Asus Zenbook UX31E-DH52
Manufacturer: Asus Part number: UX31E-DH52
- More product information:
- Editors' review
- User reviews
- Product series
- Manufacturer info
- Bottom Line:
- The Asus Zenbook UX31E is an excellent-looking Windows Ultrabook laptop that matches the MacBook Air step for step with an even better price. Fans of great audio, high-resolution screens and lots of ports will be happy; keyboard/touch pad aficionados will be disappointed.
CNET editors' review
- Reviewed by: Scott Stein
- Reviewed on: 10/24/2011
The good: The Asus Zenbook UX31E boasts sleek, pristine design, excellent-sounding speakers, a higher-resolution screen than the MacBook Air, and a better price for nearly identical specs.
The bad: The keyboard and touch pad are weak points; there are equally thin laptops out there with better battery life.
The bottom line: The Asus Zenbook UX31E is an excellent-looking Windows Ultrabook laptop that matches the MacBook Air step for step with an even better price. Fans of great audio, high-resolution screens and lots of ports will be happy; keyboard/touch pad aficionados will be disappointed.
Greta MBA Alternative now a few kinks are worked out.
by athletejmc on November 19, 2011
Pros: Screen, sound, design, battery life, track-pad.
Cons: My first unit was deffective, no back-lit keyboard
Summary: I'd just like to mention that there is another five star review for this device by "anonymous and I too am in much consensus on what they had to ...
Summary: I'd just like to mention that there is another five star review for this device by "anonymous and I too am in much consensus on what they had to say about their review for this product; I will also use a similar outline for my review of the Zenbook. I'm writing this review to offset the negative reviews because I feel it deserves much better of a rating than what has been portrayed so far. Also, this is my second system, my first was defective and I don't even know how it could have passed quality control, the seal on the side of the screen was partially stuck under the screen causing it to bulge out, the speakers had a screeching sound depending on the vibration/frequency that would cause the sound and for some reason it would continually drop my wifi connection. I would have possibly rated this computer four stars because of that, but you must also understand that ASUS as of now has the highest track-record for reliability and I also understand that sometimes you can end up with a lemon as with any company; this is not a common issue that I've had with ASUS in the past and I feel it was a fluke. I just wanted the reader of this review to be aware of this experience and so that I can be as accurate as possible with my personal impression of the product. Also, I have tried the Toshiba z830 ultrabook of which I had originally replaced my macbook air. Its a great system for the price, but after prolonged use, I decided to pay the extra $250 in price difference for the build quality of the ASUS Zenbook and its trackpad.There are 16 updates with this unit straight out of the box performed by Asus's auto-update software. These updates address two major issues that users are reporting with Wifi dropping and the track-pad being buggy and unresponsive. My major issue when I first tried this system was the wifi dropping out. Some of the other updates include software for the bios, standby, power management and other such essential programs that should have been running on this system properly from the factory. I'm disappointed that this was a problem for Asus in that they state that they are dedicated to building quality products before being released on their product warranty page. However, I will give them credit for getting the updates out in a good amount of time and getting this machine fine tuned for perfection.
The track-pad from factory is nearly useless and unmanageable. However there is an update to this that is HUGELY significant to the proper functioning of the device. After the driver update, this is nearly one of the best multi-touch track-pad that I've used on a windows laptop. Asus or Best Buy should really have this fixed before even selling the product as some people are not fully computer literate with the ability or understanding get this machine fully functional. I understand the logistical complications, but there should be some sort of consensus to getting the product to optimal condition before selling it prematurely. However I also understand that the holiday season is here and ASUS is very excited to get there product to the shelves ahead of their competition. Also, the track-pad hardware is very nice, it is glass and is just as high of quality as a mac track-pad. Just like MAC, the track-pad is nearly a duplicate as with the rest of this machine with an Asus spin on their design. It has two-finger right-click, screen lock for dragging and dropping, and the ability to scroll through windows and clear the screen all without the need depress the trackpad. Learning these gestures are familiar if you have used a MAC product before, if not, you can go into settings under mouse. I do feel that this is another short-******* of this device, there should have been a quick overview of gestures in print format or digital on the desktop with the purchase of this system.
The keys on this keyboard are not mushy and are a tad on the stiff side. If you are a confident typist that does not just wave your fingers and stumble across the keys, you should be fine with the keyboard. That's the best way I can describe the keyboard. I think you should definitely try using a demo/floor-model at Best Buy before deciding to purchasing the device to see if you can type comfortably on it. There is nothing with the keyboard, its just the way it was build and I became more comfortable with it after using it for a few minutes.
is a pleasure to work on and to watch videos. There are a couple things worth mentioning though. The color black is more of a grey (large images, not text while typing); all the other colors though are very accurately portrayed after I ran a screen calibration utility. The other thing worth mentioning though is that the screen angle is not nearly as much as what you would find on a macbook air, but it does well none the less. Leaning off to an angle while working on the system is not really enough to affect what you can see. One of my pet-peeves about screens is there brightness level; anything under 350nits is unacceptable. The screen on this machine is more than bright enough and will scorch your retinas just like the Samsung Series 9 screen at maximum setting. Seriously, you can nearly light up an entire room with this screen turned up. The resolution, its higher than the macbook air, need I say more? You are getting a high-quality screen with your purchase.
Appearance, form factor, Convenience:
The machine is beautiful. It is of mac-like quality and I am satisfied with the purchase. The main differences are: the interior is all silver trim, the top cover is a different shade of silver with swirl marking enveloping the ASUS trademark, the edges are more square vs round on the MBA and the bottom panel has vents along the bottom which assists in the longevity to keeping the hardware running cool and efficient. Overall this machine feels very sturdy and I have not fear of placing a book on the top cover or placing it in a backpack with other objects. There is very limited wobble to the screen when it is opened and the hinge feels sturdy/solid when opening and closing the device.
the system comes with the ethernet and VGA dongles as an added bonus. These ports are non-proprietary and there are aftermarket parts if you should need to replace these connectors; this was a huge factor in my decision to purchasing this ultrabook. The two connectors are micro HDMI and micro VGA of which are commonly found on data-phone now.USB 3.0 is a huge and practical plus too. My only gripe is that I'd prefer a larger and sturdier build for the power-plug connector although I don't thing wear should be a problem.
This system is quick and I feel it outperforms the MBA for daily use. It does not get nearly as hot as the MBA 13.3" under heavy use or simple tasks such as watching NETFLIX; my MBA would get unbelievable hot to the touch and the fan would spin up significantly loud enough that I could not comfortably watch a video, youtube etc.. I use my laptop for a lot of media, but had stopped when I purchased my Macbook Air. However this system has no problem keeping cool and quite; I'm very impressed considering this system uses the same processor as the MBA. I'm glad to be able to fully utilize this system's capabilities without fear of it over-heating or becoming embarrassingly loud in quite settings. This is one of my main reasons for selling my less than several month old MBA. Also, USB 3.0 is a little more ideal for day to day use. Although the MBA can outperform this device in several areas, the Zenbook runs more gracefully and cool. This is important for the longevity and reliability of the system.
The battery life seems fairly accurate as advertised as long as you use all of the eco-settings such as lowering the screen to minimum brightness, not doing intensive tasks, etc.
The sound is amazing if your speakers are not defective or there are loose parts inside the machine that rattles the parts to an audible sound. As mentioned in my introduction, my first unit was defective and although the sound quality was good, there was a high-pitched rattling like sound which made it seem the sound quality was poor. The sound is nearly of that of the mac and the speakers can go much louder.
Overall I'm confident with my purchase and I'm glad to own a windows based product from a company that is truly known for innovation in their hardware and reliability.
Updated on Dec 26, 2011
Give this system a second try if you are an earlier adopter and are in a position to do so. I promise it won't disappoint after the windows and Asus driver updates are applied.
Updated on Dec 26, 2011Hey Barkayboy, I would swap the unit if I were you. As much as I like Asus and the Zenbook, I don't feel the quality control has been consistent with their production. Also, Asus released this system pre-maturely which is a disappointment. If you can still exchange it, I highly recommend it. I'm actually on my third one because at the time of this review I began having irritating wifi issues with the signal dropping out on me. This third system has no problems now that the updates have been applied and the sound and build are great even though its embarrassing noting that I had to go through three Zenbooks. I have another buddy who just bought one which is why I gave it a second chance. I think there was a bad start when production began on the Zenbook. I was able to exchange back to the zenbook from a Samsung Series 9 because I have Best-Buy's Reward zone Silver Member's 45 day return policy.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Simply the coolest looking laptop available today.
by Trey444 on November 1, 2011
Pros: Beautiful finish, solid well built feel. High resolution screen.
Cons: Power adapter pin seems undersized. Asus website for support should be better.
Summary: When you hold this in your hand, you realize the MacAir now looks frumpy by comparison. It's absolutely beautiful, and feels very well constructed. The trackpad response was jumpy ...
Summary: When you hold this in your hand, you realize the MacAir now looks frumpy by comparison. It's absolutely beautiful, and feels very well constructed. The trackpad response was jumpy initially, but works well after a BIOS update. Asus should be congratulated on getting out updates so quickly on a new model, but their website is quirky.
Biggest downside is a keyboard which is OK, but not sterling. Overall, though, this is a really nice, fast laptop with a brilliant screen, and it's nice not to have to go to the Apple side to get decent hardware. I was getting really tired of Macbooks and it's good news to have an alternative that actually bests them in most every way.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great looks and features, keyboard could be better
by JonUGA on October 25, 2011
Pros: thin, light, and beautiful. Definitely one of the best looking windows notebooks on the market. It is great as a windows equivalent macbook air. It is a good notebook for those looking for a daily use computer, wouldn't recommend for gamers.
Cons: The keyboard is very shallow and takes a while to get used to. I make so many more errors typing than on my sony laptop. The track pad is not great but in my experience it is not as bad as everyone else says.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very nice, I like it better than Macbook air
by raymondzzd on October 12, 2011
Pros: Thin; fast wake up time; reasonable price; Windows
Cons: not shall how much time battery will last for watch HD video with headphone
3 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
There must be better ultrabooks.
by jeffzn on February 11, 2012
Pros: battery life, weight, sleek look
Cons: keyboard is terrible (read cnet review)
shipped with defective drivers
support is weak
startup times can be slow
Summary: I am trading my zenbok in after two months of trying to live with it. For my style, keyboard is the worst I have ever used. I have to retype ...
Summary: I am trading my zenbok in after two months of trying to live with it. For my style, keyboard is the worst I have ever used. I have to retype all the time and apparenly I am not an anomaly. Check out CNET's review and take it seriously. Do you really want a $1,000+ laptop with a lousy keyboard?
1 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
I wish I bought the apple instead.
by GreenFrog8113 on June 7, 2012
Pros: Design & Performance (when it works)
Cons: Reliability & Support
Summary: My US31E crashed after 4 weeks of ownership. The unit would not recognize the hard drive. The unit was sent back and the hard drive replaced (RMA# USG9255570). As a ...
Summary: My US31E crashed after 4 weeks of ownership. The unit would not recognize the hard drive. The unit was sent back and the hard drive replaced (RMA# USG9255570). As a result all of my data was lost. It took ~ 3 weeks to get the unit back. When it arrived the operating system they installed was a downgrade (Professional to Premium). I was told (Service # 1884296) I had two options:
1. Send it back
2. Purchase a recovery disk
Sorry, but I already paid for this software and I won't ship back this computer for another 3 weeks. That would mean more than 1/12 of my warranty and that ASUS or FedEx will have had my computer longer than me.
It's a nice unit, but I wish I bought the apple instead.
Great ultrabook with some flops
by AB__C on May 30, 2012
Pros: The Asus Zenbook is plenty thin, has metallic accents all around it, battery life was moderate and it has a great display and speakers. The touchpad was fairly usable.
Cons: The keyboard is the single biggest complaint I have. Sometimes, it didn't register WHOLE WORDS. Opening and closing the screen can be a pain to do and can feel like a chore. It's thicker than the MBA and goes a bit premium.
Summary: Asus's Zenbook UX31E is a great laptop for those who watch movies and demand a great display and speakers. The keyboard isn't great for long-form typing but is ...
Summary: Asus's Zenbook UX31E is a great laptop for those who watch movies and demand a great display and speakers. The keyboard isn't great for long-form typing but is fairly usable for typing a short document or email. The touchpad is generously large and USB 3.0 is an advantage over the MBA.
by alphasigmafire on May 3, 2012
Pros: Light, thin (I've had many people comment on how thin it is), fast, easy to clean, looks good, starts up really quick
Cons: The webcam takes pretty low quality photos....but it's a laptop webcam so what do you expect
Summary: This laptop is PERFECT for me. I've had it for several months now (I'm typing this review on it), and while I was wary with the keyboard at ...
Summary: This laptop is PERFECT for me. I've had it for several months now (I'm typing this review on it), and while I was wary with the keyboard at first (yes some of the keys are a bit small), I eventually got used to it (just like you would get used to the keys on a larger keyboard after a while). Yes the keyboard is rather "shallow" compared to other keyboards, but I type with a rather large amount of force and so have not had problems with the keys not registering. I also don't feel like the keys are flimsy because you don't get that clacking noise you get with some other keyboards.
There's only 120 GB, but it's solid state so it's really fast, and I've only used about 50 GB anyways. Yes it doesn't have a CD drive (like most other ultrabooks), and it doesn't come with a built in ethernet port (it does come with a usb->ethernet converter), BUT I NEVER USE CDs OR ETHERNET so it doesn't matter to me. Also, the laptop is really light (I'm a student and I walk all over the place, and I never feel the weight of the laptop). It also starts really fast, which is nice especially since I switch locations every couple hours or so....
Yeah so CNET says the media playback is only 4 hoursish (who watches media without plugging in their laptop?) I NEVER bring my charger with me to classes, and I've pushed 5-6 hours of use (using something called Power4Gear Battery Saving Mode, which while it dims the screen, doesn't really matter indoors since the screen is already so freaking bright) taking notes, looking at PDFs, browsing Facebook etc. I think the battery life is actually pretty good!
Also, I'm a casual gamer and I was able to run League of Legends on medium-high quality with no issues, and at about 60+ FPS (plugged in and on high performance of course).
What a piece of art =) just about perfect!
by frankspace34 on April 19, 2012
Pros: Sleek, fast, bright, loud/clear and ports. Seriously a well rounded machine. THE WINDOWS ultrabook of choice.
Cons: sharp edges, web cam, not so good pre loaded utilities are so so
Summary: so beautiful you carry it like a baby afraid of it being scratched banged or nicked, keys and typing is a ehhh experience. But seriously this is such an awesome ...
Summary: so beautiful you carry it like a baby afraid of it being scratched banged or nicked, keys and typing is a ehhh experience. But seriously this is such an awesome machine. The screen so bright and clear the sound by b&o is amazing and the design is just so all around perfect. the quirks like keyboard 'feel of keys' and web cam 'which I will probably never use' are rarely a thought. If your a PC/windows kinda guy.. or gal.. JUST GET IT you will not be disappointed =)
Could be a 5! but the terrible keyboard kills it.
by znobrdr on April 1, 2012
Pros: Power, weight, fast, graphics display, sound quality, small form factor charger (A++)!!! Cuts 3 lbs out of my briefcase over my Dell when traveling.
Cons: Keyboard, keyboard, keyboard If you have to type this is NOT the machine for you. If you hunt n peck then its perfect.
Summary: I put this up against a Sony Z and this performs as well portable, less finicky for $1,000's less. But the cheap plastic key tops (especially the shift, ...
Summary: I put this up against a Sony Z and this performs as well portable, less finicky for $1,000's less. But the cheap plastic key tops (especially the shift, enter and backspace)flex so much that if you hit the edges the keystroke won't register! I actually improved performance by gluing some aluminum sheet on those keys and it was a big help.
I am dumbfounded by the reviews not hammering Asus on this! Asus is a good solid company with talent and resources to screw up this badly on a simple thing like the keyboard is almost unbelievable. The poor keyboard exacerbates the touch pad issues by having to contort your fingers to get any typing done. I've been able to "tune" the touch pad pretty well and have come to be pretty happy with it. But just typing these comments in already makes my hands ache from the effort! This things going up for sale on ebay after I find a replacement. I can type on my old Dell all day with not the slightest problem. This Asus on a typing program cuts my typing speed by 35% over my other two machines. Asus - find a keyboard and send it to me please!
- Manufacturer: Asus
- Part number: UX31E-DH52
- Description: Measuring just 0.72" front and weighing just 3.2lbs, the artistically-crafted ZENBOOK Prime UX31E-DH52 notebook presents a delectable hairline spun metal finish with precision-etched concentric circles.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- System Type Ultrabook
- Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
- Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.)
Processor / Chipset
- CPU Intel 2nd Gen Core i5 i5-2557M,
2 1.7 GHz
- Max Turbo Speed 2.7 GHz
- Number of Cores Dual-Core
- Cache L3 cache - 3 MB
- 64-bit Computing Yes
- Chipset Mobile Intel QS67 Express
- Features Intel vPro Technology,
Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0,
Intel AES New Instructions (AES-NI)
- RAM 4 GB,
( Provided memory is soldered )
- Technology DDR3 SDRAM
- Speed 1333 MHz / PC3-10600
- Floppy Drive None
- Hard Drive 128 GB,
- Interface Serial ATA-600
- Storage Removable None
- Optical Drive None
- Hard drive type Solid state
- Type 13.3 in
- LCD Backlight Technology LED backlight
- Max Resolution 1600 x 900 ( HD+ )
- Widescreen Yes
- Image Aspect Ratio 16:9
Audio & Video
- Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0
- Camera Yes
- Resolution 0.3 Megapixel
- Sound Microphone,
- Compliant Standards High Definition Audio
- Audio Features ASUS SonicMaster,
ASUS Bang & Olufsen ICEpower
- Type Keyboard,
- Wireless 802.11n,
- Technology Lithium polymer
- Capacity 50 Wh
- Run Time 7 hour(s)
- Voltage Required AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
- Output 45 Watt , 19 V , 2.37 A
Connections & Expansion
- Slots Memory,
Memory card reader
- Interfaces USB 2.0,
Headphone/microphone combo jack,
- Interfaces 1 x USB 3.0 - USB 3.0,
1 x USB 2.0 - USB 2.0,
1 x Display / video - VGA,
1 x Micro HDMI,
1 x Microphone
- Memory Card Reader 2 in 1 card reader ( SD Memory Card ),
( MultiMediaCard )
- Software Included ASUS PowerWiz
- Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.
- Color Silver aluminum
- Features Intel Anti-Theft Technology (iAT),
Intel Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT),
Intel Rapid Start Technology,
ASUS Super Hybrid Engine II
- Included Accessories Sleeve
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 12.8 in
- Depth 0.71 in
- Height 8.8 in
- Weight 2.86 lbs
Specs: Intel 2nd Gen Core i5 i5-2557M,
1.7 GHz ( 2.7 GHz ) ( Dual-Core ),
- Serial ATA-600,
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium,
TFT active matrix,
1600 x 900 ( HD+ ),
Intel HD Graphics 3000 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0,
Specs: Intel 2nd Gen Core i7 i7-2677M,
1.8 GHz ( Dual-Core ),
- Serial ATA-600,
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium,
TFT active matrix,
1600 x 900 ( HD+ ),
Intel HD Graphics 3000 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0,
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