Excerpt: We're fortunate enough to get hands-on time with some pretty sexy hardware here at HH and we're not going to make any apologies for using the "s word" as it relates to this hot new notebook from Asus. Though some industry pundits might take issue with us describing this machine as "sexy," you'd have to agree this 12-inch slice of aluminum and cutting-edge technology is pretty damn sleek and pretty.
Pros: Gorgeous good looks, Exceptional build quality, Light as a 2.4lb feather, Top-shelf ultra-low power components, Solid battery life, Great performance
Cons: No DVI or HDMI output, No backlit keyboard, Key cap travel is a bit shallow, takes getting use to
Conclusion: If it's time to trade in an old clunker, we're confident that you'll find the ZenBook UX21E a worthy replacement. It's fast, attractive, and light, and it has most of the latest and greatest technology in a laptop of its type. But then again, it might be worth waiting just a little longer to see what some of the other soon-to-be-released ultrabooks have to offer—especially if you're very discriminating about your laptop's screen and keyboard.
Pros: Highly portable, Strong and fast performance, Gorgeous polished-aluminum case, Superb audio system
Cons: No memory-card slots, Keyboard a little shallow, and lacks backlighting, Slightly less-than-vivid color reproduction
Summary: Perfection. The power version of the Zenbook, with a Core i7, is as handy as a netbook but faster than most multimedia machines. How is this possible with a build height of 17 millimeters? The lightning-fast ADATA SSD sets the standard higher than ever.
Pros: Low weight and slim case, Stiff & high quality aluminum case, Good input devices, Very good application performance, Extremely fast SSD, Very bright screen, Unequivocally solid aluminum body. We gladly accept the few grams more compared to the MacBook Air.
Cons: Few interfaces, Reflective screen, Poor colors, viewing angles, RAM & battery built-in permanently, Short battery life of less than four hours, Very loud during load, A battery life of at least five hours and wide viewing angles.
Conclusion: Given the lack of any Intel-specific Ultrabook software I'm hesitant to even call this thing an Ultrabook. There's also the fact that, at least in the case of Intel Rapid Start Technology, being more of an Ultrabook in that sense would've been a step back in performance. In fact, I see no real reason to use that brand at all—which is likely why ASUS ended up calling it a Zenbook to begin with. So how well did ASUS do with its first Ultrabook...er Zenbook?
Excerpt: It was all looking so good. The feel of cold, smooth, brushed aluminum. The solidity of a thin form factor. Beautifully sleek design. Keys painted to match the brushed aluminum chassis. A large clickable trackpad. Good build tolerances all around. Sub-2.5lb weight.
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