "main" OS at work for well over a decade.

I don't use Windows or own a Windows computer at home.

So, I have no place for it ;-)



It would be OK if all my work consisted of was using Outlook, though.



Using OS X is very nice and pleasant (provided you have a Magic Trackpad or a Notebook-Trackpad) - but for my line of work, Linux seems to be bit better suited.

Mainly, due to the way it deals with multiple "desktops". How Windows 10 performs in that area remains to be seen.



People complain about the screens of Apple's MBAs - but if you look around, most other laptops have much worse screens (1366x768 on a 13" is nothing unusual).

The XPS is probably what a lot of people would have wanted the 2015 MBA to be.

Apple will probably lose a few sales over the XPS - but of all the people who bought the MBA, most almost certainly bought it for the battery life (and the weight).



Once it's actually available in the stores, I will have to take a look at the MacBook.

That thing looks interesting - if only by virtue of not having a lot of stuff we previously thought we need ;-)


I only use my laptop for office productivity and image editing. The MBA's screen is absolutely lousy. It's not just the resolution - the panel is cheap, viewing angles are bad and so is color accuracy.

I had hopes for the new MacBook but I won't go back to a 12" screen - and it's not powerful enough to run Lightroom or Photoshop.

rainer_d 05.04.2015 21:17

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
My work is strictly non-mobile - I sit on the same chair in the office the whole day (besides from the occasional meeting and lunch).
As such, I have a desktop with two screens.

I would only need a laptop for when I'm on call and not at home.
(Which is why I'm contemplating getting one, and the smallest with the best battery life while I'm at it).

How slow the MB actually is remains to be seen.
I'm not fully set on it - mainly due to the fact that it will be relatively slow on computationally intensive tasks.

Phil_MCR 05.04.2015 21:33

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rainer_d (Post 2370124)
My work is strictly non-mobile - I sit on the same chair in the office the whole day (besides from the occasional meeting and lunch).
As such, I have a desktop with two screens.

I would only need a laptop for when I'm on call and not at home.
(Which is why I'm contemplating getting one, and the smallest with the best battery life while I'm at it).

How slow the MB actually is remains to be seen.
I'm not fully set on it - mainly due to the fact that it will be relatively slow on computationally intensive tasks.

The new MB light and compact. If you can still get your hands on the Vaio Pro 11 (non-touch), then you might be interested in that one. Only 770g, non-glossy screen and a more powerful CPU than the NMB, plus standard USB ports! ;)

homesick_alien 06.04.2015 00:47

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
I have been waiting for a retina display version of the macbook air... having looked at the specs for the new 12 inch retina MB air..first impressions are that it looks very nice, some interesting new features with the track pad etc. but for things which really matter (to me at least) its a real disappointing list of specs....

Firstly, the computing hardware is quite locked down (e.g. RAM is locked at 8GB i.e. you cannot expand it), and therefore it is definitely is not a power laptop. Now I have a 2011 macbook pro and I do quite a bit of video editing and I like the idea of doing some editing here and there on the macbook air whilst traveling (my macbook pro is 17 inch, not most portable friendly) but looks like this machine will struggle to perform demanding tasks.

Secondly, it only has ONE connection for everything: the so called USB-C connection. Whilst that may sound magical, clean, revolutionary blah blah blah.. in reality you will have to spend a shit load of money on adaptors to get the multiple use that you will need out of it (e.g. USB, charging, HDMI..) and from apple they're not cheap; their basic adaptor is 80 USD...what a joke! There are third party products for USB-C, but I dont like the idea of carrying around bits of additional crap. It might not be such an issue if you didnt have to recharge it say more than once a week, but battery life is standard fare at 9 hours.

Lastly, the webcam is shite! It is max 420p resolution! Ok, granted it is basically a glorified netbook, but web / video chat is one of the things we probably want to use this laptop for the most.. so why oh why do they give it a retina display screen with all those beautiful pixels but then stick on a crappy webcam :confused: not even 720p ... come on!

Phil_MCR 06.04.2015 01:40

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by homesick_alien (Post 2370220)
I have been waiting for a retina display version of the macbook air... having looked at the specs for the new 12 inch retina MB air..first impressions are that it looks very nice, some interesting new features with the track pad etc. but for things which really matter (to me at least) its a real disappointing list of specs....

Firstly, the computing hardware is quite locked down (e.g. RAM is locked at 8GB i.e. you cannot expand it), and therefore it is definitely is not a power laptop. Now I have a 2011 macbook pro and I do quite a bit of video editing and I like the idea of doing some editing here and there on the macbook air whilst traveling (my macbook pro is 17 inch, not most portable friendly) but looks like this machine will struggle to perform demanding tasks.

Secondly, it only has ONE connection for everything: the so called USB-C connection. Whilst that may sound magical, clean, revolutionary blah blah blah.. in reality you will have to spend a shit load of money on adaptors to get the multiple use that you will need out of it (e.g. USB, charging, HDMI..) and from apple they're not cheap; their basic adaptor is 80 USD...what a joke! There are third party products for USB-C, but I dont like the idea of carrying around bits of additional crap. It might not be such an issue if you didnt have to recharge it say more than once a week, but battery life is standard fare at 9 hours.

Lastly, the webcam is shite! It is max 420p resolution! Ok, granted it is basically a glorified netbook, but web / video chat is one of the things we probably want to use this laptop for the most.. so why oh why do they give it a retina display screen with all those beautiful pixels but then stick on a crappy webcam :confused: not even 720p ... come on!

i believe there is a video in spanish where such reasons are explained :P

RTN 06.04.2015 08:18

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
I am currently looking for a laptop or 2 in 1 for my wife so she has a portable office. Definitely a non demanding user so this ticks the boxes. Ah Switzerland prices, 800 US and 1300 here from Dell, ultraportable but only flies first class which explains the price difference, not!!

rainer_d 06.04.2015 13:26

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
The lack of ports...
Thats...controversial.
Personally, I'd probably only need a serial port, now and then.
But I'm not sure I'd want to buy a laptop in 2015 that actually has one - given the fact that my ten years old laptop has more resolution than a typical laptop sold today.
(Hm, there's this one: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/la...7404-laptop/pd - tempting, but I think I'll pass nevertheless).

Ports probably make the PCB layout more complicated and less... clean. ;-)
If you're a ports-guy (or ports-gal), Apple laptops aren't for you.
The MBP-line has some more ports but most Apple laptops are sold under the assumption that if it ain't Thunderbolt or USB, it ain't worth making a port for it...
;-)
I do use USB-sticks from time to time - but really not that often.

Noth 07.04.2015 00:16

Re: Macbook Air challengers 2015
 
Didn't know Dell were trying to break into Panasonic's ToughBook market. 8.5lbs makes that a luggable... It'll be interesting to see what the newer Broadwell laptops bring to the market, hopefully with screen res not dating back to 2001.


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