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  • 1ceTr0n - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I just would really prefer having a dedicated onboard ethernet jack personally. I'm still torn of wether I REALLY need a laptop or ultra book even though I'm using my Galaxy Note for basic needs Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    If your basic needs are met by a Note, then what would you actually need an ethernet jack for? I've found myself in the similar situations before, I think we usually are inclined to sort of opt for something more future-proof, or rather have something that we don't need, rather than not have it and need it. However, when everything is being toned down and thriving towards minimalism, this proves to be a little impractical. I find the thunderbolt on Mac's make a lot of sense around this regard however. A simple dongle gives you whatever port you actually need, without sacrificing minimalistic design. Reply
  • zanon - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I find the thunderbolt on Mac's make a lot of sense around this regard however. A simple dongle gives you whatever port you actually need, without sacrificing minimalistic design.

    Agreed. TB seems at best mildly useful on the majority of desktop machines, but when looking at Ultrabooks one can really start to see the applications of it. Honestly the video port choice is the oddest part of this whole system. VGA and HDMI are definitely not what I'd have expected from even a 1st gen ultrabook, let alone the second. Maybe their market research shows most people hooking these up to TVs or something, but it still feels like an odd choice. No TB is the main disappointment though, as it limits the functionality as more of a desktop replacement. I'd hoped with Cactus Ridge that'd start to become more widespread. Maybe in the fall.
  • MGSsancho - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    TB requires extra silicon, board space, and costs. At least with Display-port we can create any video output we need. with TB you need an expensive cable, GPU of some sort, Physical interface to hdmi, dp, vga, etc and lastly that device would need its own power unless you can get the TB controller at the other end along with a gpu all under 30w then and only then could it be line powered. DP is awesome but is more than a simple interface. Reply
  • JMS3072 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt uses a standard Mini-Display Port for the external interface, and a straight video signal can be adapted the same way a DP signal can Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    A DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter is literally $4 and puny.

    There's really no excuse for the lack of Thunderbolt at this point. Let's move out of the '90s.
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I'll be the ass who points out that HDMI is from 2002. Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    But this is Micro HDMI which is from 2009. And it's likely HDMI 1.4 as well, which is again from 2009. Reply
  • Fleeb - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    It's still HDMI. Reply
  • KingGheedora - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Using the same logic: "well computers are from the 1950's. (or 60's, or whenever) Reply
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Well, there is one excuse (argument). Considering that HDMI 1.4a is implemented in the IVB's HD4000 controller, TB is considerably more expensive to implement, not to mention it would amount to about a half a Watt additional drain on the battery. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    No displays support 3GHz HDMI 1.4a the 3GHz part is needed for the bandwidth used by a above 1920x1200 TMDS video signal. DisplayPort (and VGA through active 25 dollar certified adaptor) is already implemented in the IVB and Platform Controller Hub. As well as DVI/HDMI. It should actually be cheaper not needing to license HDMI directly, or require less testing. No additional hardware is needed accept one connector instead of two. Don't see how a DP driving a HDMI/DVI-display would draw more power. There is no conversion or ramdac needed there. Single link DVI and HDMI-adaptors can be passive so no concern for power. There is no adaptor to turn this 3GHz HDMI 1.4a port to run say a 27" Dell monitor at all. Opting out of a DP port (Dell XPS13 Ultrabook has one for example) means opting out the ability to drive those 27" and 30" screens at native res out there. Making these a no choice for the prosumers and professionals using large monitors. All others too using 27+ inch monitors and who wants light computing next to their gaming box or console. Reply
  • ka_ - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I am rather not wanting any TB at this time due to the security risk of such a connector: "Since Thunderbolt extends the PCI Express bus, which is the main expansion bus in current systems, it allows very low-level access to the system. PCI devices need to have unlimited access to memory, and may thus compromise security."

    TB will get interesting once this problem goes away though, but for now, I avoid it as I am looking for a system for business, not for play.

    The one thing I however would like to know is - does these zenbook's with Ivy chips support 2 external displays giving 1920x1080 x 3?
  • joelypolly - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Once someone has physical access to your machine all bets are off anyways. Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Same is true for Firewire (to a large extent) and Expresscard, and docking ports on business laptops. But who cares that much? It goes for any internal mini-pcie slots too. Any security feature is null and void and circumventable with physical access. Filevault, Bitlocker, truecrypt nothing is safe if you have physical access to a booted computer or one that is in sleep mode and thus access to memory where the keys are stored. There are always exploits and you can always force access when you have physical access. You can remove the sticks and read them in a separate computer (cold boot attack) if you can't run memory reconstruction software on the local computer or make the memory dump directly on the computer due to CMOS/NVRAM settings. People with access to forensics software can read your encrypted iPhone too. Your data is only safe from real idiots. The hardware is not secure. The software is vulnerable and flawed with holes in it that will be discovered at some point. Some will get fixed outer aspects won't. DMA exploits might be possible via eSATA-ports too. DMA-attacks or exploits is possible against USB-drivers/devices (by like a OTG device) as well as launching local rootkits and exploits. Don't plug in untrusted stuff. TB-stuff can only connect by a TB-cable. Reply
  • ka_ - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    So these Asus machines looks like good choices as they have none of the connectors that can be easily exploited:

    - no Firewire
    - no TB
    - no Expresscard
    - no docking ports

    An attacker would need to use extreme methods; likely requiring to take the machine out of the room to gain access, unlike machines that got one of the connectors mentioned above.
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    They got Mini PCI Express. Say I steal your computer without you knowing it, returns it after but first replaces the Wifi-card with a modified version and attacks your computer via DMA hacks after you have logged in into all your important stuff when you have done that I can steal all your important files and stuff, as well as sniff any password. Physical access is physical access, leaving your machine unintended for 15 minutes is all I need if I actually have stuff that exploits the PCIe bus. Or for that matter firewire, as I could easily build a Mini PCI Express to Firewire adaptor if that is the attack path. Have you left your computer on or in sleep I never have to do all that stuff though. I will be able to crack your bitlocker or filevault or truecrypt.

    They still have none of those connectors by adding DisplayPort! They still have PCIe buses to exploit it that is vulnerable for potential attacks there is a much higher chance of attack and a real treat through USB-sticks/drives/phones and infected software though. Those don't need physical access by the attacker either. But something that isn't physical safe isn't safe that is just how it is.
  • vegemeister - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    >Say I steal your computer without you knowing it

    This is the advantage of a sub-12" computer: you can keep it on your person or otherwise physically secured nearly all the time. 15 minutes is unlikely, and if you have time to do something inside the case you could have installed a keylogger; DMA becomes irrelevant.

    DMA-capable ports on the outside of the case are a serious weakness for any comprehensive security scheme. Protecting against a knowledgeable adversary with physical access is very difficult, but the purpose of security is to make attacks expensive and evident, not impossible. Also, not every attacker is the NSA; you still lock your screen when you go to the bathroom, even though a sophisticated adversary could do all manner of unseemly things to your machine in that time.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    As far as your question about running two external displays, the simple answer is: No, none of the IVB laptops I've currently seen support three simultaneous displays. In order to run three displays on IVB, two of them need to come via DisplayPort, and the third can be LVDS/VGA/HDMI. Since no one I know of has yet announced a laptop with two DP connections, there are no triple-head capable IVB laptops yet (unless they use a discrete GPU). Reply
  • ka_ - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Too bad; I hoped it would run one screen on the mini-VGA and another on the micro-HDMI. The UX32VD-DB71 do have a discrete GPU, so maybe it should work on that one? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Possibly, though it's NVIDIA hardware and I think GT 620M is just recycled GT 525M or something (Fermi GF108), so it can't do all three. However, it might be able to do internal on the IGP and two external on discrete? Somehow I doubt it, though; the only laptops I've ever seen running more than two simultaneous panels are using AMD GPUs. Reply
  • rosege - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    not sure how you count your panels but I have 2 external displays plus the laptop display running on an old X301
    using a usb to dvi connector for the second external display - you couldnt use it for anything too serious but for general office apps its fine
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Dell XPS 13 with Ivy Bridge? HP Elitebooks (Elitebook Folio?) with Ivy Bridge? Report back sometime :)

    We won't find out until later in June I guess.
  • amalinov - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Actually there is a way to have what 1ceTr0n wants and keep the ultrasleek design:
    - fully implemented (micro-)HDMI - that includes CEC and Ethernet, which are optional in the HDMI spec (for CEC you need to add a very small chip - until Intel/AMD/Nvidia start implementing CEC in the GPUs; for Ethernet you need your standard laptop Ethernet controller - Intel, Broadcom or whatever; then you need only a cheep passive cable to use Ethernet)

    If I were in ASUS place I would have done also the following about ports:
    - fully implemented mini-DisplayPort (instead of the mini-VGA) - that includes CEC and USB2.0 (for CEC you need to add a very small chip - until Intel/AMD/Nvidia start implementing CEC in the GPUs; for USB - just redirect wires from the chipset; USB in Displayport comes in handy for single cable to monitors with integrated USB hubs/cameras, also it can be converted to one additional standard USB port by the use of cheap passive cable - for devices tolerating 3.3V or having their own power supply - such as hubs) - and Thunderbolt as option for 13" premium models
    - USB3.0/eSATAp600 combo ports (for the forum skeptics - is an example of such port) supporting USB Battery Charging 1.2 (7.5W over standard cable) and draft USB Power Delivery (100W over new type of cable) - and remove the power input port (the laptop will be charged by one of the USB PD ports - just like phones are charged by micro-USB currently) - more space for SD card reader or other ports/LEDs/wireless switches

    Wireless interfaces I would've added:
    - Bluetooth 4.0+HS (over WiFi PHY)+LE (over WiBree PHY)
    - NFC
    - FM radio with RDS and internal antenna - receiver and transmitter
    Options for premium models:
    - GPS/GLONASS/Augumentation satellites support; accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometer, altimeter - for inertial navigation indoors and other locations with weak satellite signal
    - 2G/3G/LTE
    - DVB-T/T2/H/SH (or equivalent US TV broadcasts) tuner with internal antenna

    Premium models power adapter with:
    - additional USB3.0 BatteryCharging/PowerDelivery ports (when the laptop is disconnected those will only provide power to other USB-powered devices; when the laptop-or-another-USB-host is connected a USB3.0 hub in the power adapter will provide also USB connectivity to the connected devices (like a docking station); switch to choose whether the power adapter USB ports should remain powered when no USB host is connected
    - maybe integrate the bundled USB-to-Ethernet converter here (but this is kind of redundant if the HDMI port is of the Ethernet-enabled variety)
    - maybe also add a USB audio controler providing 6 jack analog jacks (for 7.1 output, line-in, microphone)

    Other additions (some of which not very realistic for the time being):
    - Anti-glare matte display (if it isn't already of this type)
    - Fanless design (if it isn't already of this type)
    - Multi-touch screen with support for 10 fingers+2 palm-restings and maybe stylos/handwriting
    - Touchpad occupying the whole surface below the keyboard with support for 10 fingers+2 palm-restings and stylos/handwriting; maybe even a second screen (for customizable buttons, auxiliary information like level map, etc.)
    - two multi-megapixel back cameras with autofocus, xenon flash, night-mode video illumination, etc. (just like high end phone) for stereoscopic pictures and 2x1080p60 (3D) video
    - two 1080p60 front cameras (for 3D mode) - either with separate illumination or utilizing the keyboard illumination
    - integrated Kinect-like gesture recognition system with sensors and array microphones
    - two picoprojectors on the back (for 3D mode)

    Let's hope the above gets implemented in the Haswell (or AMD 28nm) Zenbooks. However, those are not deal breakers (but especially the port section is cheap to do, so kind of expected), so I congratulate ASUS for the Zenbook Prime!
  • krash3x - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I can see that its kinda pointless to have an ether net port on an ultra portable device but I can also say that sometimes its good to have one. Like trouble shooting connection issues making sure its not something interfering with your wifi or if you want to reduce latency. I have a quick question, how does the display compare to the screen on the new ipad? I'm looking to get something to replace my asus 1201n, and I'm kinda interested in this thing. although it would be nice if it had a dedicated gpu :-/ Reply
  • rosege - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    this model has dedicated gpu
  • mcquade181 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I agree.
    The lack of a gigabit ethernet port is a killer. It means copying videos etc from you desktop computer to this will take 10 times as long.
  • mackintire - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    a gigabit to USB 3.0 adapter will work fine. USB 3.0 is quite a bit faster than gigabit ethernet. Currently we have a DELL XPS13 package for our users that includes the USB 3.0 to gigabit ethernet adapter, they appear to run at full speed transferring 100MB/s with no issues. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Thank you for making sense, unlike all these complainers. Most of the additional connectors a person specially needs can be found in the form of adapters and port expanders. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    A Gigabit ethernet adapters as it should also speeds up for USB 2.0 users quite a bit. Easily beets 100Mbit/s any how. Won't do near 1 Gigabit/s however. But it should work as fast as your basic home-user NAS. If you need more you probably has direct attached storage or even fibrelink so :) Nice to see USB 3.0 get native, and yes it's fast enough for most users and are capable to extend things like Ethernet, basic storage. Reply
  • Rasti1964 - Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - link

    The lack of a gigabit LAN port is a killer for me too. A gigabit to USB 3.0 adapter would be the solution but: Where to find such thing?

    I´ve searched the web for some hours now without success.

    Could you please tell us how to get this adapter?
  • Saareem - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    "Just like last time, the UX21A comes with a sleeve case, VGA dongle and USB to 10/100 Ethernet adapter."

    I'm quite surprised how many actually fails to read that sentence. There is usb-to-ethernet connecter available for the Zenbook Prime and not-Prime in Zenbook accessories buy a small price and it come's with those ultrabooks for free. Perhaps you could find a usb-to-gigabit ethernet adapter somewhere, but routers having a gigabit-ethernet are still a little bit uncommon, so I don't see much point there.

    Definately not a killer, at least.
  • Finraziel - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    Ehm, I don't know if maybe you're in a different part of the world where gigabit routers are uncommon, but I've had gigabit routers for years and actually only bought one myself when they got cheap. Friends of mine had gigabit routers for years before that already. I'd think someone with the money to buy a zenbook prime can afford the 15 euro or so that I see gigabit routers for.
    Looking in our local pricewatch though (which is very complete usually), I find one usb 2.0 to gigabit connector, no usb 3.0 yet, and it's 30 euros.

    I had to transfer quite a bit of media for a friend who went to work abroad for a few months and would have very limited internet access last weekend, so I put a lot of movies and stuff on his laptop, but hadn't realised in time that it didn't have a gigabit port. Unfortunately that meant I couldn't put all that much on it in the time we had... when you're used to gigabit, not having it is severely limiting. I expect this would also be something that would annoy me, even if it would probably be one of the only things that would annoy me on this great machine.
  • Freddo - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I wish ASUS released an Intel Atom Zenbook. High quality form factor with an energy efficient CPU that allow for a 100% fanless computer. I don't really need that much performance from a portable computer anyway. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    There's no ION chipsets for Atom anymore, and the IGP in Atom sucks balls worse than even SNB IGPs, so there's no way it would push a 1920x1080 display with any smoothness.

    Atom is dead, and should be buried.
  • jpk - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Amen to that. Reply
  • Freddo - Sunday, May 27, 2012 - link

    The Cedarview Atoms are perfectly capable of 1080p video playback, which is probably the most advanced thing I would use them for anyway. I'm not exactly looking into playing Crysis here, it's a small portable chat/surf computer, nothing more. Reply
  • vegemeister - Friday, June 08, 2012 - link

    The Atom GPU is a PowerVR thing with really crappy proprietary drivers. Do not want. Reply
  • mooninite - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I wish the Zenbook came with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. 4GB is actually limiting these days. I need to be able to run a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox) on my laptop at times. Plus games will demand more than 4GB.

    ASUS, people do more than web surf and face book on their laptops. RAM is cheap enough that it should barely creep into your bottom line if you offered a Zenbook with more RAM.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The UX32 has a SO-DIMM slot and supports 6 GB of RAM (2GB onboard + 4 GB DIMM). And it has a discrete GPU to boot. :) Reply
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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).
  • 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
  • puppies - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Name a single game that you will run on this product that uses more than 4GB of RAM.

    Your usage needs are so far from the norm that you might aswell forget finding something that satifies your criteria.

    Or is this some weak attempt at trolling by pointing out what a low power ultra book can't do because it was never designed to do it in the first place.
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    "ASUS, people do more than web surf and face book on their laptops."

    Actually, that's what the vast majority of people do. What, you thought those spoilt students with MBPs were using them for computationally intensive tasks?
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I can vouch that most users do just that. We can include this user as well (with his MBP). >_> Reply
  • rosege - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I agree - hence im looking at the UX32VD-DB71 - though would really have liked 8GB - think the onboard should have been 4 then have the option to add another 4

    only 4gb in the other models is a major weakness imho
  • sheltem - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Why can't Asus just include two mini displayports and call it a day? I understand why people still use full size VGA, but mini VGA is just retarded; you're going to need a dongle anyway. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    That is pretty annoying. A DP-to-HDMI adapter is under $5. Reply
  • ka_ - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Not sure but I understand Displayport essentially is the same as thunderbolt which essentially let any connected device bypass the entire security of your system the same way firewire did, so no thanks until that issue is resolved.

    I do agree however that having mini connectors - expecially for HDMI which already is small is a worry. Most mini-firewire connectors I have had in the past failed over time as I happen to bring my machine back and forward to work and clients. I think I will connect a screen way more frequently than I connected my external Firewire devices in the past.

    VGA I understand had to be shrunk here, but why shrink the already small HDMI port?
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt tunnels PCI-e which has access to memory as any add-on board would. DisplayPort on the other hand mainly handles video output with options for audio and basic IO tunneling (think keyboard, mouse, touch screen etc.). Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    DisplayPort has nothing to do with Thunderbolt you freaking egghead! It's not connected to any system bus. When used in conjunction with Thunderbolt (PCIe) it uses a cable that carries both signals in the same Thunderbolt (Not DP!) cable. DP-devices can however never connect to the Thunderbolt hardware, which is why it also costs quiet a bit. You can get your normal TMDS SINGLE/DUAL-LINK DVI-D, VGA, HDMI or just plain digital DisplayPort via adapters as it's all compatible with those. A DisplayPort to HDMI cable, or DVI (same signal no sound) or adapter costs nothing and comes included in many computers or graphics adapters. All modern monitors uses it now and there are adapters and converters for legacy stuff as well. Most modern GPU's don't have the option to have dual or quad dual-link DVI any more. I also don't know why you would like to clutter up your notebook with 3-4 different ports that will need cables and so on any way.

    There are no issues to be resolved with Thunderbolt any other extension involving system buses has worked the same way, there are eventually software fixes to be had, but we will not fully virtualize the address space here and just as we can shut off USB-ports enterprises will probably be able to shut off Thunderbolt functionality in firmware. However they are essentially invisible PCIe switches now that the firmware doesn't touch and that is it's strength. It's no different then to put in an Expresscard accessory in your computer. If you have physical access you have physical access, you could just as well open it up and connect to the PCIe bus of the Mini PCI-Express slot. You also don't need the DMA-vector for cold boot attacks against your encrypted hard drive so it is an entirely pointless discussion. Plus it's just as hard to use as a attack and delivery mechanism as any internal PCIe chip is. You better not use any add in boards in stationary computers either I guess. This is not an Apple we don't ask for DisplayPort for the sake of DP + Thunderbolt, we ask for it because it is the only modern video interface and is natively compatible (well the gpus are, and the cabling can be adapted to whatever you need and are designed to carry those signals) with HDMI, DVI and VGA. Which is all you need. You do need DisplayPort, or a business laptop with a docking station and dual-link DVI support or active DisplayPort to dual-link DVI converter to drive anything over 1920x1200 on a laptop (3GHz HDMI 1.4a will go higher and is supported as of very lately but not by computer displays yet.). You can't try to force all that through a HDMI-connector with the same universal compatibility, versatility, better to have two mini-DP's if you like to drive a couple of displays without daisy-chaining.
  • KZ0 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Truly impressive. Just DPI scaling remaining, then. Only thing holding me back is that I can't really complain about my current computer. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    DPI scaling is only an issue with 3rd party programs. Windows featuring the best DPI scaling currently for desktop OSes. Reply
  • Conficio - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    ... does the article not demonstrate that DPI scaling even in some popular MS programs does not work?

    is ti fair to conclude, that either it is an inherent problem with the Windows 7 OS or it is so complicated APi wise that even Microsofts in house programmers can't get it right?
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    11.6 and 13.3" 1080p? Very nice. I'd rather it was an 8:5 ratio but still, very nice. Reply
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    That screen is a thing of beauty - Asus laptops just went from a personal overall 'meh' to 'hell yes'. Here's hoping Asus also starts adding high DPI models to their desktop display line. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Only if it's matte, which isn't specified in the chart. Otherwise it doesn't matter what kind of panel is in there; you'll be looking at yourself and the stuff behind you, and not the images generated by the computer. Reply
  • mike8675309 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I nearly had to spend some alone time when I read the resolution of this thing in an 11" panel. My goodness, I love it. That's higher resolution than what is standard (and even available in some) in many 17" laptop displays. Curious who makes that panel and for what other applications. Must be made of some rare stuff. Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    This picture:

    Goddamn REALLY asus? You are really going to release a picture with razerback aliasing, oval mic ports, and spellcheck underlines to the press? You have to be kidding me.

    Also: lol mini-vga in 2012, jesus christ.
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Ha ha ha! You're right; that's pitifully unprofessional. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Geez people,

    Try and remember what the purpose of the machine is when filing complaints.
  • Kegetys - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Seems quite impressive, something I would have wished to see more detail on is the noise levels. My UL30VT with SSD keeps the fan completely off when its sitting idle on my desk and also on light desktop loads. Its awesome when it makes no noise at all*, that even a very slowly rotating fan inevitably does. I can leave it on during the night an sleep a meter away from it without being disturbed.

    * There's some slight electrical noises, but they arent audible from normal use distances.
  • haukionkannel - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    It is very nice to see much better panels in these new laptops! And when you think how much power good display eats it is guite nice to see that powr usage has remained the same! We will get more clarity to this matter when ux32 will be released. It seems to have that normal pitifull low res TN panel like in most old laptops...
    We need more laptops like these! I would not mind to see a little bit bigger case with these panels at a little bit lover price!
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The high-end version of the UX32, with the discrete GPU, has the same 1920x1080 IPS panel. But the battery is slightly smaller (48 Whr vs 50 Whr). Reply
  • Conficio - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I'd go for the UX32 if there would an option with a good screen that is not combined with a useless (to me) gamers GPU.

    Although I don't understand the pricing $200 buy me just a faster CPU? Really, that has to be a really big jump for that kind of premium

    Then the next $300 buy me a decent display (it's still 16:9 and should be 16:10 for people that actually work on their computers, as opposed to entertainment) and a GPU?

    Why can't we have a reasonable upgrade (<$75) for the display with the lower end CPUs. I'd think the $1,000 price point should actually include the nicer display.
  • B3an - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    So nice to see a GOOD 1080p IPS display on this. And the rest of the package looks great too, might actually get one of these but would have liked atleast 6GB. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Does that lift before the shipping date? If so, when? Odd that they would be hush hush about that, maybe they are having thermal issues since apparently IB runs hotter than SB. Reply
  • Evil_Sheep - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Oh wow this model is a dream come true. It's been years but has a PC vendor finally got what it takes to go head to head with Apple? Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Nobody uses that port, and while it comes with a dongle you could have used mini displayport or thunderbolt and achieve the same vga effect with mini displayport to vga dongle.

    That said this is a beauty of a laptop.
  • fic2 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I don't know, but I would assume they included it for projector systems. I think most of the conference rooms in the building I work in only have vga to the table. Reply
  • fic2 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    My fail - didn't read the rest of your post about DP->vga dongle. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    My dear Anand, you're so pretentious with displays in general but when it comes to gaming fluency you go below standard. 20fps is NOT playable and a subpar experience. I'd wish you'd be as pretentious with GPU performance as you are with hardware specs. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    This is not even close to being a gaming laptop... Reply
  • maniac5999 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Quick question, but how decent would the UX32 be at light gaming? (Civ5 on low, SC2 on medium, etc) I'm having some trouble pegging it's performance down, even with the help of Notebookcheck. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    The review says says 20 is acceptable for an ultramobile on a slow action game like D3, not that it's a killer gaming experience. Reply
  • ananduser - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    If 20fps is acceptable then 720p resolution is acceptable as well. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I've been poking around at Diablo III on another laptop today; to say that it's the greatest experience ever on Intel's HD 4000 would be a stretch, but it's not horrible either. It looks like the worst offender for poor performance on HD 4000 is the shadow setting; at low and 768p I got ~24 FPS for a test sequence, while a bump to 900p with most other detail options at "max" only dropped performance slightly. Turn on high shadows though and you're looking at a drop to about half the frame rate (or 1/3 lower with medium shadows).

    One thing you have to understand with regards to Diablo III and what constitutes acceptable performance is that it's not a twitch shooter, and the mouse cursor is separate from the frame rate. If you're very tolerant, you could even play with frame rates in the teens, but I'd suggest 20 FPS as the bare minimum. Civilization V is similar in this regard, and it's slow-paced (turn based) enough that even 10 FPS could be livable for some. It all depends on what you're willing to live with. Minimum detail and 768p in Diablo III does look pretty lousy, though -- particularly the lack of shadows, which is one of the biggest boosts to performance.

    Now, if you've actually played the game on HD 4000 and want to contribute something to the discussion, that would be fine. Since it sounds like you've never played the game in the first place (at least not on moderate/low-end hardware), though, I'm not sure there's much point in you opining on how "20fps is NOT playable". For most other games, you would be correct, but for Diablo III you're just guessing...wrongly I might add. I played through a whole section with an average of 18FPS and found it acceptable for someone that's not hardcore. (Note that that was with most detail settings maxed at 900p.)

    Now I need to go install it on Trinity and a couple other laptops to see how the experience compares. Oh, and FWIW, I'm not sure Diablo III is adding much to the gaming experience that's wildly improved from Diablo II, other than finally supporting higher resolutions. 12 years and this is what they have to show for it. Hmmm....
  • gorash - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Soo, ASUS has managed to ship a laptop with a 1080p IPS display without breaking the bank. Why couldn't the other manufacturers do the same? Reply
  • Reflex - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    1) That is the first ultrabook I have ever considered to be interesting enough to consider buying, especially the 13.3" model with nV graphics/1080p LCD

    2) This is the first Asus laptop I'd consider owning, I've never been impressed with their build quality.

    Really I wish it had 8GB as an option, just for longevity's sake(I tend to run a laptop a minimum of 5 years) but at 6GB its probably close enough. Very impressive and reasonably priced too. Want to see the build options and price on the 13.3" version.

    Also, can the 24GB built in flash cash be used in conjunction with a hybrid HDD from Seagate? Or will that be an issue? What if you put in a SSD?
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    There's little point in double caching an SSD. Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Correct, but thats the thing, the cache is built in. What happens if you install a SSD? Does it get disabled?

    Also, there might be some point. This cache is SLC flash, if its utilized extensively it could extend the usable life of the installed SSD by preventing unnecessary writes...
  • sicofante - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't this take 8GB modules? That would make 10GB of RAM, which is pretty future proof for me.

    If it has 24GB built-in flash, I'd ask for a very big HDD, say 1TB? It would be cheaper than any SSD model and, with those 24GB acting as a cache, fast enough for everyday tasks. Do they offer such a combination?
  • sonelone - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I really wish more manufacturers would do something similar to Sony's Vaio Z series, having a slim ultrabook but also giving it the capability of a dedicated GPU when plugged in. The UX31 would be the perfect laptop for me if it had that. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Are you gonna be reviewing the larger model as well? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, both of them is the plan. Stay tuned.... Reply
  • nortexoid - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    They should seriously consider a Trinity option. Nobody will be doing heavy CPU lifting on an 11 inch ultra book so Trinity will be more than adequate in the CPU department. Imagine how awesome it would be to play games with decent frame rates on this thing. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Have you checked HD 4000 performance? It's not stunning, but it's way better than I imagine you think.. Reply
  • bleh0 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I've seen them and while they are close Trinity could be put in with lower costs, similar battery life, and in some cases better gaming performance.

    Since the models don't ship with Thunderbolt you aren't losing any ports either.
  • ananduser - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    HD4000 barely offers playable rates. And when it does the experience as a whole is choppy. So, if you're willing to spend top dollar on an ultrabook, you better not care about light gaming. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Define "light" gaming. For me, it means 1366x768 and low to medium detail levels, and for that the HD 4000 is certainly adequate. Now if you're wanting medium to high detail settings and a higher resolution -- never mind native 1080p! -- than no, HD 4000 isn't going to be remotely close. Reply
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Now that the display is finally not the cause of the whiner's reason for whining, I wonder how many are actually going to put the money where their mouth is and buy this laptop. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Nah they'll just find things to complain about like how 4gb of ram isn't enough and how it doesn't make them coffee in the morning and take the dog out for a walk. Its really sad actually, how when anyone who's not apple makes a marvelous machine that is darn close to perfect, the PC community (with its schizophrenic mindset) just criticizes it and eventually ignores it to death. Hopefully that won't happen here. Reply
  • eanazag - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I will mimic some of the same things about the memory being a little low. Put 4GB onboard and leave a slot to get to 8GB. I'd actually prefer to role the dice with the Sandforce SSD. I would realistically go for the larger machine that can house the nVidia card and more mem. I appreciate gigabit ethernet too, but could make do given the point of the device. Now a little 802.11ac could cure my cabled ethernet needs.

    My gripe about the 32x is: where'd the screen go? Give me a video card and take away the display? I hope it is an option.

    When looking at the benchmarks, the numbers for Alienware M11 R3 are really good. It is a travesty they are pulling that product at this time. A hardware refresh would hum on it. I was really considering it.

    Trinity - I have been thinking about the bulldozer and trinity products and I truly believe that it is AMD's version of hyper-threading. They are seemingly competitive when compared by module count. Their product makes sense in that light. On AMD, I'd really like to see a 150-200W trinity desktop product that can powergate the excess GPU when not needed. Make a product that no one else can make AMD. Give some of us a beast. I'm running a 100W processor and 200W video card now. I'd still get a power savings and heat reduction.
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    4gb is fine. The equivalent 11inch macbook air has only 2gb of ram and is considered a marvelous machine. Most people are using only 4gb of ram in their desktops. 4gb is fine. Low profile, ULV machines are not what you want to be using for ram heavy work. Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    While I can make due on 4GB, it really is non-optimal. I'm not doing anything that requires a powerhouse of a machine, but memory is at a premium. My job involves website work and I frequently have 4-5 browsers open with 30+ tabs on each. Unfortunatly one of those has to be Firefox, which consistently takes a gig plus of memory on its own.

    I don't think web work is unreasonable for these devices, or ULV in general since there is nothing really CPU or GPU heavy about it. And it can chew up memory fast depending on what you are doing.

    I think I can make due with 6GB, but 8GB would truly be better. The Thinkpad I was issued at the office really chugs when I have everything going, and it has 4GB.
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The reason you don't see a 125w or higher llano or trinity is due to memory bandwidth. It costs money putting all those excess memory controllers onto the die and using graphic ddr5 doesn't make sense with user replaceable ram. On video cards with gddr5 you have to measure the traces accurately or the signaling gets messed up.

    There is no point such a large stream processor count onto an apu if you are in the end going to be memory bandwidth limited.
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The ultrabooks typically don't offer memory expansion so adding GDDR5 support to a product like Trinity does make sense. Various low end GPU's from both AMD and nVidia feature both DDR3 and GDDR5 support. I see no technical reason why the successor to Trinity couldn't support GDDR5 in this market segment as it would give a good boost to GPU performance. Two negatives for GDDR5 would be that high capacity chips are not common (figure 4 GB max on a 128 bit wide bus) and power consumption is higher than vanilla DDR3 chips.

    For desktops, you are correct that GDDR5 would be a poor choice as users typically expect memory expandability.
  • eanazag - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I believe you are missing the big picture. When was the last time you were excited about an AMD processor product release? We know what to expect. AMD talks about a great features that Intel executes 6 months prior and AMD's product is late. They keep fighting the same fight and losing. They will not win the process fight. They gave up on that losing cause. Intel has out innovated them in recent times with turbo cores, configurable TDP, high-k, the 3d transistor, and better cache timings in recent years. What does AMD need to do? They haven't been great at innovation. Good ideas? Yes. But Intel beats them to the punch. AMD needs to differentiate. Beat Intel where they are weak and make it a good pounding. Graphics, but the gap is closing quickly. By Haswell Intel will have parity graphics on die compared to AMD if AMD continues to release bottom percentile graphics performance in processors without pushing the envelope. I believe the goal is to push for $150-$200 discrete graphics card performance on die. They have sold 140W CPUs before.

    I believe you're making a bigger deal out of memory bandwidth than it really is. When AMD was selling GDDR5 graphics card, nVidia was still making their highend cards with GDDR3. Think around the HD3870 time frame. You can still by DDR3 graphics cards now. They are lots of solutions to bandwidth. 2133 memory is almost mainstream now. I got an email from Newegg this morning selling 16GB for $119.

    The point is that AMD has not differentiated where there strength is and this is a key component that makes up their weak financials. Making cutting edge products that perform below the competition because there is no support for it get old.

    How do you release a flagship product that performs poorer than the previous architecture? Can no one at AMD afford a single copy of Windows to benchmark with? I could of swore ESPN did a "come on man" piece on bulldozer last fall. I thought I would have been happier if they just did a die shrink on the previous architecture and raise the clocks.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    The 13.3" X32, which includes the discrete video card and extra RAM, has the same 1920x1080 IPS display as the X31.

    It's only the X32 models without the discrete video card that have the 1366x768 display.
  • mavere - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I wish you'd also include battery life results for Macbooks in their native OSX.

    Having the Windows number provides a valuable data point, but ignoring everything else makes that data point only relevant to the minority of MB users who dual-boot enough for battery life to become an issue.

    I understand the need to standard the tests. However, the standardization method (IE8, really?) only serves the convenience of the reviewer, not the reader.
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Was Apple the first oem to produce and sell a machine with the chicklet keyboard? Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    No, they weren't

    Please stop calling it Apple's keyboard as it keeps on re-affirming the fanboy crap that's so crazy on the web
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, September 16, 2012 - link

    Nor were they the first with an ultralight design either so they need to stop with calling everything a copy of the Macbook Air as it just makes the article writers look ignorant. What is particularly strange is that they even acknowledged the Sony X505 on the first MBA review but seem to have forgotten since so we're back to everything being referred to as Apple again even when they were years after other companies with the design or technology.

  • ueharaf - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    i want a vaio z2 comparisson with 1920 x 1080p on both displays...contrast..brights...vieweing angle,etc Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The sony z2 has a negligable lower black point and a higher color gamut.
    The asus has a higher contrast ratio, higher brightness (useful when outdoors), and better viewing angles (due to the fact the asus is ips and the z2 is tn.)
  • Sunburn74 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link


    You did a really nice job with the review. However, I think your battery life comparison is lacking. Can you find way to be more open concerning the varying battery sizes of laptops when discussing their battery life? Something like an adjusted battery life chart or battery life vs size ratio chart?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Battery life doesn't scale with screen size; you can have a 13.3" display that will draw more power than a 17.3" display (at the same brightness), depending on a variety of other factors. It's moderately interesting to consider "best battery life in a [xxx] screen laptop", but that's about as far as I'd take it. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    For Diablo III to run on intel graphics, you need to turn off AA, an check the box that says "Low FX".

    I have personally run the game on an i7-2620 (Dual Core, Mobile i7, HD3000) and it ran fine. But that Low FX option and AA is what made it playable. The other settings did not have much of an effect.
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Fuck yes... More of this please. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    The specs chart is lacking a critical characteristic of the screen: glossy or matte? Reply
  • Endeavour1934 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    It looks like it's semimate, like the VAIO Z and S displays. But I could be wrong... Reply
  • slagar - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Stunning. Love it. Truly impressive job Asus. True, 4gb RAM is a little of a downer for future-proofing, but I think we're looking at laptop of the year here. Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Finally,my days of running bootcamp on a MBA are coming to an end! Reply
  • g1011999 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Beginning of new retina display MBA? Reply
  • Endeavour1934 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    2 years ago when Sony first released the VAIO Z with the 1920x1080 display, they said that because the grid of pixels was more dense, it needed 25% more backlight power than the 1600x900 version in order to have the same level of brightness.
    Maybe the same thing happens with this new IPS display, and that may be one of the reasons why the battery life is not better than the previous generation.
  • saneblane - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I've yet to see what's so ultra about this. The performance is not their, the gpu sucks and they are not Apple to be selling things with not much use. Good luck with this. Reply
  • CaioRearte - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Sorry Intel, but it seems AMD won the slim-notebook round. Intel can't catch up on video performance at this wattage, and tons of processing power aren't exactly what a laptop owner is looking for. Since AMD has been turning towards diverse computing methods for a while, and actively dedicating more to the graphics than to raw power, their products will be more balanced and enticing in the long run.

    Anyway, the UX32 with the dedicated 620M looks like a good contender, when are you getting your hands on it? :)
  • Lilian_Anne32 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I have the previous version of this which I bought a few months ago.... it didn't have a backlit keyboard or anything else I expected it to have, with the keyboard being annoying and all, but the laptop functions well. I was just curious if the first models are tradeable for a newer model?

    That extra USB port would be very useful for me right now.
  • TrackSmart - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Well, you certainly won't be able to trade in the older model, but you could easily sell it on Ebay when the new one comes out. If you are talking about replacing your keyboard for the backlit keyboard on the new one, I wouldn't count on it. It sounds like it has been substantially redesigned.

    On the plus side, you'll have enjoyed your new laptop for have a year by the time the new model comes out. There will always be a better model coming out in 6 months. Enjoy what you've got.
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I think the improvement in battery life can be attributed to the following:
    -USB 3.0 controller moving from a dedicated chip to a integrated one in the HM7x PCH
    -Improved software/hardware build quality. Also maybe the Sandisk SSD offers bettery battery life?
    -DDR3L memory? Ivy Bridge allows DDR3L support, and I've also read that the new Zenbook uses one
  • kenyee - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    I know it's a copy of the Macbook Air, but 4GB isn't enough for people running VMs. And you know Apple is going to increase their memory limit with the next release ;-)

    Love the screen though...about time they started putting high density screens in these things...
  • theknowhow - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Confused on the configuration versus the price on UX32.
    As far as I can see, the $799 vs. $ 999 device differs only in additional HDD. I would have made sense if its an SSD difference

    Am I missing something here?
  • rast20 - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - link

    Different IVB CPU. We can't see it (both configs only feature "ULV IVB") because it's still supposed to be secret, but I'd guess one is i5 and the other is i7. Reply
  • AmdInside - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    The fact that it features an IPS display makes it an easy choice over a Macbook Air and I personally love both Win7 and MacOSX so it is not about OS. I wish I had not just purchased a projector or else this would be on my shopping list right now. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Over a 2011 Macbook Air, sure.

    I'm reserving judgment until I see the 2012 models. As Anand mentioned, ASUS wouldn't've rushed the Zenbook Prime review units if they didn't have to do it. We won't be waiting long.
  • cwcwfpfp - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the thorough and insightful preview Anand. By far the most informative of all the previews/hands-ons for the UX21A I've read.

    I am going to add my voice to those pointing out the 4GB limit. While I think those saying 4GB won't be enough for gaming are a being unrealistic, I do think it is realistic to want more RAM options for other reasons. Right now 4GB should be just fine, but do you guys really see it being sufficient 2 years down the line? I say this as a graduate student often on the move who would like something light to carry around and do work on. So I do foresee having multiple applications running at once and would love more RAM for future-proofing.

    I also have my own issues with the keyboard and touchpad layout - basically I think they went too far in borrowing elements of the MacBook Air here and suffer from form over function. Not a fan at all of the clickable touchpad - much prefer dedicated left/right buttons (and even additional buttons above the touchpad would be nice). Also would like to see dedicated page up/down keys - preferably right above the arrow keys. This is more of a personal preference though. I'm sure a fair number of people will disagree with me on that.

    That said, overall the UX31A/21A looks like the ultrabook to beat right now. In fact I will likely pick up a UX31A when it comes out, despite my minor complaints above.
  • SignalPST - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Can you test the WiDi feature on the Prime? I've heard that version 2.0 supports 2 individual display outputs at 30fps or 1 output at 60fps.

    Also, since IVB supports max 3 display outputs, can you output both to the microHDMI and miniVGA, and keep the main LCD active as well?
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I think that's with WiDi 3.0, which will likely come with updated HD Graphics drivers. WiDi 2.0 didn't come with Sandy Bridge launch, only with updated drivers.

    Also it says on one Ivy Bridge presentation that you can output to two additional monitors using HDMI and Displayport.
  • SignalPST - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Hmm... you're right. Hopefully we'll get to see some of that action on the Prime. Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    "life is short, I draw the line at spending it testing claims of 150 day standby battery life"

    You forgot you' have to measure it three times then take the average. :-P
  • Pantsu - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Hopefully the 13" models won't be overpriced where I live, since this could be my next laptop. I was afraid the 1080p panel would be only available for $1500+ models.

    The W7 scaling is probably why most laptop manufacturers didn't want to offer 1080p option. Luckily Windows 8 should fix that issue too.

    I'm still debating though whether I want an ultrabook or if I could do with a standard voltage model with discrete graphics, as long as it is lighter than my current white macbook. I don't need an optical drive or ethernet, but neither do I necessarily need the laptop to be ultra thin and light. Looks like I'll wait until back-to-school season until I make my pick though. There should be a good amount of choices available then.
  • ijozic - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I don't understand why Asus designs their Zenbooks pretty much like MB Airs? Personally, I find the Apple laptops' looks overly sterile so this makes the Zenbook a no choice for me (unfortunately).

    My biggest functional gripe with this choice is that they are copying the side profile design of the case - IMHO, if they'd made a case with a uniform thickness, they'd have had room for more ports (e.g. more USBs, SD card reader slot, maybe even a thin express card slot), plus extra battery capacity.

    Also, a 1600x900 screen would seem as a more usable choice and thus it would be nice to have it as an option. Well, at least the screens are not glossy as on the Apple..
  • duploxxx - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    quite a bold statement I would say without any proof on Haswell....

    At a high level, for any modern game, you shouldn't count on being able to run it at the Prime's native 1080p resolution. You need a discrete GPU (or Haswell) to pull that off.

    Portal and total war really show what kind of GPU perf you can expect from the HD4000 still too low to run gaming decent just like the diablo3, wouldn't be my favorite "playable" fps
  • prdola0 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I wish Asus added a Kepler-gen GeForce also into the 11" version. Then I'd buy it, but not like this. Reply
  • QQuxa - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    less than 4 hours of internet browsing? :( Reply
  • icrf - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    The UX31A-DB51 will be the perfect replacement for my dad, who's been using a netbook (Asus EEE PC 1000HA) as his primary computer for the last several years. The SSD speed doesn't concern me, but the DPI scaling does a bit, as small text is getting harder to read for his generation. Reply
  • aliasfox - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Nice machine. I recommended a UX31 to my dad a few weeks ago (needed something by end of May), with the caveat that if he was able to spend more money (business account), that getting the MBA had its advantages - better keyboard and screen, namely. It looks like the new generation does better on the screen and more or less matches the MBA on keyboard (I know Apple wasn't the first with chicklets, but the MBA and UX21A keyboards are so similar that I wouldn't be surprised if they were using the same OEM for the keyboard).

    My question though is why did ASUS wait until IVB to come out with the chassis (keyboard, screen) changes? If they had been ready near the beginning of the year (just an assumption), ASUS could have definitively trounced the competition, MBA included. Having a paper launch mere weeks ahead of the (expected) new MBA launch - and having a retail launch likely within the same week - gives everybody a lot of incentive to wait and see what the other guy is doing.

    I haven't seen mini VGA since my PowerBook G4 from 2003. Wonder if I could sell my decade-old s-video and VGA adapters now!

    But yes, TB would've been a much better option than multiple mini video ports...
  • KPOM - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    It will be nice to see what Apple has in store for the next MacBook Air. The available 1920x1080 display in the 11.6" UX21 is a nice option. Hopefully Apple will see that and raise with a Retina Display (2732x1536), complete with Mountain Lion's new HiDPI.

    I wonder if Apple will wait for Mountain Lion to be ready before shipping the new Air and Pro (like they did last year with the Air), or if the flood of Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks will force their hand. Mac sales have been a little below estimates the last two quarters, so my guess is that they won't wait for the OS this time around.
  • hechacker1 - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    Pretty sure that Mountain Lion is right around the corner, other than HiDPI stuff, it isn't a huge change from Lion.

    And they'll absolutely need resolution doubling in place for it to be usable.

    I too await to see their competition. Though the prime is already looking good.
  • ReverendDC - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    This is....nice. I do see incremental improvements in the Ivy Bridge system vs Sandy Bridge. In the end, though it was ASUS that really made this system shine. A 1920x1080 in an 11"?! Whoa!

    Let's not gloss over the fact that ASUS heard their users' complaints and made the appropriate changes within 6 months. That is extremely rare for a modern PC company, whether MSFT or Apple-based. They really need to receive appropriate kudos for their recent operations. They have definitely become an option for me going forward just for that fact.

    What we really need is competent competition. Hopefully, AMD delivers Trinity in a similar form factor for far cheaper than these options. Even the $799 system listed would go for about $499 - $599 with AMD silicon, but you won't get the raw computing power. At the same time, you would have a road warrior gaming system with "good enough" computing. I know this is a bucket I find myself in many times.

    Still, nothing to shake a leg at, and great review, AnandTech. Things are improving on the Windows front in terms of design and use.
  • Sunburn74 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    There is a limit to how crappy a processor you can have in your laptop and get away with it, even with a SSD. My gf has my asus ul30vt whilst I am using an HP envy 14 (2010). Both have 120gb sandforce SSDs in them. The asus is noticeably more sluggish with everything. Virus scans take over an hour (on my hp envy its about 10 mins), pdfs are choppy, programs take time to load, etc.

    You can only lowball the processor so much.

    Personally, if you're buying a laptop for use for 2-3 years, I'd pay the 200 dollar difference for the more serviceable processor over the long run. When talking about PCs, people talk about future proofing, and not necessarily lowballing your components. You'd think with the less tweakable laptops that concept would be even more prevalent.
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    It's unlikely you'll see $200 in savings just over the CPU since the top Core i7 is at $300. It would be possible over the Core i7, but its at $999. So you are looking at average of $50 savings for $749, or at most $100 at $699. Going lower AMD would be giving CPUs for free, or sacrificing other components. Reply
  • techexperience - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    So, if what I see is correct, (and anand always delivers).The only difference between the Zenbook Prime UX32 $799 and $999 is hardisk space? From 320 GB to 500 GB for $200?

    By the way great post, Anand, as usual.
  • ReverendDC - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I believe that the UX32 is also a little thicker, and the non-DV versions have a dedicated GPU. The hard drives are also platter, not SSD. Reply
  • ReverendDC - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Sorry, the DV version comes with the dedicated GPU. Reply
  • Reflex - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Likely a faster CPU as well. Reply
  • UrQuan3 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Darn, I went with a Samsung 9 last year and can't afford to replace it yet. 13.3 is too big for me and 1366x768 is too low res. 12" and 1080p would be nice. Looks like an acceptable color gamut as well.

    Let's not make excuses for poorly written GUIs. They should resize. Games don't have a problem with that.

    I do home Microsoft catches their resolution-vs-size mistake on Metro. Last I checked, Metro used fixed sizes and used higher resolutions to put more on the screen instead of allowing app links to resize. They were assuming that high resolution screens are also physically bigger. Of course that would be awful on a small, high res screen. Anyone know if they changed that?
  • Stanly.ok - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I look at official Asus slides (particularly at the top of second page) and can't help but wonder ... what kind of marketer or manager made them at the last moment instead of giving this job to a professional?! Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    " In practice I saw a doubling of performance under the same conditions as the original Zenbook (80Mbps vs. ~40Mbps)."

    This seems really bad. You should have got a doubling from 40MHz 5GHz channels, and a doubling from 2x MIMO. Are you sure the laptop and the base station are both set up optimally (most importantly both are in Greenfield mode so they're not wasting a huge amount of time with g compatibility)?

    My 3 yr old MBA gets around 13MB/s to an 18 month old AEBS, and I've seen the new MBAs get around 20MB/s to that AEBS, and I expect even better to the newest AEBS.
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    I think its the way Anand tests it. On and Macbook Air 2011 review he gets 117Mbps which is 14.6MB/s. Reply
  • dczyz - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Since we dont have a new MX in the small form factor yet, that UX32VD-DB71 maybe what I do with. Cant wait to see a review on it. Reply
  • agent2099 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    The main fault I see in this device is the VGA port. They should have included a mini display port to complement the HDMI port. That way you could run two high-resolution displays from the laptop. With my current laptop I have the HDMI out going to the television and I have the mini display port going to my 24 inch monitor. Reply
  • joe898 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    I guess you don't care about the annoyingly large bezel. Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    You're looking at the 11inch model and so the bezel seems amplified. A larger screen size makes that bezel seem more appropiate.

    That withstanding, the machine still looks phenomenal bezel and all.
  • joe898 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Yes, I'm specifically looking for an 11.6" ultrabook. I'd actually sacrifice thinness to get the bezel and hence, the foot print smaller. The bezel on the 11.6" Asus makes the notebook look very cheap too. Reply
  • Bolas - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    So when and where can I buy one of these? Reply
  • Sunburn74 - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - link

    Agreed. If I could pre-order, I would. Reply
  • cwcwfpfp - Friday, May 25, 2012 - link

    No official release date yet. A reasonable guess is that it will be available shortly after Computex though, which takes place June 5-9. Reply
  • DaveStall - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I am a little bit curious about this comment in the review in resepect to noise:" I suspect much of this boils down to how aggressive Apple is about keeping fan speed/noise down". My wife has a current model 13" MBA and that thing sounds like a cross between a hair dryer and a leaf blower if she is doing anything remotely intense (which for her tends be be playing Flash based Facebook games). We are honestly ready to sell the MBA because of noise issues. If the Zenbook is louder than the MBA then the noise must be almost unbearable. That's too bad beuase I was hoping this would be something I could replace her MBA with. Reply
  • Malih - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    wondering how does Apple go from high-priced laptop to providing better value,
    but with good display, SSD, and Thunderbolt they have a competitive advantage compared to UX32A-DB51,
    or is there a catch with Apple?
  • Enigmat - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - link

    Is the HDD changeable? like changeable to a 7mm ssd ?? Reply
  • Mhefnawy - Sunday, May 27, 2012 - link

    can we Connect External Monitor to Asus Ultrabook and turn it's own off to check battery life with external screen while the internal is almost off to remove internal display backlight power from battery to identify how longer it will stay with its internal screen compare to external display then we do the same with the previouse model to check the value added by ivy bridge in battery life terms??? Reply
  • zappb - Sunday, May 27, 2012 - link

    11 inch 1080p = Asus = Awesome...

    That just takes some balls!

    Thanks Asus
  • stoked - Sunday, May 27, 2012 - link

    Can someone comment on the difference between the UX31A-DB51 and UX31A-DB52 for the $100 difference in price? Reply
  • Rudyji - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    51 : i5 128gig SSD
    52 : i5 256gig SSD
    71 : i7 128gig SSD
    72 : i7 256gig SSD
  • Rudyji - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    or maybe its the isnt all that clear.... Reply
  • shriganesh - Monday, May 28, 2012 - link

    The high res screen rocks. There is another albeit unconventional one. We can reduce the resolution. In fact I am not too comfortable with 1080P resolution in my 23" monitor. So I use it with 720p resolution which has least artifacts due to more physical dots showing less number of pixels. There sure are artifacts and jagged lines which make the text and things less sharp. But it puts extremely low stress on eyes. Reply
  • waqqashanafi - Monday, May 28, 2012 - link

    I can't wait to get my hands on one of these Zenbook Primes. The only issue I have with such a mobile laptop is the lack of the obvious: 4G LTE!

    A laptop like this NEEDS to have 4G LTE built-in, in this day when mobile data is cheap and available everywhere, and people are more and more mobile. I want to be able to just flip this bad boy open anywhere (offices, cafes, in the car, park, friend's house, etc.) without having to beg for other people's WiFi passwords - or have ugly fat 4G LTE dongles sticking out of my laptop or do some shaky tethering with my phone.
  • Filiprino - Monday, May 28, 2012 - link

    I've read on a lot of sites that the UX32VD has a mini displayport instead of a mini vga. The only ones that have a mini vga are the revisions of UX21E and UX31E, that is, the UX21A and UX31A. Reply
  • igneshto1 - Sunday, June 03, 2012 - link
    This video(In russian, I know!) goto 3:08... i7-3517U @ 1,90Ghz up to 2,40Ghz... Just so you know...
  • jonyah - Tuesday, June 05, 2012 - link

    These ultrabooks are so close to being great, but they miss the mark. Limiting your machine to 4gb of memory, or putting in a hybrid drive where you should have an ssd really sucks. make it 8gb of memory at least (more would be better), keep the full hd screen and stick with just pure SSD and you have a winner. It may even compete with my Vaio Z enough for me to pick one up instead of a new Z next time. I want a U31A with 8gb of memory. How hard is that? Or the UX32VD with 8gb of memory and 256gb SSD. Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Thursday, June 07, 2012 - link

    Get a UX32VD, pick your favorite 256gb drive, grab a 4gb stick of memory (or an 8gb stick if it supports it) and upgrade the thing yourself.

    The UX32-series all has one stick of user-replaceable RAM, and a user-replaceable HDD that's a standard 2.5" drive. Make sure it's a slim 7mm drive, though. All of Intel's drives are 7mm drives with spacers to make them 9.5mm, so they all fit. Not sure about others.

    If I get a new laptop any time soon, that's my plan anyway. It'll be around $1700, but if you're already looking at the Vaio Z, then that won't be too high a price point for you. With this, you get on-board discrete graphics too.
  • netmann - Saturday, June 09, 2012 - link

    Anand did not open the bottom panel of UX21A this time around! But, I am curious to see if the SanDisk U100 is still the Gum Stick or the mSATA form factor. The SanDisk website does not show the Gum Stick type, only the mSATA and mini mSATA!

    If the SSD in UX21A is mSATA it can easily be upgraded with faster one such as Mushkin Atlas mSATA SSD. If U100 is Gum Stick perhaps it can be swapped with A-Data XM11 from previous Zenbook laptops or perhaps Runcore Rocket Air SSD. Your thoughts?
  • amosbatto - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    In GNU/Linux, you don't have the DPI scaling problem in menus, since its desktop environments let you set any font type and font size you want. Windows doesn't let you configure hardly anything.

    Anyone have any idea how well GNU/Linux supports this hardware? Since it is mostly stock Intel parts, I suspect that processor and graphics support is pretty good, but it would be nice to know if things like switchable TDP are possible. More importantly, does suspend and hibernate work correctly? How is the battery life in GNU/Linux.

    And then there is the problem of touchpads, webcams, special buttons, etc. It would be really nice if review sites would list all the internal parts so we can google them and figure out what is supported in GNU/Linux, BSD, Haiku, etc. Not everybody likes to live in proprietary prisons.
  • amrs - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    There are some issues with Linux but seem to be fixes too. Seems usable to me.

    See for discussion and for a wiki about the issues and fixes.
  • memin1857 - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link

    I got the UX31A today and it has the 256GB ADATA XM11 Sandforce SSD! the package has the Sandforce Driven by LSI sticker. Also on the aliminium case. The model is UX31A-R4003V Turkish model with i7 cpu, FHD IPS Panel and 256GB SSD. I do not know if sandisk versiona exist. It was a nice surprise, I was worries about Sandisk U100 but it turns out to be Adata Sandforce :) Reply
  • netmann - Sunday, June 17, 2012 - link

    Congratulation memin1857!

    I am also thinking of getting the UX31A or UX21A, however these are not available in US just yet! I currently own the UX31E. Did you get a chance to open the back panel to check the SSD in your UX31A? I am interested to know if your 256 GB ADATA XM11 is still a gum-stick format or a standard mSATA format. I am thinking of swapping the XM11 in my UX31E with the possible U100 in the A series laptops.
  • ilkhan - Saturday, June 23, 2012 - link

    Swap the mini-VGA for a thunderbolt connector, remove the micro-HDMI and power LED for a full sized HDMI port.
    Fit a Gbit port on there somewhere or at least a bottom connected docking station with power/video/GBit/Sound.
    Add a haswell quad CPU and a time appropriate midrange nVid GPU.

    I'll get one next year.
  • Zodryn - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    I recently received my ux31a from Amazon, and noticed a few interesting things:

    1) There are only two options in the configurable tdp section. 1.7GHz and 1.0GHz at 13W. There is no 16 or 17W option. This bothers me, as I was hoping for better gaming performance than my old ux21e, but at 13W, it was virtually the same. I could really use that extra bump. Anyone know why this is the case?

    2) Adata SSD! This laptop is lightning fast. I attribute a good chunk of its speed to Sandforce.

    3) When I have the brightness set to max, it is sometimes quite dim. It randomly and gradually brightens at times until it is very bright and pleasant to look at even in direct sunlight. It seems to have issues staying at a consistent brightness.

    As a final note, my old ux21e (sandforce) boots in 16 seconds consistently. The ux31a (also sandforce), boots in 26 seconds consistently. This confuses me greatly.
  • yatahaze - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    I've had a UX31A for a little over a month now, and my drive has gone horribly corrupt simply after waking it from sleep. Many many many errors reported by disk utilities. Reply
  • veteran_n00b - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    This just happened to me this morning. Tried to wake from sleep but the system was unresponsive. Forced shutdown and then it would not boot. I was able to get it going again with boot repair. Then I ran chkdsk the system file checker and found that there were a lot of corrupted files!

    Oh yeah, this is my 2nd laptop which I am in the process of returning because the webcam stopped working. My first one stopped charging one day so I had to return that.

    I really want to like this laptop but wow, such quality issues!
  • ijozic - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    I guess the review needs some update regarding the Ivy Bridge CPUs and the battery life in the low power mode, etc. Reply
  • ijozic - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    It's been some time and I guess the Intel NDA is out. And the results of the UX21A internet battery time with low wattage limit would be interesting. Thanks. Reply
  • ijozic - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    Sorry for the double post.. The comment got pushed to the back so I thought it hasn't been posted.. Reply

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