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Conclusions
Over the past few pages, we've seen that the Zenbook Prime's display really does live up to the hype. We've seen that this sexy little ultrabook is just as fast, if not faster, than its Sandy Bridge-powered predecessor. (Its graphics performance is certainly a step above the previous generation, even if it's not anywhere near good enough to play the latest games at decent settings. Casual titles and older games would be a better fit for this machine.) More importantly, we've seen that the Zenbook Prime has terrific battery life, beating both the previous-gen machine and Intel's reference Ivy Bridge ultrabook.

Asus has made other refinements, too. It's added keyboard backlighting and USB 3.0 connectivity, and it's ironed out the issues we had with the first Zenbook's touchpad a year ago. The extra polish is palpable. Yet somehow, the Zenbook Prime costs less than the original Zenbook did last year. The $1050 price tag is even lower than that of Apple's current-gen 13" MacBook Air, which doesn't have nearly as good a display.

If that's not a bargain, I don't know what is.

Sadly, there's one little flaw that prevents us from giving this ultrabook a full-fledged TR Editor's Choice award. The problem isn't Asus' fault by any means—indeed, we need more notebook makers to take the plunge and offer high-PPI laptops, lest the status quo remain unchanged. But the issue is bound to annoy prospective users just the same.

That problem, as you've probably guessed, is spotty software support for the high-PPI display. Folks shouldn't have to compromise between ugly graphics scaling and Lilliputian fonts when browsing the web, but it's a sad reality that must be confronted with the Zenbook Prime. Other Windows apps also exhibit an occasional reticence to bend themselves to the system's DPI setting. Windows 8 may improve or even resolve the situation entirely, but this ultrabook ships with Windows 7 right now, and wishful thinking about future fixes isn't enough to warrant a more solid endorsement.TR

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