Asus Zenbook UX31 Unboxing and Hardware Review
Well we managed to snag a Asus UX31 Zenbook yesterday so we quickly (but carefully) whipped up an unboxing video, with a hardware review thrown in for good measure. Apart from what’s already been said, we came away extremely impressed with the 9mm thin (3mm at it’s thinnest point) ultrabook from Asus. The High Quality Aluminium build felt great and sturdy in our hands, although we felt the hinge was a little weak and might deteriorate by constant opening and closing of the lid over time. The Key’s also felt nice to use, even though they didn’t have the same strength as a dekstop (external) keyboard, but they felt solid and durable.
The lack of a backlit keyboard might annoy some people, but Asus have clearly said that it drains battery, and they would rather have a laptop with better battery life than a luxury. Besides, they’ve made the keyboard slightly more shiny, so it reflects the light from the laptop, fixing the inability to see the key’s in the dark. The touchpad itself is decent at best, and annoying at worst. It generally responds to your touch, but it doesn’t register taps sometimes (which is why they’ve also included a clickable right and left mouse like button). Also, the touchpad also includes a pinch and zoom feature which is no where near as responsive as that found on a touch screen device, and is frankly more of a gimmick that something we’d ever use in day to day activities. Will it substitute for a mouse? Probably not, but unless you’re going to play a game on it, you won’t really need it that much.
There’s also the small matter of the webcam which has poor megapixel’s, at 0.3 megapixels as opposed to the standard 2 megapixels found in bigger laptops these days. On the 11-inch model (UX21), you’ll notice how poor it is, and while you’ll see that in the 13-inch model as well, it won’t be as obvious for some reason. Still, it’s a nice feature thrown in such a small frame, but the inbuilt webcam is certainly not one of the ‘premium’ features here, though you could easily get away with using it for Video Calls. We tried taking pictures of ourselves (we like to be posers as well from time to time), but they didn’t turn our so great unfortunately due to bad lighting and the 0.3 megapixel webcam.
One of the best feature’s is the ‘Instant On’ feature which allows the laptop to wakeup from Sleep mode in only 2 seconds flat, as proved in the video. It’s an amazingly handy feature to have for those who never shut down their computer (10 seconds to load up from complete shutdown) and want to get back into what they were doing quick. Furthermore, the computer saves your data automatically when it detects the battery at 5% or lower – Talk about useful! All model’s also come with an SSD drive (up to 256GB of Sata III), and range from $1300 to $1999 depending on specs (Second Generation i3, i5, and i7 models as well, along with 11-inch and 13-inch models) and which store you go to as well. Best of all, it comes with a single USB 3.0 port (and a 2.0 one as well) which is handy in this day and age.
The main question is – Is it better than a Macbook Air? Well on Paper yes. We’ll have an article up on that soon though! For now, if you’re interested in purchasing one you can get them from – Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi, and MSY.
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