The months of rumors surrounding the new MacBook Air with Mac OS X Lion installed have now become reality, as Apple released the new ultra-slim laptop yesterday. We had expected the i5 Intel Sandy Bridge processor, Thunderbolt connectivity, backlit keyboard, increased RAM and storage, and were pleased that all this came in at a much lower cost than the previous version. So what alternatives are there?
Currently there are three that will be able to compete, the ASUS UX21, Samsung Series 9, and also the Sony Vaio Z. All three are all great alternatives but we know that you will want to know which of the three is a closest matched to the new MacBook Air. However, if we had to choose, then we would say that the Asus UX21 is the best of the rest.
The UX21 costs a little less than the standard 13-inch MacBook Air, and it is also thinner in places — who would have thought that when Apple launched the Air back in 2008? Like the Air you will also have the chance to upgrade the ASUS machine to an i7 processor, although we are uncertain how much this will cost. We do know that the extra option is just $100 on the Apple Store, so this should give you a rough idea.
The next best would have to be the Samsung Series 9, which again is another ultra-light laptop. Specs include the Core i5-2537M processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and also a backlit keyboard. However, there is one issue, and that is the price, $1,700 does seem a little steep. It does not matter how you look at this laptop, that price is too much for this kind of laptop, one that could affect sales in a negative way.
The final 2011 MacBook Air alternative is the Sony Vaio Z, which is both lighter and thinner. However, you will have to pay the price, as again you will be paying about $1700 for the entry-level model, which goes up quite a bit for increasing one or two specs. What shocks us is the base price is around the same as the top-level MacBook Air.
We cannot tell you which of the four you should choose, but if you want a device with great reliability and the best operating system in the world, then it will have to be the MacBook Air. For those of you who want to stick with Windows, then the ASUS UX21 is the obvious choice, as it has the performance and price about right.