Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:17 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems For years and years now (since the first G4 iBooks), whenever someone asked me for advice about what laptop to buy, my standard answer was simple: get an Apple laptop. Doesn't matter which one. Apple was so far ahead of the competition it just wasn't funny anymore. This past weekend, though, marked the end of an era for me: for the first time, I advised someone to get an Asus ZenBook instead.
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Does it run Linux?
by robertson on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:26 UTC
robertson
Member since:
2010-04-30

Sounds great! Does it run GNU/Linux or *BSD? With working wireless networking and power management?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Does it run Linux?
by dvhh on Wed 28th Mar 2012 01:01 UTC in reply to "Does it run Linux?"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

I second that, I am currently shopping for a new laptop (my old fujitsu p1610 is beginning to show its age ... for browsing the web!). As much as I like the ultrabook trend, I think that intel is fucking the linux crowd.
My current candidate are currently the zenbook 11" or the XPS13 (but I have some dislike for Dell), and I'm still researching about their linux friendliness.

As pointed out by one user the resell value could be low, but I tend to keep my stuff for quite a long time, so I would no consider it like a waste of money (although for reference a 2006 macbook still cost ~450 U$ on ebay while my p1610 (out in 2006 in the states) would cost ~100$).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Does it run Linux?
by Lozrus on Wed 28th Mar 2012 09:19 UTC in reply to "Does it run Linux?"
Lozrus Member since:
2010-06-14

I have a 13" i7 model ZenBook which is used mainly for Windows and Linux development. Linux support has been great for me so far.
Running Ubuntu 11.10, WiFi, Power Management, 3D are all supported well. The only issues being:
* Battery Life is about half of what it is under Windows (but complete power management is crippled for me since I use Wubi to boot - I can't say what true native booting would be like)
* The USB Ethernet Adapter that ASUS supply isn't supported (although I haven't tried very hard).
* The trackpad driver is single touch only.

I run Gnome Shell, but Unity looked like it worked well too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Does it run Linux?
by Cromat on Wed 28th Mar 2012 13:20 UTC in reply to "Does it run Linux?"
Cromat Member since:
2009-12-15

Yes Yes it does.....https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbook

I'm typing this on my Linux Mint Zenbook right now! FYI Kernerl 3.3-RC7 and newer has almost everything working out of the box.

"* The USB Ethernet Adapter that ASUS supply isn't supported (although I haven't tried very hard)"
--Not true, a kernel update to 3.2.6 will get the usb Ethernet working out of the box.

"The trackpad driver is single touch only. "
Not true I have multi-touch working on mine....driver compile into kernel if you get the sentelic touchpad, the elentech has a driver in newer kernels.

Take a look at the Ubuntu wiki and the giant thread, everything has been figured out now with good battery life now that rc6 has been patched by the intel devs.

Edited 2012-03-28 13:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Does it run Linux?
by netpython on Wed 28th Mar 2012 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it run Linux?"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks,all that i needed to know:-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Does it run Linux?
by Liquidator on Wed 28th Mar 2012 15:36 UTC in reply to "Does it run Linux?"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Yes, without problem, but the screen is super small. I saw it in a dept store here, and this is what kept me away.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Does it run Linux?
by Cromat on Wed 28th Mar 2012 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Does it run Linux?"
Cromat Member since:
2009-12-15

I got the 13" at 1600x900 it real good considering most have 1366x768...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Does it run Linux?
by aliquis on Wed 28th Mar 2012 22:57 UTC in reply to "Does it run Linux?"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Does it run OS X?

Reply Score: 2

ThinkPad?
by Carewolf on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:30 UTC
Carewolf
Member since:
2005-09-08

Apple laptop might have been ahead of most Windows laptops, but they have never been anywhere close to ThinkPads in performance and build quality (though thoroughly beating them in design).

Reply Score: 16

RE: ThinkPad?
by sergio on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:29 UTC in reply to "ThinkPad?"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

I use Thinkpads at work and they're highly overrated (and insanely overpriced).

They're very durable. Period.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by satsujinka on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
satsujinka Member since:
2010-03-11

Very very durable... Considering I've got one from 1999 that I still use. If that isn't worth the price I don't know what is.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: ThinkPad?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 28th Mar 2012 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ThinkPad?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think I get all the ones that suck. I had one from 1999 in 2002. It sucked, couldn't keep itself cool in 65 degree room without extra help in the form of a cooling pad. I had another used one that had dead keyboard keys a few years later. I've actually had better luck with dell laptops, strange as that is. The initial build quality of the thinkpad is far superior.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by smashIt on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:45 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

(and insanely overpriced)


compared to an macbook?
i'm not sure you know what you're talking about...

just last week i had to "repair" a thinkpad
i upgraded the ram from 512mb to 2gb and cleaned up the harddrive (was running low on space due to an misconfigured backup-tool)

this beast is still on it's first xp-installation from 2006 ;)

Edited 2012-03-27 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ThinkPad?
by sergio on Wed 28th Mar 2012 01:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ThinkPad?"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Macbooks are insanely overpriced too!! But at least they are pretty and run OS X. xD

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ThinkPad?
by gan17 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 02:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ThinkPad?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I agree that ThinkPads aren't what they used to be since Lenovo took over, but my x220 running Arch+Xmonad is miles prettier (and light-years more usable for me) than the OSX setup in my office. :-P

Plus, I still get a Trackpoint/clitoris-mouse so I don't have to take my hands off the keyboard to move the cursor.

Edited 2012-03-28 02:08 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: ThinkPad?
by daedalus on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ThinkPad?"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

And Macbooks don't have their cooling vents on the underside (some don't have any at all..) meaning you can put it on something (say, your lap) and not be worried about cooking your graphics chip or something like that. The general Apple laptop hardware still has the edge by quite a margin for me, though I haven't used an ultrabook in anger yet...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: ThinkPad?
by aliquis on Wed 28th Mar 2012 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ThinkPad?"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Yeah you'll just cook your lap (your cock?) and have a hot computer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by alexz on Wed 28th Mar 2012 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
alexz Member since:
2012-02-25

I use Thinkpads at work and they're highly overrated (and insanely overpriced).

They're very durable. Period.


They are not what they once were. We bought 10 x220 for our company. Guess how many were flawless only one week after delivery? None.

From backlight bleeding to body cracking and jumpy touchpad whitout forgetting ghosting (yay, ghosting in 2012), this thing is flimsy. It has many many many design flaws known by lenovo. The on-site support is not what it once was either, a technician broke one of our bezel. Lenovo claimed it was an accident and thus not up to them to repair...

Next time we'll try apple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ThinkPad?
by Doc Pain on Wed 28th Mar 2012 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ThinkPad?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

They're very durable. Period.


They are not what they once were. We bought 10 x220 for our company. Guess how many were flawless only one week after delivery? None. [/q]

Compare that to the IBM Thinkpad 755C which I still have here. It must be from ca. 1996 and still has its original battery pack. This battery pack provides 5 hours without AC. The device itself is very durable. Even though it has been in heavy use over more than 10 years (imagine that for a "modern" laptop!), it doesn't have any mechanical or electrical problems. Plus it has a very good keyboard and of course a TrackPoint (the little red nub in the middle of the keyboard). Opening the device and replacing components doesn't involve any screwdriver or other tool. "You want it - you pull on it" is the concept to access floppy disk drive, accu, or hard disk.

From backlight bleeding to body cracking and jumpy touchpad whitout forgetting ghosting (yay, ghosting in 2012), this thing is flimsy.


You're describing a typical home-use commodity laptop which is designed to be in use for one year, and then to be thrown away. :-)

Next time we'll try apple.


Well, I was always lucky with their older devices (such as the iBook G4), also quite durable, except I needed to replace an external PSU once. Another issue I experienced myself were fading captions on the keys (due to keyboard use), and a backlight died (after the laptop jumped off the table). But I think that's common today among all available hardware...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 28th Mar 2012 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I use Thinkpads at work and they're highly overrated (and insanely overpriced).

They're very durable. Period.


And they typically have excellent keyboards (better than most stock desktop keyboards, IMO). And they're extremely easy to service hardware-wise.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ThinkPad?
by wigry on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:46 UTC in reply to "ThinkPad?"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Only high-quality ThinkPad is the T-series. Everything else is the compromise

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by helf on Wed 28th Mar 2012 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I have a t60 that I freaking love. So, I'm inclined to agree with you ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ThinkPad?
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 28th Mar 2012 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE: ThinkPad?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Only high-quality ThinkPad is the T-series. Everything else is the compromise


I'd argue that X-series are high-quality as well. Yes, there are compromises - but IME there tend to be fewer compromises when compared to other ultraportables in the same size/weight class. And certainly fewer than most netbooks and ultrabooks, where you're typically stuck with compromises like underpowered processors, lack of ports/expandability, RAM soldered to the motherboard, etc.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:34 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

all you need to know about laptops is that if you dont have an ivy bridge ultrabook with a touch screen and windows 8 this year, you're stupid and fat and lonely and nobody likes you. metro metro metro

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Luminair
by earksiinni on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Luminair"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

lol

Reply Score: 2

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

I'm going out on a crazy hunch here, but--please correct me if I've misread the article, this is really just a shot in the dark--I think he bought the Zenbook because he liked it more.

Reply Score: 4

sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Yep, but Tom recommends a Zenbook to his family.

That recommendation is a terrible idea because it's a waste of money.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yep, but Tom recommends a Zenbook to his family.

That recommendation is a terrible idea because it's a waste of money.


It's Thom.

I have terrible experiences with Boot Camp. Apple's drivers have proven to be horribly unreliable for me, with blue screens all over the place on an Air, MacBook Pro, and Intel iMac right after installing them. Battery life also suffers greatly when using Boot Camp.

As for waste of money - Windows costs money. Add in the license costs and that hypothetical resale value is no longer an advantage. I say hypothetical because that laptop won't be resold.

Reply Score: 3

sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Excuse me Thom. ;)

If you don't care about price then you're totally right!

But I think most people do care about resale prices. We're talking about $1k machines... with that money you used to buy 5 Auses. xD

Reply Score: 2

satsujinka Member since:
2010-03-11

I've never actually met someone who has resold their laptop...

Edited 2012-03-27 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Perusing eBay I can't find a single used laptop for sale, so your single data point must be a correct representation of the overall reality.

Reply Score: 2

satsujinka Member since:
2010-03-11

But that applies to the other point as well. Both claims are at best skewed by personal experience and at worst wrong.

To make this clear, being able to find something on ebay doesn't mean that most people are selling that item. It simply means that some people are.

At the moment there are 18000 used laptops up for sale on ebay. There's probably double that on craigslist and about as many on Amazon. All told there might be in the neighborhood of 100,000 used laptops on sale.

In Q4 of 2011 120.2 million laptops were shipped. If we assume that by the end of the week all 100,000 used laptops are bought and another 100,000 are put of for sale (and this repeats itself) there will be roughly 1.3 million used laptops on the market this quarter. Which is approximately 10x less then the number of new laptops sold Q4 2011.

Given that estimate, I think it's fair to conclude that only about 1/10th of all consumer laptops are resold, thus it makes far more sense to claim that most people do not care about resale value than to claim most people do.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/03/canalys-more-smartphones-than-pc...

Edited 2012-03-28 00:43 UTC

Reply Score: 6

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

Who would buy a used laptop? It'd have to be pretty cheap. Even if there was nothing wrong with the device itself, there's a good chance it'd need a new PSU and/or battery.

Reply Score: 1

laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

I've sold two laptops in the last 10 years. The first was an iBook G4 800Mhz. I kept it 3 years and sold it for $400 with some software. It cost $950 (education discount) US. The second one was a Toshiba that was 2 years old. I paid $300 for it and sold it for $150. It was in great condition but I wanted something faster.

The laptop sales helped pay for their replacements. The iBook was replaced with a $600 refurb thinkpad. I gave that to my mother. The toshiba money went toward $550 toshiba quad core amd a6 which i currently use. It runs debian and midnightbsd. Love it.

I've also sold an iMac to a coworker previously. Macs do better in resale value, but you still have to find someone that wants it. We couldn't offload PPC macs after the intel switch easily.

Apple laptops are a no brainer if you need battery life. They are also the best choice if you like small displays. I won't pay PC prices for a 13 inch laptop when a mac is so much better. I settled for a 15 in monster because it was cheap. I don't like the form factor.

Reply Score: 2

David Member since:
1997-10-01

NIce to meet you. I have owned mostly Apple laptops over the years, and I typically own them for 2-4 years then sell them on ebay for about 30% of what I bought them for.

Reply Score: 2

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I've re-sold, um, at least three.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It's Thom.

I have terrible experiences with Boot Camp. Apple's drivers have proven to be horribly unreliable for me, with blue screens all over the place on an Air, MacBook Pro, and Intel iMac right after installing them. Battery life also suffers greatly when using Boot Camp.

As for waste of money - Windows costs money. Add in the license costs and that hypothetical resale value is no longer an advantage. I say hypothetical because that laptop won't be resold.


My impression of the bootcamp is that it is something that Apple is reluctant to provide rather than really putting their weight behind - a stop gap measure that allows people to transition over to Mac OS X rather than a real long term solution with Apple's full backing.

IMHO if you're going to be running Windows 90% of the time then quite frankly to hand over the amount of money one does for MacBook simply for 'ooh shiny' or 'great build quality' (what ever that means - a more sophisticated version of 'ooh shiny'?) is a pretty bad argument to make. If you're buying Mac it is because you want Mac OS X and thus willing to pay slightly more for a laptop to run that said operating system but if you're simply going to purchase one to run Windows 90% of the time then quite frankly you're wasting your time and money.

As for the operating system itself - as I've said multiple times the issue I have with PC laptops isn't the hardware given that if you spend enough time you can find hardware of equal build quality to what Apple provides but the fact that your choice is Windows, Windows, or Windows when it comes to wanting a mainstream operating system that is supported by big name software titles (games and applications) and good hardware support. If you like Windows then all power to you but don't try to muddy the argument by exclusively focusing on the hardware whilst claiming (through the lack of attention on the matter) that the operating system doesn't matter.

Reply Score: 8

aahjnnot Member since:
2008-07-24

IMHO if you're going to be running Windows 90% of the time then quite frankly to hand over the amount of money one does for MacBook simply for 'ooh shiny' or 'great build quality' (what ever that means - a more sophisticated version of 'ooh shiny'?) is a pretty bad argument to make. If you're buying Mac it is because you want Mac OS X and thus willing to pay slightly more for a laptop to run that said operating system but if you're simply going to purchase one to run Windows 90% of the time then quite frankly you're wasting your time and money.

I bought my Macbook Air 6m ago to run Linux and the Apple premium didn't exist. The Macbook Air was the cheapest hardware that met my minumum requirements by more than £100.

Reply Score: 1

lucifer Member since:
2006-08-20

getting macs to run windows. that is pure freakin genius.

Reply Score: 3

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I haven't had particular problems with Boot Camp.
But then I decided that I didn't need Windows on my MacBook Pro, considering that I have a beautiful desktop PC as well.

Reply Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I've had Windows 7 on my MacBook for a couple of years and BootCamp is just fine. I do mid level audio engineering on it. Latency is an important factor and it's fine.

I virtualise all of my Windows installs though these days. VMWare Fusion.

I get the feeling you're just unlucky though Thom.

Reply Score: 2

fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Yep, but Tom recommends a Zenbook to his family.

That recommendation is a terrible idea because it's a waste of money.


Some new model Ultrabooks is coming out soon. Dropping the price to around $600. The biggest difference is going to be the aluminum casing is swapped for good quality plastic.
There is also some Ultrabook type laptops coming out this year that is even cheaper. They resemble ultrabooks in sleekness and power but comes with AMD cpu's. It will run the trinity APS's and will bring very thin laptops mainstream.

Edited 2012-03-27 23:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Zenbook prices are on par with Macbook Air prices. So what's the point to buy an Asus?

Asus is a commodity hardware vendor with commodity re-sale prices. Apple re-sale prices are always very high.

A 2 years old Macbook Air has a higher sale price than a 1 month old Zenbook.

If you love Windows 7 so much... just use bootcamp. Buying a premium price PC is a waste of money.
What's the point to buy an Apple?

Re-sell laptops? Really? I couldn't care less.

Apple is crap.

Reply Score: 2

ZenBook is good but ...
by kristoph on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:53 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

I've tried the Zenbook and I think it's a very good product but I sort of question why you would choose it over a MacBook air which has a slightly but tangibly higher build quality, it can run a vastly larger range of operating systems more reliably (because, you know, everyone supports Apple hardware nowadays) and when it comes time to upgrade it has a much higher resale value.

Also, and let's be honest about this, when you have a problem with your Apple product you go to the Apple store and they replace it or fix it for you. If you have a problem with a ThinkBook or a Dell there is a great support organization. What do you do with you ZenBook a year down the line?

I guess if you really want to move away from Apple but you want to retain the same design aesthetic the Zenbook is a decent candidate though I think - generally - a ThinkBook would be better for most users.

Edited 2012-03-27 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: ZenBook is good but ...
by Lennie on Wed 28th Mar 2012 00:40 UTC in reply to "ZenBook is good but ..."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I guess these people should buy the product at a local shop and when it breaks they bring it there.

If you don't choose the wrong shop, you'd be better off than with Dell and so on.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ZenBook is good but ...
by ggiunta on Wed 28th Mar 2012 00:51 UTC in reply to "ZenBook is good but ..."
ggiunta Member since:
2006-01-13

@kristoph : as Thom also said, Bootcamp experience on MacBooks is far from being pleasant (see http://www.osnews.com/comments/25637 for my personal rant). The substitution of BIOS with EFI actually makes those laptops all except friendly to other operating systems.
And no, Apple will not assist you very much with windows 7 problems, and even less with linux...

Edited 2012-03-28 00:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ZenBook is good but ...
by AdamW on Wed 28th Mar 2012 06:32 UTC in reply to "RE: ZenBook is good but ..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

It wouldn't be so bad if Apple's idea of an EFI implementation hadn't been apparently designed by some poor guy who'd been forced at gunpoint to smoke crack continuously for several weeks beforehand.

What I'm trying to say is their EFI implementation is terrible. Got that? Good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ZenBook is good but ...
by Carewolf on Wed 28th Mar 2012 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ZenBook is good but ..."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

You would want someone to try to write an EFI implementation with being pumped full of heavy drugs??? You monster!!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ZenBook is good but ...
by DoctorD on Wed 28th Mar 2012 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE: ZenBook is good but ..."
DoctorD Member since:
2009-03-08

I've used bootcamp for years, literally since the week windows 7 came out. With the exception of a stupid move on my part (attempt to resize a partition with older software, which failed) the experience has been quite a success, and bug-free. One of my most strait-forward, hassle free windows experiences ever. I however have a desktop mac. After reading your post, it seems like the issues you had were primarily laptop oriented (lid, battery, touchpad, etc.).

Reply Score: 1

RE: ZenBook is good but ...
by AdamW on Wed 28th Mar 2012 06:29 UTC in reply to "ZenBook is good but ..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

"it can run a vastly larger range of operating systems more reliably (because, you know, everyone supports Apple hardware nowadays)"

erm. Apple's firmware is a hideous nightmare. Just ask Matthew Garrett. If you're a maintainer of an OS that's not OS X or, to a limited extent, Windows, trying to make yourself installable on modern Macs is an exercise in pain. I certainly wouldn't recommend Apples as a good choice of hardware for the OS-agnostic.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ZenBook is good but ...
by Richard Dale on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE: ZenBook is good but ..."
Richard Dale Member since:
2005-07-22

"it can run a vastly larger range of operating systems more reliably (because, you know, everyone supports Apple hardware nowadays)"

erm. Apple's firmware is a hideous nightmare. Just ask Matthew Garrett. If you're a maintainer of an OS that's not OS X or, to a limited extent, Windows, trying to make yourself installable on modern Macs is an exercise in pain. I certainly wouldn't recommend Apples as a good choice of hardware for the OS-agnostic.


You don't need to run Linux natively on a MacBook Air. I have an 11 inch Air with a 128 Gb SDD and 4 Gb RAM and I run Kubuntu under VirtualBox in 2Gb of the RAM and OS X Lion in the other 2 Gb. It works great and is like having two machines in one.

If I ran Linux natively then 3D performance would be better and I could use all the RAM, but for my purposes that wouldn't make much difference. I run Windows 7 under VMWare on my iMac and that works great too. For me, the way to go is to use virtual machines for whatever OS you need to run.

I used to dual boot or install Linux natively but I really can't see much advantage anymore, and it is much less flexible. If I fancy trying a new linux distro, or I need a special Linux development environment, I can just install it into a new virtual machine and run that instead of my usual Linux VM.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kittynipples
by kittynipples on Tue 27th Mar 2012 22:55 UTC
kittynipples
Member since:
2006-08-02

Asus makes good laptops, So I'm sure this is great too. But going to their site and looking at the "Design Story" page is hilarious. They really should replace all that nonsense about how their designers were meditating trying to find a balance of technology and nature with how they just walked down to the Apple store to see what this year's cool new design is.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kittynipples
by viton on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by kittynipples"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

how they just walked down to the Apple store to see what this year's cool new design is.

Actually Intel told them what to do.

Reply Score: 3

Who cares.
by Geronimo72 on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:51 UTC
Geronimo72
Member since:
2011-08-17

Enough said.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by fran
by fran on Tue 27th Mar 2012 23:58 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Let's compare the Zenbook UX31E-DH72 13" and upgraded Macbook air 13.3"

Display size is the same 13.3"

Display: both 13.3" but the Zenbook has slightly more resolution 1600x900 compare to 1440x900
Ram: both 4Gb 1333mhz
Storage: Both 256Gb but the Zenbook has the new sata6G
Inputs and outputs: The Macbook air has thunderbolt but the Zenbook has USB3.0.
The Zenbook also has a MicroHDMI and MicroVGA slot which the MBA does not.
Size: practically the same size except the Zenbook is very slightly lighter.
CPU: This zenbook has an i7 and the MBA i5
Price: The zenbook is a bit cheaper

That is the high end models but how does the base models compare.
Display's are identical in size and resoluiton.
Main difference here is the zenbook has a 128GB Sata6G ssd and the MBA a 64Gig Sata 3G
CPU's the same i5 model
The Zenbook has 2gig more ram.
Input/output differences as above.
Macbook here very slightly lighter.
Priced identically

Edited 2012-03-28 00:13 UTC

Reply Score: 13

Touchpad
by alexz on Wed 28th Mar 2012 00:43 UTC
alexz
Member since:
2012-02-25

I hope the touchpad GREATLY improved.
I tried a zenbook maybe 6 months ago and it was the worst experience ever. Priced like a MBA, I thought to myself "This thing will fail miserably, who's gonna buy an inferior product like that?"

Without the initial flaws, I suppose it a machine with potential.

Reply Score: 2

The real difference
by earksiinni on Wed 28th Mar 2012 00:47 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

ASUS hasn't come out with a sub-13" model yet. For some of us, smaller is bigger.

MBA's 11" base model is $999. On the other hand, if 13" is really what you want, I'm finding 13" Zenbooks for $1050 w/ a slightly faster i5 processor (1.7 GHz vs. 1.6 GHz) and 2x SSD (128 GB vs. 64 GB).

At these prices and given the purpose of these laptops, is anyone actually quibbling over .1 GHz or SSD capacity, though? I think most people would be like Thom, buying one because they just like it more over the other.

Me? Golly, well that's another matter. I've been rockin' my Toshiba Satellite PRO CDT420 for the past 15 years. Why bother with brushed aluminum when you can have dual Cardbus slots? Pure carnal lust.

Reply Score: 2

Wait...
by ndrw on Wed 28th Mar 2012 02:56 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

"Mac OS X was miles ahead of the dreadful Windows XP (I hate XP with a passion)"

"When Windows 7 was released, one major advantage of Apple laptops - a better operating system - vanished."

Aren't you exaggerating just a little bit? I agree that Windows 7 is an improvement over Windows XP but please mind the proportions. It's still the same OS. It has been streamlined here and there but the user experience it offers is pretty much the same as the one of XP.

It doesn't stop you from building a story on top of this statements, though, as if the world has changed so much on Windows side. It hasn't, which is precisely the reason why there are still so many XPs around.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Wait...
by lucas_maximus on Wed 28th Mar 2012 06:06 UTC in reply to "Wait..."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Windows 7 is the same UI almost as XP yes. It is the underlying OS is far better.

I've run XP32 on a core 2 duo (work), and the experience is horrible. Windows Vista and 7 are far more responsive on the same machine.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Wait...
by MOS6510 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 06:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I got my hands on an old Thinkpad running Windows XP. It was very slow, adding memory didn't help that much. When I wanted to install Vista it didn't reach the requirements.

But then I installed Windows 7 and now, well, it doesn't fly, but it's much (really much) faster than it was and very useable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wait...
by ndrw on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait..."
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

You have likely hit the "clogging" issue. Windows systems (not sure about v.7 - haven't used it long enough) gradually get slower over years of use, mostly because of garbage accumulated in the registry and fragmentation. I'm pretty sure that reinstalling XP would solve your problems just as well as installing Windows 7.

Your choice is of course good. Windows 7 is better in almost every respect. But XP isn't rubbish either - quite the opposite - it is both "good enough" and "already there". That's a tough competition even for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wait...
by MOS6510 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

When I got it it was unbelievably slow and after some cleaning up it was much faster, but still annoyingly slow. But you could be right, because judging from its specs (1.6 Ghz Pentium M, 1.5 GB RAM) it should have been faster than it was. It does seem SP3 for XP makes XP need more specs to keep it running at a acceptable speed.

Still, Windows 7 seems faster and of course is a mayor positive step up for Microsoft.

Not sure about Windows 8. My work phone is a WP and even there Metro seems like nothing more that a fancy launcher, that isn't even that fancy. On the desktop I don't think it will really work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wait...
by ndrw on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wait..."
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Well, it just doesn't much my experience. Windows 7 indeed boots faster and is "smoother" (due to window compositing, if supported by the graphics card) but other than that there was hardly any difference on my machines.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wait...
by MOS6510 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wait..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I would qualify "hardly any difference" also as a very positive step. It implies you can run a modern OS on less-than-modern hardware.

There was a time that a Windows upgrade almost forced the user to buy a new PC.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Wait...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Wait..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Windows 7 was lighter than Vista, and Windows 8 is lighter than Windows 7.

Microsoft is on a roll there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Wait...
by bert64 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wait..."
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Installing updates to XP slows it down quite a lot, a base sp0 install runs rings around windows 7 on the same hardware...

Ofcourse, it's said this is intentional, slow down the old version to push people onto the new one...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wait...
by MOS6510 on Wed 28th Mar 2012 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wait..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

For XP that didn't make much sense, SP1 and 2 were rolled out without there being an alternative to upgrade to. When SP3 was released Windows Vista already had established a bad name for itself.

I do recall that SP3 seemed to impact performance quite a bit.

It's nice to see that Microsoft seems to put in some effort to enable you to run Windows on the PC you already have.

As I'm an OS X person myself I was surprised Windows 7 was released in 2009. For some reason I never got around to giving it a spin all those years and now I have I kind of like it.

The Windows 7 release party videos are a bit creepy though. The black guy looks like a Cylon so the rest are probably too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cX4t5-YpHQ

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wait...
by wigry on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:56 UTC in reply to "Wait..."
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Exactly my point. I have W7 at work, Vista at hom and I use XP in virtual machine at work for testing purposes. They are the same for me.

The problems with XP performance or stability are unknown to me. Rocksolid and superfast on whatever hardware you provide. There are couple of things still you have to keep in mind. Services cleanup is a must on XP and also keeping the disk fragmentation to minimal. The last part means using high-quality defragmentation tools in safe mode every now and then to keep all system DLL files in one piece and in close formation. The XP runs circles around all I've seen.

About UI I switched my W7 and Vista both to Windows classic look because I like the way XP looks.

With Vista I've discovered one problem only - large file handling. Don't try to copy/move 500+MB file from one place to another. Even with latest SP it takes quite a long time. Other than that, I have no complaints towards Vista. No crashes and no performance degradation whatsoever. And I have 4 year old computer.

Reply Score: 1

MacBooks for the time being...
by bowkota on Wed 28th Mar 2012 04:53 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

I wouldn't recommend anything other than a MacBook to anyone right now. For one, Mac OS X is great and Mountain Lion is only making it better.
The hardware is superb; quality, design, reliability.
This is only supported by the fact that I see an overwhelming majority of MacBooks here in the UK, particularly amongst younger people and even more-so in Universities. You can only expect every iteration to get better; ASUS, I wouldn't bet on it...

As for Windows 8, I'll let others speak for me:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402031,00.asp
http://www.mercurynews.com/troy-wolverton/ci_20235176/wolverton-rev...

Reply Score: 1

RE: MacBooks for the time being...
by karunko on Wed 28th Mar 2012 14:31 UTC in reply to "MacBooks for the time being..."
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

I wouldn't recommend anything other than a MacBook to anyone right now.

So far, so good. I mean, nobody is keeping anyone at gunpoint to "suggest" they make the "right" recommendation, right? ;-)

For one, Mac OS X is great and Mountain Lion is only making it better.

This, on the other hand, is debatable. In my opinion, and I have made no secret about it in the past, OS X has been going downhill for a while and the last "real" upgrade has been Leopard -- not to mention that I certainly have no use for a dumbed down OS.

The hardware is superb; quality, design, reliability.

Again, so far so good -- with the occasional, well documented exceptions.

This is only supported by the fact that I see an overwhelming majority of MacBooks here in the UK, particularly amongst younger people and even more-so in Universities.

Here, on the other hand, you're just raving and making the usual (wrong) assumptions:

1) That commercial success must be due to "being better" than the competition, to which people usually retort saying that, by that very same token, Lady Gaga (or whatever other pop act) must be an hell of an artist because she's selling lots of records/tickets;

2) That your sample, no matter how big, represents the actual market distribution in your country. In my area (dotted with research institutes and technical universities) when I'm on the train I see plenty of iPhones, but only the odd iPad (or tablet) and all sort of different notebooks (including Macs, of course). Still, this doesn't really mean anything, and that's why a statistician is supposed to be well versed in "the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments".


RT.

Reply Score: 2

My advises to family and friends
by spiderman on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:07 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

When someone asks me what laptop to buy, I give them those advises:
First off, are you going to travel with it? A lot of people buy laptops as desktop replacements, always plugged. Well, that's wrong. If you only use it at home on your desk, buy a desktop. You won't pay for a useless battery, you get better quality upgradable components and desktop live much longer.
Second off, if what you need is really a laptop, just don't buy anything above €500. A laptop typically lasts 2 years. After that, either it fails or it is obsolete. Don't buy any extended guarantee. Your laptop won't be worth the price of the guarantee in 2 years anyway.
Third off, use GNU. Windows or MacOS X are proprietary software and they are not practical. They require a hard to get DVD to reinstall and you are not in control. Moreover that's the ethical thing to do as you contribute to breaking the worldwide locking. Buy a laptop with GNU or without OS and make sure the laptop is GNU compatible. Anyway if you are really addicted to Windows, chances are you already have a license, don't buy another one.

Edited 2012-03-28 07:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Just to summarize...
by Neolander on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:07 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

For people who are not interested in Apple's hardware, what other good laptop manufacturers are there left ?

I've only heard good things about Asus so far, and a few people praising Toshiba stuff for its robustness. Thinkpads were a good pick in the IBM era, but current-gen stuff is apparently not to be recommended anymore. HP and Acer laptops tend to receive overwhelmingly negative treatment, and for Acer I can certify that this is justified.

Anything else worth knowing about the current laptop landscape ?

Edited 2012-03-28 07:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just to summarize...
by j-kidd on Wed 28th Mar 2012 07:47 UTC in reply to "Just to summarize..."
j-kidd Member since:
2005-07-06

For me, two things matter the most:

1. keyboard
2. screen

The chiclet keyboard on Thinkpad Edge is simply awesome, and I heard it is even better on Thinkpad X1.

I am not buying another laptop that doesn't come with this keyboard. Can't wait for the release of Thinkpad S430 in June ;)

p.s. Some die hard Thinkpad fans like to say bad things about the chiclet keyboard. Don't listen to them.

Reply Score: 2

v OSX vs WIndows 7
by vasko_dinkov on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:30 UTC
RE: OSX vs WIndows 7
by wigry on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:46 UTC in reply to "OSX vs WIndows 7"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

OS X is for artistic people, Windows is for office people and Linux is for those who like to have 25 terminal windows open.

I for one do not like OS X, prefer Windows for office apps but Linux for programming.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OSX vs WIndows 7
by bowkota on Wed 28th Mar 2012 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE: OSX vs WIndows 7"
bowkota Member since:
2011-10-12

OS X is for artistic people, Windows is for office people and Linux is for those who like to have 25 terminal windows open.

I for one do not like OS X, prefer Windows for office apps but Linux for programming.


You would be right if it was still 1999.
A very large percentage of scholars and the scientific community use Macs nowadays.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OSX vs WIndows 7
by robertson on Wed 28th Mar 2012 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE: OSX vs WIndows 7"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

OS X is for artistic people, Windows is for office people and Linux is for those who like to have 25 terminal windows open.


From a practical standpoint, I see your point, but GNU/Linux and *BSD are also for those who enjoy freedom; Windows and OS X are for those who don't know or don't care about computing freedom. Or have to run a non-free OS for work purposes or out of some other practical necessity.

Typed on a MacBook running OS X 10.6. But I really, really want to install FreeBSD once I do a mirror back-up and resize the partition. Keeping OS X + MS Office around for work purposes and the like. (:

Reply Score: 1

I gave up on laptops years ago
by rklrkl on Wed 28th Mar 2012 08:39 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think laptops have a bit of an issue myself - they can work as a complete desktop replacement (i.e. hook to external monitor, keyboard and mouse like I did with an Acer laptop for a year), but really don't work in any other function, IMHO.

They are too bulky to take on trips and aren't as powerful as a desktop of the equivalent price, This is why, despite having a smartphone, tablet and laptop, the two machines that get the most use for me are my 6-core AMD desktop (with SSD and 12GB RAM, 4TB hard disk, 24" monitor) and my trusty old Dell Mini 9 (which I souped up with a better SSD and more RAM). The desktop is for crunching stuff and the netbook is for browsing (and some work) and the combo beats laptops hands down IMHO.

Of course, it helps that Linux makes it easy to ssh/remote X from the Mini 9 to the desktop should I need the extra speed. The fact I can just take the Mini 9 into work is a bonus too - I wouldn't do that with my home laptop, that's for sure.

Edited 2012-03-28 08:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Horrible trackpad
by gullevek on Wed 28th Mar 2012 11:23 UTC
gullevek
Member since:
2005-07-07

Tried on in a shop and it had the most horrible trackpad ever. If you work on a laptop as a laptop you need a good trackpad. And you can say what you want, the Apple trackpads are the best thing ever.

Furthermore, that win7 is better than xp is without a question. If it is better than OS X is another. This is more a personal taste on how you want to use the OS.

Although I think win7 is really the best OS MS has made so far, I personally prefer OS X, even thought Lion has some horrible quirks (FINDER!!!!!!, where are the colors in the icons, etc)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Horrible trackpad
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 28th Mar 2012 11:29 UTC in reply to "Horrible trackpad"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Tried on in a shop and it had the most horrible trackpad ever.


It probably didn't have the latest drivers installed. Not an excuse - the shop's and or Asus' responsiblity - but there you have it. With the proper drivers, it's pretty good (although, as I said in the article, not quite as good as Apple's).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 28th Mar 2012 14:06 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks to the ZenBook, I'm no longer recommending MacBooks


It might be the case if you want an "ultrabook" and if you like Windows.
If you want a "proper" notebook (with DVD-writer and every other comfort) and if you don't like Windows, I am not aware of notebooks comparable to 15" and 17" MacBooks Pro.
Personally I'd also buy a MacBook Pro 13" rather than a MacBook Air or an ultrabook. Obviously size and weight are slightly in favour of the latter, but personally I don't care.

Reply Score: 2

Still apple for me
by leos on Wed 28th Mar 2012 16:19 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

For a couple reasons I still prefer the apple products.

1. OSX. Win 7 is good, but it's still a lot more hassle than OSX. First of all, it's very difficult to find a windows computer that doesn't come with a million little utilities by the makers of the components. If you install clean, you have to install the drivers, which are often bundled with those idiotic utilities. The application model is just way cleaner in OSX. No endless installs, and with the app store, one central place for updates.
Window management is a little better in Win7, but the gap is closing. Better resizing in 10.7, and the fullscreen option is making it closer and closer. Also the direction for Windows 8 is not promising, while for 10.8 it looks very nice. The idea of a having completely separate environments for full screen apps is stupid. In OSX you can seamlessly switch applications to and from full screen mode. So much cleaner.

2. The hardware. I still think it's just better. Like the phenomenal trackpad (this might be a software thing, but I really do prefer the trackpad to the mouse for most things). The little details that just make me happy to use my computer, instead of it being a chore. Hard to explain, but when I got an iMac for a contract, I switched to it full time from my much more powerful desktop running Win7. It's just nicer.

Edited 2012-03-28 16:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Computers for every need.
by Bounty on Wed 28th Mar 2012 17:56 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

Laptop selection is a personalized experience. There is no "the one" to rule them all. For me, I like to do some gaming anywhere and everywhere. I also watch movies on it. Show me the macbook with an ATI 5870M or better and a 15+" screen for 1100$? It's heavy, but I don't carry it to business mettings. Battery life isn't 5 hours, but that's not how I use it 80% of the time. Most of the niche software I use with it (serial port connected GPS devices etc) is windows only.

My work laptop is a small, light windows laptop with a real serial port and dual replaceable batteries that I use to config and test hardware. I could use a macbook, but I'd end up dual booting anyways because of specialized software, so why bother when windows does everything I need?

Doesn't mean I hate macbooks. They have perfect niches, just not for me. Same for netbooks, convertable tablets PCs, tablet PCs, android tablets, android tablets with keyboards (TF Prime,) ipads etc. Right tool for the job.

Reply Score: 2

My first laptop
by snowbender on Wed 28th Mar 2012 20:31 UTC
snowbender
Member since:
2006-05-04

My first laptop was an iBook G3, 10". It was really the perfect laptop for me. It was one of the cheapest laptops on the market (bought it in Taiwan though, where it was considerably cheaper than in Europe). It was small and fairly light: it had to be easy to carry around with me. It did come with an internal cd drive (which I considered important, I didn't want to drag around external drives). The battery life was also pretty good: the battery lasted for 4-5 hours. It had a keyboard that was really pleasant to type on. And finally, it was one of the best laptops to run linux on!

About that last point: that was back in 2003. The linux support for that laptop was just excellent back then: it had working wireless, it had a free graphics driver with 3d acceleration, it came with out of the box support for sleep.

It was also the start of Mac OSX and I wanted to try that too. In the end though, I used it 95% of the time with linux. I just never got into OSX.

Sadly though, the laptop had hardware problems, which Apple luckily in the end admitted as being construction problems. I had to hand my G3 in several times for having it fixed and in the end Apple gave me a new iBook G4, 10". That G4 is still alive and I still use it to this day. It runs only linux (Debian testing). It has its ram maxed out to 1.5 gb, and I replaced its harddisk with a bigger, faster model. It's still very usable.

I often think about that laptop (the G4, but also the G3 from 2003) as it being a "netbook" before it was hot and actually called netbook.

Edited 2012-03-28 20:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

i read a review
by graig on Thu 29th Mar 2012 00:36 UTC
graig
Member since:
2010-09-18

a review of the zenbook and it said the trackpad was horrible.

Reply Score: 1

The key things for me in a laptop
by abdavidson on Thu 29th Mar 2012 10:54 UTC
abdavidson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Are the things that you note the Apple products are still better in:

It's not quite up to Apple standards in all areas, though; the keyboard is slightly less pleasant to type on, and the touchpad, while quite good with the latest drivers, is simply still not up to the exquisite quality of Apple's (a Windows 7 issue, actually, since the exact same drivers on Windows 8 deliver an Apple-quality experience).


When I look for a laptop I am wanting weight (all good with all in this form factor), a screen that is decent for me and input devices that I like.

I generally don't care for an uber-powerhouse for my portable computing. I am probably a dying breed but I still like my desktop for that.

Which means that all other things being equal, if the keyboard and trackpad on one device are better than on another one, I know where I'm heading.

Everything else tends to be fluff.

Reply Score: 2

Advice
by concurrentcoder on Sat 31st Mar 2012 07:20 UTC
concurrentcoder
Member since:
2008-04-16

No offence , but why are people asking you what computer to buy? You mentioned University, are you some sort of computer scientist?

Reply Score: 1