I have been looking to buy a laptop from the past 2 weeks. I am planning on using it as my daily driver. Here are the essentials that I am looking for.
11-13 inch laptop around 2.75-3.5 pounds with ivy bridge i5
High screen resolution greater than 1366 * 768 (Can live with 1440 * 900 or preferred1600 * 900 or higher)
256 GB SSD
i7 ivy bridge
8 GB RAM
Good battery life
So I went to HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Samsung and did a Google product search for best prices over the net to see if I can get what I am looking for.
Here is the comparison.
(You can see the original size by clicking view Original size)
When I looked at the chart, I wondered if the PC Makers are really trying hard to compete against Apple in the segment that I am looking for. Granted, I have some basic essentials that a laptop must meet and for most folks this is not an issue. But the problem is most known vendors are ignoring the basic idea of providing options to users to customize their laptop. I have been using Lenovo T61 for almost 5 years now and even that laptop had a 1440 * 900 screen resolution. I am use to this resolution and for me that is the bare essential I am looking for in my next laptop. Most manufacturers have locked down the screen resolution (720p) and the RAM (4GB) size on their offerings. I personally don't like the 16:9 resolution (1366 * 768) and how it looks on a screen. I rather prefer 16 * 10 or higher on the laptops.
The only two player trying to compete against Apple are Samsung and Asus. Asus is the real dark horse here. I have to give them credit for providing a great alternative to MBA (Macbook Air) in the form of Asus UX31 and Asus UX21 (which is not yet officially out).
Samsung with it's 15 inch has created a monster. I absolutely love their design, although the design aesthetics looks a lot like MBA, but the battery life, the screen and the weight around 3.5 inch is a real steal here.
As far as MBA is concerned, it's still the top dog when it comes to the ultrabooks category. The specs on MBA are just too good to ignore. You can reduce 200$ and go with the i5 and 4 GB RAM and yet it's a better machine compared to other ultra-books.
Now that brings me to the all important point - What if Apple comes out with a Macbook pro 13 with Retina display for 1799 with a 128 MB SSD and an option to go 256 SSD with dedicated graphics with a weight out 3.2 lbs? That will be huge and it will almost be a no-brainer and that point. I am sure, PC makers will reduce the prices on the existing model and then compete, which will be beneficial to the consumers.
As far as I am concerned - I am waiting for UX21 pricing and availability and might wait for MBA 13 MBP retina.