If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the MacBook Air should be positively blushing right around now. A sudden onslaught of Ultrabooks--the Intel-coined term for thin, MacBook Air-esque Windows laptops with fast boot times and sleek, high-end designs--has hit just in time for the holidays, and one of the most highly hyped ones we've seen is the.
The product doesn't shy away from an Apple-like design whatsoever, and that's not such a bad thing. Who doesn't want a thin, unibody metal lightweight laptop that starts fast and has a great battery life?
Cheaper, it is; as for better, I'd have to disagree. Excellent speakers, sleek design, and a high-resolution screen are accompanied by a finicky keyboard and touch pad, giving the ever-so-slightly-off sensation when working on the Zenbook. It feels like the opposite of the silky-smooth experience on a MacBook Air. Battery life is short of the Air's lofty numbers, too. Nearly five hours isn't shabby, but it's not industry-leading.
Those are somewhat minor issues for what's otherwise a very solid and impressive thin laptop, but at a price north of $1,000, these are issues anyone would pay attention to. The 13-inch Zenbook UX31 has more expensive in 256GB SSD and Core i7 configurations, climbing up to $1,449 at its highest price. If I were buying a Zenbook, I'd stick with our $1,099 review model and live with the limitations, glad that I had a MacBook Air-alike that saved me a few dollars along the way.
If your idea of an Ultrabook is a Windows version of a MacBook Air with a slightly lower price, then consider the Zenbook your product: just be forewarned that the keyboard, touch pad, and battery life are less impressive than the audio/visual bells and whistles.