The ultrabook market is a relatively fresh one (heck, it’s practically still a baby), but one manufacturer has to be praised for its gutsy approach towards what has almost become a phenomenon.
I’m talking about Asus, the only manufacturer who has had the courage of releasing two different ultrabooks right from the start, when almost nobody knew what ‘’ultrabook’’ meant. In the following lines we will talk about the best Asus ultrabooks, trying to figure out if these should actually be the top choices for a technology enthusiast right now.
Asus Zenbook UX31
Right from the start, the UX31 looked great and made us all excited, both when looking at its design, but also at the performance level offered. Once the 13-incher was thrown into the market, things didn’t look quite as perfect as in theory, but they were still pretty great.
The Asus UX31 comes with an exceptional design, being at the same time elegant, stylish, robust and reliable. The aluminum exterior is beautiful, eye-catching and, even though it’s not exactly original, it sticks in your mind and makes you want or, even better, need this laptop.
Another great thing (or possibly the greatest) thing at the Zenbook UX31 is the display sported, which features a 1600 x 900 pixels resolution and is therefore superior to all of the other ultrabooks these days.
In terms of performance, the Asus ultrabook reviews online are pretty clear and the UX31 is all a gamer could need. The 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 processor featured on the base version, the 4 GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics card and 128 GB SSD make the UX31 snappy as heck and ideal for multimedia playback or browsing as well.
So far, so great for the Asus Zenbook UX31, but as I already said, the ultrabook is not perfect (there’s no such thing, right?), having its share of weak points. The keyboard/touchpad combo is not ideal, with a few software glitches affecting the trackpad, while the battery is nice and strong, but trails behind the MacBook Air’s, for example.
Also, the Asus UX31 doesn’t exactly fall in the affordable laptop category right now, starting at around 1,000 dollars on most online stores. However, if you consider all the things that the ultrabook has going for it, the quality-price ratio is pretty fair.
Asus Zenbook UX21
The UX31 is pretty clearly the best Asus Zenbook right now, but its smaller sibling, the UX21, has a few things going for it as well. First of all, while featuring the same premium design as the 13-incher, the UX21 sports an 11.6-inch display and is significantly lighter than the UX31.
The half of pound difference in weight between the two Zenbooks might make a difference for a technology enthusiast always on a run, so it’s nice to see the guys at Asus covering all their bases.
The UX21 has a lot of common points with its bigger brother but, all in all, if you have the two Asus ultrabooks compared, you will notice that the UX31 comes out on top. The display is better on the UX31, with a higher resolution, wider viewing angles and crisper colors, but you also get a slightly snappier processor and a more powerful battery.
On the other hand, the Asus UX21 is a bit cheaper than the Zenbook UX31 and can be found at the moment for as less as 900 bucks on most online stores.
Asus UX31A and UX32VD - the new generations
Building on the experience gathered with their first line of Ultrabooks, Asus are planning to launch their second gen by the summer of 2012.
The Asus Zenbook UX31A will be the direct successor of the first UX31, fixxing some of its issues and improving others. First of all, there's a redesigned keyboard and trackpad, those two being the main drawbacks of the UX31. Then, the UX31A will bring a better screen, with a Ful HD IPS panel offered for the top configs. Besides those, the UX31A is going to be built on Intel's new Ivy Bridge architecture, thus will be more powerful and more efficient than the first zenbooks.
The UX32VD is going to be a close match for the UX31A, but will bring something extra: dedicated graphics, controlled by Nvidia's Optimus technology. This feature should allow the new Zenbook to run most of the modern games with details set towards low, at native 13 x 7 resolution. That's despite the fact that only an entry level graphic chips will be included in this 13.3 incher, probably Nvidia's GT 610M.
These are just some of the new ultrabooks we'll see from Asus in the next months. Stay tuned, I'm pretty sure there will be others and you'll be able to find more about them in this post, or following the link at the bottom of the article.
The Asus UX31 and UX21 are two very nice pieces of computer equipment and, even though they are not exactly the two best ultrabooks right now, they could be great choices for any technology enthusiast out there.
Looking elegant and reliable, featuring high performance levels and targeting different consumers, I highly recommend these two ultrabooks for any technology geek looking for a premium laptop today.
But the new series that will be launched in a month or two promise to bring even better features and fix most of the issues encountereted on the first generation Zenbooks.