Asus Zenbook UX31A : In The Prime Of Zen

7/11/2012 11:51:55 AM

The ASUS Zenbook Prime is an enlightening experience.

There are many who may claim that their Ultrabooks are the best of the lot, but none have quite captured the essence of Intel's brainchild much like Asus had with their Zenbook Ultrabooks. It's hard to improve on perfection, but with the Asus Zenbook Prime, we take a look at whether or not all that tinkering is for better or worse.

Starting off with the look and feel of the new Zenbook, the UX31A feels very similar to its predecessor. The brushed aluminium unibody looks a lot more clean this time around, though the edges still feel kind of sharpish.

Description: Description: Asus Zenbook UX31A
Asus Zenbook UX31A

In terms of IO ports, Asus has once again eschewed VGA and LAN ports and is instead replaced by two USB ports, a 3.5mm output jack and an SD card slot. Fret not however, as Asus has yet again seen fit to provide a USB adapter for the LAN and VGA ports. Nevertheless, we feel that by today's standards, two USB ports is simply not enough for the active geek traveler.

The biggest improvement, we believe, comes in the form of the keyboard. Not only is it now backlit, but it also feels a lot more tactile than the previous model, which makes it a joy to type on. The trackpad also feels a lot more responsive.

The UX31A, is powered by Intel's Core ¡7-3517U 1.9GHz processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM. It certainly isn't the most powerful machine out there, but is still capable of playing back 1080p videos without lag on the marvellous full HD IPS display.

Speaking of battery lifespan, the UX31A has a battery that's rated at about 6,840mAh, which roughly translates to about 5 hours plus (6 hours rated) of constant usage. The new SanDisk 256GB SSD also adds to the swift user experience, although due to the Trim processes, it can get rather jerky at times.

“Where the Asus Zenbook UX31A excels the best, we feel is in terms of user experience. The clean chassis design, the tactile backlit keyboard and gorgeous screen all add to a very good user experience. You might miss a few IO ports, but it's undeniable that this is a truly enlightening device.”

Description: Description: The newly-revamped keyboard now has backlit keys and feels better
The newly-revamped keyboard now has backlit keys and feels better









Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz




Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)


13.3 inch Full HD IPS panel (1920x1080)




Wi-Fi, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB3.0


SD Card slot, LAN and VGA USB dongle



Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg


Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg


Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg


Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg Description: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpgDescription: C:\Users\TGS\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$DI00.163\image001.jpg

Excellent screen + Improved keyboard + Solid performance + Amazingly thin - Lacking in IO ports

Benchmark results


2,684 points

PCMark7 (Productivity)

987 points

PCMark7 (Entertainment)

3,011 points

PCMark7 (Computation)

5,408 points

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