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I have to give credit to the PC world here. They had WiDi before AirPlay, and it always did 1080p. WiDi is integrated into the processor (of select Intel based PCs). However, if I were to make the decision today, I would probably pick the MacBook Air, Apple TV 2, and AirParrot. AirPlay screen sharing for the Mac will come standard in OS X Mountain Lion this summer. That said, I use AirParrot all the time, and for a $10 app, it does the job just fine, and supports 1080p if you have the new Apple TV 2.
I also have to give props to the HP model for having longer battery life. This comes at the expense of being slightly bigger and significantly heavier than the MacBook Air. It also has a slightly bigger screen. I would actually prefer something smaller, like the 11″ MacBook Air. After all, if the benefit is portability, the MacBook Air is in the same league as a tablet, without all the limitations and watered down computing that tablets offer. It just isn’t as easy to use while holding it in your hand, but it is possible.
If you need to use Windows, I would still recommend the MacBook Air. You can either dual boot to Windows, or use an innovative solution like Parallels Desktop to virtually integrate Windows apps into Mac OS X.
See? I am not an Apple hater. Apple still has many superior products. However, this gap narrows every day. Apple seems to be resting on their laurels, while the PC makers (as well as Android and Windows phone interests) are rapidly catching up. Overall, I would have to say that Apple products like the iPhone and Mac are still superior to other offerings. Even the iPad is the best tablet on the market right now.
Wait? Wasn’t I just posting how I regret getting my iPad 2? Yes. I still regret it. It offers watered down computing. All tablets are watered down. It doesn’t matter if they run iOS or Android. Let’s save that for another post.
I do think I have changed my mind on one thing. If I was making my home media computer purchase today, I would go for a MacBook Air and Apple TV 2. However, if I made this decision a year ago, a Win 7 ultrabook with a WiDi box would have been a better option. It’s the computer race. Things change all the time. This is no place for fanboys. One thing I have learned, by having input on million dollar technical purchases, is that you buy the best technology available at the time. No one knows what will be better in six months. Pundits love to forecast domination of one technology or the other. They are usually wrong. Don’t listen to tech journalists or bloggers (except me!). Figure out what is the best technology you can afford at the time and use that as your guide. Look at all the Android early adopters, expecting domination, but they can’t even upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. Don’t buy into philosophical ideals or corporations that claim they are more ethical than others. They are all trying to not only make a profit, but dominate the market.
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