MacBook Air vs Windows Laptops: Which Is Best?

Macworld UK’s Matt Egan endeavors to answer the quandary of whether you should choose a MacBook Air or a Windows laptop?

Egan contends that the MacBook Air is one of Apple’s greatest creations – a portable laptop that doesn’t compromise on performance, build or user experience. Meanwhile, Intel, in partnership with Microsoft, is pushing Windows laptops makers to make thin and light, performance laptops, and doing so they are, with varying degrees of success. In this comparo, Egan pits the best Windows Ultrabooks against the latest MacBook Air.

Both MacBook Air and Ultrabooks are available powered by Intel’s fourth-generation ‘Haswell’ Core processor family, which offers much-improved power efficiency, The latest MacBook Air has remarkable battery life. Apple claiming an increase from seven to 12 hours for the 13in version, but in MAcworld’s tests it lasted even longer. Their video-streaming test ran for 12.5 hours and we saw almost 14 hours for less-demanding work.

One the other hand, Sony’s first Haswell laptop, the Vaio Pro, can’t match the Air for battery life (presumably due to Windows 8’s relative inefficiency), but the size and weight of the carbon-fibre Pro represents a breakthrough in portability. At 1.06kg, the Vaio is almost a third lighter than the MacBook and, according to Sony, the lightest laptop of its type.

But if you compared only the best Sony and the best Apple you wouldn’t get the full picture. So Egan outlines some general points and finally concludes that if you;re looking for a thin and light laptop offering great performance and battery life, get a MacBook Air – even if you need to run Windows – but if you want a touchscreen (not available on the Air), a hybrid device, or you’re short of funds, take a dive into the Wintel world.

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