Theer are not clones because Apple surely wasnt the first to make thin/light portable computers and they certainly won't be the last.
What I am happy to see is, PC makers finally stepping up and trying to compete on some equal footing and giving us better looking stuff that they shoulh have been giving us for years and not just taking for granted consumers and just milking the cow over and over.
That's true but the good thing Apple has done since they switched to Intel was to put hardware together that worked well together. They don't put high end components mixed in with crappy components so you don't get the benefit of the high end parts, like some other PC makers do but I suppose they can't afford to have one model really be crappy when you charge a premium.
I agree. But based on my personal experience, the mixing of components which is especially common with Dell, was on lower end consumer models like the Inspiron line. The Inspiron was basically a consumer version of the XPS. In fact many models in 2005 shared many underpinnings. Dell would usually swap out the Intel WiFi/BT for their own Dell branded options. I had one and I can say it worked just fine. But those subs brought the cost of an XPS down to less than $800. and for that $769 I paid, I still got an ATI dedicated card with 128MB onboard + 128 shared and a resolution of 1650 x 1080 which doesn't appear on any Mac at all. And the screen was a WXVGA with TrueBrite Technology. It is the best Dell laptop I ever owned. The same one I drop down a flight of stairs that only had a couple dents and scratches that I was able to replace for about $50.
What impressed me about the original Air certainly was design and size. I did buy one, but it just didn't give the power I expect for what it cost, so I returned it for my very first Macbook Pro. The only other Apple laptop I have every owned was a PowerBook that has Mac OS8.
Tho I like the look of the latest Air's, they for me are just to flimsy. I think the new Windows Ultrabook may be slight more rigid which means they will likely weight more. But for people who carry a laptop constantly, a few extra grams shouldn't be a huge deal, consider most laptops weight about 5Lbs.
One thing I think has pushed the Air is Apple using the Air to replace the previous plastic 13" Macbook they had. And since those are only avail to schools and the only 13" laptop Apple has is the Air, the sales have increased. But I am sure if Apple was still selling the other model, the 13" Air would sell in lower numbers. Many PC makers may think the increase in Air sales means the item is more popular. That coudl be true on some level, but I think it was simply forcing typical 13" laptop buyers unto buying it simply because its the only option in this size. This is somethin Windows PC makers simply don't do and why they have a significant advantage in this market.
Several PC makers competing for the same consumer attention is what is going todrive the cost down and make the Air look as expensive as the Macbooks are vs their counterparts. Example? No matter how much many ridicule Dell and HP, the Dell XPS and the Hp Envy line of computers which compete against the Mac head on, offer better configs, better pricing, similar weights and styling and all with doubling the cost.
Good points here, I also had a great Dell laptop in '02 (can't remember what kind) but it wasn't the cheap line. Unfortunately for Dell and HP they get judged on there cheap lines because, well they're cheap, the only people who should buy their cheap lines is enterprise users with the enterprise support agreement because they will need it. It sucks when components fail which will happen when you buy a 100 laptops and a 100 desktops no matter who the manufacturer is but it gets mitigated when the service people show up within a day with replacement parts and swap them out in a couple of hours.