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Which to buy: Alienware M11x or MacBook Air 11.6?

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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October 31, 2010 3:30:25 PM

1. What is your budget?
~$1200

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
11.6"-12"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Doesn't matter

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable

5. How much battery life do you need?
Minimum of 5 hours; I use my laptop almost always with a charger

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Unsure; I use my desktop most of the time, but may not always have my desktop with me (college student)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop?
Maybe some movies and music here and there, but probably not often since I use my iPad for most of that.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Minimum of 120GB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Several years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don't Need one

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Apple, Dell, Asus - Reliability of products; familiar with both Windows and Mac OS

13. What country do you live in?
USA


I'm debating these two computers as a more portable replacement for my Early 2008 15" MacBook Pro, which is just too heavy (5.5 lbs).

I like some of the extra features on the Alienware like the backlit keyboard and better CPU/GPU for gaming (I play high-res games on steam), but I don't play a ton of games on the go since I'm usually just working on my laptop. I also don't like the weight (4.39+ lbs) and the ~1.5" thickness because I'm looking for a smaller screen size and smaller footprint. The Optimus switching works well, and I've read the battery life can exceed 6 hours when used properly. The fans get annoying in laptops.
I could get the 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD, i5M set up for just under $1000 with the Dell Student Discount.

I like the Air because it's small and thin with a full keyboard, and it meets all of my work needs (I've been using the MBP, so not much would change except the addition of Office 2011). I'm not too happy about having the C2D (which was used because Apple wanted the 320M graphics, which I'm also not that happy about) because it's not the most powerful or power-efficient chip out there (and it requires a more power-hungry GPU and fan). I haven't gotten any conclusive battery life results, but I've heard the claimed 5hr life under mixed usage is pretty accurate.
I would get the 11.6", 128GB, 4GB RAM, 1.6GHz CPU for ~$1400 (including tax) after the student discount.

Does anybody have any experience using either of these laptops?
Thanks for any insight.

More about : buy alienware m11x macbook air

a c 244 D Laptop
October 31, 2010 3:58:06 PM

MBA is lighter,has a better build quality and has more battery life;however,If you are planing to play games,then definitely go with AW M11x.
October 31, 2010 4:19:27 PM

You just said that you're ditching a 2 year old laptop because it weighs 5.5 lbs. Then you said you wanted your new laptop to last you 7 years. Don't you think you're defeating the purpose and reducing the likelihood that you'll be happy with your purchase if you're only shaving off a pound?
October 31, 2010 5:29:03 PM

JonBeam said:
You just said that you're ditching a 2 year old laptop because it weighs 5.5 lbs. Then you said you wanted your new laptop to last you 7 years. Don't you think you're defeating the purpose and reducing the likelihood that you'll be happy with your purchase if you're only shaving off a pound?


I'm looking for a ~2-3 year lifespan; that's about how long laptops are really good for (in terms of battery life, hardware performance, and support). Plus, I will have graduated by then and could buy a new laptop.

I was also a little unhappy because I bought that MBP at the very end of August (right before Freshman year started), and then in September the Unibody models began to release (very suddenly too). The 13" MBP (which I would have gotten; only got the 15" because I didn't have a desktop at the time) was faster, lighter, cheaper, better built, and was $500 less for the same hardware. My computer was really at the end of life, but we weren't aware. Though the weight is also a primary concern, I was also disappointed in the performance of 10.6 since it came out right after the Unibodies were released and relied on their better hardware.
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