Last year’s new MacBook has seemingly ushered in a new era of high-end laptops that also look the part, and we’re seeing more and more Windows 10-based rivals making fresh efforts to take Apple’s crown.
The HP Spectre (revealed last month) is one such effort, with its gorgeous new hinge and world’s-thinnest boast, and the newly announced Asus ZenBook 3 is another effort to deliver a PC alternative to the MacBook’s sleek and powerful combo. Only this one’s a lot more obviously inspired by Apple.
The visual similarities are uncanny at a glance, honestly, with a very familiar build, shape, and accents, plus the “Asus ZenBook” font and placement is a near match for the MacBook. It even comes in Rose Gold, although you also have Royal Blue and Quartz Grey options. And the webpage uses similar formatting to Apple’s (in the past) for specs and feature breakdowns.
It’s 9% thinner than the MacBook, however, and about 30% thinner than the MacBook Air. Asus chairmain Jonney Shih positioned the aluminum ZenBook 3 as a rival for both, offering a premium, but thinner build than the MacBook along with more power than the Air.
The ZenBook 3 will be available with Core i7 and i5 configurations, with Intel’s HD Graphics 520 and up to 16GB RAM. However, the screen is surprisingly weaker than the MacBook: it’s a 12.5in 1080p offering, whereas the MacBook sports a 1440p display (at 12in). HP’s Spectre makes a similar concession, as well.
Asus’ option offers a built-in fingerprint sensor in the touchpad for Windows Hello, along with a nine-hour fast-charging battery, a Harman Kardon quad-speaker array, and a single USB Type-C port.
It’ll be available in the third quarter of this year starting at $999 (about R15,780) for a model with a Core i5, 4GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, while a high-end model with a Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD doubles the price up to $1,999 (about R31,550).
The ZenBook 3 is the highlight of Asus’ new PC offerings, but if you’re looking for a 2-in-1, there’s the newly upgraded Transformer 3, which is an iPad Pro-like tablet with a 12.6in 3K screen and a transforming keyboard case. Meanwhile, the Transformer 3 Pro is more of a Surface Pro 4-like option with a built-in hinge and the same 12.6in 3K display.