Asus Ultrabook "Zenbooks" Arriving With Five Models

Last week we reported that Asus planned to re-brand the ultrabook form factor as "Zenbook," and on Tuesday Asus Chairman Jonney Shih officially confirmed the new name at a global launch event in New York. The ultra-slim Zenbooks will go on sale here in the States on October 12, starting at $999 for the 11.6-inch UX21 and $1,099 for the 13.3-inch UX31. The company will offer two UX21 configurations and three UX31 models.

According to Asus, the new Zenbook form factor will offer the same base features across all five configurations including a thickness of 0.11-inches at the front and 0.67-inches at the back. The 11.6-inch model will weigh 2.4 pounds whereas the 13.3-inch model will weigh 2.9 pounds, yet both will sport a silver aluminum alloy body, glass trackpads and all-metal keyboards.

As for other common specs, the UX21 and UX31 Zenbooks will feature ultra low voltage Core i7 and i5 processors, 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 memory (non-upgradeable), a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an SATA 6Gbps SSD starting at 128 GB, stereo speakers with Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower technology, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a two-second resume time. There will also be a 0.3MP webcam, a micro HDMI port and a custom "mini" VGA port.

As for differences, the 11.6-inch UX21 model will boast a resolution of 1366 x 768 and a battery charge of five hours of runtime (or seven days). Consumers will also have a choice of two processors: the Core i7 2677M and the Core i5 2467M (and later the Core i3 2367M). As for the 13.3-inch UX31, it will have a resolution of 1600 x 900, a battery charge for seven hours (or ten days) and an additional SD card reader. This model will also offer a choice of the Core i7 2677M and the Core i5 2557M.

"To accommodate all of these technologies, Asus engineers designed custom cooling technology using a V-shaped channel with a unique copper fin design for improved airflow and cooling," the company said Tuesday. "When battery life dips below 5 percent, the Zenbook will automatically save files in progress to prevent data loss."

The two UX21 models will cost $999 (UX21E-DH52) and $1,199 (UX21E-DH71), and the three UX31 models will cost $1,099 (UX31E-DH52), $1,349 (UX31E-DH53) and $1,449 (UX31E-DH72). Hey, at least one of the Zenbooks meets Intel's preferred sub-$1000 price point.

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  • Pyree
    3mm at the front, that should earn a "Caution! Sharp edge." sticker.
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  • zubikov
    I've been waiting for Ultrabooks to hit the market for 3 or so months since the new Macbook Air release. I really want a Windows based system for its keyboard and no need for virtualization, but I feel like the PCs are TRYING to give away their business to Apple.

    First, it's been a slow, uneventful rollout. Lenovo's been marketing U300s for two months, with no updates, no dates, no prices. Acer and Asus took their sweet time also, and didn't even give any specs (meanwhile Apple was eating their lunch). Second, now that Acer and Asus have released their ultrabooks, there's no place to go buy them. I went to Asus website and tried clicking all the retailer links from the product page...all of them broken links. Are you kidding me? I'm trying to throw money at them and they won't take it! Third, they're not even trying to compete on price. Even though the starter ultrabooks might beat MB Airs by $100 or so, when you load them up with i7 and 256 SSD, we're right back to the 1600 - 1700 price. No wonder so many people are saying "f'k this, I'm buying an Apple".
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  • Anonymous
    At those prices, they'll be total flops. Apple can command prices like that, but the PC market is different. It's been a race to the bottom for too long for hardware manufacturers, and despite the pros of such a small form factor, when people see that they can get a fast Core i5 based 15" laptop for less than $600 if they watch for sales, they'll pass on these expensive little netbooks.

    At least with Apple, you get a much better and sleeker experience, not to mention their unbelievable customer service. Asus isn't know for their customer service. When I look at hardware to buy, I compare, and when I can get Apple for the around the same price, it's a no-brainer. I know an Apple product will be high quality throughout and they stand behind their product. You even get someone in the good old USA on the other end of the phone that speaks and sounds just like I do when you call, or you can just drop by an Apple Store and see a Genius.
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