Asus embraces thin and sleek with a new Zenbook

It’s the end of the year, and while that’s not normally a time for new computers, Asus is unleashing something to Australia for people who like metallic machines with plenty of power for work and pleasure, releasing a new Zenbook with what has to be one of the last uses of Intel’s Haswell chips before the next models with Broadwell from the fifth-generation of Core chips come out.

Those processors are expected in December, with January the likely time when Ultrabooks with the new Intel chips will be ready for stores, just in time for the new work and school year in Australia.

Until then, however, manufacturers are still plodding along making machines with Intel’s current fourth-generation chips, still known as “Haswell” to those in the industry, or just the latest Core chips to the rest of us.

In the Zenbook UX303LN, it’s those chips you’ll see with up to Core i7 processors paired with Nvidia’s GeForce GT840M graphics chipset and 2GB RAM for that section, making it usable for the 13.3 inch Full HD screen the laptop will come equipped with.

That combination of technology should prove useful if you want to get a touch of gaming done, and we’re told that now includes touch gaming as well, with the screen o this machine offering what Asus calls an “ultra-sensitive touchscreen” paired with a “precise multi-touch touchpad” as well as a backlit keyboard.

To make that touchscreen more sensitive, Asus is employing smaller touch actuators than normal, making finger touches more precise and drawing possible, though the screens hinge may not let you get the best drawing position.

Windows 8.1 will run on this machine, with smart gestures working across both the touchscreen and touchpad, just in case you’re familiar with one over the other.

But while the screen and specs are one part of the equation, the body is the other, and in the new Zenbook, Asus hopes to attract the crowd that looks for a high-end feel, thanks to a spun metal finish in a gold brown.

Pricing for the new system looks to play directly to another metal ultra-light machine, with the recommended retail pricing for the Asus Zenbook UX303LN starting at $1699.

Sure, when we're planning a night on the town with Moet and gold shoes, we automatically reach for the laptop. Who doesn't?!