Garreth van Niekerk finds out
ipples of shock are still resonating through the tech community, which recently heard that Android users have now officially overtaken Apple users as the most loyal to their operating systems. The scandalous report, compiled by market researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, revealed that 82% of Android users stuck with their old device when upgrade time rolled around, while only 78% of Apple users held on to theirs.
The news was a true blow to the faith I had in my iOS compatriots. Does it take so little to be swayed, I asked?
The news also happened to come a week after the Asus ZenBook UX305FA arrived on my desk and broke my nonMac OS virginity, leaving me in an existential Windows vs Mac OS crisis. Was this better than a MacBook Air?
As an astute Macophile, I have faced the vicious anti-Apple league in their battle for tech domination before – a battle I considered lost by them since the dawn of the Great iPod of 2001. But today, I humbly drop the guard of my loyalty and admit I have been (temporarily) swayed.
Fresh out of the box, I dubiously took hold of this seductive purple machine – a skinny waif of a thing, apparently the lightest notebook on the market. It made my big man-hands feel clumsy at first, but after the initial fright, I gripped the metallic body tight, incredulous in the face of such engineering wizardry. As I flipped open and powered up, I got my first look at its dark, matted insides. It looked identical to my MacBook. I was shocked and, as a result, my loyalty to Apple instantly returned.
What horror was this, I asked myself? Who dares to be so impervious to the years of design evolution it took for Apple to arrive at its simple executions? But I would soon find out that the resemblance was not computer-wide. The keyboard, for example, with a sleek right-left click trackpad (unlike Apple, it allows for simple right-click functionality and, unlike so many others, uses ICE Asus technology to prevent it heating up as you use it).
The screen display is like crystal, with hundreds of thousands of colours and pixels, all there to enjoy the highestresolution TV series I could find on the shelf – BBC’s Blue Planet in HD. I have watched it hundreds of times on my MacBook, so I knew what to expect. On the ZenBook, the stunning visuals of whales diving out of the ocean were only made more lifelike when brought to life by the epic Bang & Olufsen sound. While David Attenborough rattled on, I quickly checked out the price and specs of this slick imposter to see how it really weighed up.
You’ll see that for roughly R6 000
APPLE MACBOOK AIR
SILVER SAMURAI less, you get a machine that has twice the storage, is slightly lighter, a little thinner, has more USB space for plug-in devices and a markedly faster processing time. The Mac, however, has a better battery life, a faster USB port (although there is only one) and better graphic processors – so it might still be worth your while to invest in the Mac. But with an extra R6 000 in your pocket, go on holiday and ponder if there’s life after Apple. I certainly am.
ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA
SLEEK SURPRISE UX305FA The Asus ZenBook
The MacBook Air