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Prizefight: Prizefight: MacBook Air vs. Thinkpad X300

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Prizefight: Prizefight: MacBook Air vs. Thinkpad X300

4:57 /

In the battle for ultraportable laptop supremacy, Apple and Lenovo duke it out.

^M00:00:00 [ Music ] ^M00:00:06 >> It's time to get it on, Prizefight fans. I'm Brian Tong, and we're here to find out who's king of the ring for ultraportable laptops. Now slim is in when it comes to tech, and what is everyone looking for? A laptop that fits in an envelope, of course. Well, we've got both of them. In this week's Prizefight, it's a face-off between Apple's MacBook Air, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X300. We've got five nitty and gritty rounds. So let's see who's bringing the heat. We're talking sexiness. >> Why does Apple always seem to win it comes to the sexy? Well, because they do it right every time. The MacBook Air at its thinnest point is point one six inches. A collapsible door reveals its ports. And more importantly, the machine feels solid and sturdy. On the other hand, the X300 may fit in an envelope, but it's a tighter fit because this laptop doesn't taper like the Air does. Its design reminds you of a ThinkPad, and it isn't that ugly. In fact, its design is more impressive when it comes to what they packed inside. The MacBook Air gets a perfect five because we've never seen anything like it. But the ThinkPad isn't too far off with a four. Next round is all about the display. Both of these guys are equipped with 13.3-inch backlit LED displays, but there are a few key differences. The X300 uses a matte finish versus the MacBook Air's, which is glossy and a whole lot more reflective. The ThinkPad also features a 1440 by 900 native resolution, and that's sharper than the air, and also gives you more screen real estate. We do have to point out that Apple's ambient light-sensing screen helps with power consumption, but it's just not enough. The ThinkPad gets the five. And the MacBook Air, we give it a four in this round. The X300 takes this round with a jab and hook combo, and we're even. ^M00:01:47 Next up, we've got features. How many goodies can you pack in an ultraportable? Well, the MacBook Air has a lot in its thin frame, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a full size, backlit keyboard, iSight camera, and a single USB port. But what are the big things missing? There's no internal optical drive, no Ethernet port, and no removable battery. That just hurts daddy. And sure, you can purchase add-ons, but who wants to drag them around? Now, this is where the ThinkPad shines. It addresses the Air's shortcomings with an internal DVD-burning drive and a removable battery. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a keyboard light, and web cam. And it adds WWAN GPS, 3 USB ports, and Ethernet. Whew! The X300 gets a perfect five in this round, and the MacBook Air gets a three. The ThinkPad rocks the Air on this round, packing nearly every feature imaginable. But Apple's million-dollar baby isn't seeing stars yet. Who really flexes their ultraportable muscle? The next round is performance. So let's start off with the specs of the machines we're comparing. We're using an entry-level MacBook Air with the 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 gigs of RAM, and the 80 gig hard drive. That's not solid-state. Now the X300 is rocking a 1.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, with 2 gigs of RAM, and a 64 gig solid-state hard drive, and a six-cell battery. In our DVD battery drain test the MacBook Air came out on top, lasting about 20 more minutes than the X300, and just getting over the four-hour mark. The Air also out-performed the X300 in our multi-tasking test and our image-processing test. And that's just the entry-level model. The MacBook Air gets SWOL with the five. And the ThinkPad racks up a four. It's still real close, with the X300 up one. These guys have pushed us to the limit. But when it comes down to it, who gives us the best bang for the buck? ^M00:03:36 Sure these guys are revolutionary laptops, but we want to know if they're worth the dough we're dropping for them. Here's the comparison with the machines that we tested. Now, our beefed up ThinkPad rang up to just over $2,900.00, add 120 bucks if you want the three-year coverage. The base model MacBook Air is about $1,800.00 and add another 250 bucks for the three-year coverage there. The MacBook Air is about $1,000.00 dollars cheaper. Now let's look at how the pricing changes if we make the specs comparable. In this pricing comparison, the upgraded MacBook Air reaches $3,200.00 when you add on the external DVD drive and the 64 gig solid state drive, plus throw in the 250 three-year coverage. That's about a $400.00 dollar difference when you're comparing similar machines with similar specs. Now, these ultraportables don't come cheap, but if you want to be groundbreaking, hey, sometimes you have to pay bank-breaking prices. The ThinkPad gets a four, and the MacBook Air, a three. Tally up the scores, guys, and - and, after throwing them both back and forth, the final score is 22 to 20. The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 gives Apple's MacBook Air the two-eyed ninja poke. You know we have a lot of fun here, but ultimately, the final choice between these two laptops comes down to you. I'm Brian Tong, and we'll catch you next time on another Prizefight. Woopah [phonetic]. ^M00:04:53 [ Music ]

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