Monday, August 15, 2011

Comparison : Apple MacBook Air vs Asus UX21

 Apple Inc. is setting trends and making a fashion statement with its new lighter and thinner MacBook Air, which is less than a month old. But its closest competitor, Asus, is coming with a slightly thinner device called Asus UX21.
Both manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of technology. The companies clash, each with flagship products in a category that pushes the envelope of form and function: the ultra-portable-class notebook computer.

Since its introduction in 2008, Apple's MacBook Air has defined avant-garde. The latest iteration follows that tradition, sporting a sleek thin aluminum frame, a full-sized keyboard and screen, with no moving parts.
Not to be outdone, at the Computex the Taiwan manufacturer Asus announced its new UX series ultra-portable notebook, which will go on sale in September.
Quick Look at Specifications:
11-inch Asus UX21
 Dimension: 3mm at its thinnest, 17mm at its thickest; weighs 2.4 pounds, aluminum
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366x768 resolution
Processor: Intel Core i5-2557M 1.7GHz with option for Core i7
Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB SSD SATA-III
Connector: USB 3.0 technology, 2 USB ports, Mini HDMI ports
Battery: 6-cell battery with up to 7 hours
OS: Windows 7
Price: Under $1,000
11-inch MacBook Air
Dimension: 0.68-inch thick, 2.9 pounds, aluminum
Display: 11.6-inch, 1366x768 resolution
Processor: 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 to 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
RAM: 2 GB/4 GB
Storage: 64 GB or 128 GB Flash Storage with upgradable to 256 GB
Connector: 2 USB 2.0 ports, Thunderbolt, headphone port, MagSafe power port
Battery: Internal battery rated at 5 hours
OS: OS X Lion 10.7
Price: $999/$1199
The first MacBook Air boasted of being the "world's thinnest" laptop at the time of introduction. But it will be overtaken by Asus UX21 when it gets released, which weighs just 0.4 pounds less than the new MacBook Air.
Added to that, Asus UX21 comes in a svelte aluminum alloy shell that has a 'spun' finish on polished surface. Asus is noted for its exquisite design, and nowhere else is this more evident than in the new UX Series, developed in close cooperation with Intel.
The artistry of the UX series draws inspiration from luxury timepieces, displaying sharp edges, an oversized keyboard and smartphone-like touchpad for added comfort, as well as reinforced hinges for extended longevity.
Asus UX21 overtakes MacBook Air with its battery life. For a typical consumer, there isn't much difference here. Up to 7-hour battery charges mean that the Asus UX21 is always ready for action -- and with the Instant On feature it resumes work in seconds.
But Flash gives MacBook Air the astonishing ability to remain in standby mode for up to 30 days. For the Asus UX21, it is still not known what is the standby time.
Both the MacBook Air and the Asus UX21 are built on top of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, giving them both the latest processor technology, among other things. But they differ in one very important detail.
The Macbook Air uses a low-voltage version of Intel's Core i5 processor that could be upgradeable to Intel Core i7. This is typical for ultra-portable notebooks, and is par for the course. But Asus was able to squeeze a full-powered i5 or i7 processor into the diminutive body.
But when it comes to RAM space, MacBook Air has 2GB version which is configurable to 4GB at Apple Online Store. It also has a 4GB version.
In addition, the new MacBook Air comes with Apple's new OS X Lion, which has been declared by the company as the "the world's most advanced desktop operating system," touting the addition of more than 250 new features. On the other hand, Asus UX21 has Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.
The new MacBook Air is priced at $999 for 2GB model and $1199 for 4GB model of 1333MHz DDR3 onboard memory. But on the other hand, Asus UX21 is expected to be priced under $1000.
With each having its own allure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Typical consumers can get enough done on the road with either, but for the more demanding, performance-based mobile professional, the Asus UX 21 wins. When it comes to RAM space, MacBook Air wins. And in terms of pricing, both devices are at the same level.

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