We unbox the ASUS UX31 Zenbook – the first Ultrabook from ASUS. Weighing in at just 2.87lbs and 0.67 inches thin at its thickest point the finely crafted all-aluminium ASUS UX31 represents a revolution in notebook design.
The UX31 delivers the ultimate in performance including an Intel Core i5-2557M ULV processor, 4GB of ram, and a first among notebooks – an SATA III 128GB SSD for uncompromised speed. And with exclusive Instant-on technology and up to 7 hours of battery life the ASUS UX31 is the ideal PC for students that want to power through any tasks, stay connected all day, and of course, turn heads.
First, let’s look at some of the free bonuses included in the box – starting with a VGA adapter. The UX31 itself comes with a mini-VGA port but to make things easier ASUS includes a free adapter to convert this to a standard VGA plug – making it incredibly easy to hook your UX31 up to an external LCD display or HDTV.
For frequent travellers the UX31 also comes with a free Ethernet adapter. While most users will be totally fine with wireless internet there are definitely times when an Ethernet port comes in handy – we’re thinking hotel rooms with sketchy wireless service and study halls designed in the 60′s! Plug this Ethernet adapter into one of the UX31′s two USB ports and you’re set.
Undoubtedly the best free find in the box is a padded carrying case that you would expect to pay $50 for with just about any other notebook. Perfect for travelling or for keeping your notebook safe when you’re moving between classes the carry case is the perfect addition to the UX31. It kept the UX31 safe and sound on a recent trip to New Mexico where it shared space in my bag with a digital SLR and the tangle of cables I carry around for all my devices. No worse for wear after four flights.
Another pleasant surprise in the box is the slimmed down charging adapter that comes with the UX31. Even slimmer than what came included with the Eee Slate EP121, this charging cable completely does away with the typical ‘brick’ that comes with most notebooks. What good would an ultra-portable PC be if the charger added an extra pound and took up half your bag? This one fits easily in your pocket and has a handy indicator light where it plugs into the side of the UX31 that goes from orange to green when you’re fully charged.
Underneath the UX31 and its carry case are some of the standard documents you find with ASUS notebooks. These include a warranty card, user manual, cable organizer, and LCD screen cleaner. Handily, the UX31 includes a ceramic coated screen bezel so fingerprints are kept to a minimum here.
On to the main show – the UX31 itself. The most eye-catching feature of ASUS’ first Ultrabook is the unique radial aluminium finish. Apart from just catching the light and the attention of just about everyone around you when you pull your computer out of your bag, the finish also helps to resist and hide fingerprints so it stays looking new.
Flipping the UX31 upside down reveals the same aluminium material underside, albeit with a more traditional brushed finish. There are also rubber feet on each corner that protect the Zenbook’s bottom from scratches or scuffs when you’re using it on a hard surface and prevent it from moving around while typing. Rear facing vents also direct air away from you to avoid excess noise or heat.
The left hand side of the UX31 has a USB 2.0 port (great for plugging in an external mouse or hard drive), a headphone jack, and a 5-in-1 card reader.
On the opposite side there’s a micro-HDMI port, a mini-VGA port (where the aforementioned adapter plugs into), a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (for 10x faster data transfers and back-ups), and the charging port.
Cracking open the lid reveals a full aluminium palm rest and seamless construction. There’s a huge trackpad and full keyboard that make getting around your desktop easy. And, a departure from recent ASUS notebooks, the screen features a ceramic finish bezel that is not only fingerprint-resistant but also better looking.
Behind the keyboard also lays one of the most surprising features of the ASUS UX31 Zenbook. Despite being extremely thin (just 17mm at its thickest point) the UX31 packs a serious audio punch. The ASUS SonicMaster design team worked in collaboration with
Dutch Danish ultra-premium audio house Bang & Olufsen ICEpower to develop mind-blowingly clear speakers. You won’t believe that audio this loud or clear could come out of a laptop this size.
So there you have it – the ASUS UX31. Stay tuned for our hands-on video.