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Asus Zenbook Touch Ux31A


Dewain27
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Recently I was issued an Asus ZenBook Touch UX31A for work and wanted to give my review after having the device for a month or so.

 

nb_zenbook_ux31.png

 

Tech Specs:

 

The configuration that my ZenBook Touch has is the following:

  • Intel i5-3317U Processor ( i7-3517U offered)
  • 8 GB RAM 1600
  • 256 SSD

 

Performance:

 

The overall performance of the device is great.  It boots quickly and there never seems to be a lag.  I did see some lag in video when playing very large maps on Civilization 5 with default settings for the game with it running at 1080p resolution.  Other than some minor lag in the video the device ran great.  Seemed to handle anything I can throw at it.  I have even run complete lighting and audio controlled DJ events with the device with no issues.  Wireless has worked well and seems to hold a signal as far as my Surface Pro, which is really good in this space.

 

Quality:

 

I own a lot of hardware including a Surface Pro and a Mac Book Pro, which I would say are the best quality hardware on the market.  This is right there with all of these in my opinion.  The screen brightness is not as bright as a Surface Pro, but it is really close.  The backlit keyboard is good to have.  The case is completely aluminum, but you can open it from the bottom to service and upgrade items.  It has a solid feel and even comes with a sleeve for the machine and for the accessories bag of typical dongles that you would need for an Ultrabook including the SVGA convertor.  Screen resolution is awesome at full 1080p and IPS display.  This multi-touch screen is flawless and smooth.  I know you guys won't believe me on this one, but it actually is close to the trackpad performance of the MacBook.  It has multi-gesture support that lets you do the swiping from the trackpad or the screen.

 

Usability:

 

The device has been great for use in my lap or on a table. It is really thin and light, which makes it a pleasure to use.  Battery life has been ringing in around 4-6 hours depending on use, but it is manageable.  My only real complaint for the machine is the fact that the Aluminum bottom is cold on my legs when I wear shorts.  I have yet to really have it get hot on me as it vents much like a MacBook.  If you like a MacBook Air then this is the PC for you.  It is basically the same thing, but cheaper and with a touch screen.

 

Overall Impression:

 

This machine is in my opinion one of the best UltraBooks on the market.  It has superb build quality and with the additions of things like a TPM chip that lets me fully encrypt the drive and use Direct Access for work with no real issue, it really stands out.  I have many machines that I have owned, however this is the first time in a long time, that I have found one that was worthy of displacing my Samsung Series 9 laptop.  It has the power and beauty to do just about anything you want.  I love the serviceability of the device and think this will be staying around my house for quite some time.

Edited by Dewain27
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  • 2 weeks later...

Like Dewain27, I recently received an Asus ZenBook touch.   I think the most interesting commentary I have received from those who have looked at it is that it looks very much like a MacBook Air.   While some felt that it was "merely a poor copy" those who tried it out were instantly very pleased.  

 

Features People found Interesting:

The touchscreen. Even my Apple Fans found that the touchscreen added a lot of interesting usage scenarios.  One of the main ones, surprisingly, was reading websites.  When playing with the laptop, people invariably open a website and browse it.   I was surprised that 3 out of 4 immediately started using the touchscreen.

 

The Speed: OK, Ok..that's not necessarily a FEATURE, but it was something that everyone remarked upon.   My personal use has shown me that this is a very fast machine -especially the disk.    Graphics are acceptable and while I wouldn't go playing Crysis or other graphics heavy games on it, it certainly appears to be capable of running "common games" without problems and at a high resolution.

 

The only annoyance I have found so far is that the SVGA dongle is a bit touchy.   The port is located on the right side and at least in my case, I tend to knock it when wildly mousing.   Additionally, another annoyance (and I've seen this with my Surface RT and other Ultrabooks) is that the VGA port isn't able to drive external projectors that are on very long runs.  The VGA port works fine for a second monitor and even for a normal tabletop projector.  However, I project in some rooms that have VGA cables that are likely 30' or longer, without signal amplifiers.  The VGA doesn't seem to be able to generate a strong enough signal to go that length.    I haven't tried the HDMI port, but perhaps I'll have more luck with that.

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