- Editor's Rating
- Better than average display
- Good keyboard and touchpad
- Nice speakers
- Solid build quality
- Slow hard drive
Quick TakeThe ASUS Zenbooks are stylish and offer a wide range of configurations to help consumers find an Ultrabook that fits their budgets.
The ASUS ZenBook Prime UX32 is very similar to the ZenBook UX32VD that earned some praise from NotebookReview. However, while that ZenBook has a 1080p display and Intel Core i7 with NVIDIA graphics, this UX32 has a lower-res 720p display and Core i5 with integrated Intel graphics, which equates to a less impressive machine on paper, but at a lower price.
The good news is that ASUS did not cut many corners in regards to build and design. NBR calls it \”classy if somewhat generic\” The exterior consists mainly of metal alloys and it is certainly Ultrabook thin. It\’s also well built, with little to no creaking or flexing when pressured, suggesting that it is a very solid Ultrabook. Of course, Ultrabook design also means that the back panel is not user accessible, so it is nearly impossible to replace components, including the battery, and there is a minimal selection of ports and inputs. These drawbacks are not just limited to this Ultrabook, however.
The keyboard and touchpad earned NBR\’s praise, as did the 720p display, surprisingly, given that its 1366 x 768 resolution is the bare minimum these days. This 13.3-inch screen sports an anti-glare coating, \”which prevents annoying reflections in well-lit environments,\” and the contrast quality is notable. NBR claimed, \”black and white levels look less washed out,\” and \”colors actually have some life to them.\”
The ZenBook UX32 limitations really show when measuring performance, however. While it will do fine for day-to-day tasks, it seems sluggish compared with most other Ultrabooks, and it actually compared unfavorably against other recent Ultrabooks in benchmark testing. In addition, the UX32 has a standard hard disk drive (HDD), not a solid-state drive (SSD). The HDD offers more capacity (almost twice what is available with other Ultrabooks), but is unquestionably slow. ASUS ZenBook UX32 battery life is sufficient as measured by NBR at 6 hours and 35 minutes, which is also on the low-end for Ultrabooks.
The ASUS ZenBook UX32 costs $900 as configured at the time of review. Some rival Ultrabooks cost nearly twice as much. ASUS cuts just the right amount that NBR claims it is a \”recommendable Ultrabook\” that \”has the right mix of quality and features.\” The hard drive is the biggest issue, but the display still holds its own despite its unimpressive spec.