The new Macbook is out of the bag and it looks gorgeous! It’s probably the most popular Intel Core M laptop already, but we are here to tell you there is plenty of competition for the new MacBook. Today we are comparing it to another device with similar power – the Acer Aspire Switch 12.
These laptops are pretty different, but more than a comparison, this post will serve as proof of what Apple is trying to do here. Let’s not keep you waiting and jump into the details.
|Macbook (2015)||Acer Aspire Switch 12|
|OS||OS X||Windows 8.1|
|CPU||Intel Core M||Intel Core M 5Y10a|
|Screen||12.1″ 2304 x 1440 pixels||12.5″ 1920 x 1080 pixels|
|RAM/Storage||8 GB RAM, 256/512 GB storage||4 GB RAM, 60/128 GB storage|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 5300||Intel HD Graphics 5300|
|WiFi||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible|
|Connectivity||1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps) which also provides HDMI & Digital AV Multiport by adapters; Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output||DC-in, Micro-HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Micro USB 3.0, MicroSD card slot, 3.5 mm headset jack|
|Features||Keyboard backlit with each key housing individual LEDs||Full size detachable keyboard|
|Weight||2.03 pounds||3.09 pounds|
|Size||11.04 x 7.74 x 0.14-0.52 inches||12.5 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches|
|Battery||39.7 Wh||36 Wh|
Let’s talk screens
So, you will spend most of your time looking at the screen, making it one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a laptop. And these two computers happen to have very different displays.
Let’s start with the new MacBook, which has a 12-inch Retina Display with a 2304 x 1440 pixel resolution. That is a very high pixel density, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, especially at such a price point.
The Acer Aspire Switch 12 comes with a slightly bigger 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. Of course, the resolution doesn’t compare, but does it need to? This is the same argument we have with smartphones. A 1080p screen can look gorgeous as long as it has the right panel. I mean, most of you have huge 1080p screens as televisions – do you think they look bad?
Yes, the MacBook’s screen will look better, but the Acer Aspire Switch 12’s screen is more than acceptable too.
Performance and software
So this is the reason why I decided to compare these two laptops. Both of them come with an Intel Core M processor, which make their performance very similar (and under-powered). The main difference here is that the MacBook’s chip is clocked at 1.1-1.2 GHz, while the Acer Aspire Switch 12 gives you less power at 0.8 GHz. In addition, the MacBook comes with 8 GB of RAM, officially doubling Acer’s 4 GB.
With all of this in mind, we can tell you the Apple MacBook will out-perform the Acer Aspire Switch 12. Will it be by much? I don’t think so, as these are both already mid-end devices. Intel Core M was made for those of you who don’t care about performance and would like a thinner, more quiet computer with great battery life.
So the main difference will be in the software, which is a very subjective matter in this case. This is because we are pretty much putting Mac OS X against Windows 8.1, going back to an endless debate that will never conclude. Which is better will depend a lot on what you prefer to do and how you like to interact with your computer.
Mac OS X is known for being sleek, simple and very aesthetically pleasing. Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 is known for its more complex style, which can be harder to learn, but will give you the freedom to do more.
You may also want to consider application support. Remember Windows is still the msot important PC OS in the world, so any app or program will be available to you. The same argument can be made about games, which Apple’s computers are very limited to.
The thing here is that gaming doesn’t play a big part in this decision, as the Intel Core M processor and Intel HD Graphics 5300 GPU really wouldn’t be enough to let you play any worthwhile games, anyways.
Now, this is where these computers are really going to have to compete for your dollars. They look and work completely different.
To tell you the truth, Apple’s new MacBook wins the aesthetics battle. It comes with a sleek design and a super thin profile. It’s also offered in three different colors, matching those hues we currently see in the iPhones and iPads. It looks amazing and will turn many heads.
On the other hand, the Acer Aspire Switch 12 is more about giving you a flexible experience. This device can be used as a regular laptop, but it’s functionality doesn’t end there. You can also flip the keyboard all the way around. And because the keyboard is detachable, you can even put it aside or use it as a wireless accessory while you utilize the screen as a tablet.
This is another area in which the new MacBook easily takes the crown. Apple’s new computer can offer you 9 hours of web browsing, while the Acer Aspire Switch 12 has a battery life expectancy of up to 6 hours (and that is at its best). And it’s not like the battery capacities on these laptops are that different.
Price and final thoughts
So we have gone through all the details, but the biggest deciding factor is always price. The new MacBook costs $1299 for the base version and $1599 for the higher end iteration. The Acer Aspire Switch starts at $649.99, or you can get the 128 GB version for $699.99.
I will be the first to say that, yes, Apple’s MacBook is the better computer of these two. It has a better screen, slightly better performance, improved battery life and a sexier design. But is the MacBook ” nearly twice the price” better? Not really.
And this goes to show what Intel intended to do with the Intel Core M processor. The purpose was not to make a chip for high-end, expensive laptop. It was supposed to be a chip for affordable, thinner, silent laptops.
If you want to spend $1299 on a laptop, we say you do it on something worthwhile. Otherwise, just save your cash and get something like the Acer Aspire Switch 12. It is a perfectly capable computer and offers you a good bang for your buck.