Don’t buy a Mac. They’re rubbish!
Ok, that’s not strictly true – Mac’s are fully worth the money we pay for them – they are reliable, fast, and there is very little they can’t do.
You don’t need us to tell you for instance, about the thousands, nay millions of apps that will get you through lunch hour, slow Wednesday afternoons, Friday mornings, afternoons…and then there’s the Swift programming language, which is utterly awesome.
But here’s the thing – we have kind of hit “full Apple”, haven’t we? There are fewer and fewer secrets in the modern computing world and now more than ever, consumers have the right to think, and buy differently, without experiencing the dreaded FOMO – that’s fear of missing out.
Don’t be afraid to rock one of these shiny new systems!
Running a business? This could be the laptop for you. There are many different kinds of Thinkpad; the X, the T, the P and the Yoga, the E, L, 13 and 11e, which range in price from the “ultra-rugged” 11e (hint – when it comes to laptops, you generally get what you pay for – so don’t skimp unless you want to while away hours wondering why everything takes so long to render), at $323,10, to the Yoga, at an entirely un-bank-breaking $971.10.
So, let’s take a look at the Yoga; it’s a 2-in-1 laptop, which means this device can be both laptop, and tablet.
It benefits from a 6th gen Intel Core i5 processor (decent), can handle Windows 10 (probably essential), is 12.5”, with a multitouch display, and 1366 x 1080 resolution, which means glorious HD quality video.
The basic model provides 16GB of memory, and 512GB SSD, with integrated Intel graphics. And an integrated digital pen.
The battery life, says Lenovo, lasts all day, and this laptop boasts 4 modes; Laptop, Stand, Tablet, and “Tent”. One for Glastonbury, perhaps. It looks like it can last the pace.
Verdict: fancy, modern, adaptable, and you can even get your 3D gaming on with this reasonably priced, but by no means lightweight, laptop. Now you can start thinking about what you will spend all that money (about $500) that you saved by choosing this over the Mac. The latest iPhone, perhaps?
Microsoft Surface Pro
Well, the first thing to say about this “laptop” is that it isn’t one. It’s a tablet. Are you sensing a pattern here – many medium-to-high end laptops these days are hybrids.
Let’s say that you are looking for at least an Intel Core i5 processor, and let’s say you are a heavy user so decide to opt for a slightly punchier 8 GB of RAM, which means you get a 256GB i5.
You also get a 12.3-inch PixelSense Touchscreen display, 6th Gen i5, and with this version, you also get the free pen! Happy days.
And how much will you pay for all these goodies? $1,199. Not at all bad. We have seen this laptop / tablet in action and it is slick, the graphics are excellent, but some users have complained about battery life, and experience tells us that for some, questionable battery life is an out and out no-no.
That said, it doesn’t always do to trust online reviewers. In our view, all online reviewers should be forced to list their IQ next to their names, so we can tell if the problems they describe are real, or figments of their limited imagination!
Verdict: its ultra-thin, its state of the art and it runs pretty much anything you throw at it. Its graphics are also outstanding. A worthy rival to the Mac, which compared to the Surface Pro, does show its age a bit. And you can sketch with it!
The best a man can get? The best a gamer can get, quite possibly. The Razer Blade enjoys a reputation as the king of gaming laptops, but it is an expensive toy, retailing at around $1850.
It’s not supremely practical either, with a battery life that lasts between4-8 hours depending on whether you are completing everyday productivity tasks (the former), or watching videos (the latter).
The Razer Blade rivals the MacBook Pro as a games station, but what else can it do?
It has an awesome keyboard! You can colour code the keys, in any one of 16.8 million colours, apparently. It has an I7 Intel Core processor, and a 4K touch display option, a full HD screen and 256GB SSD.
It has 16 GB of RAM, 2 USB ports and a 2MP built in webcam. The Mac has a “720p FaceTime HD camera”, which sounds worse, but are we comparing apples and apples here?
The screen size is 13.6 x 9.3”, but the Razer Blade is neither especially thin, or light.
Verdict; if you were to buy this, fellow coffee shop dwellers would probably gaze at you in wonderment, but honestly, this is really one for the gamers, and maybe not one for the founders.
Sure is fun to play with, though.
Dell XPS 13
Not an especially catchy name, but this laptop is now packing Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake CPU, which means, for want of a better expression, that it is the nuts!
It’s got two USB ports, battery life to die for, a carbon-fiber deck, its soft to the touch, and wait for it – it comes in Rose Gold!
It starts at a mere $799, too. Start waving the chequered flag then, because we have a winner!
It has a 3.1GHz Intel Core I5 processor (you want i5 or above, ideally), 8GB of RAM as standard, and a 256 GB hard drive.
Ooh, and an infinite display which according to one reviewer, “makes it look like the screen is floating above the base of the system, allowing you to focus more on your content.”
Hmm, any drawbacks? It’s not as thin or as light as the MacBook, and the webcam is in a strange place, but did we mention its nearly half the price of a MacBook (although you will probably want to settle for the superior version which starts at $999, or even one with a 256GB Solid State Drive, at $1,349, perhaps?).
Verdict: it’s the form captain, this one; does everything right, never lets you down, and even has some funky new technology to boot. But is it a teeny bit dull, even with the infinite screen? You won’t make many friends in Shoreditch by buying this, but techies and laptop geeks with give you approving nods – if you like that sort of thing.
If it looks like a MacBook Air, and has a metal lid like a MacBook Air, does that make it as good as a MacBook Air?
It’s cheaper (under £800), it has 256GB SSD, and it is thin. Like, hipsters in skinny jeans thin. It also has an Intel Core i7 Processor, 8GB of RAM and a sexy 3,200 x 1,800 pixel display.
But it’s also plastic-y down below (like hipsters?), as opposed to carbon finished like the Dell above, has a pants keyboard and no Ethernet port.
It’s not hugely practical from a getting work done perspective either, and its touchpad is not at the same level as a MacBook (or a Dell), but for all that this is a decent piece of kit that is light as anything and has a bit of wow factor, at a cheaper price than a MacBook, or MacBook Air.
Verdict; it’s obvious it isn’t quite a MacBook Air, but think of the savings, and it has just about everything else you’ll need, if not super stellar performance. You probably wouldn’t code with the Asus, but this would make the perfect replacement laptop, to whip out when you need backup.
How do we know this? We brought one with us a spare when we went travelling, and when the touchpad on our MacBook broke (damn you Apple!), this puppy came to the rescue.