Asus Zenbook series is one of the first Ultrabooks to be released in the market. Asus Zenbook UX32 is the latest release in this series. This time Asus came up with a scaled down affordable version without making any noticeable decrease in the performance and its looks. After the release of their first series of Ultrabooks, Asus made good on their promise to improve screen resolution, badly designed keyboards and low battery power.
Asus Zenbook UX32VD Specification
Intel® Core™ i5-3317U 1.7GHz Turbo Boost to 2.6GHz
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64 bit
The word ‘Zen” is all about beauty and peace. Asus did justify giving the name with a head-turning design and a sleek aluminum build. The machine is pretty, sleek and lightweight. The thinnest point in Asus Zenbook UX32VD measures 8mm and the thickest is at the hinge end measuring 14mm.
Asus Zenbook UX32VD is powered by Core i5 Processor running on Ivy bridge chip. This is what I talked before as scaled down version as the Core i5 make sure there is a balance between performance and affordability. The performance of Zenbook UX32VD was good enough to run some of the usual applications. In the benchmarking tests, it performed really well for the configuration it carries. The PC took almost 35 seconds to boot to desktop with all the software fully loaded. The Ultrabook came out of sleep mode in 2 seconds. A part of the credit goes to the presence of SSD.
Regarding the RAM memory, Zenbook UX32VD comes with inbuilt 4GB RAM (2 slots). If you are planning to buy this model, consider adding additional RAM while buying. You can replace the 2GB RAM in one slot with a 4GB or 8GB RAM.
Zenbook UX32VD comes with a hard disk space of 500GB and 64GB of SSD space. 500GB is not a lot when you think about living in 2012. There is a 3 in 1 SD card reader for adding extra storage. My recommendation is to upgrade the SSD at the time of buying. The prices have come down a lot these days and it is well worth the money spent. SSD’s come in a lot of foam factors and be careful to buy the 7mm drive which fits the device.
The model comes with a 13.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. The screen is gorgeous, images are sharp and bright. Zenbook UX32 graphics is powered by an internal standard Intel HD Graphics 4000 and an external nVidia Optimus graphics card. The sharp and bright screen combined with amazing sound effects provided a great movie experience. The Bang & Olufsen speakers are included in the chassis. The speaker is well known for its quality sound and is one of the best features included in the Zen series of Ultrabooks from Asus. Asus Zenbook UX32 has an HDMI port and Display port for connecting Asus Zenbook UX32 to an external display. There is no VGA port but is normal as devices which use this connectors are slowly disappearing. The machine also provides three USB 3.0 connectors.
The keyboard on Asus Zenbook UX32 is another feature to be considered. The chicklet style keyboard looks nice on the laptop and functioned better than some of the Ultrabooks from Lenovo and Samsung. It looks identical to MacBook Pro, but not as good. The Keyboard is backlit with adjustable brightness level controlled using the Fn key.
The Ultrabook gave a reasonable, not amazing battery life as claimed by Asus. Don’t get me wrong, it gives almost 3hrs of battery life with full usage and more than 4hrs for using light application which is reasonably good.
Finally, Asus provide industry's best-in-class warranty and free 1-year accidental damage protection. The accidental damage protection covers accidental drops, spills, power surges and fire damage for the first year.
Verdict: The machine is light, it is beautiful and it is well worth the buy. But if I am asked to buy this machine, I would not do that without adding more RAM and HDD. If possible, I would also like to add more SSD space before buying. With these upgrades, Asus Zenbook UX32 is the best Ultrabook available in the market now. Microsoft is going to offer a $15 upgrade to Windows 8 Professional which is again a good deal in the future.