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Gar­reth van Niek­erk finds out

CityPress - - T# -

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.

HEALTHY­FOOD

SWITCH

ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA

PHOTO: ASUS

SLEEK SUR­PRISE UX305FA The Asus ZenBook

PHOTO: AP­PLE

The MacBook Air

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