Get an Asus Zenbook Prime 13.3-inch ultrabook for $699

This well-appointed portable usually sells for at least $200 more.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

The Asus Zenbook Prime is a fully loaded ultrabook, but it isn't priced like one.
The Asus Zenbook Prime is a fully loaded ultrabook, but it isn't priced like one. Adorama

I've found that sometimes -- sometimes -- it's worth spending a little extra.

For example, when I decided to buy an ultrabook a couple months back, I opted for the cheapest model I could find -- and ended up regretting a few things. It wasn't as thin or light as I would have liked, and its hybrid hard drive didn't blow me away with its performance.

Thankfully, you can now get a reasonably priced model without compromises. For a limited time, and while supplies last, "adoramacamera" (via eBay) has the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31ADH51 13.3-inch Ultrabook for $699 shipped. It's new, not refurbished, and usually sells for at least a couple hundred dollars more.

To my thinking, the Zenbook personifies what an Ultrabook should be: very thin, very light, and very fast. It measures just 0.7 inch at its thickest point and weighs a manageable 3 pounds.

And the loadout is about what you'd expect, with one appreciable difference: a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state drive (no hybrid here), and a 13.3-inch IPS screen that runs at a resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. I've said before I think that's overkill for a screen of this size, but that's the resolution my current machine runs, and I must admit it's nice -- especially when you can get it for the same price as a system that runs at the more common 1,366 x 768 pixels.

I haven't found a ton of reviews of this particular configuration, though over at Adorama proper (where it's currently selling for $889.99), the few user reviews are extremely positive. And CNET did review the larger version of this system, which the editor loved except for the price.

For $699, I think the bang-for-the-buck ratio here is pretty high. If you've been looking for an ultrabook without compromises and without the usual ultrabook price, this looks like a winner.

Bonus deal: It's not quite Tuesday, but here's a tablet deal anyway: While you're at eBay, seller "voodooblu" has the refurbished Google Nexus 7 (16GB) tablet for $150 shipped. That's one of the best prices I've seen for Google's widely praised slate. That said, Barnes & Noble has extended its deals on the Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, which are continuing to sell for $129 and $149, respectively -- unbeatable deals, in my humble opinion.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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