Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love my zenbook, March 24, 2012
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This review is from: ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH72 13.3-Inch Thin and Light Ultrabook (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)
My specific model included:

13.3 inch screen (11.6 is the only other option)
i7-2677M (i5-2467M, i7-2677M, i5-2557M & i5-2557M available)
256Gbps SSD (There is a 128Gbps option)
4GB DDR3 (Both models do)
Windows 7 Home Premium (Not sure if there are other versions of Windows available)

Pros

- Reboot & shutdown times are incredibly fast
- Instant on feature
- Extremely bright 1600 x 900 display = beautiful images, movies & whatever else
- Bang and Olufsen ICEpower & ASUS SonicMaster Tech = outstanding audio
- 2.86 lbs (Or so I've read, I haven't weighed the thing...it's light)
- Good wireless performance when using power adapter
- Battery saving mode extends usable time noticeably
- Responsive track-pad
- Asus Power Wiz program seems to accurately provide how much available usage time
you have for specific types of tasks
- USB 3.0 port
- Media card reader
- She's sexy...oh so sexy

Cons

- Glossy screen limits viewing angles outside & anywhere with normal lighting
- No backlit keyboard
- Can't handle gaming due to Intel HD 3000 graphics
- By default when not plugged in wireless performance is affected(changeable setting)
- Average battery performance... Anything but battery saving mode when not plugged in will
rapidly decrease usable time
- Keyboard forces you to assimilate to it's unique typing requirements...resistance is futile
- Another USB port would have been nice (only 1 3.0 usb & 1 2.0 usb port)
- You can't upgrade anything...maybe HD in future due to gumstick style HD
- I would be complimenting the Asus Update program if I called it worthless
- You're almost forced to delete the recovery partition, buy an external DVD writer
& make your backup
- You have to buy a Micro HDMI to HDMI cable if you want to use the HDMI port
- You will become ultra paranoid when anyone other than yourself touches your zenbook
because you don't want her scratched, dropped or otherwise violated
- She's expensive...oh so expensive

That's a lot of cons right? Truly though most are not deal breakers just things I believe people would want to know. No backlit keyboard is a big bummer for me though.

In my opinion this ultra book is ideal for the person that wants a highly mobile, lightweight non gaming device for work or schoolwork. It's so light that when you put it in the included case it's like carrying a folder full of papers. The CPU is powerful enough to handle all your regular business or office applications short of any graphically intensive apps. You'll probably want to buy an external HD to save documents, pictures & other non-critical files on so you don't eat up the small HD space. I have a 256GB drive & after Linux is installed I'll have somewhere over 100+gigs left. Not that bad, but I wouldn't say it's future proof either. For extra space I purchased a USB 3.0 external drive for nice snappy file transfers. I've noticed some people make it a point to list Read & Write times from their SSDs, but ultimately I don't bother or care. This thing is the fastest performing drive I've ever had & in the future I'm going to include an SSD in every computer I buy.

The display is beautiful & watching a DVD or Blu-ray is a great experience especially with the outstanding audio. Due to the reflective screen & limited viewing angles, watching movies on this thing is best kept as a single user experience unless you hook it up to a larger monitor or TV. Keep in mind if you intend to watch movies without the power plugged in you won't be doing it for very long.

While there are 4 power modes: Performance, Entertainment, Quite Office & Battery saving the only two I ever use is Performance when it's plugged in & Battery saving when it's not. Battery life is sucked out rapidly if you stay in Performance mode when it's not plugged in. Also by default the zenbook affects your wireless performance if you switch to Battery saving mode. This is something I found out while in class, I switched to Battery saving mode because I didn't have the power cord & I was immediately dropped from my wireless connection. You can change this setting though & I always remember to bring the power adapter now.

The trackpad is responsive & I like it. You either get a Sentelic or Elantech touchpad. I have the Elantech touchpad. Any driver below Version V10.0.5.2 gave my problems though. The keyboard is a little less forgiving. It's not a bad keyboard & I love the metal keypads, however you have to relearn how to type on it. What I mean is that if you don't hit the keys directly in the middle they won't register. At first this caused me to mistype a lot of words, but after a week I was back to normal performance at close to 70wpm.

There's 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, an audio jack, a media card reader, micro-vga, micro-hdmi and a slot for the power. Included is a dongle for the micro-vga & the USB to ethernet. You'll have to purchase the micro-hdmi to HDMI if you want that feature. It would be nice to have more ports, but I'm sure in the effort to keep this thing slim more ports weren't an option.

Overall I love this thing. I use it mostly to run a 5250 session to connect to an IBM I system, for school work & to run Oracle Virtual Box. While it was annoying to have to delete the recovery partition that the system comes with & purchase an external DVD writer to make the back up I'm not mad. The lightweight portability, performance & beauty is enough to make me want to buy another zenbook for my wife(or myself) when updates are added later this year(IPS screen, ivy bridge cpu, 512 ssd).

Yes, it's expensive(around $1,400 when I bought it), there's no backlit keyboard, no DVD drive & the keyboard will have you relearning your typing skills, but if you can get past that then I would highly recommend this portable, extremely useful & beautiful work of art.
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3.4 out of 5 stars (137 customer reviews)
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