Ask LH: Should I Get An Ultrabook Or MacBook?

Dear Lifehacker, I am in the market for a new laptop. I can’t decide between the Macbook Pro, HP Folio 9470m and Dell XPS 14. The OS doesn’t concern me. Factors affecting my judgement include price (upper limit of $1650), weight, battery life and performance (most important). Thanks, Power User

Dear PU,

You’ve managed to create a pretty compelling shortlist — all three of those laptops provide good battery life, thin dimensions and plenty of grunt beneath the hood. They also happen to be three of the most stylish looking laptops on the market (in my humble opinion).

The Dell XPS 14 boasts a second-gen Core i7 CPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM as standard, which puts it above the HP Folio in terms of processing power. However, it’s also more expensive — the premium model goes for $2,499 — and unlike the HP model, it forces you to use Windows 8. (You did say OS wasn’t important, but have you actually tried Windows 8? Let’s just say it’s a bit of an acquired taste).

Then there’s the Macbook Pro. As luck would have it, Apple has just lowered the price of its 13-inch Macbook Pro in Australia to make way for an upgraded model. Prices now start at $1,649 for the 128GB SSD Retina display version, which is just inside your price range. Of the three, we’d plump for the Mac on this occasion.


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