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  • ashetosvlakas - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Raid-0 random accesses should be twice as fast. No? Reply
  • madmilk - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    No, RAID stripes are much bigger than typical random accesses. Reply
  • ashetosvlakas - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Right, but you don't need to read the whole stripe when doing random I/O. At least, linux md does not. Stripes are only for data placement, not necessarily for pre-fetching or write-combining. Reply
  • ashetosvlakas - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Here is a performance analysis of a RAID-0 with SSDs. It seems that at queue depth one performance is not very good for random I/O, probably due to latency. At high queue depth it is exactly twice as fast.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Don't forget that you need to compare the 2x120GB to the 240GB single drive. Reply
  • ashetosvlakas - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Right. So then, if SSD Nand scales with capacity, RAID-0 is useless, unless you are limited by the SATA interface. I'm sure there are 128GB SSDs though that perform more than half as good as their 256GB counterparts in random reads. Would these be good candidates for RAID-0? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Personally, a good SSD is more than fast enough for anything I see consumers doing. We're basically saturating the SATA bus with single drives in theoretical testing, sure, but how often are you doing stuff where you want/need >500MBps? There are use cases where such things are important, but not for consumers -- for professionals, servers, and workstations. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    1) People rarely, if ever, use the number pad.
    2) Trackpad isn't centered.
    3) After looking at a Retina MacBook Pro screen, even 1080p on 15" screen is too low.

    Maybe I'm asking too much, but I think ASUS is just trying to pull a fast one for the price they are asking for.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    1) Speak for yourself
    2) Centered on the spacebar -- if you center on the laptop and have a 10-key, your palm will always rest on the touchpad when typing. So basically, this is the same complaint as #1.
    3) I wouldn't say it's too low, but it is lower. Depending on your eyesight, it may or may not matter.

    There's no doubt the MacBook Pro Retina has a better LCD, overall build, SSD, touchpad, and battery life. It also starts at $2200 and doesn't run Windows as well as it runs OS X (basically, it's not even remotely optimized for Windows use -- not that I expect it to be). People don't cross shop MacBook vs. Windows; they either go Windows or OS X, or perhaps go OS X but sometimes dual-boot into Windows. Anyway, the point is that $200 isn't a big enough gap to say ASUS is offering you reasonable savings.

    No one gets to charge Apple prices except for Apple; everyone that tried doesn't sell enough product to be worthwhile. I knock off $50 from the price for the SSDs, $200 for the LCD, $100 for the build quality, $25 for the touchpad, $50 for the battery life, and then take another 15% off for not being Apple. Hence, I think the UX51VZ should be selling for more like $1500.
  • Narrlok - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    The $2,000 they're charging for the UX51 in the United States must be a pricing error. The variant they sell in Sweden is called the U500VZ (same specs) and sells for SEK 15.995:-, whereas the MacBook Pro 15" with Retina starts at SEK 21.495*, so this is more in line with the relative prices you listed ($1500 vs $2200).

    How are you liking the build quality though compared to a unibody MBP and an HP EliteBook 8570p for example?

    * Yes USD 1 is closer to SEK 6.5 and not SEK 10, but that's the way regional pricing works, plus we have 25% VAT.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Build quality is generally good, but I notice there's a seam on the back-right hinge that has pulled apart a bit. The way the top and bottom of the chassis comes together isn't as good as on the MacBook line I don't think, and the aluminum is a bit thinner. But if the pricing is right I would certainly recommend this laptop as a good overall option -- and I need to look for updated touchpad drivers, which I'll do now.... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Interesting, German prices seem pretty reasonable. 1564€ for the ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ-CN035H whereas the cheapest Apple 15.4" Retina Notebook costs 1974€. That's a good enough gap in my opinion. I personally would much rather use the 13" ASUS UX31/32, because I don't need the 10-key or the quad core CPU when I'm on the road and like the smaller form factor (11.6" Acer 1st generation Core-i3 ULV user here). :D Reply
  • warisz00r - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I think more people should learn that the correct position of the trackpad is ALWAYS centered on the spacebar. On the MacBook line, Apple can afford to have the trackpad centered length-wise to the chassis because they can afford to lose a little trackpad-spacebar symmetry to gain a much better aesthetics. Of course the fact that the last time they fitted a 10-key on the MacBook was donkey's years ago (if they ever did), helps. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    After updating my ProBook to Windows 8, I actually saw an overall decrease in battery life. I was surprised by this, since Win8 is supposed to have better idle characteristics. I wonder what would happen if you put Windows 7 on it?

    Either way, perhaps a nice article at Anandtech would be a battery life/power consumption comparison between Windows 7 and 8 on various hardware.
  • Rezurecta - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I own this laptop. Extremely thin, extremely light, all aluminum, quiet, 1080p IPS matte, i7 with gaming class discrete graphics, EXCEPTIONAL AUDIO for a laptop(I am a headphone audiophile and the sound is quite good for the platform), amazing storage, 3 ports of USB 3 (very important not only USB 3, but 3 ports for kb, mouse, perhipheral), and backlight keyboard that is excellent to type on and even has a numpad.

    This is a one of a kind laptop, that is a PC. I suppose you could buy an MBP pro and hack install windows. I think Asus is charging a premium because they are the only one who has a product of this caliber and isn't Apple.

    They hit pretty much every painpoint for enthusiasts who want thin and light.

    The touchpad is problematic, but usable. I use double touch for right click and sometimes it doesn't work. The laptop also has an external mini sub (quite nice and fills out the sound decently). The plug is starting to wiggle and I start to lose audio connection with the sub. Suppose its a good time to test Asus support.

    Overall, Asus was the only one who satisfied the checklist and I was willing to pay a premium to fill it out. Most important is the fact that Asus is willing to create an ultra premium Windows laptop. We should encourage this.
  • slippysoup - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    I picked up an Asus X202 for Christmas that also uses the Elan touchpad. Thanks to a comment on an Amazon review, I installed Samsung's driver for the same touchpad and it made a world of a difference. Here's the link:
  • puttersonsale - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    He says there is NO touchscreen but if you go to the Asus website and watch the video for the laptop you actually see him use the screen as a it touch or isnt it then? The video im talking about is on this page: Towards the 2nd half of the video you see him clearly take a finger swype across the screen and it moves the metro interface. Reply
  • puttersonsale - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    just so you dont have to watch the whole thing i think its @ 1:54 - 1:56 ish of the video Reply
  • Narrlok - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    That's a newer model. The one he has doesn't have a touchscreen. For some reason ASUS decided to keep the old model names (UX51VZ, U500VZ) for then ew ZENBOOK Touch. Reply
  • puttersonsale - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Thanks a ton that is confusing lol

    You'd think they use a different model number for the newer one.
  • JJJJS - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    As mentioned above, Asus has announced a touchescreen version of this laptop, but it has yet to be released.

    One issue not mentioned in this review is that the SSD drives have a proprietary connector so are not user-upgradeable with off-the-shelf parts.

    Also, when this product was originally announced pre-launch it was stated that since the laptop could hold two physical drives, there would be an option of dual SSD using Raid-0, or a combination of a 128GB SSD and 500GB HDD. IMHO, this latter configuration would be ideal because it gives the owner the best of both worlds -- the fast data access of the SSD for booting/apps and critical data, with the less expensive high capacity of the HDD for large data such as a media library.

    Unfortunately, post launch it appears that ASUS is indeed manufacturing and shipping models in the SSD/HDD configuration but only in small eastern European markets. The United States, Western Europe and other countries only have the dual SSD models available.

    I do not understand the rationale behind this release strategy and find it really disappointing. Do others agree with me that the SSD/HDD variant would be a desirable configuration and hope that ASUS would release it in western markets?

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