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Asus Zenbook UX21 and UX31 arrive on October 12th, start at $999

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Asus Zenbook UX21
Asus Zenbook UX21

Let the ultrabook wars begin! Hot on the heels of Acer's S3 pricing and availability announcement, Asus CEO Jonney Shih has taken the stage in NYC to reveal details of its newly-named Zenbook UX21 and UX31. The new name is supposed to be indicative of the "peace of mind" and "balance of elegance and power" provided by the machine; however, a new name doesn't mean a new design or product. The 11.6- and 13.3-inch Zenbooks are identical to the ones we saw at IFA and IDF - the aluminum chassis measures .11 to .71-inches in thickness, weighs 2.9 pounds (the 11.6 weighs 2.4), the lid has an interesting halo effect, and the machine resumes from sleep in two seconds.

But, of course, the big news is the pricing announcement. The Core i5-powered, 11.6-inch UX21 with a 128GB SSD will ring up at $999, while the 13.3-inch UX31 with a Core i5-2557M processor and same 128GB drive will hit at $1,099. (The entry-level Acer S3 comes in at $100 cheaper because of its hard drive and SSD combo.) Those are inching into MacBook Air pricing territory, and considering the Zenbooks don't have backlit keyboards it's going to be a tough sell. Check out the full list of all the configurations and their prices after the break. All systems will hit tomorrow - beating Acer to market by just four days. So which one will bring us that inner peace and balance we've been desperately trying to attain? We'll have to wait for the reviews to find that out.