Macbook Air vs Asus Eee Pc- Expensive isn’t better
The whole world is in love with the Macbook Air. From the man I admire, David Pogue, of the New York Times, to every website with the Air’s heading. But from this nerd’s point of view, I don’t get it. The specs don’t dazzle me and the battery life would leave me high and dry if I was stuck in an airport. Then there’s the price-ouch!
I wondered how it would stack up to my Asus Eee PC 1001P netbook…
For $999 the 11″ Macbook Air gives you 64GB Solid State drive, a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo Processor, and 2GB RAM. After you’ve stopped laughing, you realize you’re paying a premium price for an old processor. I understand the price of the Air increasing because of the SSD drive but I’d opt for hard drive space over SSD capability. They are just too expensive at this point. Unless you’re a toddler or running around a war zone, you don’t need a solid state drive.
For $299 Asus gives you 1.66 GHz Single Core Atom 450 processor with 1GB Ram and 250 HD. While I could have waited a few months and spend an extra $200 for the dual core, I don’t need it, nor did I want to want to wait or spend the cash. I did spend $40 to upgrade the ram from 1GB to 2GB. Makes a big difference when I’m streaming video and running two or three applications at a time.
The Air is a bit faster with the core 2 Duo processor, but it still doesn’t justify the $650 price difference. On both machines you’re not going to be editing video. You can do some Photoshop picture editing, but that’s the heaviest lifting.
We’re in sad times when mac fans are rejoicing over having two USB ports. Two. For a $1,000 dollars, I want three, and I don’t think I’m being greedy. You’ll thank me once you plug in your mouse and USB memory stick and realize the celebrating two USB was just premature. The Air also includes a display port but adapters are sold separately (welcome to the cult of mac), and a headphone jack.
The Asus 1001 has three USBs. It’s the minimum I require. It follows up with a VGA, Ethernet, headphone and mic jack.
Jobs and Company are predicting 5 hours of battery life with wifi. So in real world terms let’s say 3.5 hours with wifi on. This is totally unacceptable! The Air is lightweight so of course I would want to take it anywhere if I’m traveling. Even if it gets 5 hours, which I doubt, that number still isn’t high.
The Asus wins again with 9 hours with wifi on, 11 hours with wifi off. Now that’s more realistic I’m stranded in JFK time.
Apple is touting instant on like it’s some type of new technology the invented. Uh-no. The Asus 1001 will open with instant on with the touch of a button. The Air will just open to instant on. Both are wins. Just know that it’s not something new.
Asus’ 1001 netbook line comes colors ranging from piano black, navy blue, white, pink, and red. I opted for pink because I remember the days when if you wanted your tech colored, you had to send it off to a company for a couple hundred dollars to be painted. If I was going to have my netbook painted, I’d want pink! While it’s note as paper fine as the Air, there is a compactness that makes it competitive to Apple and HP’s more polished designs.
The Macbook Air looks as sleek the spaceship in 1989′s Flight of the Navigator, and it was sleek! Not even I can deny that it is a beautiful piece of work. There was no need to change the perfect aluminum design that the pc makers have yet to capture in it’s all out coolness. I still don’t understand why they killed the back-lit keyboard, if only to make you pay for the more expensive Macbook Pros. It’s the only winning feature lacking from it’s original design. The only con to the construction is the flimsy feel. When opening it, it’s reminiscent of a wishbone about to snap. Even minus this, the Air takes the win.
Both are so light, you might forget that their in your carry case. If I’m not going far, I throw mine into an oversized hobo bag and still don’t notice the weight. Asus at 2.8 pounds, Air at 2.3 pounds; neither one loses here.
It really does come down to preference, and not capabilities, since both can do the same amount of work. By definition, the Asus is a netbook and the Air is ultra-portable since netbooks are deemed inexpensive. But if we rewrite the definition of netbook (which should be done by now) to mean light laptops with no optical drive, then that’s what these two are.
For me, at $350 with the ram upgrade, the rose pink Asus Ee Pc 1001 is the winner. I can’t justify a $1,000 dollar netbook, because it’s a netbook! Not a desktop or a flat screen tv. Especially, when both provide the same performance.