Computers & Electronics

Want to switch from Macbook Air to PC - What are comparables?

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  • Aug 13th, 2018 11:25 am
Deal Addict
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Feb 19, 2014
1538 posts

Want to switch from Macbook Air to PC - What are comparables?

Hey everyone,

I have a 2012 Macbook Air that needs to be replaced.
I looked at the new Macbooks and the specs are pretty horrible for the price you're paying.

Since i've only used macbooks, I don't know anything about PC laptops.

I'm wondering which PC's are comparable to Apples quality and feel? My macbook air looks and feels premium, what are the premium PC brands lines that would be comparable?

If you guys have any suggestions, that will be amazing. Thanks!
4 replies
Deal Guru
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Jun 27, 2004
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The comparable would have been a ThinkPad X300/X301, but they discontinued the X3xx series and replaced them with the X1 Carbon, going from 13" screen to 14" screen.
Sep 25, 2009
77 posts
The X1 Carbon (generation 6) is made from premium materials, and you can buy it with the best laptop screen in the Windows world. [HDR] But there have been QC issues on some of them.

The Carbon, when built right, is honestly the best build quality from Lenovo's lineup and is very powerful with 8th generation processors and up to 16 GB of RAM. It has useful input/output ports, way better than the air in that regard, and the keyboard is the best-in-class.

Just look at this frickin' beast: ... 682.0.html

The Surface Laptop is Microsoft's answer to the Macbook Air. You'll want the 8GB (or even higher) version, not the entry-level 4 GB model. I think it's on sale at Best Buy right now.

The Surface Laptop has a better screen than the Air [3:2 ratio and higher resolution], comparable keyboard, and is light and thin. You can also use the pen with it.

The screen is great, but I don't think it is as sturdy as Thinkpads are, nor anywhere near as repairable. The port selection is a joke. [Although I like USB-A myself]. ... 176.0.html

The Dell XPS 13 seems to be the most popular ultrabook. It has really thin bezels, so fits more laptop in a smaller space than you are used to with Macbook Air. ... 518.0.html

The HP Elitebook is the luxury 14-inch ultrabook in HP's lineup. It is generally seen as a worthy competitor to the X1 Carbon / T480s: ... 238.0.html ... 238.0.html

The new kid on the block that is blowing everyone away is the Huawei Matebook Pro X.

It is a Macbook-influenced office clamshell notebook with a glorious 3000x2000 [3:2] 14-inch touchscreen. It looks and feels fairly premium, but is priced very reasonably in the U.S. and Canada [particularly the U.S.]. The form factor/usefulness is awesome, but the keyboard is not the greatest [neither is the XPS' for that matter], and longevity of the product is unknown: Huawei is new to the laptop market. I think it would be relatively easy to switch from the Macbook Air [13] to the Huawei Matebook Pro X.

Here are some weight comparisons for circa-2018 products:

Macbook Pro 15 - 4 pounds

Macbook Pro 13 - 3 pounds

Macbook Air - 2.96 pounds

Macbook 12 - 2.03 pounds


T480 - 3.49 pounds

T480s - 2.90 pounds

X1 Carbon - 2.6 pounds

Dell XPS 13 - 2.65 pounds

Dell Latitude - 3.13 pounds

Huawei Matebook Pro X - 2.9 pounds

You can see from the above comparison that T480s is also a serious contender for replacing the Macbook Air. The T480s is the slimmed down 2018 T-series Thinkpad. It's well-designed, actually quite attractive, and aesthetically competitive with a Macbook Pro.

It also weighs nearly the same as a Macbook Air.

The T480s looks and feels kind of like a lighter Macbook Pro. It has a vastly superior keyboard, cooling, upgradeability, and repairability to most comparable Apple laptops.

Where it suffers is the screen, which is 16:9. Fortunately, the 1440P screen option is not bad, and gives you something like retina-quality when you scale the text to 125-150% or so. Don't get the 1080P, though, because only the 1440P panels are decent in the T-series.

If you are looking for a true replacement for the Air, you don't really need more than an i5. The i5 makes business applications and web browsing sufficiently fast. In fact, the 8th-generation i5 is overkill for those tasks. The i7 is needed if you are doing video/audio processing, CAD and video editing and stuff like that.


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