Saturday, December 10, 2011

Asus Zenbook UX21E Ultrabook Review

Overall performance. The power release of the Zenbook, with a Major i7, is as useful as a computer but more swiftly than most multiple press versions. How is this possible with a build dimension 17 millimeters? The lightning-fast ADATA SSD locations the typical increased than ever.

In the last few a few months, a lot has been released and discussed about UltraBooks. Many seemed skeptically at the price tendentiously over 1000€. Others discussed about the revenue and estimated amounts. The apple company preferred a 40% enterprise in 2012 and was mocked for that.

All of that doesn't wow us as technological innovation addicts. More important is: after the initial get hold of these days at the IFA 2010, we are now having the probably slimest and, as well, most successful subnotebook in our hands. Or better - the Zenbook, which can be changed as convenience or efficiency (Zen Buddhism). MacBook Air 11? That was last week. This Windows system, UX21E, doesn't look like much but that is deceiving.

Specifications Asus UX21 :
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 2677M 1.8 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel QS67 Express Chipset
  • Memory : 4096 MB
  • Graphics adapter : Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Display : 11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, P116NWR1 R2, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : ADATA XM11, 128GB 128GB 6Gb/s
  • Soundcard : Realtek ALC269
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: line out,
  • Networking : ASIX AX88772B USB2.0 to Fast Ethernet (10/100MBit), Atheros AR9485WB-EG Wireless Network Adapter (bgn), 4.0+HS Atheros AR3012 Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : -
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 17 x 299 x 196
  • Weight : 1.147 kg Power Supply: 0.179 kg
  • Battery : 35 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 6 cell, built-in
  • Price : 1100 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 0.3MP, leather slim case, Ethernet dongle USB 2.0, VGA dongle D-Sub, 24 Months Warranty
Do you believe in really like at first sight? This is the topic that Asus uses on a big structure advertising over the Zenbook variety on its In german website. And actually, the maker can pay for to talk like this: The 11.6 in. UX21E, as the tiniest associate of the new loved ones, is amazing at first look and first touching.

The light weight metal situation is beyond any uncertainty with regards to solidness and quality, and it is on a par with Apple's unibody idea. This also relates to information, such as the slim but incredibly firm lid and the joint. No issue how it's investigated, your shape doesn't display any problems in craftsmanship anywhere.

The platform model is created up of one top element. The connects keep out on the right and eventually left. The end is a homogeneous exterior circular to the edges that doesn't have any air sites or even repair protects. The menu can be taken off by getting rid of Torx fasteners.

But that is not very useful because the WLAN component and RAM are soldered onto the mainboard. The "hard disk", an ADATA XM11 (128GB SSD), isn't set up in a 2.5 or 1.8 in. type aspect (typical for laptops, subnotebooks, and netbooks) and connected to the normal SATA connection, but is rather set as mSATA.

The spatial circumstances of the not more than 17 mm higher situation (thickest factor incl. feet) don't assistance a nice arrangement of places. Moreover, there is the state of efficiency and hygiene. A row of attaches wouldn't look right here. The UX21E's connection is therefore cautiously restricted to two USB (1 x 3.0), small HDMI, small VGA (for dongles) and headsets.

The vendor eliminates the issue of the too big VGA D-Sub connect and the too higher RJ45 slot via an adaptor, respectively via a USB Ethernet card (ASIX AX88772B). So people who have to use a projector (typically: VGA) for a demonstration can use the involved adaptor. Plugs for small HDMI variety D (M) to HDMI variety A, 19 pin (W) are available for little money in full price.

Although an Ethernet adaptor hasn't been set up, there normally is a WLAN adaptor that can handle the newest draft-n normal (Atheros AR9485WB-EG). All of a sudden, a Wireless 4.0 +HS model is also set up (Atheros AR3012). BT 4.0 is the low energy edition that is also used in gadgets with a option cellular energy supply. BT 4.0 is not yet used standardly in laptops.

Beside the dongles and the common ramp up instructions, more components are discovered in the box. It is a good quality sleek situation made of imitation natural buckskin. There are no restoration DVDs for Enthusiasm Microsoft windows 7 Home Top good quality 64 bit involved.

Asus funds a vendor manufacturer's warranty of 24 several weeks on its UltraBooks (including pick-up & return). Customers can also obtain a manufacturer's warranty expansion for a interval of time of three years for about 90€.

Input Devices
The controls are absorbed into a he nasty menu. Sent important factors are on a stage with this metered and even further under questionable. The arm relax is nicely size and even big palms have space. Positive: the small but divided arrow important factors can be discovered without looking.

Asus hasn't designed in a key lumination. The energy on option is part of the laptop key pad and is discovered in the right part beside "delete". Thus, a misprint can swiftly head to an random shut down or life.

The important factors are definitely stage, i.e. they do not have conical within challenge (for accuracy). We see the clear stress factor and business quit (not hard) really. The design-related, low key decrease of only two mm causes a somewhat shorter and bad writing experience, though. The important factors have a sleek exterior that can get a junk experience with regards to the fingers' wetness. The represents for touch-typists are very clearly palpable.

The multi-touchpad, style Elan SmartPad, is very big and he (no finger prints, excellent sliding traits). The "click pads" area of expertise is a "left rabbit key" within the complete place of the susceptible exterior. As well the The apple company MacBooks or the New samsung Serie 9 900X3A, the pad exterior comes by a mm and thus activates a eventually left press (or increase click).

The pad also has a right rabbit key that usually starts situation selections. The right and eventually left key are in the entrance place. The exterior above it isn't touch-sensitive. That is very excellent because it inhibits an bothersome cursor activity when only a press is to be carried out.

The New samsung Serie 9 900X3A has such a issue. The rabbit keys' decrease is excellent (two millimeters), but could be a bit better (for speed). The stress factor is adequate, the quit is smooth and the press is peaceful.

The 11.6 in. screen has a image of 1366x768 pixels, so regular for the small type aspect. People who want a more clearly organized esteem will have to buy the 13.3 in. UX31E, which is outfitted with a HD+ image (1600x900) in every arrangement edition. The refractive screen reveals its features in perfection. Colours and differences couldn't persuade us.

We determine a assessment of 144:1 due to an incredibly vulnerable dark-colored value of 3.31 cd/m2. An increased assessment produces shiny and stunning shades. The glare variety can make them look a bit better, but on complete they look rather light. The Adobe RGB (t) and sRGB (t) coloring range are unsuccessful by far (pictures 1 & 2). We place the "VAIO Top quality display" of a Vaio SE1Z9EB (FHD) next to it for assessment (AdobeRGB coverage).

To stay up to its state of being a suggestions for flexibility, the Zenbook materials an incredible luminance. The screen actually reaches a big 478 cd/m2 precisely (nearly the top amount in laptops computer database!). Averagely, it is still an ideal 441 cd/m2 (top rate). The earlier perfection innovator, New samsung Serie 9 900X3A (matt, max. 482, typical 413 cd/m2), is thus ousted. The perfection submission of 87% is relatively excellent despite the greater luminosity.

Regrettably, the wonderful perfection isn't connected to a he, but rather a glare variety. Thus, the common bothersome insights build when natural light visitors the screen at an undesirable direction. The perfection minimizes this result. Brightness options on greater in power supply method have the problem of a smaller playback.

The despite it all rather inadequate power supply was established with a establishing of 100 cd/m2 (WLAN analyze, movie) in this evaluation. It could get challenging should these times turn out to be even smaller. The perfection is lowered to 395 cd/m2 in power supply method (center).

The side looking at aspects are only constant up to about 45 certifications. Beyond that, the assessment ends and the shades change. When our perspective sways downwards (vertically), the viewed piece of software continues to be well readable up to about 35 certifications. However, shades already start to clearly change at 10 certifications.

Consequently, it is a looking at direction vulnerable TN screen. That's too bad because such TFTs are set up into every low cost computer. Many customers would likely be willing to pay a bit more for a top quality IPS screen.

The Apple Primary i7-2677M (standard: 1.80 GHz, Turbo: 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz) is a company new double key company of the second Apple Primary technology from 2011 (Sandy Bridge). The TDP is 17 h (laptops otherwise 35 and 45 watts).

As opposed to the Apple Primary i7-2620M (dual key, 35 watts) regularly used in subnotebooks lately, the TDP is considerably more cost-effective. However, this only relates to the typical time. A Primary i5-2467M (1.60 GHz, Turbocompresseur up to 2.00 GHz) is available for the UX21E-KX004V as a less costly edition.

The RAM has a typical potential of 4 GB (DDR3). It is soldered to the mainboard and couldn't be go through out (onboard). The HD Design 3000 is included into the CPU (shared memory). The 128 GB SATA SSD will confirm to be the UX21E's powerplant. The mSATA design, XM11, from ADATA is not available in full price purchase.

The Asus UX21E shows to be highly effective with its double key i7-2677M: The company analyze, Cinebench R11.5 (64 bit, multiple key calculation) advantages the program with 2.13 information. The i5-2537M in the New samsung 900X3A only controls 1.41 information in this training.

The UltraBook with the Primary i7 CPU is consequently on a par with the typical computer processor snacks, Primary i3-2330M (2.1) or the mature i5-430M (2.0) in producing prices of swiftness. A Primary i3-2310M (used frequently) only does 2.0 information.

The efficiency increase becomes very apparent when we look at this years low present CPUs (Arrandale). An i5-470UM (1.33 - 1.86 GHz, 18 watts) attained 1.3 information in the R11.5 analyze. An i5-560UM (1.33 - 2.13 GHz, 18 watts) maintained 1.5 information.

The more cost-effective substitute i5-2467M, as used in the Acer Aim S3-951-6646 (UltraBook) and in the Mac computer Air 11 in. 2011-07 MC969D/A, isn't considerably weaker: 1.9 information. The success were identical in the other CPU analyze, e.g. WPrime 2.0 with 732 mere a few moments (the more cost-effective the better). The i5-2467M needs 869 mere a few moments here. Thus, the Primary i7 is only valuable for efficiency lovers.

Turbo 2.0 does its job completely, as the higher lots confirm. We don't observe any efficiency reduces since time is 2.6 GHz in the commencing of the multiple key assessments and then only comes to 2.2 GHz. This is still within the Turbocompresseur variety and above the 1.8 GHz typical time.

What about the skilled and evaluated software efficiency in interaction of CPU, graphics, RAM and the 128 GB SSD? The summary swiftness is very quick. Installs are completed in a display, concurrently implemented applications don't problem and applications are started out within mere a few moments. The same is real for a program freezing begin (16 seconds) or a heated begin (2 mere a few moments from standby).

PCMark Benefits and PCMark 7 characterize the tested lots. The complete lots of 11054, respectively 3612 information are very excellent. The lots are somewhat better than that of the New samsung Serie 9 900X3A with 10833, respectively 3448 information.

PCMark 7 (3612 points) likes the ADATA SSD. Only video activity playing netbooks or work stations outfitted with a 2630QM or 2920XM (+SSD) gained in greater lots until now. The Alienware M18x (4579), the Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (3695) and the XMG P501 PRO (4208) would be described here. Normal i7 double key netbooks without an SSD only control 2000 information (Vostro 3350).

Remarkable: These netbooks have a devoted graphics card and consequently their advantage should actually be much increased. That an 11.6 in. system ends in on the models with assistance from an SSD is amazing.

The GPU can overclock at the cost of company efficiency in the Turbocompresseur idea. Nevertheless, it is to a certain extent sluggish than an in the same way known as HD 3000 in an i7-2620M or i5-2410M. The purpose is the more cost-effective platform time of 350 (rather than 650 MHz) and Turbocompresseur time of 1200 (rather than 1100-1300 MHz). A HD 3000 could control around 4000 to 5000 3DMarks06 according to that. However, the UX21E only materials 3755 information.

On the other palm, the Cinebench R11.5 Treatment analyze outcome is very good: 9.78 information. Most HD 3000 snacks in Primary i3 and i5 lie around 7.0 information. An Apple graphics included into a 2620M from time to time even does 9.0 information. It seems amazing that there is no change between the i7-2620M and 2677M in the Paradise 2.1 3D standard (8.1 fps).

The included DirectX 10 Apple HD Design 3000 is, as in earlier opinions, the erroneous selection for the newest games. No issue if with or without DirectX10, sleek action is only possible in the smallest information and solutions.

The purpose for the Zenbook UX21E's incredible swiftness is the ADATA SSD's immediate access to instances. They increase the PCMark Benefits HDD ranking to 42351 information. Only the Chiligreen Mobilitas OV0789 (2620M, GeForce GT 550M), with an OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SATA3-120G (RAID 0), had such a excellent ranking until now. The New samsung 900X3A "only" maintained 15599 information and a Vaio Z13 with a Quad SSD obtained 13055 information here.

All in all, the client gets one of the quickest SSD reminiscences available that you can buy, which consequently guarantees the best efficiency in an 11.6 in. system that we have ever tested. Powerful netbooks with a traditional drive (7200 rpm) at best arrive at about 6200 information (e. g. HP Elitebook 8540w).

The go through prices are behind the HDD lots of the program criteria, which we figure out with HDTune, CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD. The ADATA XM11 is attached to the SATA-6Gb/s slot, which allows go through throughputs well over 400 MB/s even without RAID 0 (SandForce SF-2281 controller).

System Noise
We have combined sensation about the disturbance. The UX21E is always inaudible when idling, no issue if with less active (29.6 dB (A)) or with a softly whirring (30.1 dB (A)) fan. Periodic fill while online on the Web or other duties let us the level improve softly to 31 dB (A).

This pussyfooting doesn't last for long, though. When the brand and/or IGP design is packed, the 11.6 in. computer gets very noisy. The high-pitched disturbance swiftly actually reaches 42 dB (A) (3DMark Advantage, Cinebench R11.5). We also evaluate 42 dB (A) in the worry analyze (CPU & GPU). At least the fan operates continually.

The noisy fan can only control the spend warm to an level in greater, and especially regular fill. The high heat of up to 46 certifications Celsius are bearable and in no way dangerous. Despite the light weight metal case, the spend warm isn't allocated over the top and base.

The CPU throttling of the new Apple processor chips that some viewers understand as terrifying doesn't take place in the i7-2677M. Even the multi-hour worry analyze of GPU and CPU can't force time under 1.5 GHz (unrealistic scenario). Offering no contingency GPU fill is used, which by distinction offices off power (from the TDP), time continues to be at at least 2.0 GHz in multiple CPU fill (Prime95).

That is greater than the typical time of 1.8 GHz, so still within the Turbocompresseur variety. The diverse, temperature-dependent time (including overclocking) is a function of the Apple CPUs. The efficiency has already been throttled to 800 MHz, for example, in games or CPU hefty programs in a few gadgets, such as the Acer Aim TimelineX 3830TG.

Where are the speakers? There are two of them. Two pointed opportunities are on the arm rest's (bottom) right and eventually left. The stereo music loudspeakers provide a midrange hefty, but good audio in perspective of this type aspect. The little walls can't provide deeply pitch or trebles very well.

People should avoid using the highest possible amount because the loudspeakers start to perspective and the begining. The back and forth placed music plug (headphone, no microphone!) works completely and without disturbance on two Yamaha loudspeakers (YST-M20SDP).

Battery Life
The usage dimensions from the store (battery energized to 100%) show a minimal UltraBook. We evaluate only 6.6 h in nonproductive. This is due to the cheap elements. The LED display, with its greater perfection and the managing method "high performance", can however force the nonproductive power usage up to 11 h.

The power usage raises during fill, but continues to be considerably below the 50 to 70 h of traditional laptops. When only the brand worry analyze plenty the i5-2537M, the multi meter information 29.5 h (@ 1.8 GHz constant). The power usage raises to 31.3 h when the 3DmMark typical (Furmark) is included. 3DMark06 utilizes 34 h by itself.

Intel needs a period of at least five, but better seven, a long time from UltraBooks. Our Asus UX21E clearly neglects this need. At least in the realistic analyze where it stops up with only 3:37 a long time in the WLAN analyze (217 minutes). The perfection was only set to 100 cd/m2 and we frequented announcement websites and occasionally witnessed announcement podcasts.

After charging the built-in power (35 Wh), the 11.6 in. computer survived for 2:29 a long time in CPU fill (highest brightness). During a low distinction film (low image avi), we established 3:54 a long time (234 mins, 100 cd/m2, wifi off). In perspective of the typical use of this cellular phone and as opposed to rivalry, the playback is aggravating.

The Acer Aim S3 Ultrabook (HDD edition, Primary i5) however only maintained 213 mins in the WLAN analyze. On the other hand, there are many 11.6 in. gadgets (Samsung 900X1B: 356 minutes) or 13.3 in. laptops (Samsung 900X3A: 338 minutes) with a substantially longer power.

Thus, the Dell Vostro V131 didn't even need a low present brand for its 476 mins - a 65 Wh power sufficed. And it is just this potential (35 watts) that is the UX21E's listlessness because the power intake is very low.

The Asus Zenbook UX21E-KX008V (RRP: 1099€) goes into the stage with a beat. The software efficiency is very good thanks to a quick ADATA SSD. Except for the low game playing efficiency, people won't observe a change to a traditional esteem or laptop computer. Quite the opposite, the UX21E is excellent to HDD centered gadgets or even many SSD netbooks in the access to times.

The lightweight, strong and premium quality craftsmanship of the light weight metal body is in a training of its own and is essentially in no way substandard to Apple's MacBook Air. The big press pad is very relaxed to use, the important factors are generally pleasurable but have a shorter decrease. The connects are plain and simple by style, but are enhanced with essentially appropriate, involved plugs (VGA, Ethernet).

Can the Zenbook UX21E-KX008V defeat the MacBook Air 11 (2011)? No, because the screen is too vulnerable (low differences, small looking at angles) and the power supply is too shorter. The Air has an increased comparison and broader looking at aspects. The huge perfection of the HD screen is hardly of any use for the UX21E because the screen isn't anti-reflective.

The UX21E can defeat Acer's low-cost entry-level UltraBook S3 in any occurrence. It attained lesser success with a power supply of 3:33 a long time and a run of the work screen with a low comparison and low perfection. The more so as the 800€ edition is outfitted with a HDD, which offers a considerably cheaper system efficiency.

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