Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:30 PM
"Windows users don't need to hide in shame whenever they see someone whip out a MacBook Air at the local Starbucks. The ASUS Zenbook UX31 is a slim, stylish Ultrabook that not only packs a robust Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD into its 3-pound unibody aluminum chassis, but a high-res 1600 x 900 display and excellent audio."
Finally, an ultrabook that challenges the MacBook Air (MBA). Higher (1600x900) resolution, but not quite as good with viewing angles. Keyboard is flat, effective, but required harder touches to get keys to register. The large touchpad needs work. Cooling is excellent. Better audio, but the bass vibrates the deck of the UX31. Boot and wake slower than the MBA, but better than other Windows systems. More ports, but some compromises. Processor robust, but topped in the reported benchmarks by the MBA. Graphics performance slightly less than reported by the MBA. Battery life good, but, again, not as good as the MBA. But, starting at $200 less than the MBA, and with a larger screen, my impression is that the hardware is excellent, but that the software (mostly drivers) still needs some work. The MacBook Air still leads, but the competition is narrowing the gap. If I need a Windows laptop, this one definitely goes on my short list.