Asus launches the ultra-thin ZenBook, we go hands-on

The ultrabook market is well and truly heating up, with Asus joining the fray. Two new models covering the 11 and 13 inch form factors were launched in Australia overnight, giving Windows users a taste of something thinner.

Launched last night, we had a quick hands-on with it last night at the launch and found both models to be a solid entry in the thin-and-light laptop area with specs to match.

Like Apple’s own MacBook Air series, the new machines are crafted out of a block of aluminium and are designed to be thin – really thin. In fact, the design is very similar to that of an Air, complete with an angular shape and sharp edges.

One of the connections even reminds us of the Air, with a mini VGA port that apparently uses the same connection as the DisplayPort/Thunderbolt seen on the Apple laptop. There are more connections on the Asus Zenbook, however, with a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port (the blue USB port), headphone/microphone 3.5mm jack, and microHDMI port appearing on both 11 and 13 inch models. An SD card slot will appear on the 13 inch.

From our brief hands-on, we have to say that the 13 inch UX31 feels much stronger than the 11 inch UX21, with both a more solid hinge and better typing experience on the larger model. The aluminium body gives off the impression that the laptops are well built and strong, while still looking very attractive.