Zenbook Prime is a valuable upgrade with
backlit keyboard, better quality, longer runtime and gorgeous Full HD display.
Zenbook Prime is in the second ultra-book
series of Asus, after last year�s well-impressing Zenbook models. With new
model, there�s not much change in design but upgrades and improvements are
quite considerable, including IPS Full HD screen, backlit keyboard which has
been more renovated. This proves that the manufacturer has listened to
feedbacks and applied them to practice so as to develop the model.
However, Zenbook Prime is pricier than its
predecessor due to higher specs. 11.6-inch version UX21A (core i7 chip) costs $1,550.
Meanwhile, regarding 13inch version, core i5 model costs $1495 and core i7
model costs $1,695.
Our test model is one with the strongest
specs: 13inch IPS panel, 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution, Core i7-3517U processor,
4GB of RAM (DDR3; 1,600MHz), 128GB of SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip.
Full HD screen, IPS panel with excellent
Good battery runtime
Backlit keyboard, sensitive touchpad
Limited connectors despite some inbox
Prime�s design is similar to that of previous models.
Zenbook Prime apparently seems similar to 2010-version
Zenbook because both have the same slimness and style. The new one still
retains upsides from previous model, such as sturdy alloy case, regular
slimness heading to the front. This style bears resemblance to MacBook Air of
Apple. The slimmest part seizes just 3mm. In our test, 13-inch and 11-inch
version weighs respectively 1.3kg and 1.1kg.
contours cover central Asus logo.
Like earlier Zenbook and Transformer Prime,
on the outside lid are convex concentric contours covering Asus logo. In the
bottom, there are glossy/brushed metal finish and heat eliminating bars assisting
to cool the system. Besides, rubber soles are used to distance the laptop from
the bottom, there are brushed metal finish, heat eliminating outlets and four
The laptop�s interior is also cover in a
brush metal finish appearing brighter than the outside one. Thanks to this, the
palm rest can comfort user as well as prevent fingerprints.
the left are USB 3.0 connector, headphone slot and card slot.
laptop�s right edge
In sideways edges, we can noticeably 2 USB
3.0 connectors (when 2011 version has one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 connectors).
In the left are USB 3.0 connector, headphone slot and card slot. Meanwhile, in
the right are power jack, USB 3.0 connector and two ports for extended
accessories dedicated to LAN, VGA, and HDMI.
It�s a great change that Zenbook Prime
doesn�t have glossy metal-plated keyboard anymore. Instead, it comes with hard-plastic
keyboard, which proves worthier. First, typing experience feels stable.
Besides, keyboard adventure (no longer short like old version�s one) is good
with faster input. Additionally, backlight is an outstanding feature, which
convinces more users familiar with regular typing, while last year�s Zenbook
could not do.
touchpad still retains good characteristics of the old one.
However, new touchpad still retains good
characteristics of the old one due to high appreciation. Asus is smart to apply
multi-touch sensitivity completely on this touchpad (while it requires more
installation on other laptops). Users can use two-finger scrolling for
navigating websites, three-finger flicking up for opening running applications,
three-finger flicking down for quick access to Desktop� Our test touchpad was rather
sensitive though seamless mouse buttons appeared difficult to use, unlike that
on other touchpads. However, when getting used to flicking and touching, this
monitor with Full HD resolution
in so as to see 100% of image dots
are displayed smoothly.
One more valuable upgrade is the monitor
which has been equipped with higher resolution as well as panel helping UX31A to
perform better than other ultra-book on the market. Full HD resolution produces
sharp images, details but need more zooming configuration so that websites
don�t look too small on this 13-inch monitor. IPS panel gives clear images in
accurate colors, pretty wide-viewing angle and no reflection in low lighting
(like other common panels).
Test model is equipped with Intel Core
i7-3517U, 4GB of RAM (DDR3, 1,600MHz), 128GB of SSD, Intel HD Graphics 4000
by Windows Experience Index
The laptop scored 5.8 points (based on the
lowest score of Graphics), marked by Windows Experience Index. In detail, processor
got 7.1, RAM got 5.9, graphics got 5.8 and gaming graphics got 6.4. Besides,
HDD won 7.5 points.
by 3D Mark 06 in Full HD resolution
by 3D Mark 06 in regular resolution: 1,366x768 pixels
Despite Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip of
next-generation Intel core I series, the laptop gained 3.982 points in Full HD
resolution and 5.444 points in regular resolution (1,366x768), marked by 3D
Using Cinebech 11.5 to judge processor and
test OpenGL, processor scored 2.79 points and graphics got average 15.6 fps.
16GB SSD made by SanDisk
Our test laptop use SSD manufactured by
SanDisk. Average transfer rate reached 296.6MB/s. This figure was really
impressive, compared to other ultra-book using SSD.
temperature after 20 minutes of web browsing
Because of amazing slimness and alloy case,
Zenbook Prime still got hot in the bottom, near the edge. Though this laptop
was quite improved with more heat outlets, its temperature kept rising after
using for a while yet the heat is less than that of previous models. In
general, the laptop could run for hours with essential applications and when
put on thighs, it was rather comfortable.
In our test, we played a movie for more
than 1 hour in 27 degree Celsius condition, it resulted an internal temperature
of 27 degree Celsius of the laptop.
In the test, we opened 10 websites in
Chrome and let them automatically load after each 15 minutes, played an online
music site continuously, used headphone instead of speakers, turned volume at
70% and set brightness at 50% then left the laptop run until there was 5% of
battery left. Total time allotted was 5 hours and 18 minutes.
On another test, we repeated a HD 720p
movie, switched Wi-Fi off, used headphone instead of speakers, turned volume at
70% (volume of Windows Media Player was 100%), set brightness at 50% then we
left the laptop run until there was 5% of battery left. Total time allotted was
5 hours and 2 minutes.
As a result, 5-hour runtime is really
impressive. In fact, user can save more energy to work on the laptop for
between 6 and 7 hours, according to the manufacturer.
system lies near the edge.
Zenbook Prime�s sound system lies near the
edge. It is a combination of Asus and Bang & Olufsen. Output sound is not
loud yet it is very impressing. Despite lack of bass, treble is clear and
sharp, which is suitable for soft music: jazz, country�