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Asus UX21A and UX31A laptops appear in public, dubbed Zenbook Prime

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Asus announced its new Zenbook Prime ultrabooks. The 11.6-inch UX21A and 13.3-inch UX31A feature a 1920 x 1080 IPS display option, backlit keyboards, and new Ivy Bridge processors.

zenbook prime engadget
zenbook prime engadget

The low-power Ivy Bridge processors won't be here for another little while, but that isn't stopping Asus from publicly announcing its next-generation UX31A and UX21A ultrabooks. Given the name Zenbook Prime, the laptops look nearly identical to last year's UX31 and UX21 Zenbooks, but contain a long list of improvements: the aforementioned Ivy Bridge processor upgrade, the addition of Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi), a new backlit keyboard, and the availability of matte 1920 x 1080 IPS displays on both the 13.3-inch and 11.6-inch models — which Asus showcased with oddly low-resolution wallpapers.

Our sources have told us that pricing for the new laptops will start at $1,100 for the UX31A and $1,050 for the smaller UX21A, which is in line with the first generation Zenbooks. Also noteworthy, the company didn't deny a question from Engadget about the prospect of a discrete Kepler GPU configuration. However, our sources say Asus is relying on the integrated HD Graphics 4000 solution instead, presumably across the board. Hopefully Asus was able to straighten out some of the problems in the last Zenbooks' substandard trackpads with its new batch of ultrabooks — we'll let you know when they launch, likely in the next couple of months.