The UX31 is the new Ultrabook to beat, thanks to its long battery life, fast performance and welcome extras like a high-res display and Bang & Olufsen speakers. We wanted to test out the battery on the Pantech Element, but we did so using our own methods. Our review unit was ‘Obsidian Stone’ in colour and featured the now standard spiral machined lid that reflects light in a manner very specific to ASUS Zenbooks. While the extra pixels were appreciated and marvelled over, we can’t help but think that the 1080p resolution display would have suited us just fine for the increase in battery life that we expect would have accompanied the change. The biggest failing of the ASUS UX305 is that the battery life suffers greatly from that QHD+ display. The display is definitely the main contributor to the six or so hour battery life that we saw from it in day-to-day usage. The ASUS Zenbook UX305 is a fantastic laptop that, for its price, is easily recommended to the average user who needs something more than a tablet, but won’t be pushing the hardware to the limit.
HD YouTube video isn't as smooth in the Battery Saving mode, but otherwise, video performance on the Zenbook is excellent. ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VDThis Zenbook Prime takes everything we know and love about the previous Zenbook Ultrabooks and makes it so much better. The original Zenbook was one of the first Ultrabooks unveiled and even to this day it takes some beating.


Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to the pillars laid out by Intel: its performance trails similar machines, its battery craps out early and the design, while portable, is too chintzy to make it a bellwether for skinny Windows laptops. We then played the movie with the built-in player until each device shut down when the battery died. While it will help keep the battery consumption down over time it definitely took away from the premium quality that we think ASUS was searching for.
To get such long battery run times in such a tight chassis, the Zenbook UX31 needs power-efficient hardware—and power-efficient hardware doesn't dissipate a ton of heat. Our verdict, in a sentence, was that you'd be better off getting a MacBook Air, or at least considering other Ultrabooks -- namely, ASUS' line of Zenbooks. The Zenbook Prime keeps the sleek, aluminium build that has become a staple of Ultrabook heritage. Slightly thicker at the hinge end at 14mm the Zenbook UX32A has a wedge-shaped look similar to the original Zenbook and the Apple MacBook Air.
Conversely, because of their high display luminosities, the Zenbook UX31 was tested at a 25% brightness level and the Series 9 was tested at 30% (and with its adaptive brightness setting disabled). At its point in measures a tiny 8mm.Asus has kept the concentric circle design that now not only adorns its Zenbook range but also premium tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime and Transformer Pad Infinity. The circle design throws light back like the spokes of a wheel and gives this machine a premium sheen that we don't get from the solid silver of the Sony T13 Ultrabook or the black glass of the HP Envy Spectre.While looking pretty on the outside, the Zenbook comes with a less-than-flattering internal specs sheet.


These components don't put out the barnstorming benchmark results we'd see with an Ivy Bridge Core i7 machine, but they bring the Zenbook down to more affordable realms of Ultrabook computing. Like the previous Zenbooks, this one is an absolutely sexy machine and a multimedia monster. ASUS was able to stuff in dedicated NVIDIA GPU without making the machine that much heavier, leaving it weighing only 3.2 pounds over the previous 3 pound Zenbooks. The truth is that booming sound might not have made our shortlist of things we wanted to see in Ultrabooks (not ahead of portability and battery life, anyway), but we are, of course, delighted to have it anyway. That PCMark Vantage score of 10,218 fell to 5,032 in battery saving mode, while its score of 4,171 in 3DMark06 dropped to 1,528.
According to an ASUS rep, that's because the battery saving mode essentially disables Turbo and throttles the GPU to near idle speeds.
Happily, we were right: the UX31 held out five hours and 41 minutes in our standard battery rundown test, which entails looping the same movie off the hard drive with WiFi enabled and the brightness fixed at 65 percent. While the S3 has little more to offer than a low price point, the UX31 has an arresting design and SATA III SSD that promises superior battery life and performance.



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