on November 7, 2013
I rate this purchase at 4 stars and not 5 not because of the product itself but, because I had to do some work to get the Ultrabook to work. It was highly unstable in the condition it arrived. It turns out that the OS load was faulty resulting in the Blue Screen of Death several times a day. I updated the system to Win 8.1 hoping this would stabilize my system but, that didn't work. I had to reload Win 8 from scratch and this resolved the problem. If it had arrived ready to go out of the box I would rate it a 5. That said, it is the Best Value in a notebook I have ever purchased. Win 8 navigation takes a bit of getting used to. Thankfully, ASUS loads some nice tools that allow you to find things your used to accessing in a format you're used to seeing it in.
I upgraded to Win 8.1 after reloading Win 8 and it works fine. The system is quick to start. Battery life is good enough for my purposes. And, it is light weight for it's size and configuration (HDD and Optical Drive). The only thing I would have liked it to have is a backlit keyboard. Speaking of keyboards, there are many complaints on the net about this keyboard. I don't know what they are complaining about it works just fine. Performance wise it is as fast as most anyone would need. Keeping open numerous tabs is not an issue. One thing I did to ensure as much resource availability as possible is to deactivate the active tiles. The as delivered configuration loads numerous App tiles and many of them are active in the background. You can simply right click on them and deactivate active updating.
Would I purchase this system again? Absolutely. Without question.
on October 25, 2013
If you are looking for portable gaming, exciting design, or the lowest price around; keep looking. If you need a solid computer for an excellent price; this is a good choice. This unit has a metal body, which is more durable and easier to clean than plastic. The manufacturer calls it an "UltraBook" (Intel's marketing term) for it's thin profile and other features, but it does include an (internal) DVD drive, something generally omitted in this class. RAM and CPU are well above the minimum, and the unit is thin, light, cool, and quiet. This is an excellent computer for everyday use.
on May 16, 2013
I love the keyboard! I am still figuring out the touch pad... Seems to, sometimes, have a mind of it's own! Windows 8 is goofy but, I am gonna wait around for SP1. It is said SP1 will bring back the 'Start' button and have an option to be more WIN7-like in appearance. Rather than spend a lot of time digging through the drivers for the cache drive in WIN7 and all that, I am gonna give 8 a chance to fix itself. Other than the OS, this thing rocks! I can surely live with the resolution, the i5 is fast, built in graphics plays dvd's just fine. 6GB is plenty of RAM for most and power hungry's can add the extra two, if they want. My techie buddies all think it is cool with an obviously envious look. "Is that aluminum?" ;) Mine was $605, and it is worth every penny, IMHO. Oh, and the SSD cache? You will be spoiled by how fast this thing turns on! I am not an impatient man, I still run a Socket A Desktop, and I usually don't have the latest greatest, I wait for the good stuff to rise to the top. This is by far the most impressive piece of tech I have. I doubt I could be happier, perhaps with WIN 7. First impressions are thus. More to follow in the coming months.
Ok, after a year of this computer...
I have made a few upgrades. First I dumped the mismatched 4GB and 2GB RAM sticks for a couple of matched Kingston 4GB HyperX @ 1600. That solved a lot of issues, streaming Youtube, watching DVD's and such, became much smoother!
Second, I bought and installed an Intel 7260 Dual Band WiFi adapter, here on Amazon for a GREAT price! That solved the 5G problem, i.e. a couple coffee shops I frequent have dual band router's and I was feeling left out!! 5g is really fast, compared to regular 11n!
Third, and most recently, a week ago, an SSD. Crucial MX100, also bought here on Amazon for a GREAT price!
The SSD, although not the Most Fastest Greatest This or That, it is an amazing deal for the performance!! More than 4 times faster than the 5400 RPM spinner that came stock.
Combined with the built in 24GB Cache, this thing is Awesome Fast!!
Essentially, for less than $250 more, I have a computer that would cost $1100 or $1200! Prebuilt. I now think, despite the display and HD4000, I have the best UltraBook that ASUS could have made this into.
For those who lament the i5, I love it. I don't need an i7 for a laptop. Plus, it is quite a bit better than an i3 and only a little bit less than the i7.
Oh, and Win8.1. I have totally gotten used to it and now believe it is better than Win7, for a couple reasons. First off, I can now boot directly to the desktop, as opposed to the Metro screen. Much, much better! Also, the search is greatly improved, it finds what I want with only a few keystrokes. Used to have to click through to files or folders and still not get what I was looking for! The boot times were way better, now with the SSD it is mere seconds, all my desktop icons are there instantly! Also, Win 8.1 has a much smaller footprint on the drive, I have a ton of indie games, downloaded Movies and photo's on here and still have room on a 240GB drive, w/ a 5GB partition for my BOINC manager to use crunching numbers for World Community Grid, full time, 100% CPU usage! I can still cruise the web and watch Youtube videos! It even crunches numbers more than, about 8%, faster than Win7!
I have to say, I loved this computer, when I bought it stock. Now, after the upgrades, "Love" can't sum it up! It is undoubtedly the best computer I have. I have a few desktops, older, that can't keep up with this one!! I am sure, due to my current job status, it will be sometime before I can afford to build another Desktop with new stuff. However, this Ultrabook should be relevant for a few more years!
on January 16, 2014
I have had this ultrabook for around 6 months now... There has been one issue with it shutting off randomly when I first got it and the start menu would never load until rebooting... I have since installed two "patches" and haven't had the start menu issue in around 4 months.. The randomly restarting has only happened once since the patch 2 months ago and hasn't been a major issue any more... I do save my work frequently just in case... I opened a ticket with ASUS to send it in to have it fixed, (research shows that it is a problem with the northbridge either overheating or not having a good connection). Regardless, if I would have or still do take the time to send this in for repair it is free of charge due to it being a flaw in the design.. I have a year from the purchase date to send it in and rely heavily on it when away from home so was worried about being without for a period of time.
Overall the design is thin, sleek and sturdy and it gets compliment on how well it looks quit often. The only downsids in the design are the plastic on the bottom and around the edges of the screen, both make it look a little cheaper and give way a little when picking it up to put it in the case or move it. Also, the batter doesn't have much support so when I pick it up from the back, it moves and feels like I'm going to break it, so I grab it from the front when putting it in the case or moving it with the lid closed.
Still it is a fantastic machine for the price I paid for it and has served me well the past several months.
When I go to buy another laptop I will probably look for a fully aluminum frame. PS: I paid $550 for this laptop.
on December 30, 2012
Incredible for Price.
I bought the -dh51 model that has an i5 mobile processor and 6gb of RAM as opposed to an i3 and 4gb of RAM. This upgrade is essential on this model! There is NO dedicated video card onboard. This system uses Intel integrated graphics HD 4000. Asus should not even make the -wh31.
These 1 and 2 star reviews really cheese me off.
First, This is a laptop that Asus has put in their Ultrabook category. There is no standard definition for such word. Look at the dimensions before you buy if you're going to complain about the size...
Secondly, I got 4 hours and 10 minutes off a single charge of active use (typing, games, movies) with dimmed screen and airplane mode on. This is one of the BEST value of i5 laptop computers out there right now. You get quite a bit of hardware for <5lb machine. I will stipulate that this is a 720p definition screen and not 1080p. I would assume this is another balancing act for price and performance. Having a 1080p screen would dump more on the integrated graphics, CPU, RAM, and battery life. Those higher definition movies would take up more Hard drive space too...
Asus has done some great things here. They have a full keyboard with one of the smoothest working function keys I've ever used. There is 24gb mSATA dedicated to fast boot (works great) that can be very useful if you want to install something like backtrack 5 or whatever OS utility you want. The 5400 performs as expected, but they did not gip on the space. Asus could have given a 320 or 500gb drive and 4gb RAM but they tucked value into every corner of this laptop. They also include one year of accidental damage protection (even more value)
After I burn through the first battery, I'll replace the hard drive with a solid state drive and buy a new battery. I'd expect better performance and longer battery life and recommend doing this or having it done for people who do heavier mobile computing (multiple screens, GIANT spreadsheets, Adobe Suite Users)
FYI I've only owned one Asus computer before this one and don't consider myself an Asus fanboy...yet