If you want a travel-ready laptop that’s amazingly thin and feather light, one of Apple’s MacBook Airs is probably at or near the top of your list. The latest 11-inch MacBook Air delivers instant-on functionality, the new Mac OS X Lion OS, and a backlit keyboard for $999. The 13-inch Air is even better, earning a very rare 5-star review, thanks to its higher-res display and longer battery life. On the other hand, the Mac operating system isn’t for everyone. We also know that not everyone has $999 to $1,299 to spend. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best MacBook Air alternatives. Some of these notebooks aren’t on the market yet, so be sure to check back for full reviews.
An Ultrabook that's aiming directly for the 11-inch MacBook Air buyer, this 11.6-inch notebook weighs 2.2 pounds and is just .7 inches thick. When it's released later this fall, the UX21 will come in Core i3, i5, or i7 flavours. The starting price is expected to be a very reasonable $799.
If the superslim design of the Acer Aspire 3951 doesn't cure your MacBook Air envy, chances are the pricetag will. One version of this .51-inch thick aluminium beauty will reportedly ship with a 160GB SSD that can resume Windows from sleep in just 1.7 seconds. We're also hearing that the starting price will be under $800.
We deemed the ThinkPad X1 the 'Rolls-Royce' of business ultraportables for a reason. This 0.8-inch thin Lenovo notebook has the works--the best keyboard ever, a durable design, strong performance, and booming audio. The only downside? The 3.8-pound machine lasted just four hours on a charge, which is why you need the battery slice..
The Samsung Series 9 certainly has the MacBook Air licked in the looks department. Measuring .64 inches thick and a hair lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air, this 13-inch notebook sports a curvy a sturdy Duralumin chassis. A bright display, excellent keyboard and touchpad, and Core i5 processor make this ultraportable a winner.
The ultra-premium Sony VAIO Z weighs 2.6-pounds and measures a mere 0.65 inches thick yet crams in a blazing Core i7 processor. The system starts at $2,000, but includes a Media Dock that offers AMD Radeon HD 6550M graphics, a Blu-ray drive, and support for up to three external monitors.
It's not as sexy as the Samsung Series 9, but this13-inch, 3.2-pound speedster includes a second-gen Core i5 processor, USB 3.0 support, and Intel's nifty WiDi 2.0 technology for streaming video wirelessly to a TV. Plus, the 0.7 - 1.1-inch chassis found room for something neither the MacBook Air nor any other system on this list has: a built-in DVD drive.
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