The Apple MacBook Air (2020) and the HP Pavilion 14 are widely considered to be among the best student laptops and are to be found in lecture theatres around campus. While the former is more expensive and powerful, the latter is a formidable competitor with its laudable performance specifications and features. The Apple MacBook Air (2020), which retails for $999, is produced by Apple and can be bought at any Apple shop. On the other hand, the HP Pavilion 14, which retails for $799, is produced by Hewlett Packard and can be purchased at any computer shop. This essay will compare the two products using David A. Garvin’s eight dimensions of quality in products.
Both the Apple MacBook Air (2020) and the HP Pavilion 14 have the same processing capacity: they both have 8GB RAM. However, unlike the latter, the former uses flash storage and is therefore generally faster and more silent when running. Because flash-based storage devices lack mechanical components, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) is more shock resistant than the HP Pavilion 14. Moreover, the former has a faster CPU speed than the latter (4 * 2GHz versus 2 * 1.6GHz) and can therefore perform several sophisticated tasks more quickly. The Apple MacBook Air (2020) also has better resolution and pixel density and therefore provides better image quality and resolution.
Other performance advantages include ability to support 64-bit (which the HP Pavilion 14 lacks) and its higher number of CPU threads which means faster performance and better multitasking (Apple, 2020). However, the HP Pavilion 14 makes up for its slightly inferior performance by its larger internal storage capacity for system data, user-generated data, as well as apps. The former has a built-in storage space of 750GB as compared to Apple MacBook Air (2020) whose internal storage is 512GB. Another advantage the HP Pavilion 14 has over the latter is its external memory slot which allows the user to extend built-in storage capacity. It is also a touch screen device and can therefore be used to accomplish tasks faster (Sarkar, 2021). In addition to its larger screen size, the HP Pavilion 14 has more supported displays thereby allowing easier working across several apps.
Both models have stereo speakers, sleep-and-charge USB ports, backlit keyboards, front cameras, and sockets for a 3.5 mm audio jack (for headphone use). They also facilitate fast Wi-Fi connection although the Apple MacBook Air (2020) is capable of connecting to higher frequency ranges. The Apple MacBook Air (2020) has additional features such as a fingerprint scanner, two additional microphones and voice command features. Other Apple MacBook Air (2020) features not contained in the HP Pavilion 14 include multithreading technology, heterogeneous multi-processing (to maximize battery life), integrated graphics, NX bit (to protect against malicious cyber-attacks), dynamic frequency scaling (to conserve power), and TrustZone (to facilitate secure mobile payments and streaming) (Patel, 2020). Some HP Pavilion 14 features not contained in the Apple MacBook Air (2020) include an HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports and one 2.0 port, along with a RJ45 port for LAN connections (Ramirez, 2020).
Because of its heterogeneous multi-processing and dynamic frequency scaling features which not only provide powerful performance but also increase battery life, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) can be trusted to run several heavy apps and last a full workday without charging. While HP Pavilion 14’s build also guarantees excellent performance, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) can be relied upon more to accomplish more and bigger tasks without worrying about the battery draining. Moreover, Mac computers are less susceptible to attacks or be hampered by conflicting or missing updates, as compared to devices using Windows.
Both the Apple MacBook Air (2020) and the HP Pavilion 14 meet their design specifications satisfactorily, and have all the features as specified. The two products precisely meet the set standards for operating system, processor, memory, wireless network adapter, and hard drive.
Even though Apple computers are pricier, they are naturally built better than HP computers and are therefore more durable. Apple’s tight control over almost every aspect of a given laptop’s production means that all components of the Apple MacBook Air (2020) have been optimized to give premium performance without wear. Several consumer report surveys indicate that Apple laptops are the most reliable devices, with the fewest breakage rates at 3 years of ownership. Apple’s “broken or not functioning as well” percentage is less than 17 percent as opposed to HP’s 30 percent (GeckoFly, 2021).
Both models have similar serviceability rates (the parent companies offer 1 year warranty and upgrades do not void warranty). Apple offers 90-days of technical support and has several stores where buyers can have their laptops repaired by technicians. The company also offers DIY repair services but this requires speaking with support either via telephone or online. HP also offers the same technical support but slightly better warranty terms: for instance, the company covers for replacement of all parts deemed defective, including consumables, as well as all DIY service repairs. However, Apple makes up for its limited extended warranty by its excellent customer support services which result in higher customer satisfaction rates than those of HP.
The Apple MacBook Air (2020) is much lighter than the HP Pavilion 14 (the former weighs 1.29 kg as compared to the latter which weighs 2.01kg) and is therefore more portable.. Similarly, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) is slimmer than the HP Pavilion 14 (the former is 16.1 mm thick while the latter is 22.5 mm thick) and is also therefore more compact and portable. From a student’s perspective, a lower weight together with a thinner chassis is better because it is means the laptop is more comfortable to carry around. By the same token, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) has a smaller height than the HP Pavilion 14 (13.3 mm versus 14 mm) and also a smaller width than the HP Pavilion 14 (304.1 mm versus 347 mm) which means that it assures better maneuverability (Buzzi & Brant, 2020).
At the same time, an argument could be made for HP Pavilion 14’s larger screen dimensions: while larger screened laptops provide less maneuverability, they allow for improved visual and graphics optimization, over and above, more options for tweaking graphic settings and resolution sizes. They also provide more expansive and, by extension, superior viewing experience. The Apple MacBook Air (2020) uses a fanless design unlike the HP Pavilion 14 which lacks power-efficient components that do not generate large amounts of heat. Because of this design feature, the Apple MacBook Air (2020) is much quieter when operating.
Apple laptops are deemed to be of the highest quality because they typically give superior user performance and are more durable. On the hand, HP laptops are thought to provide better value for money when compared to Apple. While Apple caters to the affluent user, HP laptops are geared to the average consumer and the two brands only overlap at the high-end product range. In sum, Apple makes premium computers while HP makes dependable and economic devices.
On the whole, I think that the Apple MacBook Air (2020) is superior to HP Pavilion 14 in terms of its performance, additional features, durability, and reliability. However, HP’s performance and features are also exceptional and even surpass what one would expect of a mid-range laptop. For this reason, I think that although Apple MacBook Air (2020) is a decidedly premium laptop, the HP Pavilion 14 is the better bargain for a student.
Apple. (2020, March 18). New MacBook Air has more to love and is now just $999. Apple Newsroom (Kenya). https://www.apple.com/ke/newsroom/2020/03/new-macbook-air-has-more-to-love-and-is-now-just-999/
Buzzi, M., & Brant, T. (2020, November 17). Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020) Review. PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/apple-macbook-air-m1-late-2020
GeckoFly. (2021, June 10). Top 8 Most Reliable Laptop Brands And Failure Rate Comparison. Www.geckoandfly.com. https://www.geckoandfly.com/6311/the-most-reliable-laptop-survey-best-netbook-reliability-comparison/
Patel, N. (2020, March 26). Apple MacBook Air (2020) review: the best Mac for most people. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/26/21195008/apple-macbook-air-review-2020-new-keyboard-processor-battery-life-camera-price
Ramirez, M. A. (2020, December 13). HP Pavilion 14 (2020) review. LaptopMag. https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/hp-pavilion-14t-2020-review
Sarkar, S. (2021, April 23). HP Pavilion 14 is the ideal home and office laptop – here’s why. Tech Advisor. https://www.techadvisor.com/review/hp-pavilion-14-3803826/
updated 2021-02-02T11:53:33Z, C. M. L. (2021, February 2). HP Pavilion 14 vs Apple Macbook Air (M1, 2020): which student laptop is best for you? T3. https://www.t3.com/features/hp-pavilion-14-vs-apple-macbook-air-m1-2020-which-student-laptop-is-best-for-you
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