|Screen Size||13 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1600x900|
|Processor||1.8 GHz Intel Core i7|
|RAM||4 GB DIMM|
|Memory Speed||1333 MHz|
|Hard Drive||256 GB flash_memory_solid_state|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel HD Graphics|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||1|
ASUS Zenbook UX31 13-Inch Laptop [OLD VERSION]
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- Intel Core i7-2677M Processor 1.8GHz
- 4GB DIMM RAM
- 256GB Solid State Drive
- 13.3-Inch Screen, Intel UMA
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
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|Sold By||—||Holiday EXPRESS||Panda Geeks||Amazon.com||Brown Box||Component Pro|
|RAM Size||4 GB||12 GB||16 GB||8 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Processor (CPU) Manufacturer||Intel Core I7||Intel||Intel||Intel||Intel||Intel|
|Processor Speed||1.8 GHz||2.5 GHz||2.7 GHz||2.5 GHz||2.2 GHz||2.5 GHz|
|Display Resolution Maximum||1600x900||3200*1800 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels||1920 x 1080 pixels||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Screen Size||13 in||13.3 in||12.5 in||13.3 in||13.3 in||12.5 in|
|Hard-Drive Size||256 GB||512 GB||512 GB||256 GB||128 GB||256 GB|
|Item Dimensions||8.9 x 12.9 x 0.78 in||12.7 x 8.8 x 0.8 in||11.7 x 7.5 x 0.5 in||12.7 x 8.7 x 0.5 in||7.8 x 11.9 x 0.5 in||11.7 x 7.5 x 0.5 in|
|Item Weight||2.86 lbs||3.2 lbs||2.1 lbs||2.6 lbs||2.6 lbs||2.1 lbs|
|Operating System||Windows 7;||Windows 10||Windows 10||Windows 10||Windows 8;||Windows 10|
|RAM Type||SODIMM||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM||Unknown|
|Wireless Compatibility||802.11bgn||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C||802.11A, Bluetooth||802.11 A/C|
13.3" (1600x900) LED / i-7 2677M Dual Core (1.8GHz) / 4GB DDR3 RAM / 256GB SSD / Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit) / 802.11BGN / 0.3M Pixel / Bluetooth 4.0 / 1 USB 3.0 Port / 1 USB 2.0 Port / Micro HDMI Port / .78" Thin and Only 2.86lbs / 1YR Global Warranty / 1YR Accidental Damage Protection / 30-Day Zero Bright Dot / 24-7 Tech Support
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Also, as part of this update I'd like to say that I still have the Zen Book and I still like it. I've found that the keyboard is a bit touchy but works MUCH better if you put the thing on a hard, flat surface like a desk. Typing in your lap you may miss more keys than typing on a table or desk. In the time since this review first showed up, I've managed to put a couple of scratches in the spun aluminum lid of the machine as well. Obviously scratches make no real impact but they certainly do stand out. Everything else... pretty much still awesome!
Oh yeah, you can see the screen outside on a sunny day!
And now, back to my regularly scheduled (and unedited) review:
By now there are quite a few people reviewing these machines and there are some common themes. But before I get into it, for those that haven't really paid attention there are a number of models and you may wonder "Does THIS review for this model really apply to the one I'm looking at?"
The short answer is pretty much yes. There are really only a few variations and the biggest is how big the screen is. There's an 11 inch and a 13 inch. The other two variables are which processor you have and which hard drive you have. That's it. So for the most part a review for one model of Zenbook applies fairly well to all other models.
So, the common themes you may have seen in order:
1. The track pad sucks. No it doesn't. Per the recommendations I upgraded the driver and it works just fine. By default the cursor speed is slow but that is a simple setting in Windows. Once that was changed I've had no problems other than getting used to it. My old Toshiba had separate buttons so I got used to driving with one hand and clicking with the other. Because the buttons and pad are all one piece, when I try that it confuses the pad. Don't do that and it's fine. Two finger tap works great for a right click. So it does not suck. It's just different. People who are complaining about it either want it to be exactly like what they had or haven't even bothered to use it.
2. The keyboard is hard to type on/uncomfortable. It has taken me some getting used to. I'm a touch typist and can usually hit about 70 words a minute pretty regularly. The keys on this keyboard do take more force than on the Toshiba I'm replacing. But I'm not a featherweight typist so I haven't had much trouble. I do miss keys once in a while but it's not a problem for me. Mostly I miss the keys on the bottom row near the home keys. So cvb and nm, Also the keys are not back lit. Would be nice if they were but the screen is bright enough to see them without.
3. It comes with lots of junk pre-installed. Yes. It does. But so does every other factory computer I've ever purchased. Most I just uninstalled. Honestly there were more programs than I care for and it's a bit of a hassle to remove them but it's not a deal breaker for me. Just make sure you know what you're uninstalling as some are kind of necessary. For the record: HP's come with more junk thank this did.
4. Its wireless doesn't work. I have had ZERO problems. Missed the m) I took it out of the box and it connected to Boise State's wireless network immediately. Granted my office is less than 20 feet from the WAP. I updated the drivers and brought it home to my craptastic Lynksys G band router. It saw that and picked it up right away. It's got about the same signal strength as my Samsung Focus and my old Toshiba laptop. It's picked up every wireless signal I've tried to attach to without a single problem.
5. The edges are kind of sharp. Yes they are. It's not completely uncomfortable but it would be nice if they were rounded over. At least along the front edge where your wrists tend to be. They're not going to cut you but they can dig in a little (missed the l) bit.
Over all it's a great machine. It comes with a nice nylon bag/case to carry it in so before you buy the machine and a case check out what (missed the a) comes along with it.
The screen is nice. BRIGHT. Very bright I found myself turning that down a little as it's brighter than I like. But that's a nice change. Usually you turn screens up full to 10 and wish there was an 11. The fact that I'm down around 2 or 3 in a dark room and 5 or 6 in a lighter (missed the t) bodes well for use outside.
The audio is far nicer than a machine this size deserves. It's a little on the quiet side from what I came (missed the m) from but the sound is great. The Toshiba had larger speakers by Harmon/Kardon. By comparison this is a little quieter and has a slightly hollow sound but is not at all "tinny". The volume isn't as loud as the last laptop but the actual quality is great.
My actual biggest gripe is that on the 256 gig hard drive Asus actually partitioned the into a C: and a D: drive. It's an old school way of thinking which says software gets installed to C: and data gets saved to D:. In practice it doesn't work as well since Windows just likes to save stuff to your user library which by default is located in C:\Users. You can extend that library if you want but I chose to delete the D: partition and extend C: to the whole drive. I find that a better way of working. That's a personal preference and it took all of a minute to fix it.
So, is it a good machine? Absolutely. I got mine from BB because they were in stock. Does it have some faults? Yeah but what machine doesn't? The perfect machine for me may not be the perfect machine for you. Is it better than a MacBook Air? Depends on your preference. That's like asking if Ford is better than Chevy. From a purely objective point of view I'd have to argue that they're pretty much (missed the m) on par with each other. The ZenBook is a little cheaper, has a higher resolution screen and comes with a few extras the Mac doesn't. The Mac is... well it's a Mac and I have no idea why you'd spend extra because of that. I'm not a Mac guy. I can tell you that the two compared side by side have very similar stats so that's simply a matter of preference.
Over all, it's a good, well built machine with a lot of features, a good price point and a few flaws that I consider pretty small. For the record, I do IT work for Boise State so I see a LOT of laptops on my desk ranging from ultra cheap netbooks to the super high end MacBook Pro.
My personal choice said this was the best machine (missed the m) for me. It may not be for you but it's a great machine and I have no problems with 4.5 out of 5 stars. Fix the edges, reduce the needless software and maybe tweak the keyboard a bit and I'd give it a 5.
Other reviewers have been accurate regarding the poor performance of the atheros 9485 wireless card. I have had a similar experience with my unit running it in it's unboxed condition.
I flashed the BIOS from 204 to 206 (using winflash), updated drivers for the sentellic track-pad, the atheros 9485 WiFi, bluetooth, and etc, removed alot of Asus bloatware, specifically "Power4Gear" & "LiveUpdate".
Now this thing is starting to impress me. Network card is running as fast as the netgear card on my PC. Track-pad is working as it's designed (although I'll admit it takes some practice to get accustomed to it).
It's hard to believe that people overreacted and sent them back before even updating the software. Do realize that you are what's considered an "early adopter" if you purchase the first machines off of the production line. If you don't realize this then you are unworthy of this machine, go get an apple.
My wife's netbook was stolen so I bought this one as a xmas gift, I think she'll be realle happy with it.
I'm a really techie guy, I'm constantly reading about technology and I also work on the field, so I know a thing or two about computers. At first, like many others, I had concerns about spending 1300+ on a computer which got many bad reviews, especially about the trackpad, but I can say that none of those are true, at least for me.
Of course it's inevitable to compare this to the Macbook Air, which I've worked on too, but I actually find this one to be a superior offer, so forgive me if I keep comparing the two.
Ok, first things first, the one I got is UX31E-DH72, it has the core i7 and 256GB SSD. From what I've read the difference in performance with the DH53, which has the core i5, is not really noticeable for the price difference, but I haven't used the DH53, so I really cannot make that assesment.
I wish the description of the product would be more detailed, especially about the items included in the box, because at first I didn't know about the adapters and I was actually going to buy a LAN adapter and the miniVGA-VGA adapter. Luckily, on the unboxing videos you can find on youtube, you will see that they are both provided in the box, which seems like a big plus to me. So, in the box you get the carrying bag, which is nice, a cleaning cloth (useful), the USB to LAN adapter, the miniVGA to VGA adapter (as well as a little carrying bag for both of them), the power adapter and the usual papers.
The box is really pretty, and I guess we would all agree that they kind of went Apple on those. Like I said, nice packaging.
The laptop itself is beautiful, made of aluminum, like you have surely read elsewhere, and it is delightfully light. I can really see someone taking this baby around all day with no complaints.
The laptop comes preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium x64, I went through the usual first startup just to test everything and see for myself if the trackpad had any issues out of the box. I'm glad to report that it worked flawlessly, not jumpy or anything, it actually felt great. My zenbook came with bios version 2.06, I was prepared to update because I read that all the trackpad issues were resolved with the update, but like I said, I had no issues with version 2.06. I still upgraded to bios 2.09, which is the latest available from Asus. I guess I should mention that my Zenbook has the Elantech trackpad, don't know if the Sentelic would be any different.
I had previously donwloaded all drivers and apps from Asus site because I was going to perform a clean install anyway, so I did. I had to do a clean install because I needed the OS in spanish, and I prefer to install the apps I need the way I like them. In my experience Asus laptops usually come with some bloatware, but that doesn't seem to be the case with the Zenbook.
So, all the windows updates, drivers, apps and everything installed smoothly. The laptop is very quick and responsive, and I think the Solid State Drive really makes a difference. The computer starts fast from cold boot in a breeze, and it is AMAZING with the Instant On app. Instant On makes it wake up in under two seconds, and I love it, it saves battery too, so you don't have to carry around the AC adapter everywhere. What you have to do is get in the habit of closing the laptop when you are not using it, and open it when you need it again. With Instant On you are back in your desktop in 2 secs, so there is no need to have the computer running all the time.
The keyboard seems great to me too. I agree that sometimes you miss a key stroke, and you have to press a little more, but it's not something that bothers me, like I said, it's a rare happening.
The screen resolution is great: 1600x900, so it is exactly widescreen (16:9), and I've enjoyed seeing movies, pictures and working on it. Since the screen is 13.3" some might find that using 1600x900 makes the letter too small, but that's not the case for me, I like it a lot.
Sound is fabulous, for a laptop that is, it usually isn't as rich or loud on laptops, it sounds great in this.
The trackpad is awesome. I really cannot stress enough the fact that it is not at all like some descriptions out there. The multi gestures are great, you can pinch to zoom in or out, you can tap to clik or right click, you can go back and forth in a browser or book, you can scroll up and down and sideways, you can tap and drag or click and drag, you can go directly to the desktop or bring up the open windows to change apps; all with finger gestures, and being so responsive as it is I haven't had any issues with it.
And now for the Macbook Air comparisons, I find it that this involves a lot of personal taste. If you are an apple guy then you'd prefer the Mac, and if you are a Windows guy I'm sure you'll prefer the Zenbook. For the sake of comparison I'm gonna compare the DH72 with the equivalent Macbook air, that is with a Mac with a core i7, 256 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM.
They are both really light and thin, and both made of aluminum, so like I said it is a matter of personal preference. The Asus, like I said, is beautiful, but then again also is the Macbook air, I personally think that the Air looks a little better.
The screen is definitely better in the Zenbook, 1600x900 as opposed to 1440x900 in the Air. I find that viewing angles are similar on both.
Sound is better on the Zenbook.
I think the keyboard is about the same, but if you are really picky about it then I guess you would find the Air better.
I prefer the trackpad in the Zenbook, not only it feels good, I'm a Windows guy and I need my right click, it really bothers me that you have to hold CTRL and click on a Mac. Tapping with both fingers in the Zenbook is great for righ clicking.
I think the ports are better on the Zenbook, 1xUSB3, 1xUSB2, miniVGA (adapter included), miniHDMI (buy cable separately), and Mic/Headphones.
The webcam is better in the Mac, this is really a weak point in Asus, they use the 0.3 MP camera in most of their laptops. And also the backlit keyboard is nice on the Mac, Zenbook's keyboard is not backlit.
And regarding performance, I really find it dumb to compare the two because one uses Windows and the other OS X, we all know that apple lovers say the OS is much better, it doesn't have any viruses and blah, blah. I actually think OS X is a great OS but I prefer Windows, again a matter of personal taste.
And finally, most of all, I just wouldn't spend the extra bucks for a Mac, being that I can get something better or equal for a lot less. If you want a Macbook Air similar as the DH72, you would have to buy the adapters for VGA, and LAN and you would pay about USD 1800, those USD 400 make a big difference to me, like I said, I wouldn't pay the extra money for the "Apple" experience.
Ok, just my two cents, hope you find it helpful.
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