Asus ZenBook UX21 review
Ultrabooks are the Windows alternative to a MacBook Air, but until now we’ve only seen examples with 13in screens, leaving the 11in Air unchallenged. Fortunately Asus breaks this trend with its UX21; an 11in version of the Asus ZenBook UX31.
The UX21 looks almost identical to its bigger brother, with the same brushed metal finish but with impossibly small dimensions. Tapering to an incredible 7mm at its thinnest point and weighing a miniscule 1.1kg, this is one laptop you won’t mind keeping in your bag. It’s impressively sturdy, with very few signs of flex in either the lid or the main body, and it should stay scratch-free thanks to the aluminium construction.
The gorgeous styling continues when you lift the lid, revealing a speaker grille built into the screen hinge, a full-size Chiclet-style keyboard and an expansive touchpad. Typing felt responsive, thanks to the bouncy keys that are comfortably spaced apart from each other, and all the punctuation keys were where we would expect them to be. The touchpad is smooth, letting us navigate the desktop easily, although we weren’t that impressed with its integrated buttons. Moving one finger while the other is hovering over the left or right button can bump the mouse cursor around the screen, which quickly gets irritating.
The 1,366x768 resolution screen is superbly bright, and its colours also looked very accurate when viewed straight on, but they quickly became less so at more extreme angles. There’s more than enough tilt in the hinges to find a comfortable working position, but the glossy finish makes it difficult to read what’s onscreen in harsh direct light.
Audio quality was impressive, especially considering that the Altec Lansing speakers take up very little room in the chassis. Volume was surprisingly high and the mid-range sounded clean, although there was an unsurprising lack of bass from the small speakers and very high-end notes were rather sharp.
can't understand any of the negative reviews
I've had this product almost 2 weeks now and i am glad i did not let any of the negative comments deter me. This computer is lightning fast both out of standby and on a reboot as well. the facial recognition login was a nice surprise.
regarding what i thought were negatives according to others.. i don't feel the trackpad is something i'd even notice as unusual if nobody said anything about it. it is actually a better size than the touchpads i've had on other laptops, yet still does not get any accidental touches from me.
on the keyboard,.. again, this is nothing less than what i would have expected on a computer so thin. if i'm trying to write a novel or PhD dissertation i'd probably add a bluetooth keyboard so my hands have more space.. other than that i have no issues with the keyboard.
power plug? contrary to other reviewers, i just unplugged my power cord during this review and i got a notification i was switched to battery power. again, i don't understand where the complaints are coming from here unless there's been some improvements.
one reviewer joked that they spent an hour trying to figure out how to open it. i can nearly open the lid with one hand assuming it's flat on a desk. what little weight it does have is well balanced.
i don't understand some points about the screen either. if you research other ultrabooks the resolution on the 11.6 ZenBook is on par with 13.3's of other brands.
look and feel are beyond what i've seen in other products as well, and i have zero complaints about performance.
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By Robinson2012 on 18 Jan 2012
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