Microsoft vs. Mac: 5 best new computers compared, from desktop studios to advanced tablets
COMPUTERS now arrive in many different forms.
Do you need a touchscreen? A 4K display? Something that doubles as a tablet?
Whether you need a desktop beast or something that allows you to put pen to touchscreen, we’ve rounded up five of the latest computers worth investment.
Microsoft Surface Studio
4.5/5 / from $4699 / microsoft.com/en-au/store
They look alike but there are several reasons to choose Microsoft’s Surface Studio over Apple’s iMac. Its 28-inch screen is not only 4.5K sharp but touch-sensitive, letting you use fingers or an included stylus for finer control. You can also use its Zero Gravity Hinge to position the digital canvas at the most comfortable angle, from drafting table-style to standing tall, and it can feature enough power for the most demanding media-creation tools. The top model offers 32GB RAM and two terabytes of storage.
Apple iMac 27-inch
4/5 / from $2699 / apple.com/au
At first glance at the new Apple iMac looks like it hasn’t changed at all, but the familiar form and shape contains some major upgrades on the inside. When it comes to video editing and gaming, you can expect a performance boost of about 1.5 times and the screen, which now has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, is more than 40 per cent brighter and can display about four times as many colours as the last model.
ASUS ZenBook Deluxe 3 UX490
4/5 / from $2599 / asus.com.au
This laptop is a stylish traveller. In the looks department, it has a spun metal finish in royal blue, gold accents on its edges, and a gold-hued keyboard. The upwardly mobile are more likely to be impressed by its tiny girth, however, as it’s just 1.29mm thick and weighs 1.1kg, making it marginally too big for a plane seat back but very easy to carry. The ASUS looker powers Windows 10 Pro with up to 16GB RAM and an Intel Core i7 chip, and its 14-inch screen is easy on the eye. There is one omission in this computer, however, and that’s touch-sensitivity. Its slim form means you’ll also need to plug in USB-C connectors only.
Wacom Cintiq Pro 16
4/5 / $2198 / harveynorman.com.au
Despite what kids tell you, not every computer has a touchscreen. And, even if they did, it would be tricky to manipulate images with your hand held up to monitor. The solution to that awkward issue is a Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, a 16-inch tablet computer that works with a Mac or Windows computer to give you fine control of whatever is on the screen. This version comes with a 4K display capable of reproducing 94 per cent of the Adobe RGB gamut, an advanced stylus, and USB-C cords to ensure you can connect it to your existing set-up. Wacom fans should note that this model comes without the ExpressKeys and TouchRing shortcuts (you must pay extra for those now) but the back of this tablet does feature two pop-up legs to prop it up at a comfortable angle.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch
4.5/5 / from $979 / apple.com/au
With a slightly larger form than the 9.7- inch model and smaller bezel on the edges, this has a 20 per cent bigger display, which means the on-screen keyboard and the optional Smart Keyboard now have full-sized keys. The screen has a faster refresh rate, which makes the Apple Pencil easier to use, and a new chip delivers better performance. This is Apple’s best iPad yet and it will improve even more when the new software, iOS 11, arrives later this year.