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Customer Review

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traveling Software Developer, November 15, 2011
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This review is from: ASUS UX31 13-Inch Laptop [2011 model] (Personal Computers)
I've been using the Asus UX31 for almost 2 weeks now and I have to say that I love it.

My reasons for purchasing this specific model were for 2 reasons.
First, screen resolution. I have perfect eyesight and for me "screen real estate" is based on how many pixels there are, not how big the screen is physically. 1600x900 at 13" is the best you can do unless you want to shell out $3000 for a top of the line Sony VIAO.
My second reason for purchasing this laptop was build quality. I am preparing for a 2 year service in the Peace Corps. I wanted something small, powerful, and most importantly, physically strong. This baby has a solid aluminum frame with no "give". And with no moving parts (thanks to the SSD) I won't mind if it takes a few knocks whether it's powered on or off.

Keyboard: It's fine for work on the go, but this external: ([...]) fits nicely into my bag for setting up a mobile workspace.

Trackpad: Pain in the ass with settings as shipped. If you've read many other reviews you'll understand. I found that the best solution is to disable the ASUS SmartSense settings entirely and use this program instead: TouchFreeze - [...] Using TouchFreeze has been a wonderful solution for me but I'd still like to see ASUS fix the issue with a driver update so that I don't have to use a separate application.

Storage: If you think that 128GB is not enough, than you need to learn to use an external hard drive effectively. Your media (music, videos, full res photos) don't need to be stored locally. Even large programs and games can be installed to an external drive. A small portable USB powered 1TB external does the trick for me.

Graphics: The other day I plugged my UX31 up to a giant 1920x1080 display and ran an extended desktop with no problems. I don't play very many modern games, but I have been able to run Civilization IV with full specs even using the battery saver power configuration.

All the other reviews should cover everything else you need to know, so read them! I'm a software developer and a hardware snob as well. This machine is meeting all my current demands except one: the 4GB RAM cannot be upgraded. To be in the ultrabook category, you must compromise there.

One last thing you should know: I was initially overly zealous about uninstalling the bloatware that ASUS included. There are a few programs that need to be kept running to keep things stable. Those are Power4Gear Hybrid, PowerWiz, InstantOn, PWR Option, ATK Package, WinFlash, Wireless Console 3, and ASUS Splendid Vid ET. Those are the ones I decided to keep, uninstall them at your own risk.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 17, 2011, 8:53:56 PM PST
JohnSays says:
I'm also a software developer and I want to use this computer with Logmein to actually do the development work on my main (and very fast) office computer. Are you having any problem with typing code? I'm a touch typist for the most part while coding. Do you miss not having the PgUp/Dn and Home and End keys? I use them extensively.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011, 3:25:40 AM PST
xzibit says:
Hi JohnSay,
I'm a developer and I code just as fast (if not faster) using the zenbook with any IDEs I use (IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, Visual Studio 2010, vim).
On my german keyboard layout, the arrow keys actually have a PGUp/Dn as well as a Home/End counterpart (using FN + the arrow key).
This is even faster than with a standard keyboard because the keys are really close, and finding them is intuitive (FN+up is Home, FN+down is End, FN+left is pgUp and FN+right is PgDwn).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011, 8:04:58 AM PST
JohnSays says:
Thanks sharing your experience Maximilien. I also have not found the keyboard to be a problem, but I'm not fully fluid on it yet.
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