The Apple MacBook Air is a line of smaller and more lightweight laptop or notebook computers that are developed by Apple, Inc. At the time of its introduction (2008) it had the following dimensions:
- Full-sized keyboard;
- Machined aluminum case;
- A thin-light structure; and
- Screen size of 13.3 inches diagonally (29.46 cm)
History of the MacBook Air
Since its introduction and the discontinuation of the MacBook in 2011, the MacBook Air has become Apple’s entry-level laptop. It performs below the MacBook Pro and is somewhat comparable to the MacBook Retina, although not for very good reasons (mainly due to problems with the MacBook Retina.) In 2010 a MacBook Air was introduced with an 11.6-inch (23.78) screen, however this model was discontinued on October 27, 2016.
Apple has made numerous improvements to this computer since it was first sold, including a change in 2013 which gave the MacBook Pro a minimum standard 4 GB RAM, with a maximum configuration of 8 GB. Furthermore, the battery life has been improved considerably with the addition of Haswell CPUs with the mid-2013 models capable of 12 hours on the 13-inch model.
The MacBook Air was one of the first to receive Intel’s latest CPU and Apple has gained market share on Windows in recent years, “through July 1, 2013, the MacBook Air took in 56% of all Ultrabook sales in the United States, despite being one of the higher-priced” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Air.)
Designed for a thinner choice than other laptops or notebooks, it is lighter in weight as well. It features a glossy LED backlit display as well as a full-size keyboard. These components are officially non-user-replaceable and the flash memory and battery are enclosed within the casing with the RAM soldered onto the motherboard. The battery can be replaced with the use of normal screwdrivers; however, doing so usually makes the warranty invalid.
Apple did many things to the design of the MacBook Air to make it more environmentally friendly which are cool and innovative. They reduced the lead in the computer and the MacBook Air contains no Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) or Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) wiring. It meets the requirements of Energy Star 5.0, has an enclosure which is recyclable, and rated EPEAT Gold.
This display is made from glass which is arsenic free and contains no mercury. Apple omitted several features to reduce the size and the weight, including:
- Built-in removable media drive;
- FireWire port;
- Ethernet port;
- Media card slots (except the 13” 2010 through 2015 models which have an SD card slot); and
- Kensington Security Slot.
Due to Apple removing these usually standard features, the customer must purchase either an external USB drive or the bundled Remote Disc software. The software does not allow playback or information of DVDs, CDs, or installing Windows and therefore the purchase of an external USB drive is essential. This product, the Apple USB SuperDrive can be purchased directly from Apple for $79.00 (US).
In more recent versions of the Apple MacBook Air the installation DVD has been replaced with a USB flash drive that has the software and therefore eliminates the remote installation. Other changes that have been made to the MacBook Air in recent years and models are:
- The 2010 models include two speakers for stereo sound (earlier versions had only one speaker located under the keyboard);
- The 2011 model had a 1280 x 720 FaceTime HD Camera, which replaced the earlier 640 x 480 iSight camera;
- The 2012 model replaced the USB 2 with USB 3, and upgraded from the MagSafe connector to the MagSafe 2 for charging; and finally
- The 2015 model updated the Thunderbolt port to the Thunderbolt 2.
The current price of the Apple MacBook Air, per the Apple website, is 13-inch from $999. Obviously, the price increases the more features that you add on to the MacBook Air but some of the features mentioned on the website include:
- Power-efficient fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processers allowing you to use less power and still receive high performance;
- The MacBook Air gets to up to 12 hours of battery on a single charge;
- When you put the MacBook Air to sleep for more than 3 hours it automatically enters standby more for up to 30 days;
- Has an Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor for superior performance;
- Capable of supporting ultrafast 802.11 ac Wi-Fi – meaning your Wi-Fi can be up to 3x faster and the range of Wi-Fi is also greater;
- Thin 0.68-inch design; and
- Weighs only 2.96 pounds.
The YEPO 737s Notebook
Introduced in late 2016 by the Chinese company, Shenzhen Yepo Time Electronics Co, Ltd (YEPO) this Ultrabook PC comes equipped with the following:
- A 13.3-inch screen with Full HD resolution;
- Equipped with quad-core Intel Cherry Trail Z8300;
- Windows 8.1 Operating System;
- 6000mAH Lithium-ion Polymer Battery which provides a usage time of about 5-6 hours;
- Full-size Seamless Back-mounted Keyboard; and
- 4 GB of RAM and 64GB of internal eMMC storage.
The major overwhelming difference between the YEPO 737S and the MacBook Air? The price. While the MacBook has a beautiful picture of an apple on the front, it also comes at the price of at least $999. The 737S is priced at $236.89 at gearbeast.com as of December 27, 2016. You could purchase 5 of them for the price of one MacBook Air. I’m a bit shocked by that alone. First, though, since most of us know about Apple and the company here is a bit of information about YEPO, a Chinese company.
Shenzhen Yepo Time Electronics Co, Ltd (YEPO)
Shenzhen Yepo Time Electronics Co, Ltd. is a Chinese company that was established in 1998 and goes by the name YEPO. Its goal was to be one of the ten best brands in China within 10 years and while that may not have occurred, between the years of 2010 and 2015 it has instituted strict quality controls and guarantees in every aspect of its performance.
Additionally, the quality management system was certified as ISO 9001:2000 (this is a family of quality management systems designed to help corporations. ISO 9001 specifically deals with the requirements that organizations that wish to meet the standard must fulfill).
A website that gives information about the company informs us that YESO employs 51-100 people, has an annual revenue of $2.5 million – $5 million (US), and the top three markets are Eastern Europe (68.70%), South America (22.80%), and Western Europe (5.50%). The main products of Shenzhen YEPO Time Electronics Co, Ltd. is known for tablet pc with full-size screens, netbooks, and Bluetooth headsets.
YEPO is a small company, at least when compared with Apple (by the way did you know that Apple, Inc. has more money than the U.S. Treasury?), so they did what many companies do – they copied the best or at least the most popular design available. The two differ when it comes to specifications and features they physically look similar. The YEPO 737S has an all-metal cover around it’s plastic interior.
Keyboard, and Physical Dimensions:
The keyboard on the YEPO 737S is not backlit like the MacBook Air; however, with the large touchpad and the keys being an acceptable and convenient distance apart it is still a comfortable and functional keyboard that shouldn’t be an issue for anyone to use. In fact, the touchpad on the YEPO 737S is 30% larger than similar notebooks.
The weight of the YEPO 737S is 1.12kg (approximately 2.47 pounds) with a thickness of 2 cm (0.78 inches). In contrast, the MacBook weighs 1.4kg, although the MacBook is 0.3cm thinner. But 0.3 cm? Not a huge difference to me.
There is a power port, a USB 2.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and two microphones, helpful for noise cancellation purposes, are located on the left side of the unit as you can see in the above picture.
The YEPO 737S is available in three different colors currently (although it has only been available since October of 2016 so it is possible, depending on the popularity of the YEPO 737S that they could expand their color options) – silver, black and white.
It should be noted that only the back of the computer is aluminum whereas the rest of the unit does come with plastic housing. And, while that should be noted I wouldn’t make any purchasing decisions based on that alone. Consider the computer you are using right now? Does it have plastic components? Probably. And it would be irrational to expect a computer to weigh less than 1.12kg, less than 2.5 pounds, to be made of industrial grade steel.
Screen Resolution –
The resolution of the screen is such a huge deal when looking at a computer. The MacPro Air has a screen resolution of 1400 x 900 and the YEPO has a 13.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and provides Full HD performance. Neither of these models have Retina display, but the MacBook Air is the only Apple product that doesn’t have Retina Display and the cheapest MacBook Pro with Retina display is $1,499.00. The lack of Retina Display is one of the reasons why people have turned away from the MacBook Pro.
The YEPO 737S has a better display due to the IPS (in-plane switching) technology for liquid crystal display. IPS was designed in the late 1980s to solve the limitations from the twisted nematic field effect (TN) matrix LCD. The MacBook Air comes with a TN screen which is the most common technology used but is still older than the IPS technology that the YEPO 737S has.
Ironically, although IPS is a newer technology and the screen offers better color reproduction and better viewing angles, they seem to have problems emphasizing the different shades of black. This equates to problems with the contrast. And, possibly it’s just that we are all used to the TN screens so we see the IPS screen as somehow not as good, even though it is more advanced technology.
Another issue with TN screens which is a problem and should be able to be fixed somehow, is that TN screens are slow in the beginning which naturally, although incorrectly, makes people believe that they are dealing with inferior technology.
There are three different versions of the YEPO 737S – low, medium, and high. The highest model is packed with more features than I was aware that $250 could purchase, including:
- An Intel Cherry Trail X5-8300 quad-core chipset with 32-bit architecture that runs at 1.86GHz frequency;
- Intel HD Graphic (Gen7) GPU;
- 4GB DDR3L of RAM;
- 128GB of eMMC internal memory; and
- An expansion option up to 256GB with the SD card slot.
In comparison, the MacBook Air does offer more features and is a more powerful machine with the following features:
- A 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM;
- 128GB PCle-based flash storage; and
- Intel HD Graphics 5000.
So yes, the MacBook Air packs more “power.” However, for 5x the cost, it should. It would be like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Civic and being upset that the Civic doesn’t have the horsepower. No, it doesn’t. It also doesn’t have the price tag and chances are that you are not going to need a Ferrari.
The same thing is true here. The YEPO 737S is not going to be able to offer all the features that the Apple MacBook does. But you are also not paying for those features either.
The MacBook Air boasts of 12 hours of computer usage with one charge; however, the high version of the YEPO 737S has an 8000mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery which is capable of keeping the unit charged for between 5-6 hours when used normally.
However, it provides up to 11 hours of listening to music, 12 hours of web-browsing, and 13-hours of watching videos. The MacBook Air showed very similar results with 12.5 hours of web browsing. Unless you are doing something with your computer that is unknown to me then I would think that the YEPO battery would be suitable for your needs (and you can plug them in when the battery needs charging.)
As a person who has a tendency to “kill” laptops rather frequently, I would be thrilled to get one for $200.00. I can understand if you are doing serious business or running the stock exchange, but for a home computer the YEPO 737S is probably plenty of computer for your needs. For me personally, as long as it had enough memory then it would be sufficient for my home computer needs.