Reviewed by mykie (Currently owns)
Out of the box, the Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD already offers a lot; an actual nVidia 620 GPU with Optimus, georgeous non-glossy 1080p IPS display, an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7 CPU, a suitable island-style keyboard with backlighting, and a multi-touch clickalble trackpad. All packed into a package that's a few millimeters thicker than a 13" Macbook Air.
But here's where the UX32VD differs from all the other me-too Macbook Air clones out there: This one can be upgraded. With a Torx T5 screwdriver, you can remove the bottom panel and replace 2GB of RAM with 8GB of CL11 RAM and the HDD with a 7mm SSD, and really unleash the monster. So if you plan to drop $1300 on this laptop, definitely budget an extra $250 or so for an SSD and RAM (This reviewer went with a 256gb Samsung 830 and 8GB 1600mhz CL11 Mushkin Advanced Essentials).
With all this performance in a small package, the UX32VD isn't without its flaws. The trackpad leaves a bit to be desired, but is mostly a driver issue...expect to do a dance of installing different drivers to find one that works for you. The Keyboard is nice, but exhibits a small of flex in the middle. As beautiful as the 1080p display is, at 13" I still find myself turning the resolution down for things to be readable. Many others have noticed some light bleed from the bottom of the screen during dark scenes, so be aware that this might affect some models. The all-aluminum bottom of this machine also finds itself getting downright toasty during periods of intense gameplay, and the fans, while audible, seem to cycle on and off at odd times.
Overall, the UX32VD is a premium Ultrabook that offers upgradability, and is quite possibly the best Ultrabook on the market right now.
- Design 9
- Keyboard 8
- Touchpad 7
- Display 9
- Performance 8
- Heat / noise 8
- Battery life 7
- Software 6