Pros + High resolution 1600x900 Great viewing angles, vibrant super-bright colors, and just screams clarity, and the backlight is so bright
+ Sound is incredible for its size
+ Reboot & shutdown times are incredibly fast
+ USB 3.0 port
+ SSD hard drive!
Cons - Drivers need to be updated
- Keyboard wasn't very comfortable to type as much other laptop
- No backlit keyboard
Summary Let me start with the LCD, because it is the reason I bought this laptop. The 1600x900 resolution is INDISPENSABLE. As far as I know, there is NOT another notebook with this high of resolution on a 13" screen. I know for sure Lenovo does not. It has great viewing angles, vibrant super-bright colors, and just screams clarity.
There are no dead pixels, and the backlight is so bright, I keep the brightness turned down (which I've never done on another laptop.) If you are looking for more resolution, so that you may fit more stuff on your screen (hello multitaskers), but you don't want a HUGE 15" screen, look no further.
Some people seem to be having a problem with the keyboard, but I like it a lot. That being said, I did just come from a Lenovo Ideapad Chiclet keyboard and I hated it. The keys do not have a lot of travel and you do have to be a little bit "purposeful" on your key presses, but I type rather hard anyways. It is an easy keyboard to adapt to in my opinion and it does not require a huge amount of precision and accuracy like my last Chiclet keyboard did. I don't know, I guess I'm a sloppy typist and it works well on this keyboard.
The sound on this notebook is incredible for its size. I am really impressed. It is not ear-splitting loud, but it puts out way more sound (and better quality) than I expected. It's not "tinny" as you would expect either, but don't expect a Dolbly Surroud Sound System here ;)
The touchpad is another ballgame. I have upgraded my drivers (just wanted to have that said.) If you are like me and you are used to using a "normal" old-school touchpad with seperated physical buttons, then you are going to have to change your style a bit to get used to this touchpad. It has what seems like physical button on it, but they are also part of the touch pad, and thats what creates the problems. It registers a single "physical-button" click a lot of times as a two-finger gesture and does strange things.
The ONLY way you will be happy with this touchpad is to change your style and forget the physical buttons. Instead use the touch pad as your button and click once for a left click, and click once with 2 fingers for a right click. The touchpad has a lot of cool features and they are fairly effective and consistent IF you change your habits of not using the physical buttons. You will know what I mean when you get it and play with it. It is definitely not a deal breaker and I am becoming a lot more effective using this touchpad in a different way than I ever have.
I don't know why so many reviewers have a problem with the mini-hdmi and mini-vga ports, instead of the full size ones, but it does not bother me at all. All of the adapters come in super-nice brown cloth/leather case that matches the notebook's super-duper-nice slip-cover-case-thing. I do wish it had some more ports on it, such as esata/usb combo port, but I guess you have to sacrifice a little to have such a thin solid laptop.
The new Toshiba ultrabook for example is about the same size and it has a TON of ports all along the sides and back of it, but it is so FLIMSY and fragile feeling. There is no comparison. The Zenbook is aluminum all the way around: top, bottom, KEYS on the keyboard, and it is SO SOLID. It doesn't flex at all.
Yes there is a lot of software that comes on it, but I've found most of the Asus utilities to be rather helpful (and this is coming from a guy who usually formats his laptops from the factory and installs a fresh copy of Win 7). I uninstalled all the extra Microsoft crapware and a couple of extra programs, but there really is not that much useless stuff. With the 256GB SSD, there is plenty of room to dual boot Linux, and have several virtual machines. Just keep in mind you will need an external USB 3.0 drive if you store lots of stuff (blu ray movies and the such).
Overall it is a solid little laptop, that is VERY easy on the eyes, and is powerful enough to use as your primary machine (granted you aren't a hardcore PC gamer). Now if only they would have squeezed that backlit keyboard in there...
*Note, if you're will buy this ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH72, I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: Prices-Comparison.info/ASUS-Zenbook-UX31E-DH72
Hope this review helpful.
Pros Weighs only 3 lbs; very thin, Intel i7 dual-core CPU; 256 GB SSD; near silent operation; remains cool during extended operation; bright 1600x900 LED screen; very large, glass Sentelic touchpad with extensive gesture support; nice folio case included
Cons No keyboard backlighting (major deficiency), no WiDi, no GPS (minor issue), no built-in WiMAX or 3G/4G cellular access (minor issue). Max on-board RAM is 4 GB. Non-IPS LED screen has 20 to 30 degree vertical viewing angle. No CD/DVD or Blu-Ray drive.
Summary The ASUS UX31E-DH72 laptop is a beautiful, light, very thin, solidly-constructed Windows 7 laptop that satisfies most, but not all, of my wish list requirements. I have owned one for a week and have used it extensively at home and at work.
I own and use a MacBook Pro and several full-size Windows laptops but have been looking for an "ultra-light" portable with a solid-state hard drive(SSD) for the ultimate in portability and lightining fast start-up. I had been seriously considering a MacBook Air for some time, but then heard several vendors were releasing thin, light-weight, Windows 7 Intel CPU-based "Ultrabooks" including the ASUS UX31. I'm glad I waited.
CPU Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2677M CPU @ 1.80GHz, 1801 MHz, 2 Cores, 4 Logical Processor(s)
Graphics Processor: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. Perfectly good for viewing full-screen HD YouTube videos and digital downloaded movies without pixilation or stuttering, but this is NOT a gaming machine. Do not expect to run the latest first-person shooters at 1600x900 resolution at playable frame rates. Of course, solitaire, Scrabble, Mahjongg, card games, Angry Birds, and similar low-frame-rate games won't be an issue and will look gorgeous.
RAM: DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM; 4 GB on-board, no memory slot - not expandable or replaceable, which is disappointing and a negative in comparison with MBA and some other Windows Ultrabooks, which can be ordered or expanded with up to 8 GB RAM.
Appearance: The UX31, in my opinion, is physically very similar to the 13-inch MBA and slightly better looking. I much prefer the darker titanium-colored shell and dark metallic LED display screen border to the bright, lawn-chair aluminum colored shell and screen border of the MBA. Both machines are incredibly thin and portable, and both garner stares and envious comments from fellow bus and airline commuters.
Dimensions: According to the specs provided by ASUS, the UX31 case is 3 mm thick at front edge and 9 mm thick at the rear edge. These dimensions only reflect the thickness of the keyboard section measured at the extreme left and right edges. Given that the bottom metal case curves quickly from front to back and from the left to right side of the machine, the actual overall closed laptop thickness measurements including screen lid are, by my measurements, 3 mm at the front edge, 15 mm thick at the midpoint from front to rear, and 17 mm thick near the rear edge. Including the rubber feet on the base, the UX31 stands 11 mm high at the front edge and 19 mm high at highest point near the rear edge of the screen lid. So, not quite as thin as the specification dimensions would suggest. But, still, this laptop is impressively thin and absolutely gorgeous. To be fair, Apple similarly stretches the truth about the MBA thickness, reporting only the edge thicknesses. The styling and curvature of the bottom panel of both the UX31 and the MBA does give the illusion of a much thinner device.
Similar to the MBA, the UX31 screen is nearly invisible from the side when lifted from the keyboard base and is aprox. 4 mm thick. The high-gloss screen does mean reflections can be an annoying issue, particularly since the optimum viewing angle of the UX31 display is so narrow that the screen must be opened to a position where it is directly facing you for optimum contrast and color rendition. In practice with all glossy screens, reflections are typically only an issue if there is bright light source directly behind you, such as a lamp or window. Display color depth is excellent and colors are very bright. Even in my brightly-lit office at work, I turn the screen brightness down 2-3 notches from max; in darker conditions, such as sitting in living room at home, I set brightness at 50% level or lower for a comfortable viewing experience.
Portability: The UX31 weighs only 3 lbs. (ASUS website incorrectly lists weight as 1.3 lbs. on spec sheet), so it is extremely transportable and the rounded edge on the rear hinge side of this laptop make it comfortable to carry for long periods even without using the supplied portfolio case. I don't suggest carrying the laptop with the 3mm front edge in your palm, as "razor thin" takes on a whole new meaning, if you catch my drift.
Hard drive and Startup Speed: The 256 GB SSD drive facilitates boot-up from shutdown state to Windows 7 desktop display in under 20 seconds, and near instant-ON (approx. 2 seconds) resume from sleep mode. In a real-world startup situation, I can go from shutdown condition to login page to Windows desktop to an open Internet Explorer Google Search web page in about 35 seconds. I set the laptop to go into sleep mode whenever I shut the lid, and it auto-resumes SILENTLY in under two seconds when I lift the lid (i.e., instant ON). I can't adequately express how sweet that is.
Usability and Features - Touchpad: The UX31 is equipped with a very large glass Sentelic touchpad with extensive gesture support. Hands down this is the largest, best functioning touchpad I have ever used on any Windows laptop. The large touchpad has a slick, smooth surface and the entire pad acts as a click button very similar to touchpad on a MBA or MacBook Pro. I have read numerous reviews bad-mouthing the touchpad and, honestly, I don't know what the hell these reviewers are talking about. Perhaps they were working with beta touchpad drivers, or maybe there are units out there that have touchpad hardware from a different supplier. Also, the touchpad in the 11-inch and 13-inch models may be different. I don't know. But I LOVE the touchpad on my 13-inch UX31E. It is almost, but not quite, as responsive and pleasingly functional as the touchpad on the MBA and the 17-inch MacBook Pro that I have at home and the UX31 touchpad is bigger. NOTE: I ran the ASUS Live Update utility multiple times out of the box to ensure I had all the latest drivers installed.
There are thirteen different touchpad gesture functions that can be activated individually in the Finger Sensing Pad Configurator, which is a tool available as an icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, including: 2-finger up/down and left/right scrolling, 3-finger vertical up swipe to show all current apps as stacked windows on the desktop, 3-finger left-right swipes to easily flick between running app windows or to Page Up and Page Down, 3-finger down swipe to open front app window full screen, 2-finger pinch to zoom in/out, 2-finger click anywhere on the touchpad for a mouse right click (very useful), and a thumb and one-finger curve swipe to rotate objects CW or CCW, etc.). In addition, there are three more gesture function tweaks available in a separate "On-Pad Functions" sub-menu. These touchpad gestures all work very well, in my experience, with common windows apps including Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, File Explorer, etc. One note on 2-finger up-down scrolling in Internet Explorer, scrolling works very well, but you have to select the page with a single click first, and you must wait until the entire web page fully loads.
NONE of these touchpad gesture functions was activated by default - I had to turn each of them on in the driver, and several have sub-options. I have read several reviews complaining about difficulties using the touch-pad for standard drag and drop operations because using standard Windows mouse functions you must left-click by pressing pad (typically using your right thumb) in the designated left-click button area of the touchpad and then with pad button still depressed with thumb use your index finger to swipe the pad to move the selected object. I agree this is a hassle and not easily executed. Instead, I highly recommend enabling both the "tap and drag" feature and the "drag locking" feature under the separate "On-Pad Functions" sub-menu in the touchpad driver options. Then you can simply double-tap and hold (leave finger on pad after second tap) on a file name (in Explorer) or on an icon on the desktop and then move finger to drag item in any direction. With drag lock on, once drag operation has been initiated, you can lift your finger from the touch pad and then continue swiping in one or more direction(s) you want to move the selected item, then tap once to drop. Works great for me. In the "On Pad Functions" sub-menu, I also recommend enabling "Edge Scrolling" under "Two Finger Scrolling", which will allow you to continue to scroll in the same direction when your fingers reach the top or bottom edge of the touchpad (very useful).
Usability and Features - Keyboard: The keyboard keys are NOT backlit, which is a big negative and disappointment, especially when traveling. Yes - you can turn on an overhead light in an airline or Metro bus seat, but I much prefer the individual key backlighting available on the current MBA keyboard. Keyboard keys have a shallow travel depth but keys are large with slight depressions in center with decent tactile response (both sound and feel). I speed type and have very few issues with unregistered keys or miss-hits. No - it's not as nice as a full-travel keyboard, but if the keyboard keys were full-travel, the laptop would be two or three times as thick. The keyboard and surrounding metallic deck area do not exhibit any flex typical of some laptops. Given this laptop's razor-thin profile, that is impressive and speaks to high quality of construction. I like the large backspace and separate, but smallish, up/down/left/right keys. I wish there were also dedicated Pg-Up, Page-Down, Home and End keys, but these functions are available by holding the "Fn" key down and then pressing one of the four arrow keys. The palm rest area below the keyboard is very large considering the size of the laptop and the brushed dark metal surface remains cool and does not noticeably pick up finger/palm prints because it has a slight brushed texture.
Usability and Features - Display: The 13-inch 1600x900 back-lit LED screen is very bright with deep rich colors. Max brightness setting is almost painful to view, even in brightly-lit office. The dull, dark metallic bezel around the screen is not distracting at all and all but disappears in dim light (as opposed to the annoying bright aluminum bezel around the MBA screen, which is a distraction in any lighting.) However, I would have preferred a glass-to-the-edge type screen with a black bezel UNDER the glass like on my 17" MacBook Pro. The only negative, and it is significant, is this is NOT an IPS screen, and the useable vertical viewing angle, in my estimation, is only about 20-30 degrees (+/- 10-15 degrees from straight on viewing angle). This actually requires that the note book be opened to a wider angle than I am used to on other laptop computers and makes it slightly less convenient on coach airline seats with limited "desktop' area on the fold-down tray table, particularly if the passenger in front has reclined their seat. Fortunately, the UX31 is relatively small and very light and can be moved to the very front edge of the tray table or placed in one's lap if necessary (so that's why they call them "laptops"). Because the shell is so rigid and does not become uncomfortably warm even on extended use, actual "lap top" use is possible. Also, the screen lid opens to a very wide angle (~135 degrees), which is an absolute necessity to view it when the laptop is literally resting in your lap.
A 0.3 megapixel webcam is centered in the top screen bezel.(I expected a better webcam; disappointing)
Usability and Features - Ports: 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, mini-VGA (with included adapter cable), micro-HDMI (adapter cable NOT included). USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet port adapter cable is included. Built-in SD card reader slot. Security cable lock slot. USB ports support USB charging of connected peripherals even when the laptop is in battery mode and sleeping or shutdown (you can set a minimum battery level at which point the USB charge feature is disabled).
Usability and Features - Speakers: The included speakers, which appear to be mounted under the keyboard, are provided by Bang & Olufsen. While there is no mistaking the sound from the laptop as coming from even a low-end stereo system, for laptop speakers they sound pretty good, especially considering this an ultra-thin laptop. The headphone output appears to be amplified, as I typically have to dial volume down to only one or two bars. ASUS indicates that the standard 1/8" headphone jack also doubles as a line-in audio jack, but I have not tested that functionality.
Usability and Features - Wireless Network: The built-in 802.11 b/g/n wireless networking has linked quickly and reliably with my home Linksys wireless b/g/n router as well as with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE tablet operating in personal hotspot mode with security protocols active. I have run multiple wireless network speed tests using (www.speedtest.net) with laptop linked to my home wireless system hitting 20 megabits/sec for downloads and 3.5 megabits/sec uploads (typical of my Comcast-based broadband service through my Linksys router). I was particularly impressed when the laptop remained connected to my Samsung Galaxy Tab sitting on the kitchen table on the opposite side of the house from my home office instead of switching over to the much stronger signal from the Linksys router upstairs. I speed tested a 3.9 megabits/sec download in this configuration and was shocked it even held this connection at such a distance. I'm not sure if that speaks more to the output strength of the Samsung tablet local hotspot antenna or the reception sensitivity of the UX31 wireless network antenna, or both.
No WiDi. The UX31 does NOT natively support Intel WiDi display of laptop screen image or videos wirelessly to an HDTV, which is a disappointment. However, I believe a USB WiDi transmitter and receiver combo is available from NetGear.
Bluetooth v4.0 support is built-in. I have not tested this.
Usability and Features - Accessories: Unit includes a 3-inch square, two-prong A/C power adapter with 8-foot cord (nice!) and lighted DC adapter tip. Some other reviews have complained the D/C power tip fits loosely in the UX31 power port - not so on my unit. However, the hard plastic adapter plug has a large 90-degree bend in it that I fear may end up damaging the connector inside the laptop power port if I move the UX31 quickly from my lap to a flat surface with the adapter plug pointed downward.
The UX31 comes with a very nice nylon-denier fabric portfolio sleeve case - an unexpected and much appreciated bonus.
Oh, and I did confirm, you can easily slide the UX31 into a standard office 10" x 13" business envelope and seal the flap - if you want to impress your colleagues with how thin your new laptop is!
Pros Light, very thin, SSD, i7 CPU, 4gn DDR3, Bluetooth,
Cons The lid is slightly hard to open up because of the small lip. Also, would of been nice for the keys to be backlight, but im not going to complain about that :)
Summary Firstly, I dont know what the other reviewer is talking about, but I have always had nothing but goodness with Asus support, when it comes to warranty. Also, they allow you to send it to third parties if you choose, which can yield in faster repairs. Once I even had a third party mail me a replacement heatsink and fan for my laptop, so I could replace it myself, and they did send it and I sent the old one back.
Overall their warranty is good, and they are flexible encase you would rather have an ASUS certified shop repair it, to where you can talk with the tech.
Ok so as far as this laptop goes, its an amazing thing! I love how thin and light it is, but yet how extremely fast it is, especially the 2 second boot from sleep time. We eneded up with the UX31E-DH72 model, which is the 13" i7 model because it has better battery life, and honestly, because its so light and thin, going from their 11" to 13" model is not a big deal at all, and I am glad we did. I was also pleased that it had a nice case for it, and an ethernet adapter as well as a vga adapter.
The wifi on my unit has very good range and speed, having excellent signal, where as 3 different laptops at the same range only show poor to good signal.
The 256gb SSD is amazing as well. Once I loaded files to it from my USB 3.0 thumb drive (moved 1gb of files in about 10 seconds), they installed extremely fast. What would take my ASUS G73JH 1 minute to install, this ultra book took only 10-20 seconds to do.
I have had no issues with the keyboard as others have complained about, and I also love the touchpad. The touchpad has giving me no issues before or after I did drivers updates, which included a touchpad update.
Overall, this product is amazing, and I will continue to buy more ASUS laptops in the future (this is my 3rd asus laptop in 6 years, and I sold one of them to make room for my G73JH).
Pros Looks nice???
Cons Only worked for four weeks and their service center is terrible.
Summary Waiting for parts for 17 days now. No communications from ASUS. Escalation Team doesn't respond. Have no idea when ASUS will return my computer. They won't let me speak to their repair technicians. In fact, I can't even speak to their Customer Service supervisor. Worst Customer Care I've ever experienced with a computer company.