The Test

To keep the charts clean and simple I omitted a lot of the config details of each of the notebooks. For your reference, here's the configuration of each of the notebooks in our tests:

 

Alienware M11x (SU7300 + GT335M + HDD + 63Wh)
Alienware M11x R2 ( i7-640UM + GT335M + HDD + 63Wh)
Alienware M11x R3 (i7-2617M + GT540M + HDD + 63Wh)
AMD Llano (A8-3500M + HD6620G + SSD + 58Wh)
AMD Trinity (A10-4600M + HD7660G + SSD + 56Wh) 
ASUS N56VM (i7-3720QM + HDD + 56Wh)
ASUS U30Jc (i3-350M + G310M + SSD + 84Wh)
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A (ULV IVB + HD4000 + SSD + 35Wh)
ASUS Zenbook UX21E-DH71 (i5-2677M + HD3000 + SSD)
ASUS Zenbook UX31E (i7-2677M + HD3000 + SSD + 48Wh)
Dell XPS 13 (i7-2637M + HD3000 + SSD + 47Wh)
Dell XPS 14z (i5-2430M + HD3000 + HDD + 58Wh)
HP Folio 13 (i5-2467M + HD 3000 + SSD + 60Wh)
Dell Inspiron 11z (SU4100 + GMA4500 + HDD + 56Wh)
Dell Adamo 13 (SU9400 + GMA4500 + SSD + 40Wh)

 

 

Performance

As I mentioned earlier in this review/preview, the deal ASUS worked out with Intel prevents us for discussing clock speeds or specifications of the ULV Ivy Bridge silicon in the Zenbook Prime. Obviously the silicon is going to fit within the same 17W TDP as its predecessor so don't expect huge differences in clock speeds.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

If you take into account Quick Sync and its SSD, the Zenbook Prime is an extremely quick solution. Looking at the breakdown of PCMark scores you get a much more realistic look at where the ULV IVB fits into things.

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

In some areas the Sandisk U100 holds the Zenbook prime back, here it's actually slower than its predecessor. Despite all of its issues throughout most of last year, SandForce was always fast.

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

I threw in a PCMark Vantage graph as we have a lot of older data in that benchmark that can help put things in perspective:

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

It's amazing the sort of performance gains we're able to show over the older Core 2 based ultra portables like the Dell Inspiron 11z and Adamo 13. Again we see a slight performance deficit versus the SandForce based UX21E.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

The Display in Numbers & in Practice GPU Performance & Diablo III on an Ultrabook
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  • Paedric - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I don't know for virtual machines, but games are already barely playable even with reduced resolution.
    This is not a gaming system or workstation you know, this is web surf/ Facebook/other lightweight applications system; adding more RAM is basically useless and will only reduce battery life.

    Judging by your comment, this is not the form factor you need, we're not there yet for gaming performance in a 11" ultrabook.
    Reply
  • nortexoid - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Actually more RAM will in most cases improve battery life and performance since it can greatly reduce disk swapping. Fortunately the Zenbook has an SSD so performance won't suffer much from swapping, but if you have just a few apps open ( browser, Word, music player, etc.) that 4GB will go FAST.

    Manufacturers really need to start moving to 6GB default or else 2/4GB onboard plus a vacant DIMM slot.
    Reply
  • puppies - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Rubbish rubbish rubbish. I have 4gb on my XPS 17, i've had 1GB dedicated to a minecraft server, had music playing, multiple office documents open, and multiple browser pages up and never even got close to maxing my RAM.

    I can only presume you don't understand how windows grabs way more RAM than it needs (2GBish) and releases it if another program requires it otherwise you are talking about having 20 doccuments and 20 web pages open while attempting to play a resource intensive game at the same time which would turn that low power enveloped CPU into a stuttering mess way before it touched the last 25% of the RAM.
    Reply
  • Spathi - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    He speaks the truth nortexoid,

    I have 16g in my desktop and it uses 12G and I imagine windows would use 6g of 8g and 3g of 4g. Mostly useless caching.

    Memory actually uses lots of power (relative to the notebooks current use), so you don't really want to add more.

    IMHO, this nb is designed as a gift/recommendation to your gf/wife/mother/aunty/dad. It is the sort of thing you can get them and steal on the holidays when bored, but won't be tempted to steal every day.

    It would probably play enough fun games OK, just not the latest at high res. So also good for work/uni without getting carried away gaming. Most of the "latest" candy games are boring anyway after an hour, lol.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    That's not always true. I'm rolling with 8GB of RAM in my Win7 laptop and I've never seen the system use more than half of it. I'm usually around 2GB with Chrome (5-15 tabs), Word and PowerPoint open.

    Admittedly, my use case is light. However, that is "just a few apps open," yet 4GB has not gone "FAST".
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Do you really think you're going to need more than 4GB of RAM with the type of GPU's ultrabooks are having? Reply
  • nortexoid - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Yes, if you don't want to quit all your open apps just to play a game. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Gaming isn't a major feature of this laptop. Its more of a happenstance.
    The power hit from the extra ram affects use when not gaming. The extra ram is only really useful for a few specific situations (situations which the laptop is not particularly designed for anyway).
    Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    You realize that Windows has something called the Page File, right? And that this computer (and most ultrabooks) have a solid state drive? Reply
  • bhima - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    For Graphic Designers on the go, this could be a pretty great machine with that nice monitor but 4GB of ram IS limiting when you are working with 3 adobe programs open and large, 300dpi files. Reply

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