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  • thesavvymage - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    You have that the Asus comes with a core i6 :) just a little typo.

    Also, the retina mbp is such a high quality machine. I only wish that the 13" one either had a dedicated card or better integrated video, maybe the haswell version will do it for me
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Also worth noting that there's a 128gb x 2 version at a much more reasonable ~1700 USD price, give or take a few hundreds. Also, only 4gb out of the 8gb is soldered, as I've heard people putting 12gb on it. Finally, the GT650M is supposed to be 2gb, not 1.5.

    Oh, and it comes with a funny but actually surprisingly good external subwoofer ;)
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I wish a machine as big as the 13" rMBP could get Haswells GT3e, that seems like such an ideal candidate, but it's only bundled into processors with TDPs so high that it would be unfeasable for something that size.

    Since it's not an ultrabook either, it would probably get GT2 instead of GT3 as well. Which is pretty strange too, the lower performing CPUs get the GT3 GPU but the higher performing ones don't.
    Reply
  • aylak - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I am in the market for a portable standard voltage CPU laptop. Lenovo's thinkpad t430 with i5 cpu and nvs5200 graphics seems like a good choice to me. Is there any reason exluding it from this article? Did you have a chance to review or use it?
    Thanks
    Reply
  • aylak - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Meant to type t430s not t430 Reply
  • jeffbui - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    T430s has the worst display I've used on a notebook in years. It was so bad I got rid of it 3 days after I bought it because my 6 year old Sony laptop display was more clear and less washed out. Reply
  • aylak - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    It sad to hear that the screen is not good. T430S looked like the best value overall among all other options in similar price level with its good keyboard layout, docking options, ability to modify easily etc. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    That's standard TN-madness.. Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    A 15in Vaio over a 13in Air for the midrange? Really? I would rather smash my dick in a wafflemaker than use a 15in Sony thin and light laptop. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Have you seen the display on the Sony? It's awesome compared to pretty much any other consumer display, and at $850 it's an easy choice for me. MacBook Air is basically only viable if you want to run OS X in my book -- yes, you can do Boot Camp, but why? Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Well literally nobody wants to run Windows 8, so OS X is a pretty big advantage. Thin and lights, on average, are used for 'casual computing'... they arent gaming machines and you aren't going to be running Maya on them. Which puts it firmly in OS X strengths.

    And again a 15in (no) Vaio (no) thin and light? noooooooooope
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    4.5 pounds, less than an inch thick. Yes, that would be thin, and for 15.6" it would also be light. As to the "no one wants Windows 8", that's hyperbole. Do I prefer Win7? Yes. Can I use Win8? Quite easily. Install ClassicShell and you'd hardly notice the difference other than the faster boot times. The transition to a new OS is not something to be taken lightly; could I do it? Sure. Could my mother? Or my friend Ali?

    Well, Ali bought an iMac 27 because she had heard how great they are. She hates it. Two years later and her $2000 system is largely unused because she "can't stand OS X". She's not a tech person, and after hearing everyone talk about how great Macs are she decided to try the switch, and she has regretted it ever since.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Just wait until Ali tries Windows 8. Then you'll see hate! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    No, because the first thing I would do is install ClassicShell or Start8. After that, it's just regular old Windows. Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Now your comments really make no sense. If their issue is with an OS and you're willing to install OSes (and even change settings) for someone then why the hell haven't you installed "regular old Windows" on the iMac? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Tweaking something that takes literally less than a minute to turn Windows 8 into Windows 7 is nowhere near the same as trying to teach someone OS X after Windows. But this is all beside the point: Ali hates her Mac, prefers Windows, and can continue to happily run Windows 7 without any trouble. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    Why doesn't she install Windows 7 on her iMac? Reply
  • Dman23 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    So your going to exclude a whole Hardware line because of one person's poor experience with a product?? Are you kidding me?!?

    Jared, come on now, you got to let go of this position that you won't review Apple products and / or rarely recommend them (except for this ONE article) because they don't have Windows preinstalled on them. As you say MANY times, you can always install a copy of Windows if you prefer to use that environment but lets be honest, if you know how to do basic computing on a Windows machine you can do the same in OS X. Stop being so stubborn with your whole "doesn't run Windows / using another OS is hard" excuse. Things have changed here on AnandTech and it's time for you to open your eyes to the Happy fact that AnandTech is no longer a "Windows" centric website but a website that covers ALL of the tech industry / products, regardless of OS.

    There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that switch from Windows to OS X everyday. Do you think the majority of those people are regretting their decision because "using another OS is hard"?? Of course not. Most of them are glad they made the decision. Also, I'm sure you could find millions of people doing the same thing on mobile OS's everyday switching from Android to iOS, or Blackberry OS to Android, or even iOS to Android. Point being, all these operating systems are different but that doesn't prevent people from using different kinds of hardware if they feel that such hardware is superior.

    Anyways, I just wish (being the "Mobile Hardware" Editor / Review guy) you would review hardware products based on it's HARDWARE and not upon what type of OS system is installed on it.
    Reply
  • Dman23 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Oh btw, if your talking about personal experience from switching from Windows to Mac OS X, I personally know 10 friends / family members of mine that have done it and don't regret their decision. Also, maybe you should talk to Anand about how he feels using a MacBook Pro with "Mac OS X" installed as one of his daily drivers and if using Mac OS X was a deal-breaker for him at all? I would suspect that his answer would be no. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    The whole point of the comment was to avoid the anti-Apple people getting up in arms -- it's really easy to recommend Apple and be part of the trendy crowd, but I just don't feel a need to do so. As for reviewing Apple products, why should I need to when Anand already covers that area? "Hey Anand, I need you to buy me an Apple laptop for me to review, but it will take me about six months to really get up to speed on the whole platform so that I can do it properly. That's not a problem, is it?"

    The point is, you can love OS X all you want. I've tried it, and I don't like it. Could I learn it? Of course, but I'm happy with Windows so why should I change? Just for the sake of changing? I don't have the money to buy Macs, Apple doesn't tend to send much in the way of review hardware, and we still have a huge market for Windows users. I'm not trying to say Ali is representative of everyone out there, but the idea that EVERYONE prefers OS X once they give it a chance is bullocks. Just like the suggestion that EVERYONE hates Windows 8's new interface is hyperbole.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    I agree with you, Jarred.

    - had you incldued the Air, you would have to considered Ultabooks again
    - even though we're talking about hardware, the OS is a major part of experiencing that hardware, so it's definitely a consideration
    - I've also got a friend who actually had to work with Macs.. he's still on Windows for good reasons
    Reply
  • Dman23 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    Hey, sorry for the late response. Life you know... Anyways, why would you post a comment just to placate what you call "anti-Apple" crowd?? Are you THAT influenced by what people say that you feel the need to post a comment that you don't necessarily believe in but to prevent internet trolls from flaming you?!? That whole first part of that sentence has me confused / worried because as an esteemed reviewer @ AnandTech.com, I would hope that what you post is what your believe to be true (however wrong your may be ;) ) and has nothing to do with some dofus individual claiming "Mac SUX, Apple can Sux My Butt" comments from trolls on the internet.

    Also, Apple has been outgrowing the PC Market the last several (6 or 7?) years. To say that part of the reason you are hesitant to recommend the Mac because you don't want to "be part of the trendy crowd" is ridiculous. Were not talking about a clothing-line company here, were talking about a great electronic American Company here. "Trendy" has nothing to do with it.

    In addition, I never stated that EVERYONE prefers Mac OS X, I said that a "majority... are glad they made the decision." There's a HUGE distinction between the two. Also, why is it that the Senior Editor(? sorry, not sure of your official title) of Mobile Hardware isn't reviewing Apple's MOBILE Hardware?? I love Anand and I think he's reviews are thorough and great but doesn't it make sense (especially in articles like these where ostensibly you are giving recommendations on the "Best" Mobile Hardware) to have your Senior Mobile Editor have intimate knowledge of all mobile hardware that is reviewed on the site, in order to truely give the "Best" recommendations on mobile hardware?? Makes all the sense in the world to me.

    The only reason why I could think of you guys deciding not to involve you in reviewing Apple products is because of some sort of preconceived bias against using Apple hardware. Personally, I have more faith in you to not let your biases (whether it's because your grew up with only Windows Products, or your a really big XBox fan, etc.) get in the way of making the best recommendations for each class of product. I say this because when it comes to focusing on the "PC-Windows"-side of things, your recommendations are top notch in my humble opinion and you fairly review every Windows laptop / mobile hardware that comes your way.

    Anyways, call me crazy but like I said, if your going to create these "Best... " Recommendation Lists, then as Senior Editor of Mobile Hardware, it is in the best interests of AnandTech's readers and this website, for you to have good knowledge of Apple mobile hardware, in addition to your knowledge of Windows hardware, for your to truly provide good "Best of..." recommendation lists.
    Reply
  • Space cadet - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Jarred your passionate bias reduces your credibility. You sound like you know what your talking about then comes this totally irrational and seemingly uninformed hatred of any thing Apple. That totally is inconsistent with what I would call a trusted informed unbiased product reviewer.j
    Just saying...
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    "millions of people that switch from Windows to OS X everyday"

    To answer with another hyperbole: then OS X is only a couple of days old, is it?
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I was thinking, oh my God, there must be couple of billion Macs in the wild - at least! What devilish conspiracy is hiding them from us ordinary people? ;) Reply
  • Dman23 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    It's not hyperbole... Apple just came out with their quarterly report and they sold about 4 Million Macs, half of which where to new customers. Do the simple math and that is 2 MILLION customers that were more then likely Windows customers.

    So yes... millions DO switch from Windows computers.
    Reply
  • jabber - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    Millions switching to OSX everyday?

    So Apple should be shifting at least 730 million Macs a year then?

    Again...hyperbole?
    Reply
  • Dman23 - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    @MrSpadge @Jabber

    It's a damn expression... Jesus. If you actually quote my WHOLE sentence I said, "hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people switch from Windows to OS X everyday." Point being, there are LOTS of people, over a given period of time, that switch from Windows to OS X.
    Reply
  • jabber - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    I remember trying OSX about a year ago. Hadn't used a Mac since 1988 so I was pretty out of touch with them. There I was prepared to have my mind blown by the experience and...

    ...Wow, what a disappointment! I could not believe why folks rave about it so much. After using Windows 7 since release OSX to me just felt very old fashioned and clunky. I stuck with it for a week and then handed it back.

    OSX certainly wasn't a step forward for me. As for Windows 8, it's fine, no issues using it here.
    Reply
  • mr_tawan - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I think, in term of usability, it's not really a huge step forward comparing with the prior version (OS9). Sometime I even think it's a hair better than Windows 3.11 in this area :)

    Anyway it's just personal preference. People have their own tastes.

    I prefers my Vaio S (2012) over MBA. I can use OSX or whatsoever (I've tried using it for months, although I don't really like it, I can use it just fine). Using Windows is not either advantage or disadvantage to me. It just merely a tool that I can use.
    Reply
  • mr_tawan - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    I've got my Sony SVS15 with Windows 7, and I'm still happy with it :). Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    "Well literally nobody wants to run Windows 8, so OS X is a pretty big advantage."

    Suuuure. Using it on both of my machines, not perfect but better than Win 7. Wouldn't even dream of touching OS X since it can't run my programs.
    Reply
  • nikon133 - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    Really? You talked with literally everyone on this planet, then? Well you missed to talk with me. I like my Windows 8. Of other 60 million users (that was estimate back in January), I'd bet a few more will agree with me.

    Man, that was so ignorant.
    Reply
  • CalaverasGrande - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    Boot Camp is not the only option for Windows on a Mac. It's actually kind of the least attractive option. I find Virtual Box from Oracle is pretty good. It's easy to set up and use. It also has extensive support for Linux VMs and it is free. If you want a simple windows solution, VMware and Parallels are both mature products, though I am sticking my free copy of Parallels (B&H Photo, best place to buy a mac) in a filing cabinet for later use in case Virtual Box fails me. So far so good. Reply
  • caleblloyd - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    +1 for the waffle maker comment. I attracted some strange looks for laughing so hard in my cube.

    Now if only Anandtech would let us up/down vote comments...
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    LOL. You could probably make $5600 a month if you did it and put it on YouTube. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    please do a similar article but for CUDA/OpenCL users only Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    happened between $850 and $2300. that is a huge price jump Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    asking apple to launch a reasonably priced alternative to PC is like asking Ferrari to launch a reasonably priced alternative to Nissan 350Z. Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Which means you don't know what Apples pricing is. You can get a 13" Air for around $1000 and it will be much higher quality laptop with far better service and support and a modern operating system. Not Microsoft's latest mediocrity. Reply
  • FearfulSPARTAN - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Lol modern operating system, if anything windows new hybrid approach is more modern than osx if people can adjust to it, not to mention the battery life improvements and improvements in general over an already great os windows 7. Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Consumer sentiment does not seem to agree with you. You also completely ignored the service and support angle. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Any reason you call the Macbook a Macbook but don't call the Zenbook a Zenbook?

    That aside, its funny how expensive these things get when you want them to be especially light. The MSI GE60-i760M245FD Gaming Edition misses your definition of light by coming in with 5.3 lbs, but it manages to come with the same size and npn-glare Full-HD screen as the the ASUS Zenbook. At the same time, it does bring better components (660M instead of 650M, twice the RAM, i7-3630Q instead of i7-3612QM), and brings a probably more economically sensible combination of 256GB SSD and 500GB mechanical drive. And its currently available (in Germany) for just 1250€ (~1650$).
    Reply
  • teiglin - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Well, as a distinction, a Zenbook is a Windows laptop, while a Macbook is a Mac, so that makes sense, but I do think it's odd that the word Zenbook is omitted when he includes VAIO and Inspiron and such. My guess is it has to do with the auto-linking thing and not anything Jarred chose. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    It's not just the weight, though. Sure the MSI is just over 5 pounds, but it's also an inch and a half thick -- 50% thicker than most of the other laptops and definitely not in line with the "thin" aspect. Also, the only readily available option in the US has GTX 660M, 8GB, 750GB HDD, and i7-3630QM for around $1100-$1125 (with somewhat limited stock):
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009H8RAYU/ref=as...

    It's more of a midrange gaming notebook in my mind rather than a thin and light, which is why I didn't mention it. :-)
    Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Excellent choice, Jarred, to keep Inte's overpriced "shiny things for the stupid", aka, Ultrabooks, out of this picture.
    And please don't stop poundiing on the bloody manufacturers thick skulls that at this age and day laptops with displays other than bright, low-haze, anti-glare AH-IPS/PLS panels with, at the very least, fHD resolution, simply are not acceptable any more.

    If they still don't get that, then they can play with their crappy TN equipped products by themselves, because no one in his right mind is willing to still buy that junk.
    Reply
  • nicolaim - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    What about Lenovo? I know they haven't come out with anything exciting, but the T430s is around 3.9 lbs and the T431s around 3.6 lbs. Both have 14" 1600x900 LCDs and support mSATA SSDs. (The sad part is that my 3-year-old T410s has similar specs with a larger 16:10 LCD.) Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Lenovos are cheap and plasticky these days. Good luck getting any service. Their reliability is also poor. Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Am surprised the Vizio 15" did not make the cut relative to the Zenbook. Ahh nvm, looking at its specs it comes in at 5.28 pounds and the battery life is dismal apparently. Here's hoping Haswell brings some improvements to this sorry state in Windows laptops. Reply
  • Freakie - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Hey, Jarred, PCB/Platter swap news? I've tried tweeting to you, but to no avail! I am still curious how it turned out! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    First attempt: fail. Second attempt, I'm still trying to determine the best way of doing it. I "crashed" the drive heads I think on my first target drive, and I'm not sure how to avoid doing so the second time. Plus, I need to get some other stuff done first. :-) Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    The irony is that the zenbook can run 1080p with no problems while the rmbp overheats and runs through its battery faster while on its pseudo 1080p(which is actually downsized from a higher res).

    The rmbp's panel is great but according to Anantech's review, the zenbook(the ultrabook) had a better panel(aside from the res of course). Why assume that the 15" variant is inferior ?

    Now I'm being pedantic but Windows Metro is perfectly equipped for high res and even classic Windows desktop(provided you pick an adequate DPI factor). The ecosystem however is not which is where I agree with you.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Windows Metro does fine, but most of the apps I like and use are still standard Windows, and DPI scaling just doesn't work as cleanly as I'd like. Sometimes it's fine, but you get a few apps where it just looks ugly. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    For DPI scaling we really need more laptops like Toshiba's KIRABook; integer scaling is the only option that will work nice most of the time. Floating point math means any app whose developer tried to space things with 1px tightness (and yes I'm as guilty as most of my peers here) is going to run into glitches with 1.25/1.5x scaling. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    Does the KIRABook have its own form of scaling? Or do you mean it needs to be built around laptops like that? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    The kirabook is 2560x1440 and can scale to 1280x720 at 2:1. If you were asking something else; please clarify. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    That's true, and it does break some older or poorly coded apps. Sometimes display elements will be off screen when using 125 or 150% scaling. I keep it on 100% on my 1920x1080 15" laptop display because of that. Makes me wonder about things like the KIRABook, if scaling is still broken on those everything would be absolutely tiny at native. Reply
  • p_giguere1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    3840x2400 (1920x1200 HiDPI) downscaled to 2880x1800 looks sharper than 1920x1080 by a pretty long shot.

    At the kind of PPI the rMBP has, most people can't tell the difference between a native 2880x1800 framebuffer or supersampled resolutions. However, 2880x1800 is so much more pixels than 1080p (2.5x as much) that there is a very noticeable difference in sharpness.

    I'm not sure where you pulled the fact that the rMBP overheats/gets worse battery life at 1920x1200 HiDPI from. That's not true. Even if it was I don't see how it's ironic.

    The Zenbook Prime also didn't have a better panel aside from resolution. It was better in some things like white level and delta e, while the rMBP's was better in others like black level and color gamut. Part of that is due to the rMBP's relatively low brightness caused by the high pixel density requiring more backlighting.
    Reply
  • tech.noob.fella - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    why does no one seem to be interested in samsung's new series 7 chronos 2013 edition? i feel its "almost" a r-macbook equivalent save for the ssd, at half the price of rMBP.....i'm looking forward to pick one up later this year thats why i want you guys' view on the laptop...cheers Reply
  • blabbermouth - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    Well I was interested so I bought one :)

    Awesome machine.

    Great 1080p display with great viewing angles (there's some discussion whether it's an MVA or IPS/PLS panel but the important thing is it's got the resolution and great viewing angles).
    It has two options for screens - a touch glossy one and a non-touch matte one. I hate glossy so I got the latter one.

    Actual 8-9h battery life for light duties (connecting to work over rdp, browsing etc.), 5-6h watching movies over wifi.

    User replaceable battery (though not the easiest thing to do it's at least possible which one cannot say for most of the 'thin' notebooks anymore).
    User replacable hard drive. I swapped the slow 5400rpm hard drive with a 256gb SSD and this thing flies.
    You can upgrade the RAM to 12gb (though the 8gb it came with is plenty for my needs).

    Was thinking about waiting for Haswell but the only thing it will bring that would matter to me would be better battery life which is more than good enough already.
    And it's apparently got a good dedicated graphics card which makes it a gaming machine as well (though I don't use it for that).
    Oh, and (subjectively) it looks great if that's important to you.

    The downsides?
    It's kinda heavy (compared to the 13" ultrabooks I was also looking at) but you get used to it.
    It's got a VGA port where it could have a Displayport (don't have a 1440p or 1600p monitor at home but it would be a nice option for the future). Don't know if 1440p or 1600p is supported over HDMI though (should be?).
    Would have prefered an extra mSATA port for the SSD and keeping the hard drive.

    Jared, you really should take a look at this bundle of joy :P
    Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    The MacBook Air and 13" retina should be here as well. Why are you writing this "guide" if you are so obviously biased towards Windows? Not the sort of thing people expect from Anandtech. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    A man with OSX in his user name calling someone else biased? Please. I picked the best of the Apple products and the one that I could actually get behind using for a variety of reasons. MacBook Air is really no better than half a dozen or more Utlrabooks these days, and in some ways it's worse (e.g. lower resolution LCD, smaller SSD, more expensive, designed for OSX not Windows, etc.) Also, the Retina 13 isn't as good as the Retina 15. Period. iGPU only? Yeah, thanks, I'll pass. Reply
  • bznotins - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Wow, how thin and light definitions have changed. No way I ever trudge through airports with a 14" or 15" laptop. Should retitle the article "thinnER and lightER" laptops, since ultraportables and ultrabooks are the true thin and light options. Reply
  • ViewRoyal - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    "What always amazes me (as a Windows user) is how well Apple MacBooks hold their resale value, even years after purchase. You could probably buy one of these now, use it until the inevitable Haswell update is released, and still sell it for over $2000. In six months, you’ll be lucky to get half of what you paid for most used Windows laptops. I generally find the build quality of Apple’s laptops to be excellent, but I’m still far more comfortable in Windows and it’s easier on my wallet. YMMV."

    This doesn't hold any logic.

    It's true that you can sell Apple computers for not much less than you paid for them, because they hold their value. It's also true that Windows PCs lose their value quickly, and in most cases a year or two later you can only get a small percent of what you paid for it.

    Saying that Windows PCs are "easier on my wallet" doesn't make any sense. Buying a Mac and selling it when you want to get a newer model would be MUCH easier on your wallet.

    Add to this the fact that Macs are better built, with high quality components, and in general they last much longer than Windows PCs and have fewer hardware problems. This also makes it easier on your pocket.
    Reply
  • p_giguere1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    This made me raise an eyebrow as well.

    Of course, Windows laptops generally cost people less than Macs, almost 3x less on average. But that doesn't say anything about how much it costs in order to have a similar product.

    Apple has a near-monopoly on $1,000+ notebooks while not competing anywhere else. The Windows side is the opposite: the market for $1,000+ notebook is almost insignificant. Sales between PC and Mac laptops are almost perfectly divided by the $1,000 mark. The author's comment would have made sense if the average ~$500 Windows laptop had equivalent specs to the average ~$1400 Mac, but it's not the case.

    If you buy a $1000+ Windows laptop, you're almost automatically guaranteed to pay more in the long run than for a Mac. The resale value difference is so huge that even a slightly higher upfront price is more than made up for after resale.

    Of course, buying a sub-$1000 Windows laptop (like most people do) usually still gets cheaper in the long run than a $2000 Mac, but I don't see how that comparison is even relevant when the paragraph was specifically about high-end $2k laptops.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I rarely sell my old PCs until they're really old -- like three or four years old. Except, these days I don't buy much hardware anyway. When I can buy a laptop for $1000 that does everything I want and it runs Windows without Boot Camp, and I compare that to a $2500 laptop that's built better but runs an OS that I personally don't like using, how would that be easier on my wallet? Even if I sell it in a year for $2000 and buy a new one, and then a year later I do the same thing, I'm out $1000 in depreciation and the only thing I'd have different is the latest and greatest Mac hardware as opposed to a Windows laptop that's worth $300.

    You're basically trying to argue logic from an illogical position. Reselling is a perk, not a reason to buy. Would you buy a BMW for $50K so that you can resell it in a year for $40K instead of buying a Honda for $25K? If you're going to drive the Honda until it fails in 10 years or more, how would that make any sense?
    Reply
  • p_giguere1 - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    You're comparing a $25k and $50k car.

    Like I said in my comment above, a Mac is cheaper in the long run if you're interested in a high-end laptop to begin with. In your analogy, that would be like comparing two $50k cars together.

    It's not necessarily cheaper to go with a Mac if a mid-range laptop does everything you need, so this part of your cars analogy is right.

    However, imagine you had the choice between a $50k BMW that would be worth $35k two years later, or a $50k Audi that would be worth $15k two years later. That's pretty much the reality of a $1000+ Mac vs a $1000+ Windows laptop.

    So basically, in this analogy, the Honda is a better buy if it fits better in your budget and does everything you need. However, if you have high expectations towards your car and a $50k budget, you might as well go with a BMW rather than an Audi to save in the long run.

    Seem very logical to me.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    It only makes sense if you're willing to sell a perfectly good vehicle (or laptop) just to upgrade to something newer and slightly better on a regular basis.

    MacBook Retina: $2600 initial cost, resell in two years for $1700 and buy a new Mac for $2600. Do that again in two more years. After four years you have spent $5400. Or you could by an $1800 Windows laptop, keep it an buy ANOTHER $1800 Windows laptop in two years, keep that and buy a THIRD Windows laptop for $1800. In one case you have three laptops (or one that you use and two hand-me-downs for your wife/kids -- or you could even sell them for $600 if you want). In the other, you have one laptop that's still really expensive -- and nice as well, but you'll never come out ahead playing the upgrade game like this unless you "must" have the latest and greatest all the time.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    It falls under TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and it's quite logical to make such forward thinking decisions before committing to a purchase.

    We use variations every day in our lives. For instance, we may decide to spend $100 at the grocery store for the week and cook for ourselves in stead of spends $30 per day eating out. That's something we all seem to realize can be more costly in the long term, even if we need to buy plates, flatware, cooking pots, a microwave, etc.

    So why not consider when you are choosing whether to spend $800 on a Dell laptop or $1100 on a MacBook Air what that $300 is potentially costing you? That also includes additional SW you need to buy, potential maintenance, and how long you'll likely be using the machine. These certainly aren't things the typical PC switch would know how to properly gauge but someone experienced with computer HW shouldn't have a problem.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure if you're arguing for or against Mac with this comment. The Mac may only cost $300 more than some particular Dell, but for a lot of people it can represent a significant time investment to make the OS change.

    Will they recover that with improved productivity? I seriously doubt it -- they might think they're doing better, but while I could easily switch to OS X or Linux and get comfortable I seriously doubt I could improve my productivity. Not because they're worse, but because much of what ends up slowing me down has nothing to do with the OS or hardware and has everything to do with my slow human brain. I can type just as fast at a Mac as at a PC; if the Mac costs more, what's the benefit to me?

    I know for certain I would never try to suggest my mom or dad try a Mac. It's bad enough trying to help them continue using Windows; they'd never manage the transition. Then again, they're in their 70s.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, April 20, 2013 - link

    I'm arguing neither for or against a particular product, but for the benefits of considering the TCO when making a purchase. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I'm surprised there's no equivalent to the 3 lb Toshiba R705 machines from a 2-3 years ago on this list (13.3" display, 3lbs with DVD drive, under $800). Their main failing was the terrible display quality (like most laptops). Surely someone makes a nice, modern 1" laptop that is ~ 3 lbs? And hopefully with a less awful display. But maybe I'm wrong and they've all become "ultrabooks".

    For this list, I would have liked to have seen more 13" and 14" laptops that are in the 3lb - 4lb range and under $1,000 - assuming that good ones exist.
    Reply
  • GTaudiophile - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    I am actually considering a Sony Vaio S Series laptop. But my max preferred screen size is 13.3". It weighs closer to 3.9 lbs. with a 1600x900 screen. A discreet 640M LE with 1GB RAM is available. You have to order the latter to get the larger green. I wish it had the same 1080 panel as the 15" model. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately, the 13.3" 1600x900 display is a decent quality TN panel, but it's nowhere near the IPS 1080p display. :-( Reply
  • TrackSmart - Friday, April 19, 2013 - link

    Yes, that is more in line with what I was imagining would end up on this list. Thin and light usually means smaller, relatively light laptops with full size ports. A couple of years ago there were more laptops in that category. Today, I would hope they would still be around, but cheaper and better. And closer to 3 or 3.5 lbs depending on whether they had an optical drive. Reply
  • 2dealsok - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    I like Sony. Reply
  • sligett - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    Jarred - thanks for the overview of what's out there. And thanks to all for the comments. Reply
  • darkfalz - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    Happy with my new ASUS R505CB (K56CB) - the GT740M makes it a true "gaming ultrabook". Battery life isn't great though thanks to low mAh 4 cell battery. But can advise Ultrabooks with the 740M can handle some pretty decent gaming (at 1366x768). Overclock 50/100 on the Core/RAM too. Reply
  • val580 - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    I have a mac mini for 2 years and I still can't stand OSX . I can't even properly click on buttons ( mouse acceleration is different ) . The system as become so slow I'd thought I'd buy a SSD , but hence I installed win 8 on it and it runs so greatttt its amazing ! Reply
  • T5100 - Saturday, May 04, 2013 - link

    What do you think of the xps 13
    Did u get a chance to look at it
    Reply
  • saltyzip - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Shouldn't the HP Envy or HP Spectre be in this list? Reply
  • MelodyRamos47 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    If you think Susan`s story is neat,, one week ago my cousins girlfriend got $4845 putting in a fourty hour month from there house and they're roomate's step-sister`s neighbour has done this for 6 months and worked and got paid more than $4845 in there spare time on their mac. applie the instructions from this website, Jump44.comTAKE A LOOK Reply

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