Asus Zenbook UX31A and its little brother UX21A are among the first ultrabook models that switch to the new computing platform Ivy Bridge, led by ultra-efficient Intel processors made using the 22 nm manufacturing process.
Improved versions of the Zenbook UX21 and UX31 series promise autonomy and improved performance while providing a set of interesting features.
Both models receive matte finish screens, more comfortable to use in well-lit rooms, while the top versions make the transition to full HD resolution. The new screen with 1920×1080 pixels resolution use IPS technology and is available for both the 13.3-inch diagonal UX31A and 11.6-inch diagonal UX21A version. The brightness of the image reaches 350 cd/m2 in the case of IPS screens and 300 cd/m2 LCD if you opt for the budget LCD, in which case resolution is limited to 1600×900 pixels for the UX31A model and 1366×768 pixels for the UX21A model.
Ivy Bridge processors are part of the Low-Voltage offer from Intel, being models from the Core i3 and i7 with TDP consumption of only 17W:
-Core i7-3517U, dual-core, with HyperThreading, 4MB L3, cache, 3GHz max Turbo Boost speed
-Core i5-3317U, dual-core, with HyperThreading, 3MB L3, cache, 2.6GHz max Turbo Boost speed
-Core i3-3217U, dual-core, with HyperThreading, 3MB L3, cache, 1.8GHz (without Turbo Boost)
The RAM installed in quantities of 2 GB or 4 GB is of DDR3L RAM type, being able to operate at a frequency of 1600 MHz, using a low voltage of 1.35V (opposite to the 1.5V for a usual DDR3). The resulting energy savings bring a little extra in terms of autonomy. Also to maximize energy efficiency, the traditional hard drive makes room for a SSD device with SATA III interface, available in versions with 256 GB and 512 GB storage capacity.
3D acceleration and video playback are provided by Intel HD Graphics 4000.
Among the connectivity options we can find the new streaming video technology Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), a network card WiFi N and a Bluetooth 4.0 module. To these are added two USB 3.0 connectors, an HDMI output and a slot for a SD / SDHC / SDXC memory card.
The keyboard with “seamless chiclet” design is illuminated and described as being stronger than the previous version.
The autonomy provided by the internal battery is estimated at 6-7 hours for Zenbook UX31A and about 5 hours for the smaller version UX21A.
Asus Zenbook UX31A weighs 1.3 kg, measuring 18.3 mm thick and is expected to arrive in stores at a price of about $ 1,100.
The 11.6-inch screen version, Zenbook UX21A, weighs 1.1 kg and measures 17 mm thick. The selling price is also slightly lower, reaching $ 1,050.