For years, Apple's popular MacBook Air set the bar for what you could expect from a $1,000 laptop. And in 2018 the company announced that it would raise expectations with a.
The new model featured some welcome, though nonessential, upgrades including a higher quality display, Touch ID and USB ports. And, significantly, Apple also jacked up the starting price by 20%, to $1,199. Since then, the company has introduced, adding True Tone display technology and lowering the list price to $1,099 -- though .
But some people simply don't like the new model's MacOS, Apple rarely delivers the best value on major components (processor, RAM and hard drive capacity), ports and connections and battery life. And the company still doesn't sell a laptop with a touchscreen option -- a useful feature found on an increasing number of competitive models.or the limits of its eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor. Despite having what's arguably the best computer operating system around,
All six laptops highlighted below as Macbook Air alternative options cost roughly as much as the MacBook Air, have a 13-inch screen, weigh less than 3 pounds (1.4 kg), and are reasonably streamlined and stylish. Each will make a worthy alternative to Apple's. Check them out.
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At 2.4 pounds, the 13.3-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 730S is lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air. Its quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, faster 2,400MHz memory and speedy Samsung PCIe solid-state drive give it better performance than the Air. And starting at under $650, this sleek device is plenty cheaper, too. Read the Lenovo IdeaPad 730S review.
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The Spectre x360 starts at around $900 and comes equipped with specs that are mostly superior to the MacBook Air's including longer battery life. It gives you an eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU (the Air has a Core i5), 16GB of RAM (versus the Air's 8GB), a 512GB SSD (the Air has 128GB), a microSD card slot (the Air has none) and superior battery life (more than 13 hours versus the Air's 11.5). Plus, you get the Spectre's great HD touchscreen display, which can be rotated between tablet and laptop mode, and a terrific keyboard. Read our HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2019) review.
If you're a Windows person and want a balance of portability, power and price, it's hard to find a better laptop than the XPS 13. Starting at $980, this laptop is attractive, incomparably slim and offers a ton of configuration (and price) flexibility. And though the last few versions of the XPS 13 were subverted by a poorly positioned webcam, that has now been fixed with the 2019 model's web camera. Dell also makes a 15-inch version, which starts at $930. Read our Dell XPS 13 (2019) review.
Samsung's Notebook 9 Pro is less expensive than the newer MacBook Air, but includes mostly superior specifications and a 13.3-inch touchscreen. The base configuration features an eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, and at 2.8 pounds, it's one of the lightest ultraportable two-in-ones we've seen. The 12-hour plus battery life it delivers doesn't hurt, either. Read our Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (13-inch, 2019) review.
If you're looking for a great laptop that's a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the new MacBook Air, the entry-level Surface Laptop 2 will do the trick. You get a slim, modern design; a great 12.3-inch touchscreen; a solid keyboard and trackpad; and a decent set of ports.
That noted, it may be worth waiting. There's a strong chance that Microsoft will introduce new Surface devices at its Oct. 2 event, which could result in steep discounts on this particular laptop. Read our Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review.
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Lenovo has spent years refining its premium two-in-one design to deliver a laptop that convincingly doubles as a tablet. The Yoga C930 is the form perfected. The keyboard and display are very good, the speakers are great, and there's sufficient power for any productivity or entertainment task. Though it's not cheap, it's a solid value -- you're getting a laptop and a tablet that offers flexibility and features beyond any version of the MacBook Air. Read our Lenovo Yoga C930 review.
Originally published earlier this year.