ASUS UX31 Zenbook Review

By on January 30, 2012
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A viable alternative to the MacBook Air?

Good: Beautiful looks, Sturdy build, Very fast, Cool & quiet,
Bad: Competition offers better performance/price, No backlit keyboard, Jumpy trackpad
Price: AED
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Inside the ASUS Zenbook seems like your typical glossy laptop screen, but turn it on and you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous 1600×900 resolution screen on the petite 13-inch screen. Honestly with this resolution the ASUS Zenbook has one of the best 13-inch screens on the market, which is not the boring 1366×768 that everyone uses, nor the eye watering 1920×1080 resolution from the Sony Z series laptops.

The brightness is fairly good, with easy looks in brightly lit rooms. Direct sunlight usage is just as bad as you’d expect on any glossy screen. While games (like Counter Strike or Unreal Tournament or Warcraft III) look just as good on this as any 1366×768 screen, HD movies really take advantage of the higher resolution by providing a crisper and better detailed image.

The keyboard has metal keys, which feel nice to look and even touch (the latter could be placebo), actually typing on the Zenbook leaves much to be desired. Unless I press the keys completely, often times keystrokes won’t be registered by the Zenbook. Touch typing is, therefore, a real pain with the Zenbook. And for those who have to look at the keyboard at night, well, goodluck, because the screen light is the only way to light up the keyboard area since the Zenbook doesn’t have a backlit keyboard. Considering the competition, this is one place I think ASUS really dropped the ball.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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