"I Like, I Like A Lot!"4.5 starson by JamesGengler
Pros: 1)Screen is fantastic, excellent clarity with a max resolution 1600x900
2)Sound is fantastic for such small speakers
3)Video performance is good
4)Boot up is amazingly fast
5)Laptops design is top notch, metal finish is amazing, built very sturdily
Cons: 1)It doesn't have a backlit keyboard
2)Network card is a bitslow. Very similar to the wifi card in tablets ( android/ipad)
Summary: The Asus Zenbook UX31E is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing ultrabook/notebooks that I have ever come across. The entire notebook (with exception of the screen bezel and keyboard) is machined from aluminum. The outside of the lid is a different color than the rest of the ultrabook, but it is an amazing titanium color that clearly shows the swirl marks of the machining process. The entire weight of the ultrabook is just under (3) three pounds, but feels slightly heavier (in my humble opinion).
The ultrabook comes with (1) one USB 2.0 port, (1) one USB 3.0 port, a Multimedia Card Secure Digital (MMC/SD) reader slot, one micro-HDMI, and a micro-VGA port that seems to be proprietary - meaning that the port is for a VGA adapter. Within the packaging, there is also a USB to Ethernet adapter in case there is a need to use an Ethernet cable. The packing also includes a nice sleeve for the Zenbook as well as the usual packing that comes with most other notebooks. If admiring packing is your thing, you will be impressed considering the packing is just as aesthetically pleasing as the Zenbook.
The power supply has a nice small footprint, but the shape of it can be rather cumbersome when it comes to plugging it into surge protectors or just a regular outlet for that matter. For many that are on the road, this can be a rather serious problem, and hopefully a third party vendor will come up with a better solution, or you can simply use a small extension cord. The keyboard is spaced well and has a nice clicking sound (not as bad as mechanical keyboards). Furthermore, the keys have a nice pressure associated with it, and unlike many other reviews, I have not noticed any keyboard malfunction. That said, there is one issue that may be concerning for some -- the power button is part of the keyboard and its location above the backspace button. For people that have larger fingers, they may accidently tap the power button, and depending on your environmental settings, can put the Zenbook to sleep.
The screen is fantastic and has excellent clarity with a max resolution 1600x900. Although I am not a fan of glossy screens, I do not seem to notice much or any glare (yet). The sound is fantastic for such small speakers, and in my humble opinion are some of the best speakers that I heard coming from notebooks and ultrabooks. The video performance is good; however, do not expect to be able to play demanding games and other applications that require a more powerful video card. It is important to note that this is by no means a desktop replacement.
There have been many negative reviews as to the touch pad. Asus decided to use two different touchpad vendors resulting in poor performance. In addition, the end-user does not have the option to pick and choose what touchpad to purchase resulting in units being shipped with different touchpads. Mine came with the Elan touchpad. When I first started using the touchpad, I did notice some lag, but after updating the drivers, this was resolved.
Another issue that seems to be concerning to many users is the Atheros built in wireless adapter. Apparently, many are losing their wireless connection and/or getting a weak signal. I also noticed this problem and it was resolved with a driver update.
As many already know, PC vendors will install a lot of annoying bloatware. The Zenbook does come with its fair share of bloatware, and an easy way to resolve this is to download a free program called PC Decrapifier that will allow you to uninstall these programs much easier than going through programs and features.
The battery life is acceptable and it is safe to say that you should get a solid (4) four plus hours and even more depending on the individual preference of environmental settings. It is also important to note that the Zenbook Solid State Drive (SSD) comes in two different flavors - mine came with the SanDisk SSD U100. The other is the faster ADATA Sandforce. Furthermore, these are not your typical SATA SSD drives (such as the OCZ Vertex series), so do not expect the Input/Output Operations Per Seconds (IOPS) to be earth shattering. That said, it is much faster than 7,200 RPM SATA mechanical drives, and you will see a significant difference in performance in boot times (POST) as well as applications loading faster. In addition, I do not see a way to increase memory - there are no SO DIMM slots which can be concerning for some. That said, all this is necessary to keep the Zenbook's footprint to be equivalent to the Apple MacBook Air.
In conclusion, the Asus Zenbook is a fantastic ultrabook that is an eye opener for those that want the MacBook Air footprint, but do not want to be associated with MAC products and price. As you can see, there are more pros than cons, and the negatives such as the touchpad and wireless can be resolved with a driver update. For the price, I find this to be a nice solution for individuals that are looking for a portable solution for both business and entertainment that are in the $800.00-$1,200.00 enthusiast ultrabook/notebook range that want a powerful, but slim and compact solution.
PS: for best price of this ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH53, if you're will buy it, I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: Prices-comparison.info/Zenbook-UX31E-DH53
Hope this review helpful.