How Gizmodo Decides Which Laptop to BuyS

Earlier today, Gizmodo Brit Jamie Condliffe asked us for advice on his next laptop purchase. We had some opinions! Enough that we thought we'd share how we work through it with you, dear readers. So without any more ado, here's Gizmodo talking laptops:


From: Jamie Condliffe
Subject: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:00:29 PM EDT
To: Gizmodo

Hey everyone,

So. My laptop died last week—or at least, it's graphics card did—and frankly it's time I got a new one. Which is good timing, as I'm going to be in NYC in two week's time, and computers are about 30 per cent cheaper in the states compared to the UK.

Previously I've been using a 13" Vaio running Ubuntu (I know, I know), but I'm extremely tempted to make the switch to a Mac. On balance, I think it's worth buying a Mac while I'm in New York to save 30 per cent rather than holding off for the update. Though you might disagree on that point. Which is why I'm emailing!

I definitely need a new laptop of some description, as at the moment I'm chained to a desk, and that sucks. I have come up with some options, but I thought, who better to run them past than you guys? So here goes.

1. Buy a 13" Mac Book Air, because, Mac Book Air.
2. Buy a 13" Mac Book Pro, because the higher spec might make more sense given this will be my primary computer.
3. Buy a Zenbook UX31 and run Ubuntu on it, because I have a PhD in engineering and that's the kind of shit I do (and it's cheaper).
4. Hold off a few months for for the new Mac update and buy a cheap bridging computer (suggestions welcome).

So, thoughts please.

Cheers!

Jamie


From: Jesus Diaz
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:06:50 PM EDT
To: Jamie Condliffe

I'll go Air and never look back! That thing is great.

j.


From: Kyle Wagner
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:07:46 PM EDT
To: Jamie Condliffe

Waiting on an update would be a long time to go with a shitty laptop. The MBP 13 isn't as beefy as the 15 and 17, so if you're set on 13, the MBA is a better buy, really. If you're going to go with a non-Mac, though, check out the Lenovo ultraportable too. I liked that and the Series 9 (which is getting MacBookified) much more than the Asus, but others do like the Zenbook.


From: Sam Biddle
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:07:36 PM EDT
To: Jesus Diaz

I second that emotion.


From: Brian Barrett
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:09:33 PM EDT
To: Sam Biddle

REFURB.


From: Adrian Covert
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:11:22 PM EDT
To: Brian Barrett

Might even be worth going 11-inch. Kyle Wagner and Matt Buchanan and Joel Johnson seem to love that one…and its cheaper.


From: Jesus Diaz
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:17:15 PM EDT
To: Adrian Covert

Wagner loves the 11 inchers.


From: Mat Honan
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:20:02 PM EDT
To: Jesus Diaz

MBA13


From: Kyle Wagner
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:21:46 PM EDT
To: Mat Honan

I really do like the 11-inch. I had a 13 for a long time, and I've noticed the difference in portability much more than the difference in screen real estate.


From: Sam Biddle
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:22:14 PM EDT
To: Mat Honan

Agreed-11 is too small for most humans.


From: Sam Biddle
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:22:51 PM EDT
To: Kyle Wagner

We know how well laptop portability has paid off for Wagner


From: Kyle Wagner
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:24:18 PM EDT
To: Sam Biddle

I've never (permanently) lost a 13-inch laptop!


From: Brian Barrett
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:26:49 PM EDT
To: Kyle Wagner

The fact that you even have to clarify that is disgusting.



From: Joe Brown
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:24:24 PM EDT
To: Sam Biddle

13-inch MBA is the best computer ever made.

From: Jamie Condliffe
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:29:47 PM EDT
To: Brian Barrett

I cannot live with an 11-inch laptop. Wags, your hands are tiny. And I've never met you.

I think that it's fair to say that there's some agreement here. MBA 13 it is. That was easy.

Jamie


From: Kyle Wagner
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:29:51 PM EDT
To: Brian Barrett

It's also a lie. I meant 11-inch laptop. I've lost a few 13-inchers.

Really, though, the 13-inch has an SD card slot, which is not a big deal but is some deal, and is wonderful. I'm actually probably going to go back to that size since 11 inches sort of overlaps tablet duties. But the 11 is great, too, and if you're at all interested you may as well try it out since Apple doesn't have a restocking fee.


From: Sam Biddle
Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:25:58 PM EDT
To: Joe Brown

Yes, Wagner, that's my point.

The MBA 13 is already super super portable.


From: Brent Rose

Subject: Re: Laptop advice
Date: March 22, 2012 12:32:35 PM EDT
To: Brian Barrett

Personally I'm waiting for the MBP Ivy Bridge refresh, and I'm going to go for the 15-incher. The additional horsepower of the Pro is more important to me than the lightness of the Air, because it will be my one and only computer and I edit HD video.

Yes, the Air is thinner and lighter, but I've developed this awesome system for carrying my Macbook Pro. The system is called "Muscles". Like, I use them to carry stuff, and it feels good to use them. Like, the opposite of dying. It's rad.

And I agree with Wags that if you go non-Mac Lenovo makes really nice stuff.