I love my new MacBook Air. I got it a few weeks ago and it is truly everything I ever wanted in a laptop. It's light, it's fast and it's got enough horsepower to accomplish even the most difficult computing tasks. I wrote a glowing review about it on my blog (which you can read here) and, if you're a Mac person, there is nothing about this computer that you're not going to love.
But what if you're not a Mac person? Is there anything you can do?
Lots of my friends run Windows on their Macs. You can do it with several programs such as, Parallels or VMWare. But running Windows on a Mac is not always a perfect solution. I use Parallels 6 and I run OS X Lion, Windows7 and Linux on my Mac. But I have a pretty high tolerance for technical problems. You may not have the patience to put up with the stress and silliness that comes with running several operating systems on a Mac. And purchasing a MacBook Air and single booting it in Windows is a crime against man, God and nature.
Thankfully, there is now an extraordinary solution; it's called the Asus Zenbook. For all intents and purposes, it's a Windows version of a MacBook Air. Zenbooks are available in different hardware configurations that are almost identical to MacBook Airs. The comparisons don't need to be on a chart, the systems just match up -- from pricing: $999 - $1,500, to Ram: 4 GB, to Storage: up to 256 GB, and even Battery Life: 5-7 hours. You can configure an Asus Zenbook to look, smell and feel just like a MacBook Air.
An Apple MacBook Air is 11" x 13." An Asus Zenbook is 11.6" x 13.3." Both have well-made metal cases. The Zenbook is a little heavier than the MacBook Air, but not by much. What is the biggest difference? MacBook Airs run OS X Lion and Zenbooks run Windows 7.
I ran the Asus Zenbook through its paces and I've got nothing but praise for it. The review unit I was given had an i5 Intel processor and it rocked every speed test, memory test, etc. The keyboard isn't backlit, but I don't think that matters very much. And, if you're into music, the Zenbook speakers are an order of magnitude better than the ones in the MacBook Air. (Although, they still leave you wanting.)
Like my MacBook Air, the full-powered, top-of-the-line Asus Zenbook is powerful enough to be a complete laptop replacement. But, remember, these computers only have 13" screens. Perfect for word processing while sitting in a coach seat on an American Airlines 757 when the guy in front of you reclines his seat – not great for 60 column spreadsheets no matter where you are.
Should you get one? If you're a PC, but you've always wanted a MacBook Air, the Asus Zenbook is "the" computer for you. It's awesome!
Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal‘s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5 New York‘s On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television’s monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network‘s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and the President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). Palmer is the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV 2nd Edition (York House Press, 2008) the seminal book about the technological, economic, and sociological forces that are changing everything and the upcoming, Overcoming The Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to Reinvent Yourself and Your Career (York House Press, 2011) For more information, visitshellypalmer.com
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