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  • Stanly.ok - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    MacBook Air 13.3-inch display is 1440 by 900, not 1366 by 768 Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Fixed :) Reply
  • SquattingDog - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Also, you may want to bold the fact that the Zenbooks have USB 3.0 + USB 2.0 vs 2x USB 2.0, and 1600x900 vs 1440x900 on the Macbook 13" line-up.

    I am, however, skeptical that the Asus Zenbooks will actually have the same kind of battery life, given that Windows 7 is not quite as power-friendly as MacOSX (although it is still very good vs the operating systems of yesteryear).
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Those aren't quite as cut and dry as the Storage, RAM and CPU differences.

    Some people might like 16:10 screens regardless if 1600x900 is simply superior to 1440x900.

    Some might like Thunderbolt more than USB 3.0, or Mini DisplayPort over Micro HDMI.

    Most would agree with you, but I think Anand is trying to limit himself to absolutely universal superiorities.
  • Solandri - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    If the displays had a similar number off pixels like 1280x800 vs 1366x768 I'd agree with you. But with a 1600x900 display, you can cover the left and right sides with black tape to get a 16:10 1440x900 display.

    Also, is it correct that the UX31E has a USB 1 port? I first assumed it was a typo, but it shows up on every chart.

    And is the memory integrated or upgradeable?
  • dacramer - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link


    In my experience, Windows 7 is as power friendly for most things as OSX. If you look at Anand's latest MBP review and compare battery life to similarly spec'd Windows 7 machines you will see battery life is proportional to battery capacity doing similar things such as web browsing. The difference is that battery capacity is usually 15-20% higher on MBPs.

    With Ultrabooks/MBA they have the same capacity. I bet they get the same battery life too.
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Also, the upgraded 11 inch MBA in the bottom table is the wrong price. It should be $1349, not $1199. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    And the upgraded 13" MBA table is wrong too. The 13" MBA is $1699, not $1599. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Thanks - fixed :)

    Take care,
  • hardwareguy - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Are there any manufacturers working on ultrabooks with bigger screens (or higher rez), or does that not fit into the super small ultrabook recipe? Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Any bets on whether Apple is working on a 15" MacBook Air? Reply
  • Solandri - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Within the next 2-3 refreshes I would think. My prediction is that this is the medium-term evolution of the notebook. Apple called it right. But it's not the long-term evolution.

    Long term, I think we're going to see the CPU and storage move to our phones, much like the Atrix. Notebooks will just be a dummy keyboard and display which interfaces with your phone (wired or wirelessly). Tablets will be the same, just without the keyboard. (Flexible OLED screens are going to become important for this reason - you can roll up a large display to carry it in a pen-sized container in your shirt pocket.)

    Full-size laptops will still exist for people who need the extra oomph. But within 10 years your phone's CPU and memory should be sufficient for 99% of people's portable computing needs, if not all their computing needs.
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    "Long term, I think we're going to see the CPU and storage move to our phones, much like the Atrix. "

    CPU and storage keep getting cheaper. I see no value whatsoever in using fewer of them, coupled by slow and power hungry links. Far more intelligent is to have dozens of them, with software gluing them together so they all work seamlessly.
    This is, of course, what iCloud is about...

    Doubtless there are markets (maybe some businesses, maybe the 3rd world) where some combo of phone plus cheap keyboard is considered an acceptable laptop; just like there were people willing to buy netbooks that sucked as laptops --- but cost $300.
    However Apple is in the "laptops that kick ass" market, not in the "laptops that barely function, but cost buggerall" market.
  • tipoo - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    I don't think mobile Ivy Bridge will be out in time for their next refresh, so they might give us something else to buy then, ie ODD-less thin 15-17' laptops. Reply
  • chrone - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    the only question remains to be answered, how good the lcd panel quality is. i hope it's an ips panel. :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I will be shocked if they go IPS, but that would be awesome. Mostly, I just hope they're not using crappy low-contrast displays, but the 1600x900 resolution suggests that they will be good quality. The 11" panel on the other hand could be good, or it could be garbage. :-\ Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    when did good 1600x900 panels start showing up? I was under the impression that they were universally junk. Reply
  • Solandri - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    The panel on the previous gen Sony VPC-Z is a pretty good 13.1" 1600x900. It's a TN, but has good viewing angles, and very good contrast (its blacks are nearly as good as having the screen turned off). Reply
  • chrone - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    that;s too bad, since mac is already advanced with good quality lcd panel :) Reply
  • PubFiction - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    I think everyone hopes this but that is highly unlikely since in laptops their are only a hand full of IPS displays in fairly expensive workstation laptops from HP, and Dell Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Arstechnica managed to get a bit of hands on with at least one of the ultrabook models and wasn't impressed with the screen quality. "he viewing angles on the screen were not great and had some distortion off to either side, and the screen as a whole was sharp, but its colors a bit dull." It's not certain which models screen they were commenting on; but the only explicitly IDed photos were for the 11" model; so it was probably that one.
  • Jamezrp - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I'm looking forward to seeing just how good Windows ultraportables in the same design as the MBA can be. Acer's just announced theirs, and now Asus too. That makes four serious contenders (including Sony and Samsung).

    Also Anand, you list in the second comparison chart that it's the base MBA. That's actually the upgraded MBA.
  • heymrdj - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    For the Zenbooks you said 1 x USB 1, I think you mean 1x USB 2? Reply
  • heraldo25 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Mini-VGA, seriously? Why not add Mini DisplayPort, instead of making an "Ultrabook" with stonage connector. Reply
  • SquattingDog - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    My thoughts exactly. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    As depressing as it may be, there are still a lot of businesses out there withe VGA only projectors. So instead of getting an adapter, they put VGA.

    I don't like it either. I'm sick and tired of VGA and DVI.
  • finalaspects - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    What's the difference between the UX31E-DH52 and UX31E-DH53? Other than the large increase in price, the specs are identical.... Reply
  • ckryan - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The processor and the SSD are both different.

    DH53 = i5-2557M 1.7GHz/2C/3MB, 256GB 6Gbps SSD, $1349
    DH52 = i5-2467M 1.6GHz/2C/3MB, 128GB 6Gbps SSD, $999

    It's certainly not excessively priced for a bump in CPU and 128GB more SSD to play with.
  • finalaspects - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The 13inch DH53 and DH52 seem to have the same processor. Although now it's been changed, in the article, that the SSD have different storage base. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The CPU goes from the i5-2557M to the i7-2677M; Intel always charges a pretty major price premium for i7 parts. Reply
  • ricardodawkins - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Are you trying to slant these comparison tables ?

    All 13in Asus ultrabooks are 0.10 lbs lighter than the Mac but look at the comparo for the 11in devices.

    Are you telling us that 0.05 lbs in weight difference is better than 0.10 in favor of the Asus ?
    And the 13in Asus devices are cheaper, too.
  • Kougar - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    So many charts! Under the first chart, I assume "1 x USB 1," was meant to be a 2!

    Ultrabooks like the UX31E-DH52 are very tempting, will make it hard to wait for Ivy Bridge.
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    So now Acer and ASUS have both shown their hands, and they are generally maintaining a $200 differential between comparably-equipped Ultrabooks and MacBook Airs. The 6Gbps SATA in the ASUS is a nice touch, too, and likely is another $50-100 of advantage, though it would not surprise me at all to see a quiet update to a 6Gbps SSD sometime before the 2012 revision to the MacBook Air.

    These should sell well. Acer and ASUS have done a nice job.
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    That's too bad. That would be a really nice combination for $1449.

    BTW, Anand, your price on the 11" MBA with i7 is incorrect. It should be $1349.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    That looks like a winner in my book. :D Reply
  • shabby - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    When is apple going to sue intel for copying their air notebook design? These sure fit the criteria, thin, rectangular and so and so. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Given the MBA's are based on an older Sony design, Apple don't have much of a leg to stand on.

  • lemonadesoda - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Where is that SD card slot? If you can't get it on the side due to thickness, then put it in the back. Somewhere. Anywhere. Even make the whole shell 2mm deeper. I dont want a dongle. Reply
  • QChronoD - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Do you guys know if you're going to be getting one in for testing soon?
    I'm mostly concerned with the performance of the screen.

    Any system with a i5 1.6+GHz should be plenty fast for anything I expect to be throwing at it. The only thing I'd be using it for that would stress it would be trying to play Minecraft with x128 textures and the water and/or GLSL shaders (that only gets ~30fps on a i7-920 w/ a GTX260).
  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Is there a second RAM slot? I want it to last... and I want dual channel Reply
  • cjb110 - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    My thoughts exactly, 4gb...very short sighted! Hopefully there will be more customisable ultrabooks from people like Dell.

    But although I like the concept, I'd want a blu-ray drive (and HDMI out) so that the lightweight portable device can serve two jobs: Mobile Work Horse and Entertainment.
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    And I want a car that fly and gets 200 miles to the gallon.

    Do you people not understand the concept of engineering tradeoffs?
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Do you know if anyone's making an ultrabook in this size?

    It's an akward size lump, but I can (barely) stuff my netbook into my jeans pocket if I want to carry it somewhere and have both hands free without needing to weara backpack. It's a tight enough fit that I'm dubious about doing the same with anything almost an inch larger; and I can't exactly walk into a Best buy and see if it would fit unless I want to chance winning a free ride to the local police station.
  • Eletriarnation - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    One of the things I like about the MBA and would want in any Ultrabook competitor is the backlit keyboard. Do these have backlit keyboards? Reply
  • laok - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    I hope it has 8GB RAM.

    Wait to see the inside of it.
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Hopefully they are not lying to me about being in stock! Reply
  • IvanAndreevich - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Finally, a high res screen with small dimensions. Now to make it IPS.. Reply
  • Kiers77 - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    what about wifi performance?
    I am told (several sources, including failure of Samsung to replicate this light ultrabook segment) that putting wifi 2x2 or 3x3 antennae behind a slim screen like this is well nigh impossible. result = poor wifi signal strengths.

    Any feedbacks?
  • KrisB - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    Does the Zenbook have the capability for the cover to be closed and not power off when connected to an external monitor? Reply
  • ScandinavianViking - Monday, June 04, 2012 - link

    ASUS Ultrabook UX31E-RY027V discount offer:

    just saw this online :

    ASUS Ultrabook UX31E-RY027V

    Statt CHF 999.00 nur CHF 799.00 minus 10.00 %
    * Preis nur mit Bon gültig. 04.06.2012 bis 24.06.2012

    13.3" TFT, Glare, LED Backlight
    WSXGA (1600 x 900)
    Intel i3-2367M, 1.4 GHz
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    128GB SSD SATA3 2.5"
    Intel GMA HD
    WiFi 802.11bgn / Bluetooth 4.0
    USB 3.0 / mini VGA / micro HDMI
    Windows 7 Premium 64-Bit

    my "old laptop is struggling (2008 model) and I have been seduced by the sleek design and portability promised by the zen-book. however ? need some much wanted advise regarding the above purchase, as i am not a computer buff.. will i regret buying this laptop, as the model above is equipped with a Intel i3-2367M, 1.4 GHz processor..

    really use my laptop mostly for internet browsing, office apps for project work and studies and so on, occasionally watching a film on the move, and yes music player. (guess most new computers will be able to handle this) have a tendency to have 10-20 Firefox sessions running in addition to 2 or three office apps running)

    I must admit I am lured by the price-tag of only 719CHF but cannot decide if i am buying a cat in a bag, and would be better off spending 3-500CHFmore for a higher grade processor..

    any insights, thoughts or comments would be much appreciated
    Reply With Quote
  • paltry - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    1. What is the support of the GeForce GT 650M GPU for ubuntu.. i have researched and found that if this notebook's bios doesnt support any option to use nvdia GPU by default.. there is no way that nvdia gpu can be used from ubuntu or for that matter any of the linux distros.. due to the optimus functionality by nvdia which is nothing but auto switchover of the intel/nvdia gpus to optimize performance.Any clarification on this?
    2. The ram is 4gb soldered on to the board.. fine but there is one slot on the board that supports removable ram.. so how much ram this notebook suppots? 4+8(pluggable) =12GB ??
    3. The battery is also soldered on the board.. as i have experienced in the past the batteries dont last max 1.5-2 years.. so what options do i have for a replacement of the battery dies out.. paid support from asus is also fine... but it should be possible as i dont plan to throw this notebook away say 2 years from now.. atleast 4 years i am planning to use this one.
    4. What about the warranaty?? is it 2 years international one?? as its not available in india.. i might be buying from the US for use in india.. so will i get warranty support here in india??

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