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|Tuesday, 24 January 2012 09:48|
- Great Design
- Sensitive Touchpad
- Amazing battery life
- High quality audio
- Small screen
- No backlit keyboard
Asus Zenbook UX21 is a thin, light, and well performing Ultrabook that can get the job done. It is 17mm thick on the back and narrows down to 3mm to the front, just like its sibling the Asus Zenbook UX31 and the Apple MacBook Air 11-inch. Asus Zenbook UX21 has an 11.56-inch screen and structure design to be as small as it gets, this allows you to put it into a bag or a folder even along with your papers and books.
The Asus UX21 is very sturdy and stable due to its structure that is made of a single piece of aluminum, unlike many other Ultrabooks that are combined with many parts and some parts being plastic, not on the Asus Zenbook UX21. Trying to bow or twist it and you will understand that it is very strong, strong enough to go through a lot of transport and heavy usage without breaking apart in pieces.
The overall impression on the Asus Zenbook UX21 is great. It weights only 2.42 pounds while the Apple MacBook weights 3 pounds. However you will wonder why the small piece of machine feels heavy. The aluminum piece makes a machine strong and stable, but what comes with it is the weight. It’s not as heavy as an Algebra book so 2.42 aren’t the world.
Most Ultrabook laptops on the market are designed to have a brushed metal exterior, the Asus Zenbook UX21 don’t, it has a fairly unfamiliar spun metal exterior. It might seem a little odd at first glance, but when you really look at it, it is an astonishing design.
The Asus Zenbook UX21 has an 11.56-inch screen with 1,366×768 resolution. The brightness and color is quite comforting to the eyes, while sharpness is good. The colors are good enough for regular browsing and HD movies, for better movie experience if the 11.56-inch screen isn’t big enough, you can connect it with a HDTV through the mini-HDMI port. For those of you who prefer to watch a movie on the plane or wherever you can’t plug it in with a HDTV, the Asus Zenbook UX31 with a 13.3-inch screen, Intel Core i7 Processor and a $150 more on the receipt, might suit you more.
- Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard is made out of plastic, though it looks as if it is also made of aluminum like the chassis, but disappointingly it is not. The keys are placed low and near each other making typing and working at a speed more difficult and can cause typing mistakes if the user doesn’t get used to it. These kinds of things take time and eventually it won’t be that much of a pain. Not to mention, when you compare the keyboard of the MacBook Air and the Asus Zenbook UX21, the MacBook Air does give a better typing experience. What also make a keyboard on a MacBook Air better is the backlit lighting system which allow users to type easier under dim lighting environment, this feature, the Asus Zenbook UX21 lacks. Asus failed the keyboard test completely in my view, but you don’t buy a laptop because it has a nice keyboard.
The Trackpad is huge and useable! It practically filled whatever area is left with this giant Trackpad. It will be a good Trackpad for people who love working with Trackpad instead of a mouse. It will allow for multi-touching gestures, which can make working a lot more effective and easy.
The Asus Zenbook UX21 has a great design, but what’s more important on a laptop, not to mention an Ultrabook laptop, is the performance! The Asus Zenbook UX21 comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and a 4GB DDR3 RAM, not bad at all for something of its dimensions. It has scored 9,802 on a PCMark05 test, beating Acer Aspire 5755G with 2GHz Intel Core i7processor which got 9,049 on the same testing.
The Asus Zenbook UX21 has all the connection that you would need these days, it has a USB 2.0, USB 3.0, a mini-HDMI, a mini VGA port, and of course headphones and microphones jack. It might not have an Ethernet port, but you can still connect it to the Ethernet because the Asus Zenbook UX21 comes with a USB Ethernet adaptor. Asus claims that their USB 3.0 ports has a USB Charger+ technology that allows you to charge your devices connecting to the USB 3.0 faster, CNET has proven the technology by plugging their iPhone 4 with the USB 3.0 and it was a little faster.
The graphics on the Asus Zenbook UX21 is nothing special, it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, however the little support of the built-in Intel HD graphics did allow the Asus Zenbook UX21 to have a little 3D gaming capability. With a little run on the Dirt 3, the Asus Zenbook UX21 managed to make 13 frames per second, not that impressive for these kind of games.
So overall the performance of the Asus Zenbook UX21 is quite good, its fast and suitable for movies, online music, online web-browsing with many tabs. The problem might occur a little with new high-end games, but if you stick with the older versions like Half-Life 2 for instance, it’ll get the job done just fine.
- Storage and Battery Life
The Asus Zenbook UX21 has a 128GB SSD, which is a hard drive that’s faster than the traditional HDD. The SSD allows Ultrabook laptops to have a quick wake and sleep. The Asus Zenbook UX21 sleeps in 2 seconds and starts up in 21 seconds, which is quite standard for an Ultrabook. The sleep and wake speed enables users to quickly start working and not having to wait ages like when we used to years ago. The SSD’s advantage is also that it saves a lot of energy since it has no moving parts, on a standby, it can last for over 2 weeks!
Another feature that might come about to save your career is the auto saving when battery drops below 5%. This feature will help a lot of people who forgot to save their work and started playing intense games, or forgot their charger and so on.
The overall battery life can last about 5 hours, which isn’t very good comparing with the standard of Ultrabook laptops standing at 6 :30 hours.
Asus Zenbook UX21 is a beautiful piece of machine. It is light, it is thin, and it is strong! The performance is very good for the price that you have to pay to get it and comparing to Apple MacBook Air, it might not be the winner, but the price does give it a strategically advantage.
Here is a price and technical specification
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:40|