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Prizefight: Apple MacBook Air vs. Acer TimelineX AS1830T
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Prizefight: Apple MacBook Air vs. Acer TimelineX AS1830T

4:08 /

Between Netbooks and thin-and-light laptops lies the elusive ultraportable category. What's the best model you can buy right now? The MacBook Air and Acer TimelineX AS1830T step into the Prizefight ring to battle it out.

What's up Price Fight Fans? I'm Brian Tong and this is a blockbuster battle between 2 11.6 inch portables that are challenging the thought, the netbooks are just cheap laptops. It's a price fight roll-down showdown between Acer's Aspire Timeline X and Apple's MacBook Air. Our judges for this fight are Senior Editor Dan "I Think I Can" Ackerman, Senior Associate Editor Scott "The Bottomline Son" and Brian "Bam Bam" Tong and we'll take all 3 judges blind scores and average them out to the nearest 10th each round, the final price fight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. Let's get this portable punch out started; Round 1 is Design. There is nothing on this planet that can match the superior design of Apple's latest MacBook Air. It's super thin, lightweight and sturdy, plus it's the only laptop that can cut onions without making you cry. This is the thing of beauty. Acer's Timeline X reminds you of what a standard laptop looks like, just smaller and that's not gonna wild anybody. It still suffers from battery booty, the texture on the top cover is nice but there's nothing unique about it. Apple flexes its muscle with a 4.7 and Acer gets a 2.7. Next round is Display; both laptops are using 11.6 inch display with the same 1366 by 768 resolution, the edges around the Apple display are thicker than we like and it actually makes the screen feel a little smaller, the Acer has a slightly wider range of motion but both screens are solid and we're calling this round even at 4. After adding these 2 Rounds, the MacBook Air leads by 1 Whole Point, next round is Speakers. The Air may look sweet but it sacrifices a whole lot of features, we're happy they've added a second USB Port, Integrated and Video Graphics give it a boost but there's not SD Card Slot and Apple's Staple Backlit Keyboard is missing in this $999 package. Now if you wanna talk features all you have to do is look at the Timeline X with ports galore for HDMI, a media card slot, 3 USB Ports, Ethernet, Audio In, plus a Core i7 Processor, 500 gigs of storage and 4 gigs of RAM standard that best the Air for just $899. The Timeline X gets a 4.3 and the Air gets a 3. Next Round is Performance. We've put both machines thru several lab test and take out the results, the MacBook Air was the better performer for Multimedia, Multitasking but the Timeline X was faster in our Photoshop Image Processing Test and our Apple iTunes Encoding Test. The MacBook Air brought better gaming scores but if we're talking about real world everyday performance, the Air has a big advantage when we compare startup time and it's faster in launching apps and waking up from sleep mode. The Air just gets the edge this round with a 4 and the Timeline X gets a 3.7. After averaging 4 rounds, the Air leads by just 2/10ths of a point and it's anybody's fight, the final round that decides it all is battery life. In our Battery Drain Test, we were able to squeeze 4 hours and 23 minutes of juice out of the MacBook Air, just under their 5 hour claim. The Acer Timeline X outlast of the Air by 17 more minutes, making it one of the best netbooks when it comes to battery life and it takes the Final Round 5 to 4.3. So, let's average out all 5 Rounds, ended a Price Fight where the MacBook Air lead after 2 rounds, the Acer Aspire Timeline X stormed back but Apple just squeaks out the victory 4 to 3.9 and is your Price Fight Winner. Both of these are excellent portables that are changing perceptions about mini laptops but you'll either gravitate to the design and performance of the MacBook Air or the feature-rich Timeline X that rivals the standard laptop. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching, we'll catch you guys time on another Price Fight.

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