From Asus implementing two screens in a laptop to Apple switching to its own chipsets in the new MacBook lineup, computers made unexpected waves in 2020. Other technology also disrupted how we will perform tasks in future. This is our pick of the crop from last year, which we expect to remain top-of-mind in 2021.
Best laptop: MacBook Air (2020)
Apple has been getting stellar reviews across the board for its new M1 chip MacBooks (R20,000), which replace Intel processors with Apple’s ARM-based chips. In many cases, Intel app emulation with the new M1 chips beat Intel-native equivalents, making this a huge step forward in portable computing. As more M1-ready apps come out, users will benefit from ultra-high-speed video and graphic-intensive editing, in addition to a long battery life.
Best laptop innovation: Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
The new Asus ZenBook Pro Duo’s 2020 revision (R30,000) provides far more portability than before, making the dual screen experience more comfortable for those looking for a device in a 14” form factor. The main 14” Pantone-validated screen is ideal for graphic designers who need to keep their designs workable as they move, and the 12.6” touchscreen ScreenPad Plus that sits below the main screen keeps other apps out of the way. It is ideal for professionals who are used to the dual-screen desktop experience looking to transition to a portable form factor.
Gaming PC of the Year: Acer Predator Triton 500
The best bang for a gamer’s buck comes from Acer this year, with the Predator Triton 500 (R35,700), which features a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics. It will easily run any modern game one throws at it. The display is also Nvidia G-Sync ready, which eliminates screen tearing as well as minimising display stutter and input lag.
Best 2-in-1: MS Surface Pro 7
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (R22,000), which landed in South Africa last year, features a highly responsive 12.3” touchscreen with a pressure-sensitive Surface Pen to enable note taking and drawing. On the inside, it features a quad-core, 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM, making it one of the most capable 2-in-1 laptops on the market. It also looks good, from an unboxing experience that rivals any of the cooler brands, and with colour combinations that add to the aesthetics of a working area.
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