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Asus' budget Ivy Bridge Zenbooks: UX32Vd with Nvidia GPU and UX32A, both starting at $800

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Asus has announced two new lower-cost Zenbooks as part of its ultrabook refresh. The 13.3-inch UX32A and UX32Vd will include a hard disk instead of solid-state drive, and the UX32Vd will include a discrete graphics card.

Intel Ultrabook Prototype Crop
Intel Ultrabook Prototype Crop

Asus' new Ivy Bridge Zenbooks are coming soon, but the UX31 and UX21 refresh isn't the only thing you'll be seeing: Asus also plans to release an all-new pair of lower-cost ultrabooks. The Zenbook UX32A and UX32Vd will both come with 13.3-inch screens and will include the full range of low-voltage Ivy Bridge chips; buyers will have a choice of the Core i3-3217U, i5-3317U, or i7-3517U as long as they wait out the first few shipments, which will still come with Sandy Bridge. In an interesting move, the UX32Vd will also include a switchable 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT620M graphics card, making it the second ultrabook we've seen to incorporate a discrete graphics card. The UX32A will come with the usual integrated Intel graphics.

Unlike the Asus UX31A and UX21A, which will start at around $1,100, the UX32A and UX32Vd are supposed to sell for between $800 and $1,100. In some areas, you won't be losing too much with that $300 drop. Both new ultrabooks look very similar to the UX31A and UX21A and will offer the same 1920 x 1080 IPS matte display at the highest spec level. You'll also get the option to add Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. Like the UX31A, the battery is supposed to last between six and seven hours, and all models come with the option of either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Unfortunately, it looks like the 256GB solid state drive isn't included: instead, you'll get up to a 500GB HDD with a 24GB SSD cache. There's also a little extra weight — these weigh 1.45kg, slightly more than the UX31A — but both are still quite thin at 18.3mm. Although there's no release date for these ultrabooks, we expect them to coincide with the general Ivy Bridge rollout.