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Asus Zenbook UX31 review

Is this the first real PC alternative to the MacBook Air?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Power in spades Instant resume Long battery life Fast SSD Excellent sound

Against

  • Poor viewing angle Nasty trackpad buttons Derivative design No backlit keyboard

The Asus Zenbook UX31 is one of the first laptops to conform to Intel's Ultrabook specification.

And, right away, we'll tell you - it stands toe-to-toe with Apple's MacBook Air in the fight for the title of best luxury ultraportable.

You can check out our video look at the Zenbook in our special video report:

More competition is to come, however, in the form of the Lenovo IdeaPad U300 S, Acer Aspire S3 and, potentially, others from the likes of HP and Dell.

Back to the present though and Asus has done a terrific job with the Zenbook's design - even if you have to acknowledge that the designer took more than a sneaky glance at Apple's ultraportable first.

The 13-inch Zenbook is fantastic to look at. When closed, the wedge-shaped laptop measures 17mm at its thickest point and a mere 3mm at its thinnest.

Asus zenbook ux31

The aluminium silver lid boasts a distinctive concentric circle design that catches and reflects the surrounding light. Befitting the name, the Zenbook's simple, sleek finish gives it a premium look that keeps getting better as soon as you lift the lid.

The design ethic is in evidence earlier than that, though - it's a lovely experience as you open the box while Asus has also included a mini Display Port to D-Sub adapter and a USB to Ethernet lead as well. Both are housed in their own little pouch. Better still, you even get a bespoke sleeve for your Zenbook in the box.

The same thinking even stretches to the Intel Core and Windows 7 stickers. We wonder who it was that proposed they were silver and black - Intel? Asus? - but whoever did has made a difference.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time7 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyZENBOOK UX31
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-2557M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAsus
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.30 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelQS67 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height17 mm
Width325 mm
Depth223 mm
Screen ModeWSXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesUX31
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelUX31E-DH53
Product NameZENBOOK UX31E-DH53 Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineZENBOOK
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberUX31E-DH53
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing InformationIncredible Beauty

The ZENBOOK uses a precision-crafted design measuring only 3mm at the front and 9mm at the rear. The form features razor thin edges and a curved center section, which is both practical and attractive - while accommodating the powerful computing components within, this design also looks totally unique. It embodies beauty and strength in complete balance and harmony.

Incredible Speed

ASUS is proud to deliver the world's first ultrabook with SATA 6Gb/s solid state storage, making for an amazingly smooth and fast computing experience. Additionally, all ASUS ZENBOOK models ship with USB 3.0 as standard, multiplying the transfer rates of current USB 2.0 by as much as a factor of ten! Combined, SSD storage and USB 3.0 create incredible speed of data transfer rates.

Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • ZENBOOK UX31E-DH53 Ultrabook
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year