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Mossberg Reviews the Lenovo X300 Vs. MacBook Air 362

Posted by kdawson
from the cage-match dept.
genji256 writes "Adding to his first impressions, Walt Mossberg has published a full review of the soon-to-come Lenovo X300. As a bottom line he 'recommends the X300 for road warriors without hesitation, provided they can live with its two biggest downsides: a relatively paltry file-storage capacity and a hefty price tag.' Gizmodo lists all the comparisons with the MacBook Air that Walt inevitably makes. Final score: it's a tie, though certain points are arguable ('Doesn't use Mac OS X Leopard. Winner: MacBook Air')."
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Mossberg Reviews the Lenovo X300 Vs. MacBook Air

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2008 @05:44PM (#22508266)
    I notice on the Amazon listing for the Macbook Air [amazon.com] that there are nothing but five-star reviews. Is it really that good, or are they just shills? It's a bit odd that a review never appeared here on Slashdot.
  • Why compare? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles.jones@NOspam.zen.co.uk> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @05:47PM (#22508302)
    The fact that the Macbook air runs an OS that the PC laptop can't is a major plus.

    Unless you intend to run Windows on the Mac laptop then why compare?
  • Bah. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @05:49PM (#22508324)
    Feh. Both of them leave me uncaring. I'd have expected more benefit from SSD in the runtime dept for the price premium it carries. But on the other hand the Apple is too much compromise in function to achieve 'cool factor' for my taste. If I really wanted to optimize the size (while still keeping something close to a real keyboard) over everything else I'd grab an eeepc.
  • by puff3456 (898964) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @05:53PM (#22508370)
    The X300 is like a tank, the Air like a sculpture, one is purpose built to get the job done, the other is purpose built to woo the eyes.
  • Tie? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by um_atrain (810963) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @05:57PM (#22508410) Homepage
    How is this a tie?
    How can the lack of an optical drive, any expansion, etc be counted as so low.
    Also, the X300 only has SSD as an option right now. Compare that to the SSD version of the MacBook Air, and the price is very comparable.

    And, as others have mentioned, Hackintosh! They can both run Windows or OSX. Sure, one doesn't ship with the other, but seriously, its not like its that hard to figure out. OS should not have been factored in at all.

    They used thicker + heavier + screen height as 3 separate points. That should all be 1 point.

    I don't see how the MBA can even get close.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:09PM (#22508556)
    The Macbook air won in almost all the categories you would want from a laptop:

    * Being able to use it from an airline seat (Macbook Air has a shorter screen and thinner base)
    * Ait has longer battery life
    * Air has faster processor

    The only technical aspect I could see swaying some people, the X300 has more resolution. But not much more, and the processor/battery life in particular would seem to be key to me.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:21PM (#22508664)
    Well duh. That's rediculous for a review. We aren't talking splitting hairs a few dollars more it's a lot more expensive and it's larger and heavier and it's not all pluses since the Mac has more drive space. It feels more like a "Gee I prefer windows" review than a head to head match up. Until some one has a machine of a similar size and weight for a similar price then reviews are pointless. The Macbook Air does exactly what it was designed to do. You simply can't install a DVD drive inside a machine of that size with current technology but give them a few years and they'll likely be the first to do it. Remember the first iMacs had external drives. These days you pull them out of the box and plug them in and they're smaller. Each machine reviewed does a good job for what it was designed for but they are very different machines with different goals. Macbook is the smallest and lightest and it's a solid machine not a radically under powered system just so they could have bragging rights. You want to know the winner? The consumer because the Macbook Air is driving the market so the PC makers will keep pushing to copy it. By then Apple will have the next generation out but the point is everyone will benefit from them pushing the envelope. when it comes down to it it's not fair comparing PCs to Macs because most people are branded and they'll always show a preference. There are advantages to both so once again the consumer wins because there's choice. Remember the dark days of beige computers? For a lot of years they were like model Ts, you can have a computer any color so long as it's beige. A few vendors started selling black cases then suddenly you had cases available that looked like a Rebook shoe, colors and style. We need more companies pushing the break the model. The Macbook Air fits easily inside a brief case without taking up much space. It's more like throwing a thick notepad in the briefcase. That was the intent and they pulled it off and made it afordable. I find it funny that there were complaints about the price on the Macbook Air and now people are touting a more expensive machine that's bigger and heavier.
  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@@@pacbell...net> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:33PM (#22508810) Homepage
    What? They already did, it's called a MacBook. Prices are roughly comparable though the MacBook is slightly heavier.
  • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by internetcommie (945194) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:34PM (#22508816)
    It often surprises people, but when comparing computers with the same features, Macs often turns out to cost less.
    Yes, you can get a Windows or Linux PC for $199, but it does not exactly have the performance of a Mac Pro. I was recently looking for a high performance PC, and found the Mac Pro was actually the cheapest one that met my requirements. What surprised even me is that even if I assumed I would be buying RAM and a display from Apple, it came out to less than a similarly equipped Dell, with Dell RAM and display.

  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:42PM (#22508902)

    Ehhh... I'm a hardcore Mac user (MacBook Pro for me)... and I disagree. One of the things that really kills me about the MacBook Air is the TOTAL lack of ports. You know, Apple was the first one to jump on the USB bandwagon, using USB HID peripherals when everyone else was still shipping them with PS/2 ports. But now, they ship a laptop with only TWO ports? The ONE thing I hate about my MacBook Pro (and the MacBook) is that it only has two USB ports, necessitating ANY serious user to get a USB hub (oh great, ANOTHER thing in the laptop bag). And now we're looking at... ONE PORT?

    That to me is a dealbreaker. Especially considering that in order to use the disc drive you must plug it directly into the laptop, meaning you cannot use ANY USB PERIPHERALS while using the disc drive. Have you heard anything so ludicrous in your life?

    I appreciate that Apple is concerned about the form of our electronics and not just the function, but sometimes they do take it too far. When form compromises functionality, you know you're doing something wrong!

  • by vought (160908) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:42PM (#22508906)

    Really, how many people who are willing to spend $3,000 on a laptop are flying coach?
    Quite a few, actually. And the users with $3000.00 laptops whose businesses force them to fly coach are possibly even more numerous. Most laptops I see on business travel lately (about 50k miles on domestic flights since mid-January) are in the $2-3,000.00 range. I see a lot more MacBook Pros than I used to, and quite a few high-end latitudes. Occasionally a Lenovo, but they're actually rare in airports and domestic flights.

    Clearly your philosophy comes from the conspicuous consumption school or spending. There are virtually no mid-class "business" seats for domestic travel in the U.S. On the vast majority of flights, only two-tier seating is available, and from my experience, First Class is filled with upgraders for two weeks from the flight date.

    Not sure what airline or where you fly, but I'd pass along a bit of advice that has served me well: "Fly coach now so you can fly first class later."
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:43PM (#22508912)
    As much as I like the MacBook Air, you neglect what happens when you get to the meeting:
      * You need to get something off a CD or DVD
      * You need to plug in ethernet as well as a USB flash drive
      * The resolution of the X300 is much, much better

    If I had my way, my next laptop upgrade at work would be an X300 (I have a T60 now), and an additional personal laptop would be an Air (I have a MacBook Pro now). Toss in the high-res screen from the X300, and the Air could easily *be* my next laptop.
  • by bram (490) <bram-slashdot@@@grmbl...net> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @06:46PM (#22508942) Journal
    no you wouldn't :)

    I've spent 2800 (well minus taxes) Euro on my MacBook Pro. I fly economy class.
    Business class is ridiculously expensive.
    Also laptops last longer than a flying business 2 times.

  • by pizzach (1011925) <pizzach&gmail,com> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:05PM (#22509118) Homepage
    For a laptop that is .1 inch thinner than a regular Macbook Pro and is on average is about half an inch thicker than a Macbook Air, I fail to see how this Thinkpad is really compairable to the Macbook Air to begin with. It's like saying, "Haha, my Van can seat more than your compact car!!!" Holy crap people, regular Macbook Pros are famous for having about that much thickness and having that many ports for years.
  • by spoco2 (322835) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:13PM (#22509186)
    Hang on a sec, you're being ridiculously pro Mac here and overlooking a lot of things:

      Is thicker than MacBook Air. Winner: MacBook Air.
      Really, who gives two craps about thickness... it's all marketing from Apple. Who has honestly gone "Gee wizz, this laptop is just too darn THICK for my needs!"? Pretty much no-one... where does it being super, super thin make for a big boon? Any bag you're going to carry said laptop in is going to be able to handle another centimeter or so... geeze.

      Is heavier than MacBook Air. Winner: MacBook Air.
      Weight does matter, indeed... but when it gets to a certain point, it doesn't any more, light enough is light enough, unless you have some sort of musculature atrophy that makes you unable to lift the heaviest version of the notebook at a whole... ooh, 3.5 pounds. Geeze... from his review: "is still very thin and light. It's under an inch thick and even at its heaviest is only 3.5 pounds." So, these points are just mindless waffle.

      Has less battery life in both tests and normal use (so much for SSD.) Winner: MacBook Air.
      This does indeed have baring on actual use, I give full points to this one.

      Has way more ports. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      This is very important, yet you just ignore the need for a large number of us to have different ports for different uses.

      Has built-in DVD possibility. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      YOU say "Whooptee doo." Big plus for me... my laptop MUST have a built in DVD drive as I use it as an entertainment station for the kids while we're away, and having a separate drive hanging off on a usb cable is a big NO NO. You also contradict yourself with for the Lenovo "You get to lug a DVD player", and yet for the Apple you say "you can bring along a USB powered DVD". Which is better, one that's in built, out of the way, doesn't need the external casing, or one hidden away in the body of the machine... if you NEED or WANT a DVD player (which a LOT of us still do), then it's a major failing to not have one in the unit. Yes, I can see certain people who'll have little need for one, but don't off handly say it's not a good thing.

      Has SSD drive built-in. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      YOU SAY "Smaller disk (with zero advantages on speed or battery)" which is ignoring the robustness of a solid state drive, nothing to do with speed/battery... missing the point entirely.

      Has WiMax connectivity. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      I like how you ignore this, which considering that the Apple lacks drives and needs to share others, would seem to be something it could do with, data transfer wise.

      Has USB Wireless. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      While this isn't widespread yet, how cool to not have to plug in new devices? Very nice.

      Has GPS location-finding. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      YOU say "Whooptee doo." Yeah, just discount something many, many people would find handy.

      Has higher screen resolution. Winner: Lenovo X300.
      You say "Whooptee doo." Again... um... higher resolution is a BIG plus for many people, yet you just discount it... well done.

      Has a screen that stands up higher, leaving less viewing angle while travelling on plane. Winner: MacBook Air.
      Yeah, valid point here, no two ways about that.

      Has slower processor. Winner: MacBook Air.
      Except "In my tests, the X300 performed very well, even though it has a relatively slow processor, slower than the MacBook's." So, a bit of a moot point it would seem.

      Doesn't use Mac OS X Leopard. Winner: MacBook Air.
      This SO doesn't apply to most people... SOME want OSX, OTHERS want Vista/XP, you can't put this as a carte blanch statement.

    It comes down to what you want a laptop for... and looking at what YOU deem to be important and applying that to EVERYONE is such an immature attitude.
  • by DDLKermit007 (911046) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:15PM (#22509222)
    Are you honestly bitching about having to lug a small usb hub? I would think you'd be bitching more about the substantially larger accessories your lugging around for no reason. The only thing I ever plug into my Macbook is a thumbdrive, and maybe my cellphone's USB charging adapter. My mouse is the Bluetooth Apple mouse, and my phone syncs via Bluetooth as well. The only thing I could possibly need to plug into my Macbook is a webcam, or DVD burner, which it already has built in!
  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:31PM (#22509370) Journal
    Really, who gives two craps about thickness...

    People who have to work in airplane seats, i.e. exactly the target audience of the Lenovo.

  • Cramped? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rhade (709207) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:32PM (#22509378)
    The SSD is fast and rugged, but today it can hold only a cramped 64 gigabytes of files

    I cannot imagine a 'road warrior' or any other business man ever finding that much space cramped, you could have 20 divx movies and a thousand mp3's on that hardware and still have what, a paltry 40gig left? No doubt necessary for the 32 million spreadsheets and documents you use every second of every day.

    In my opinion if your not haxing l33t warez and downloading copious amounts of porn and lat3st n gr3at3st moviez my 5 yo 32gig raptor is more space than I will need for the foreseeable future.

  • by poity (465672) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @07:58PM (#22509618)

    How does thickness affect someone working in an airplane seat? I can see depth being a factor -- a wider, more rectangular chassis being preferred so your wrists aren't pressed up against your stomach as you type.

    But thickness? It's not even a concern.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @08:09PM (#22509706) Journal

    my laptop MUST have a built in DVD drive as I use it as an entertainment station for the kids while we're away, and having a separate drive hanging off on a usb cable is a big NO NO.

    For this one, I'd rip a few discs worth, then pack away the DVD drive until I'm done watching them. If you're not re-encoding, it's fairly easy to rip just the movie (not the special features), and even with the 64 gig solid-state, that's still a good 4-5 movies. Figure, also, that it's a lot less wear on the discs (if you're bringing originals) to rip them in some stationary place, then put them away for the car (or plane) ride.

    You say "Whooptee doo." Again... um... higher resolution is a BIG plus for many people, yet you just discount it... well done.

    True, but the same applies to this as to OS choice. The Baby Boomers hate it when I turn their resolution up, because it makes everything smaller and harder to read, and they don't know how to set resolution or font size in most places. This is less relevant for OS X -- if they can figure out how to use the awesome zooming feature.

    This SO doesn't apply to most people...

    I think it does apply to a lot of people -- I'd imagine there are far fewer people who don't have a preference than people who prefer one to the other. But unless you really don't care about OS X, it makes sense to have the option, and Parallels if you need XP programs.

    Otherwise, good points.

  • Re:Why compare? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by azenpunk (1080949) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @09:29PM (#22510388)
    the devices should be compared as they will be used in the real world, different OS and all.
  • Re:Why compare? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2008 @09:30PM (#22510406)

    Running Windows (32-bit) on a Mac is supported. Boot Camp is a fully supported part of Leopard. Apple produces a complete set of Win32 drivers for every Intel Mac.

    OSX86 is, by contrast, a hack. A very useful hack, but a hack. You need to make sure you have *exactly* the right hardware and, in most cases, break a license.

    Posted anonymously so as not to undo previous moderation.

  • Re:Why compare? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2008 @09:47PM (#22510512)
    Windows *is* supported on a Mac, provided you have it legally.
  • Re:Why compare? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gmail.REDHATcom minus distro> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @09:52PM (#22510544)
    PC generally refers to "IBM Compatible PC", which for a long time Apple computers were not. It's just tradition, get over it.
  • by Stu Charlton (1311) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @09:52PM (#22510554) Homepage
    Really, who gives two craps about thickness... it's all marketing from Apple. Who has honestly gone "Gee wizz, this laptop is just too darn THICK for my needs!"? Pretty much no-one...

    How many people feel lust for a phone? Pretty much no one... until the iPhone.

    How many people feel lust for a laptop? Pretty much no one... until they see something with sex appeal.

    It's bizarre and somewhat telling about how many regular, non-technical people stop and ask about the iPhone if they someone use it. A similar effect is happening with the MacBook Air (zomg it's so thin! wow that's light! Look at how bright the screen is! Hey that SSD makes the apps snappy!)

    The MacBook Air is the two-seater roadster of laptops -- a blast to drive, eye-catching, not overly practical, and sneer-inducing among those who want a larger, or faster, or more practical model.

    Not saying it's universal, just saying that Apple seems to be tapping into a lust-factor that one hasn't seen with consumer electronics in some time, if ever.
  • by prestomation (583502) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @10:21PM (#22510744)
    I have a Dell Vostro 15" C2D with a Geforce 8600M. It's a pretty beastly machine and I use it on my lap all the time. There's a little vent on the side which spews fairly hot air when the card is cranking(games), but even then it's not getting to my lap. I also get over 3hours on the standard battery.

    I have a friend with a tiger direct special athlon machine, it seems nice, but I can barely touch the keyboard, it's so damn hot! I definitly wouldn't use that on my crotch.
  • by AvitarX (172628) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Thursday February 21, 2008 @10:32PM (#22510844) Journal
    I am not convinced by that story though.

    My wife has a Presario V3000. It cost less than $800 (I actually think it was 650, but may of been 750)over a year ago. It is about 5 lbs, doesn't get too hot, has a full keyboard, extra ports, and a DVD player.

    It is more flimsily made than the two and a half times as expensive Mac Book Air, but it has help up fairly well to daily use.

    The overall design is quite attractive too. I don't know why someone would buy a cramped Vaio, if an entry level Compaq can be cool, light, and have a full keyboard, there are bound to be others too.
  • Re:Why compare? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zeinfeld (263942) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @10:46PM (#22510940) Homepage
    Unless you intend to run Windows on the Mac laptop then why compare?

    Well some of us have a Mac and have not joined the cult. Point in fact here is that I am currently typing this on my new Macbook Air which I have owned for two days now without feeling the need to wear black jeans and a turtleneck.

    Now the reason I have bought a Mac is probably unique (see my blog, I am not typing it in again), but I don't feel the lack of Mac features when I am using my Vista machine. In fact the only real difference between the two is that I can use one downstairs on the couch and the other has a 30" display.

    I had been considering the Lenovo prior to realizing that I needed to get a Mac if I was going to write anything on Security Usability. Even though Apple is not doing any better than Microsoft on the measures I am concerned with it is necessary to answer those whose answer to every usability problem is 'get a Mac'.

    The reason I would not get the Lenovo X300 is that I would wait for the convertible tablet model. I don't rate the handwriting analysis as a killer application, at this point I type faster than I write. But the ability to scribble and whiteboard is very useful.

    On the side by side comparison, I don't think the Lenovo comes close to the MacBook Air. First it is a thousand bucks more and second its not much different to the X61. Its a Thinkpad with a solid state drive, well big whoopsie, I didn't pay for the SSD on my MacBook and I wouldn't pay that on the Thinkpad either. To be worth having the SSD has to cost half as much and provide twice as much space.

    Here is a hint, nobody knows if your MacBook Air has an SSD or a hard drive inside. You can buy three years of AppleCare and a TimeVault for $550. By the time the AppleCare runs out there will be a new MacBook Air.

  • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by giminy (94188) on Thursday February 21, 2008 @10:56PM (#22510992) Homepage Journal
    It often surprises people, but when comparing computers with the same features, Macs often turns out to cost less.

    Ah, slashdot: you point out the truth that macs actually are cheaper than PCs, and you get modded a troll. Sorry man.

    But it is true, so the moderators should mod the parent up. Macs might not be quite as configurable as PCs, but if you compare a low-end Dell to an iMac (say), you'll find that the iMac packs a better video card, bigger monitor, bigger hard drive, more ram, and better CPU for the price. You can argue that you can't upgrade the video card/processor/whatever in an iMac, but most people never do that anyway (and if you want to do that stuff in a Dell, you're going to have to buy a new [proprietarily wired, so expensive] power supply).

    Obviously it doesn't hold true for roll-your-own PCs, but then roll-your-own PCs don't come with a decent 1-3 year warranty where you can go to just one company for the machine to get fixed...

    Strange how the "Macs are expensive" myth is still out there.

    Reid
  • by Sancho (17056) on Friday February 22, 2008 @12:12AM (#22511428) Homepage
    You can always figure out which ones are affected by the Jobsian Reality Distortion Field.

    The cheapest Macbook Air is $1799. The cheapest Macbook with an extra 1GB of RAM (to bring it up to the 2GB that the Air has) is $1249. I don't consider that even remotely "comparable."

    Of course it's hard to make a fair comparison. That extra $450 gets you 400mhz less, no optical drive, and fewer ports.
  • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Friday February 22, 2008 @04:17AM (#22512482)
    The problem is that often that "Macs are cheaper" claim is based on comparing the Mac to a PC that has every single spec at least as good as the Mac (which isn't always possible so some are bigger). Of course noone really needs every last spec at exactly that level. If you turned this comparison around, took a PC and looked for the cheapest Mac that reaches or exceeds that PC in every spec you'll end up with a much more expensive Mac (because it's easy to have a single spec in a PC that's only reached by a top-end Mac). This is pretty much the result of quantization errors.

    You seem pretty fixated on Dell, there are literally hundreds of other stores out there that offer complete PCs and you can choose one you really want or need instead of the closest step. E.g. my sister needed a cheap PC that can do text processing and web browsing, she got a 300€ system that does what she needs. You should compare systems to your requirements, not other systems.

    If you compare requirements and none of the requirements is "must be a Mac" then you'll often end up cheaper with a PC because often you'll have to go to the next bigger line of Macs if you want a specific feature not available in the lower Macs.
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Friday February 22, 2008 @04:37AM (#22512548)
    It makes sense: Much of the criticism of the MacBook Air are of it's clearly advertised lack of big features (quite literally). Those that have decided that these issues don't affect them are left with what appears to be an excellent laptop (for its intended market).

    To put it another way: It's not like people are buying them, later realizing that they lack an optical drive, then making sure they let people know by posting a harsh review.

    Many people have commented on how much better the keyboard and screen are compared to other current comparable Macs. Add in the "world first" slim design and a goodie such as iPhone-like gesture support on the trackpad, then keep in mind that there isn't really another laptop with a similar feature-set and design to compare it to (point out its deficiencies), and you have a product that can seem almost perfect -- worth 5 stars.

    Speaking of all this MacBook Air stuff, I managed to get a glimpse of one in a store (a non-Apple store in NZ). Unfortunately, it was lid-down and locked in a display case (unlike the other laptops), and the staff were too busy with real customers to let some poor, drooling nerd have a grope around with it.
  • by hab136 (30884) on Friday February 22, 2008 @05:23AM (#22512722) Journal

    How many people feel lust for a phone? Pretty much no one... until the iPhone.

    A possibly better example would be the Motorola RAZR, which was nothing special - except it was ridiculously thin. It sold (and continues to sell) like hotcakes, even when it was initially $500+.
  • by syousef (465911) on Friday February 22, 2008 @05:41AM (#22512778) Journal
    Comfort? Fucking hell. Is 2 kg and a bit of warmth on your lap really THAT uncomfortable??? Its not like your Macbook is weightless anyway. Nor does my laptop always run hot. If all I'm doing nothing but word processing it's not particularly warm. I don't know if you've even tried a heavier laptop but it's not even something I notice let alone a comfort issue. In other words the weight and heat doesn't bother me at all. I'd much rather have something useful for a wide range of activities than just for writing, at the cost of that extra kilogram.

    Most people choose BMW as a status symbol. Same with these Macbooks. I've seen nothing to convince me they're better. Not one thing.
  • by hab136 (30884) on Friday February 22, 2008 @05:59AM (#22512836) Journal

    In other words the weight and heat doesn't bother me at all.

    I want to say that there's a difference between "not uncomfortable" and "comfortable". Straight out of college I had a hand-me-down mattress which worked fine and was not uncomfortable. Later in life when I was doing well I bought a new one for about $800, and the difference was incredible. Lying in bed was actually pleasurable instead of just "not uncomfortable".

    uncomfortable - tolerable/not uncomfortable - comfortable

    Anyways, products can be judged on a lot of things:
    - comfort
    - style/fashion (status symbol)
    - performance
    - compatibility
    - price

    Many Slashdotters regard the first two as foolish metrics, but outside of computerland, they're often the determining ones.
  • by syousef (465911) on Friday February 22, 2008 @07:03AM (#22513068) Journal
    Give me function over form any day, but I still like style and comfort. I just disagree with you about weight being an issue and heat is a definite non-issue if you're just word processing.

    In any case making something white and round, or thin enough to fit in a folder, or translucent so you can see the circuit board is not called style. It's called a gimmick.
  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday February 22, 2008 @07:08AM (#22513092)
    Dude, if you're getting modded down "troll" or "flamebait" enough to inspire your sig, maybe it's because your posts are caustic.

    Comfort? Fucking hell. Is 2 kg and a bit of warmth on your lap really THAT uncomfortable???
    As for the actual topic, those seemingly miniscule differences in weight and thickness and temperature really do make a difference. Think about how, on a hot day, different a thin t-shirt and a thick t-shirt feel. Surely, the weight and the temperature differences are so minimal that "even most slashdotters would call a guy who can't handle [it] a wuss!!!" But that doesn't mean one is more comfortable (and therefore, all else remaining equal, more desirable) than the other.

    In other words, it's not about being able to "handle it", but about preferring one over the other.

    As far as weight is concerned, when I'm on the couch with my MacBook on my lap, it's not so heavy that I wish it were lighter. But when it comes time to set the MacBook aside (e.g. to get up) the weight is noticeable. Not so heavy that I have difficulty setting the MacBook aside, but heavy enough that I notice the action. The MacBook Air seems light enough that when it comes time to set it aside, I *won't* notice it.

    You sound like a PC user, so you are probably used to constantly noticing your computer. The Mac experience is generally one of *not* noticing your computer, so those few times when it's noticed, it can be annoying (this is partly why, I think, Macs are so design-oriented, so that when you notice them physically, the experience is more enjoyable than it would be otherwise).
  • I have carried one, a company machine that was issued to me for field work. It's not a matter of specifying a "better" laptop, either. It's simply that in my opinion nothing about the Vaio makes it worth the price. Their cheapest laptop weighs 6.2 pounds and costs USD $949. Their higher end machines (such as the ultra-portable UX) cost as much as USD $2,400. It's absolutely not worth it to me to pay that much money for less weight. My arm isn't going to fall off flying across the country with any modern laptop.

    There's a reason Sony's marketing site for the Vaio series is www.sonystyle.com.
  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday February 22, 2008 @08:31AM (#22513400)

    W T F? it's statements like these that keep me from switching to mac
    That's alright. Some people like noticing their computers.

    I'll give you a small (and relatively random) example. The Caps Lock key on all new Macs has a feature such that it won't toggle if you accidentally hit it. PCs don't do this, and sometimes (not terribly often, but now and then, and it's definitely happened to all of us) your text will be aLL CAPS AFTER TYPING AN A. No big deal. It's easy to undo, just hit the Caps Lock key again and all is well.

    The Mac (both the hardware and system software) is designed with countless little touches like this. After using a Mac for a while, at some point you notice it and think to yourself how *un*frustrating the computer is, sort of like how at some point you notice after you move away from the freeway that that background noise of traffic is gone.

    Some people seem to need those little reminders that they're using a computer, just like some people find comfort in the sounds of traffic. You may be one of those people. Or you may just be uncomfortable with mushy, subjective, non-concrete metrics. A lot of geek-types are like that. They need everything to be easily measured and compared. Unfortunately, a large swath of human experience is not easily categorized. This makes it difficult for companies like HP and Microsoft to make products which truly appealing at a fundamentally human level.

    It's this attention to the humanity of a product that made the iPod the success that it is, *even with the inferior feature-set as compared to other players at the time*.

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