Asus debuts 11.6-, 13.3-inch ultrabooks

Hot on the heels of its Taiwanese rival Acer, Asus has pulled the curtain off its first ultrabook—or rather, ultrabooks. The Asus launch actually covers 11.6" and 13.3" Zenbook models available in a total of five configurations.

The base 11.6" config, the Zenbook UX21E-DH52, has a 1366×768 display resolution, a Core i5-2467M processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of solid-state storage, and a 35 watt-hour battery rated for over five hours of run time. Asus says it weighs in at 2.43 lbs and measures just 0.11" in thickness at the front and 0.67" at the rear. If you were expecting Asus to undercut Apple with this one, prepare to be disappointed: the machine is launching at $999, the exact same price as the 11.6" Air… and $100 more than the 13.3" Acer ultrabook, although that machine has only 20GB of solid-state storage supplemented by a mechanical hard drive.

What about the base 13.3" Zenbook? The UX31E-DH52 is a little bit beefier, weighing in at 2.86 lbs with a wedge-shaped chassis that ranges from 0.11-0.71" thick. It has a 1600×900 display resolution, a Core i5-2557M processor, 256GB of solid-state storage, and a 50Wh battery rated for over seven hours. Asus does undercut Apple by a hundred bucks here, charging $1,099 for the base configuration.

Perks shared between the 11.6" and 13.3" Zenbooks include Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 connectivity, and microHDMI outputs. Asus touts wake times of "about 2 seconds," and it claims that its "patented Super Hybrid Engine II technology" gives Zenbooks up to 25% longer battery run times than the competition. The machines feature a "custom cooling technology using a V-shaped channel with a unique copper fin design for improved airflow and cooling," too, so they’ll hopefully stay chilly without too much fan whine.

Look for these bad boys in listings across North American e-tailers starting tomorrow.

Comments closed
    • xiaomimm
    • 8 years ago
    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    Getting closer… Just need a Llano or better IGP and about $200-400 lower price. 1600×900 with definitely get me to go for the 13″ over the 11.6″.

    • djgandy
    • 8 years ago

    Sweet, only 4 years too late to this idea that people don’t want horrible bulky laptops.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    A 1600×900 resolution on a 13.3″ screen? I think pigs have flown, a PC laptop is actually using a high resolution screen on something smaller than 17 inches.

      • oMa
      • 8 years ago

      Vaio z 13.1″
      1600×900 since 2008
      Full HD since january 2010

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        Ah, another gem in a sea of one-size-fits all resolutions

        • no51
        • 8 years ago

        vaio: gateway quality at apple prices.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    I think I just found our replacement for HP. Not bad ASUS. Not bad at all.

      • 5150
      • 8 years ago

      Wow, really? Guaranteed crappy screen and keyboard, but I guess HP already had the crappy screen covered. Oh yeah, and the lack of docking too.

        • A_Pickle
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, really. HP has never in it’s existence made a product that even compares to ASUS. To suggest that they have would be to imply that they have, at one point, made a good product.

        That hasn’t happened.

          • Sunburn74
          • 8 years ago

          The envy is pretty nice. Picked on up recently for 600 bucks. Its an amazing machine.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        [url=http://cdn.pimpmyspace.org/media/pms/c/a1/3k/7c/okay-face.jpg<]Okay.[/url<]

          • 5150
          • 8 years ago

          Click on the link: BLOCKED / Category: Pornography/Adult Content

          Guess I’ll clean out my desk.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      Wait, what? Just now?

      I’m sorry, I guess I’ve just been avoiding HP products ever since they started making bland (it has a Geforce 6150!!!), low-quality products (wireless card overheating? Intended by design!) and decided that it was ethical to have umpteen billions of different ink types for the same goddamn task.

      HP has been bested by ASUS for [i<]years[/i<]. Ugh. You should apologize to ASUS...

        • 5150
        • 8 years ago

        I’ll apologize to ASUS.

        Dear ASUS,

        Sorry for not liking fingerprint-riddled, glossy-screened, bloatware-loaded, plastic-finished, horriflc-LCD’d, terrible-hinged, crappy-touchpaded notebooks.

          • demani
          • 8 years ago

          I am interested in this one since it gets everything on the spec sheet right. Now of course comes the follow through: is the screen decent, the keyboard solid and the trackpad responsive? Does the case flex badly (I’m sure it does-but how much)?

          Given that this is the first non MBA to hit the checklist on the money (the 13″ in particular, though the 11″ is fine) I really hope someone does a thorough review in the next few weeks.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Nice industrial design.

    • Voldenuit
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]What about the base 13.3" Zenbook? The UX31E-DH52 is a little bit beefier, weighing in at 2.86 lbs with a wedge-shaped chassis that ranges from 0.11-0.71" thick. It has a 1600x900 display resolution, a Core i5-2557M processor, 256GB of solid-state storage, and a 50Wh battery rated for over seven hours.[/quote<] According to the [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/4957/asus-zenbook-lineup-the-first-ultrabooks-arrive-october-12-starting-at-999<]Anandtech news blurb[/url<], the base 13" ASUS comes with a 128 GB SSD. To get the 256 GB SSD, you need to step up to the $1349 SKU.

      • Ushio01
      • 8 years ago

      So $250 less than a comparable Macbook Air.

        • Sunburn74
        • 8 years ago

        What is?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      Good, because the SSDs may not be very good ones, so the smallest option, then pull and replace may be the way to go. Kind of makes me wish they sold with a mechanical HDD, or no HDD at all, even if as an obscure ‘DIY’ SKU because obviously installing an OS is beyond most computer users.

    • Plazmodeus
    • 8 years ago

    I definitely want the 13.3″. That sounds like a great laptop. A suitable replacement for the 1810T that I’ve been rocking for almost two years now.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 8 years ago

    wow, that 13.3in one looks really good value – ticks all my boxes: decent screen resolution, big SSD, long enough battery life. The light weight is just a bonus in my view.

    Now I wish they’d just dump the long alphabet soup model names..

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    nobody else thinks the name “zenbook” is retarded?

      • guardianl
      • 8 years ago

      Less so than “sweatshopking”…

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      I was just thinking I’d pay something like an extra $50 to [i<]not[/i<] have "ASUS" on the lid... and even just "Zen" would be better (though I'd prefer no brand name at all)

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      Your use of the word “ret*****” is repulsive.

    • cobalt
    • 8 years ago

    Nice — decent price, display resolution, battery life, and form factor. Scoring some points on those fronts. If they also have a good keyboard, trackpad, and display quality, and don’t scorch my lap, I’ll be interested.

    (I’m not just talking about keyboard quality, but a functional layout. This should be easy on the 13″ model, but for some reason manufacturers think I want to chord multiple keys to get to common functions like pageup, home, insert, or delete. Ever notice how recently laptop makers don’t often provide good pictures of their keyboards? I think it’s because they’re too embarrassed of them.)

    • Ushio01
    • 8 years ago

    Not too bad for the same money as the 11″ Air you get double the RAM and storage with the same CPU and resolution screen (though I bet it’s lower quality).

    “What about the base 13.3″ Zenbook? The UX31E-DH52 is a little bit beefier, weighing in at 2.86 lbs with a wedge-shaped chassis that ranges from 0.11-0.71″ thick. It has a 1600×900 display resolution, a Core i5-2557M processor, 256GB of solid-state storage, and a 50Wh battery rated for over seven hours. Asus does undercut Apple by a hundred bucks here, charging $1,099 for the base configuration.”

    The 13″ Air with a 256GB SSD is $1600 so that’s $250 less than a Macbook Air.

    • codedivine
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<] the exact same price as the 11.6'' Air [/quote<] To be fair, at that price Apple offers 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM whereas this gives you specs similar to the $1199 Air.

      • A_Pickle
      • 8 years ago

      …not to mention, you get USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth 4.0. Suck it, iPhone 4S.

        • mikehodges2
        • 8 years ago

        MBA has Bluetooth 4.0, and Thunderbolt. Granted USB 3.0 would be better for external storage, as it’s already being adopted, but the ability to plug 2 monitors, and several other devices including external PCIe enclosures (!), with one cable when i get home…when support takes off, I’ll be glad i’ve got thunderbolt 🙂

          • A_Pickle
          • 8 years ago

          I seriously do not understand the allure of Thunderbolt. Sure, it’s fast… but when has daisy-chaining [i<]anything[/i<] taken off? Thanks... I'll just plug my monitor into two dedicated video outputs. Doesn't seem like that big of an inconvenience to me.

            • willyolio
            • 8 years ago

            hey, does anyone want to play some 3DO games?

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            IEEE-488 and the derivative used by all Commodore/CBM machines for their storage and printing.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 8 years ago

          By that time, if you’re a true Macolyte, you’ll have bought probably at least a few more MacBooks, so who cares about what happens ‘when it takes off.’ Buy for today, not the maybe of tomorrow.

            • mikehodges2
            • 8 years ago

            …that’s exactly what I did a year ago when I needed a very thin, light laptop with a decent screen, keyboard, trackpad and battery, and no other manufacturer could deliver. I only have the 2011 one now because my old one held it’s value so well, and I managed to sell it for about £40 short of the new one. That’s the other thing to factor in to it….next summer, this one will still be worth something, and I’ll be able to move it on and get the (hopefully) ivy bridge MBA.

    • smilingcrow
    • 8 years ago

    These things are actually starting to look interesting.

      • mikehodges2
      • 8 years ago

      Absolutely. 13.3″ with a 1600 x 900 resolution, at last!

      Sadly (or not), I bought a the late 2010 MBA last year, sold it before release of the 2011, and now have one of those. Still, always good to see competition, will keep Apple on their toes for the refresh.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      I’ll try to wait until Haswell…

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        ……… because I’m right and everyone else is wrong. Always.

        [/testing]

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