Ultrabooks today are the most fashionable and dashing trend in mobile computers with ОS Windows. This market segment is still relatively new, but many companies are already making a move to try and stake their claim in the field.
With its stylish Zenbook family Asus offers the range of powerful but thin and light laptops in the Intel-dominated Ultrabook series.
Build and Design
The Asus Zenbook UX21 is designed to be slim, light and attractive, offering fantastic performance to tackle the most demanding tasks. Its skinny silhouette is strikingly minimalistic, sleek and downright beautiful with brushed metal finish and impossibly small dimensions; it feels really great to the touch.
With a width of only 297 mm and a depth of 196 mm it measures only 17 mm at the thickest point at the back and tapers down to 3 mm at the front, weighing a miniscule 1.1 kg. So, this is a laptop which will easily slide into the smallest bag.
However, its chassis are very sturdy, and look right from every angle. There is no flex on the keyboard and hardly any on the lid. The elegant finish should stay scratch-free and will not get soiled by fingerprints thanks to being made of aluminium.
Display and keyboard
Our Zenbook UX21 packs an 11.6-inch screen with the resolution of 1,366×768 pixels that are both pleasantly sharp and exceptionally bright, looking truly fantastic for such a small laptop. Colors are handled exceptionally well and look very accurate, so it will do the job perfectly for Web browsing and streaming TV shows or watching movies while on the move.
The gorgeous styling continues with a full-size keyboard that uses square, isolated keys, and an expansive and smooth touchpad accommodating multi-touch gestures and easy navigation. Typing feels immencely satisfying, thanks to the responcive keys that are spaced comfortably apart from each other. Thanks to great build quality, the palm rests feel very robust, despite the very thin design.
The front and the back of a Zenbook feature no connectors. However, the right side comes with micro HDMI, AC in, and a single USB 3.0 port multiplying the transfer rates of current USB 2.0 as much as tenfold.
On the left you will find a USB 2.0 slot, a headphone/microphone jack and a mini VGA. It also supplies a USB to Ethernet (100Mbps, not Gigabit) adapter for users seeking to connect to wired office LANs, and Bluetooth 4.0. Naturally, a 802.11n Wi-Fi is built in.
The Asus Zenbook UX21 features the groundbreaking SonicMaster sound technology which makes its audio quality really impressive, far exceeding the limitations of conventional laptops’ sound performance.
A specially developed powerful amplifier gives clear, articulate vocals, and the big integrated speakers allow enjoying true surround sound.
The UX21 packs a Core i5 (or Core i7) CPU clocked at 1.6GHz and Turbo support of 2.0GHz, 4GB of RAM and a snappy SandForce-controller-equipped ADATA 128GB solid state drive, – an incredibly powerful combination in a laptop of this size – all of which help deliver surprising performance and system responsiveness, making for an amazingly smooth and fast computing experience. So, there will be no trouble completing your daily tasks or running various applications.
Like all ultrabooks, our Zenbook does not feature a user-replaceable battery. Fortunately, the built-in 35Wh battery should suffice for most tasks. It also means that this notebook can last in standby mode for roughly a week. Asus also provides a battery management application that displays relatively accurate battery life and standby time estimates. SO, thanks to ASUS PowerWiz technology, you are always in the know where your laptop’s power is concerned.
One of the most noticeable attributes of ultrabooks is the instant on feature. The Asus Zenbook UX21 is no exception. The speed in which it ”wakes” from sleep mode is truly notable, making it resume work instantly, without any hang-ups and loading periods. It takes a few seconds to get to idle mode, and less than two seconds to turn the machine on from stand by.
An Asus UX21 comes with a lot of Asus software, among them the updater that takes care of necessary and recommended driver and software updates.
It also bundles a nice, simple suite of utilities and apps – Asus Tools – such as back-up and restore tools, system security apps including facial recognition software for access and logon security, word processor and Asus LifeFrame, a webcam software suite for stills, audio, video and various content creation utilities.
Starting at $957.99, prices for an Asus Zenbook UX21 can be lower or higher than those for a MacBook Air. So, for the best-looking, very travel-friendly, full-powered laptop you can own outside the world of Apple, it is reasonably priced. This sleek and modern-looking ultrabook is an impressive, MacBook Air-style thin wonder. It will make an excellent travel companion for anyone demanding power and extreme portability.
Overall, the Asus Zenbook UX21 is a fantastic buy for anyone looking for a powerful, ultra-portable laptop. The build quality is top notch, the design is mouthwatering, and Asus has paid a lot of attention to detail, making the UX21 a proper premium product. If you are looking for a very sleek and stylish machine that can last a few hours, surf the web, play HD really fast, while being extremely thin and light, then the UX21E line should be your choice.