I have a MacBook Air. I love it. An all-new MacBook has just been announced. I love that too. However, there are alternatives.
Pixel 2 Chromebook
Google’s Pixel 2 is the closest thing I’ve seen to an Apple product in terms of packaging and design – it’s really rather beautiful. It’s also heavy at 1.5kg, but it certainly feels solid. On board, you get a 12.9in touchscreen display and big keys. it has two USB-C ports plus a separate slot for your power supply and an SD—card reader.
Because the 32GB Pixel 2 works like an oversize Android smartphone, anyone already using Google’s operating system will benefit from the cross-device syncronicity. It’s cheaper than the new MacBook, so if you’ve been eyeing that up, the Pixel 2 should make you pause for thought.
IF money is no object the likelihood is you’ll be looking at Apple devices anyway, but Toshiba’s Kira is even more expensive than the new MacBook.
The ergonomic 13.3in touchscreen Ultrabook runs Windows 8.1 Pro, is light at 1.35kg, and boasts a superior spec to the others here, which goes some way to justifying that price tag.
Port selection includes three USB 3 slots, HDMI, SD card support and a power port — all rather standard fare really, as was the overall user experience.
There’s nothing here that really sets the Kira apart from the crowd save for a fancy Harman Kardon soundsystem, and if you’re willing to spend this sort of money there is nothing to suggest why you should look past a Retina MacBook – unless, of course, you have a hatred for iOS and the Apple ecosystem.
HP Spectre X360
AH Mr Bond, we’ve been expecting you! HP’s Spectre shares a name with 007’s next movie and has new nifty features Q-branch would be proud of – like a 13.3in hinged HD touchscreen display that can be ﬂipped through 360 degrees. What this I does is effectively turn it into a big tablet – just remember not to rest your fingers on the keyboard underneath, otherwise all hell breaks loose.
The Windows 8.1 operating system felt quick and the aluminium wrapping keeps it lighter than the Pixel 2. There are three USB 3 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort slots, and SD card support.
Its innards are like-for-like with the Chromebook, but the big decisions are: do you prefer Chrome or Windows as an operating system, and if you’re happy storing things in the Google cloud or on the Spectre’s 128GB drive.