Which one would you get?

It is time to get a new laptop, and I would like it to be as light as possible subject to having a full-size keyboard and a not-too-small (at least 12”) display. So it is down to the MacBook Air versus the Lenovo X300.

I have been planning to move to OS X, and I appreciate superior design, so the MacBook is the default choice, but I also like to be able to connect a computer to other devices, which leads to the problem described in the video.

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16 thoughts on “Which one would you get?

  1. Of course, the Macbook. Having to deal with the nightmare of maintaining a working copy of Windows and the productivity “tax” it imposes are enough reason to prefer the Mac OS-based solution, regardless of any hardware differences between the two laptops.

  2. Yeah. And don’t buy too strongly into this Lenovo ad. I mean, who needs to carry all these cables around, and the DVD device… Of course, if you’re travelling somewhere far away for an extended period of time, you’d need to carry a bunch of cables which you’ll pack in your suitcase. But for day-to-day needs you really don’t need to haul the DVD and 10 different projector cables from one conference room to another, or from your home to your office (where you have Desktop PC’s anyway….)

  3. Hardware-wise, note that X301/300 gives you the option to swap the dvd drive with an extra battery. Also, thinkpads have dedicated home/end/page up/page down keys. Finally, having a Control key on the right hand side makes a lot of difference to me in Emacs, although the modifiers are actually configurable in osx.

    (P.S. I own both mac and pc laptops and use them regularly.)

  4. you can get Toshiba Portege R500. 12″ screen, just under 1kg, DVD drive built-in, does not look like a black coffin…

  5. I love my X300, especially with the 9 cell+6 cell battery configuration. The LCD is amazingly bright, and the thinkpad keyboards are unbeatable (my favorite part of the laptop). I have had no significant problems running Vista on it (to be safe, I would get at least 2GB of memory). Anecdotally, I watched a Mac mangle Venkat’s slides today. You can ask Anup about his dongle issues.

  6. andrej: they do say that love is blind. give the man a chance to save himself while he can.

    Specifically, if you can’t imagine yourself using anything other than a Mac, get the Macbook. Otherwise, I would go wit hthe Thinkpad, or another windows machine. Do you really want to waste hours each time you need a utility that does something simple, to find one that works on a mac?

    (andrej: is that not a problem?)

  7. I own a mac and thought about it a lot before switching to it a few months ago. I viewed the fact that it stands out aesthetically as a negative at the time that I bought it cos I assumed this must mean that the price is inflated. Once I started using it though, the little differences added up to he a lot….. I don’t think I cold go back to using a laptop that doesn’t have support for mouse pad guestures for eg. The only time I have to restart is when there is a software update. Also in my experience every windows machine has the reverse moore effect problem: after about 8 months it is running exactly the same software at about half the speed.

    One issue you will have to consider is moving your powerpoint slides over. Dr some strange reason powerpooint for the mac doesn’t really open files generated in windows very well… Things are buggy. I’ve been making all my new talks in keynote, but this often deprives my coauthors of the power to mooch my slides.

    Venkats laptop did implode, but it was a motherboard issue apparently. Dongles were not involved.

  8. Nothing but mac! I switched to a macbook pro a couple of years ago and it’s far superior to any pc machine running windows.

  9. I view switching to keynote as a plus (I would probably start using beamer more if I stayed with windows), but I do prefer the superior keyboard of the Lenovos

  10. Hi Luca,

    I chose the X301 but for reasons that probably don’t apply to you. So you should probably go with the Mac Air (though I’d wait for a newer version of it).

    The main reason for me was that I’m addicted to Winedt text editor and that joystick they have in Thinkpad keyboard.
    Also I work a lot from trains, coffee shops etc.. and so I appreciated the long battery life (when you replace the DVD with a battery) and internal broadband modem.

    On the other hand the X301 looks and feels way bigger than the air (and also than the X60). Also I can’t say I didn’t have issues with windows.

  11. MacBook Air! It is quite a different experience moving with a MacBook Air: it is as light and as thin as you ever dreamt a notebook to be!

    I recommend it also because of the SSD hard disk: you will not hear anymore the umpleasant noise of hard disks; actually, you will hear nothing! Moreover, your Mac will be fully operating after 30 seconds you pushed the power button.

    Furthermore, the display is beautifully bright and very smart: it adjusts itself, depending on external light.

    The multitouch pad is outstanding: it is very convenient to scroll documents up and down with two fingers, to zoom in and out by inward or outward moving of the fingers!

    Mac OS X rembers the pdfs you open and you’ll find them opening precisely at the point you left them.

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