Asus UX21, UX31 ultrabooks arrive tomorrow, starting at $999

By on October 11, 2011, 6:30 PM

Hot on the heels of Acer's announcement, Asus has unveiled its own line of ultrabooks under the new Zenbook brand, with a total of five models ranging in price from $999 to $1499. The Zenbook UX21 offers a 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display configuration, 128GB of SSD storage and comes with either a Core i5-2467M or Core i7-2677M, while the Zenbook UX31 sports a 13.3-inch (1600 x 900) screen and comes in three variants: a Core i5-2557M model with 128GB of SSD storage, a similar model that ups storage to 256GB SSD and another one topping it off with a Core i7-2677M.

The 11.6-inch Zenbook UX21 and 13.3-inch Zenbook UX31 weigh in at just 2.4 pounds and 2.9 pounds, respectively. Thanks to their aluminum alloy bodies, glass trackpads and all-metal keyboards, they are also among the sleekest-looking notebooks we've seen to date. The 11-inch UX21 ranges in thickness from 0.11 inch at the front to 0.67 inch at the rear, while the 13-inch UX31 is 0.11 inch at the front and 0.71 inch at the rear.

All models have an instant-on feature that Asus says will allow the system to resume from sleep in about 2 seconds. In terms of battery life the UX21 models are rated for five hours of runtime, with up to 7 days of standby time, while the UX31 unit lasts bit a longer at seven hours of runtime or ten days in standby with a single charge.

Other specs include 4GB of RAM, one USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port, microHDMI and miniVGA outputs, a 0.3MP webcam, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and stereo speakers with Bang and Olufsen's ICEpower technology.

The first Zenbooks will be available for order in the US starting October 12th. Comparing the base 13.3-inch Zenbook UX31 to its MacBook Air rival, specs aren't all that different, although the Asus comes in $200 cheaper at $1,099 and offers a higher resolution display (1600x900 vs 1440x900). Its SSD also supports the faster 6Gbps SATA III interface.

Check out this post at Anandtech for more side side-by-side comparisons.




User Comments: 18

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Guest said:

Do any of apples computers have USB 3.0? Sure they have thunderbolt, but does having it suggest they'll be skipping usb3.0 entirely? Not sure how that will work out for them...

Who knows if or when Windows PCs will get light peak.

Any opinions on this?

Guest said:

i wonder if these will be able to be upgraded to windows 8 in the future? Kind of a shame that you'll need to borrow/purchase a USB cd drive, if they make those, im not very sure.

Guest said:

Unless you use it to watch movies, you might find it not so hard without a DVD drive. I recently removed replaced my internal DVD drive with a $29 external one, and has never looked back. I had probably used my internal drive three times in the last year.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I hope PC manufacturers stop focusing only in specs. Sure, it's great to have a speedy processor and graphics, but overall build quality, a screen with great contrast and long battery life are some of the most important factors to consider in any laptop I'd buy or recommend to buy.

Guest said:

Windows+Intel will beat down Apple again.

I'm totally agreeing.

TechMcgee said:

PC's will eventually have Lightpeek, although I think it will still be called Thunderbolt (not sure on that though). There was an article on here about it a few weeks back, Apple have exclusivity until 2012.

To be honest there is only that crappy over priced monitor that can be plugged into Thunderbolt at the moment anyway.

Guest said:

I guess Asus may expect a sue from Apple. It equals tha MacBook air

Guest said:

"Windows+Intel will beat down Apple again" -> I don't tnink so!

What you see now is that the price of a windows notebook increases to a Macbook. The argument that a Macbook is so expensive doesn't count anymore. So the only choice left is Windows7 or OS X. That choice is easyly made...

TechMcgee said:

Guest said:

"Windows+Intel will beat down Apple again" -> I don't tnink so!

What you see now is that the price of a windows notebook increases to a Macbook. The argument that a Macbook is so expensive doesn't count anymore. So the only choice left is Windows7 or OS X. That choice is easyly made...

Not really, what you see here is the price of a Netbook pushed up due to the inclusion of a SSD. Standard Laptop's will still be quite a bit cheaper than a Macbook.

That said I still wouldn't buy any [Apple, Asus or Acer], I think they are a waste of money when you can get much more for much less, but that's just my opinion.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Julio said:

I hope PC manufacturers stop focusing only in specs. Sure, it's great to have a speedy processor and graphics, but overall build quality, a screen with great contrast and long battery life are some of the most important factors to consider in any laptop I'd buy or recommend to buy.

Good point, especially regarding the screen - when are we gonna get IPS and matte screens in laptops?

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@slh28, Lenovo does a fairly good job of accommodating high-end build quality into their laptops.

The ThinkPad X220 we reviewed not long ago has a IPS screen:

[link]

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Yay. PC is sexy, now.

Guest said:

I agree with the other poster, the shiny screens SUCK loyally on laptops. On desktop monitors that can be forgiven, but with a laptop the glare of the screen is really bad for the eyes.

Guest said:

apple, asus and acer are not even in same category. let me explain.

Apple makes top shelf, high dollar products for those who prefer their flavor. very little budget products.

Asus makes mid to top shelf products that are providing roughly 90% budget products

Acer makes low to high end products with budget in mind across every line.

who makes one of the only quad core laptops, with dedicated gpu, and crossfire for less than 450? ASUS <- that's who.

Just thought I should clear that up... each manufacturer has a different market.

Guest said:

"Not really, what you see here is the price of a Netbook pushed up due to the inclusion of a

SSD. Standard Laptop's will still be quite a bit cheaper than a Macbook.

That said I still wouldn't buy any [Apple, Asus or Acer], I think they are a waste of money when

you can get much more for much less, but that's just my opinion."

Sorry Dude the MacBook Air has also 128 Flash Storage i5 for +- 1200$ !

=> So choice is only Windows or Mac OS

Guest said:

But it's ugly as ****... ;-)

TechMcgee said:

Guest said:

"Not really, what you see here is the price of a Netbook pushed up due to the inclusion of a

SSD. Standard Laptop's will still be quite a bit cheaper than a Macbook.

That said I still wouldn't buy any [Apple, Asus or Acer], I think they are a waste of money when

you can get much more for much less, but that's just my opinion."

Sorry Dude the MacBook Air has also 128 Flash Storage i5 for +- 1200$ !

=> So choice is only Windows or Mac OS

I'm not sure if you missed my point or if I missed yours :-)

I meant slimbooks ultrabooks or whatever are a waste of money as you pay a premium for the storage. IMO a normal laptop is much cheaper and you get a lot more bang for your buck, but that is just my opinion.

Guest said:

Apple believe the icloud would instead the USB transfer in the future.

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