IT|Redux

VAIO X + iPad > MacBook Air

Sunday, January 31st 2010 | Ismael Ghalimi

As a frequent traveler (300,000 miles last year), I am always looking for ways to shave some pounds off the gear I am carrying, without sacrificing convenience or performance. That’s the reason why I recently switched from a MacBook Pro 13” (4.5 pounds) to a MacBook Air (3.0 pounds). But with the iPad (1.5 pounds) around the corner, I am starting to reconsider my options. Granted, the iPad cannot replace a laptop, but what about pairing it with a super lightweight netbook like the Sony VAIO X (1.6 pounds)? At just 3.1 pounds, the combination would only be 0.1 pounds heavier than a MacBook Air, would roughly cost the same amount of money, and would give me a lot more bang for the bucks. Let’s take a closer look…

First, let me state that most of the applications I am using are in the cloud, hence the operating system I run does not really matter. In fact, the only offline application I allowed myself to use following my pure Office 2.0 experiment is Apple’s iWork, mainly for Keynote. That being said, I rarely modify my presentations on the road, and the occasional use could be supported by the iPad. And if I need the convenience of a keyboard, I could always log to my Mac mini Server using LogMeIn or VNC.

Second, since most of my applications are online, I do not need a very fast computer. While the Sony VAIO X’s Intel Atom Z550 is nowhere near as fast as the MacBook Air’s Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, it won’t make much of a difference when using a simple Web browser (Chrome or Safari for JavaScript performance) with Gmail or Intalio|Cloud.

Third, I would certainly miss iDisk, but Intalio|Cloud’s next release will include the Nuxeo Document Management System, which I will use to store all my files, including over 10TB of movies. A copy of Intalio|Cloud is currently running on the Mac Pro workstation I use at work and serves the instance of Intalio|CRM I recently migrated to from Salesforce.com. Nuxeo will allow me to map folders from the Windows 7 filesystem to my online Document Management System, giving me a supercharged alternative to iDisk, with a lot more storage, plus versioning capabilities.

Fourth, after (or before) weight comes battery life, and the combination of a VAIO X and Apple iPad would give me over 13.5 hours of battery life with the VAIO’s standard battery, and over 20 hours with the extended battery, compared to the MacBook Air meager 5 hours of advertised battery life (closer to 4 hours in reality).

Fifth, the VAIO X’s ports are something that I learned to miss with the MacBook Air, especially the standard VGA port (no need for a custom adapter), the second USB port (nice for recharging my phone and mobile WiFi router), and the SD Card port (extremely useful for moving movies between my Mac Pro workstation and my laptop).

Conclusion: I will buy a Sony VAIO X tomorrow and wait for my iPad…

Entry filed under: Cloud Computing

8 Comments - Add a comment

1. Jared Goralnick  |  February 1st, 2010 at 8:31 am

That’s an awesome approach to nimble travel, Ismael. Look forward to seeing how this setup works out for you.

Cheers!

2. Horst Wend  |  February 1st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Sounds like a great approach. You should be able to access iDisk from the iPad. I can access it from the iPhone, which is great when I want to quickly check some documents, so I am pretty sure it would work on the iPad as well. Can’t wait to hear how this combination will be working out for you.

3. Michael  |  February 9th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

The Sony netbook looks cool, but with the standard battery life (at 1.6 pounds) you get just 3 hours of juice… and with the extended battery life your netbook weights 2.4 lbs, just 0.6 lbs lighter than the Macbok Air.

So it’s not all that sweet.

After playing with Mac OS X I wouldn’t go back to Windows, I’m staying with my Air, but I’d love a better battery life, that’s for sure.

4. David  |  April 30th, 2010 at 5:49 am

I am looking at a different approach. I require a MacBook Pro 17” when I travel. While not small nor light, it is a Godsend compared to the 10 pound behemoth I used to carry around.

Adding the iPad to the mix will give me the perfect combination. It’s an extra 2 pounds to lug around, but I always hate pulling out the laptop on the plane or anyplace else I just want to watch a movie or check an email. Now I’ll use the iPad and only have to pull out the laptop when I really want/need to.

5. Gilbert  |  June 3rd, 2010 at 9:17 am

I was looking for such type of information, I mean a certain approach on the notebook computers travelers are carrying with them when being away on trip. I use MacBook Air when traveling but I’m thinking of buying a lighter one, lets say Sony VAIO X. This article affirmed exactly what I’ve heard about its weight. The one I’m going to switch to is almost half lighter than the one I’m using now.

6. delaine  |  October 25th, 2010 at 2:03 am

The Sony netbook looks cool, but with the standard battery life (at 1.6 pounds) you get just 3 hours of juice… and with the extended battery life your netbook weights 2.4 lbs, just 0.6 lbs lighter than the Macbok Air.

7. Redes de proteção  |  November 28th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

The Sony netbook looks cool.

8. Anabolic  |  January 3rd, 2011 at 9:33 am

Sounds like a great approach. You should be able to access iDisk from the iPad. I can access it from the iPhone, which is great when I want to quickly check some documents, so I am pretty sure it would work on the iPad as well. Can’t wait to hear how this combination will be working out for you.

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