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ULTRAPORTABLES - Macbook Air 13 or Zenbook Price UX31A?

post #1 of 14
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I'm looking for an ultraportable laptop for school. The two machines I've narrowed my decision down to are the Apple Macbook Air 13 (base model 4gb ram + 128gb ssd) and the Zenbook Prime UX31A-DB51 (base 13 inch model, 4gb ram + 128gb ssd). Does anybody on OCN have a good argument for one or the other? Every thread I post in other places turns into a Mac VS Windows debate... They're very similar machines, but here are the most glaring differences:

MacBook Air:
More highly touted keyboard/trackpad (The original Zenbook had a bad trackpad, the new Zenbook Prime is said to have improved on that, but I think the MacBook Air's trackpad should still be better by a good margin)
Slightly more powerful processor (1.8GHz vs 1.7GHz on the Zenbook Prime)
Much faster SSD (the Zenbook Prime sandisk SSD tested very very slow)
I think I also read that it has a superior battery life (90% sure about this one)

Zenbook Prime:
That beautiful 1920x1080 Matte IPS Display
Cheaper! (Price isn't too much of a factor because both will be within my budget)

(if I missed anything please let me know!)

Thanks OCN!
post #2 of 14
Both machines are pretty close it looks. I think the air edges it in ssd speed but that's it. I don't know how much I would like 1920x1080 on a 13 inch screen knowing how windows 7 handles dpi scaling but that's just me. It really comes down to weather you want osx+windows or just windows.
    
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post #3 of 14
I'm also looking to get a UX31a, and according to recent reviews, the UX31a now comes with an ADATA Sandforce SSD, rather than the previous Sandisk U100 that everyone was complaining about. Might be worth some research to find out if ALL UX31a's will come with the sandforce drive.
    
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post #4 of 14
Dumb question, but that 128gb SSD is the only storage for that specific version, so there's no additional storage, right?
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevininsimi View Post

Dumb question, but that 128gb SSD is the only storage for that specific version, so there's no additional storage, right?

No additional storage or secondary drive outside of external USB 3 drives.

However there is an option for a 256 GB SSD, which will cost significantly less to upgrade to than on the Macbook air, where Apple can probably markup the cost of the upgrade by 150% or more.
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post #6 of 14
another question is the kb and touchpad. do you want right click?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchLinuxFTW View Post

No additional storage or secondary drive outside of external USB 3 drives.
However there is an option for a 256 GB SSD, which will cost significantly less to upgrade to than on the Macbook air, where Apple can probably markup the cost of the upgrade by 150% or more.

lol yeah, wouldn't be surprised if Apple did that.

So there's another version of the Prime, the UX32VD. Has the i7, discrete GT620M graphics, 500GB HDD with 24gb SSD for that instant on stuff, and it's $300 cheaper than the UX31A-DB72.

So you either take more storage, a better processor and get that discrete graphics and sacrifice the SSD, or take less storage with just a single SSD and integrated graphics. So many different options headscratch.gif
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post #8 of 14
While slightly bigger, the vizio 14" 'ultrabook' would be my choice if all you are doing is schoolwork.
It has a 1.9 GHz ivy i7, 4 gigs of RAM, 900p screen (not a problem when you're at such a small size, really), 256 gig SSD, and only weighs 3.39 lbs.
I also find that it is much more aesthetically pleasing than either of the other two options.
388

It isn't out yet, but if you preorder it, you can get it in less than 20 days.

$1,200 for the top end model, but it gets cheaper if you bump it down to a 128 gig SSD.

http://store.vizio.com/ct14a2.html
post #9 of 14
I would go with the MBA because of faster CPU/SSD, better warranty, and better battery life by an hour an a half.
But they are both excellent choices.
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post #10 of 14
IMO wait a bit for the UX21A. Slim, light, and has a 1080p screen.



If you really need one now, go for the Zenbook - you can actually upgrade the stuff in it, and if anything breaks, it'll be much easier to replace. Also, apple...... bleh.
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