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Review: Asus ZenBook UX31

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:27 pm 01/12/2011

The ultrabook market is burgeoning, and Asus’s first uber thin and light laptop brings with it features not common to 13 inch portable computers, including an aluminium chassis and high-resolution screen.

Features

Encased in an aluminium body, the UX31 is easily one of the most attractive Windows notebooks we’ve ever seen. Manufactured from a single block of aluminium, the brushed-metal finish on all surfaces has real luxe appeal.

The 13.3 inch screen features a ridiculously high 1600 x 900 pixel resolution. That’s much higher than the 1366 x 768 we normally see on 13 and 15 inch notebooks. Above the screen is a small VGA webcam.

Beneath the keyboard is where all the power is – there’s an Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM and 256GB solid state drive contained within that thin aluminium chassis.

Connection options are fairly impressive, with the UX31 offering one USB 2.0, headset 3.5mm jack, and an SD card slot, a single micro HDMI port, one mini display port and one high-speed USB 3.0 port (which is backwards compatible with the regular USB 2.0 devices).

You’ll also find wireless catered for in the form of Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n.

Inside the package are accessories to make Apple blush, with some nice touches designed to make users feel special. For starters, there’s a brown fabric envelope with a magnetic clasp for you to store your laptop in if you so choose. There are also two smaller brown fabric satchel; one for storing the plugs necessary to convert one USB port into an Ethernet port, and the other for accessory that converts the mini display port into a VGA port.

The Ethernet and VGA port accessories are thrown in the box, waiting for you to try them out.

Other brands charge for those kinds of  accessories, so their inclusion here is thoughtful. Big tick, Asus.

You’ll also find a black power brick, and a box containing manuals and a cable tie.

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Price (RRP)

$1999

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Very sturdy; Good connectivity options; Power pack is nice and small - very different for a PC laptop; Excellent screen resolution, better than most 15 inch laptops have;

Product Cons

Speakers aren't super loud; No backlit keys; Keyboard and mouse could be a lot better;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Performance

Ease of Use

Design

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