Feeds
85%
Asus Zenbook UX31E

Asus Zenbook UX31E

The finest Ultrabook on the market?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review I honestly thought it would take the industry a lot longer to start producing Windows Ultrabooks for under a grand that are this good. The Asus Zenbook is as flat and skinny and as light as a MacBook Air without trying to look like one, and is a darn sight better connected.

Asus Zenbook UX31E

Smart notebook in size zero clothing: Asus Zenbook UX31E

The Zenbook comes in 11-inch and 13-inch versions: the UX31E tested here is the larger and more expensive of the two kitted out with a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM and sporting a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-2677M CPU.

The case is built from what looks like two-tone brushed aluminium, the lid appearing darker than the base due to its circular rather than linear brushed finish. The press release describes this top-surface finish as “a concentric circle design that refracts a halo of light that excites the senses”. Oh lordy.

Asus Zenbook UX31E

The refraction effect of the lid is supposed to ‘excite the senses’. I expect you’re feeling frisky just looking at this photo.

Similar to some other Ultrabooks – such as the recently reviewed Acer Aspire S3 – the Zenbook is gently wedge-shaped: the UX31E is about 17mm thick at the rear hinge and just 3mm at the front edge. The edges of the lid and base are flush on the sides and front, which naturally makes them appear sharp when the case is opened. They’re not sharp enough to cut you, but I can attest that they are sharp enough to scrape away the top surface of your fingernails, should you be so inclined.

Opening the case is a bit fiddly because there’s no clasp or catch, nor a recess to stick your thumb into, just a 0.5mm overlap to grip on to. However, with the Zenbook on a desktop, it’s possible to lift open the lid fully without the base tilting back – beautiful.

Asus Zenbook UX31E

No kidding, this is an extraordinary piece of impossibly thin hardware design

The 13.3in, 1600 x 900 display is crisp and clear, even in its slightly dimmed ‘battery saving’ mode, and the bezel - whose grey plastic rather disrupts the brushed aluminium finish everywhere else - is untypically narrow at roughly 16mm on either side.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Visual basics

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.