Pret an ultraportable

June 10th, 2011 in .Laptops & Netbooks .Products
Suds McSoapdish
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Computex is indeed upon us and ASUS is rolling out the creative big guns for a show of force. Enter the new UX Series, the slimmest of what seems to be a parade of really slim portable PCs from ASUS. You’d have to look closely, because these 11.6” and 13” laptops are rail thin. Yes, from the side as you can tell for yourself they’re definitely stealth, measuring 3mm to 17mm. You’d be right to wonder where exactly all the technology goes, but the backroom people have succeeded in endowing these slivers of advanced engineering with some potent features.

UX side

UX from the side

The artistic design, inspired by the hands of an exquisite timepiece, exists alongside a spec that was carefully assembled in close cooperation with Intel to ensure the slender form factor doesn’t come at the cost of performance. So you get new Intel Core processors up to an i7 in there, plus SATA 6Gb/s and standard solid state storage, all at a weight factor of just 1.1kg. Looks like the futurists were right after all!

UX side closed

The UX closed

The happiness of unibody

Advances in material sciences have made these feats of lightness possible, as the UX Series features sharp-edged unibody construction and spun-finished aluminium surfaces for a winning combination of striking looks and nigh-on-eliminated encumbrance. If you’re the type who likes to move around a lot while showing off the newest laptop, stay tuned to more info out of Computex on these.

UX from above

The UX from above. It has a circular brushed design gently cut into the metal

What else shall we tell you about the UX? Well, it’s all about space with these ultra-thin and ultra-movable laptops, isn’t it? Therefore managing real estate is important. The designers succeeded in fitting in a seamless and oversized keyboard, and even what ASUS refers to as a “smartphone-like” touchpad. Regardless of terms, we’ve tested this pad and it is very responsive and smooth, more so than your average laptop touchpad. ASUS has also demonstrated the reinforced hinge design, which corrects some of the issues you get with lighter and smaller laptops/netbooks, where the hinges don’t allow a wide enough opening angle, don’t last or start creaking after a while. The UX has been tested strenuously in this department, and it feels very solid.

UX keyboard

The UX Keyboard

UX touchpad

The UX touchpad

Bounce right back in there

The UX Series also has a new usability feature we’d like to highlight, called Instant On. One of the biggest issues with compact and power-efficient laptops is the slow “reawakening” you get with them after going into sleep or hibernate modes, but Instant On aims to rectify that. Basically it saves an image of the system as you put the laptop to sleep, and on pressing power again, it expedites recovery so resuming whatever it is you were doing takes only a few seconds, as opposed to several minutes in some cases.

UX top angle

So, who do you think the UXs are best suited to? The fashionista? The stylista? Or the technolo…gista? Let us know in the comments below!

UX open

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  • Vishal

    A true portable notebook.Its super slim,stylish,smart and well finished.
    As mentioned touch pad is responsive and smooth like smart phone,its also nice.
    It have instant on! also.
    Its best suited for me because its stylish.

  • Jean-Christophe Blachere

    Both UX30 and UX50V ship with Vista… They indeed look good, but why:
    1) Did Asus make this weird choice
    2) Did you waste our time by posting this review?

  • Anonymous

    This is the UX21, the UX30 and UX50 are the older models – so they supplied the OS that Microsoft were currently making available at the time. This is not really meant as a review, more of a first look (since it was only announced at Computex earlier this month). There’s still quite a few months before this is released, so reviews will obviously appear much closer to the time. Wait for independent ones, which give not only the pros but also the cons.

  • danielnabel16

    ok, this is all well and good, but what are the tech specs? can it outpower my
    Asus Essentio CG5275-AR003 with upgraded video card in a game of bioshock 2? how about portal 2, or any new games? dont get me wrong, i love asus tech, they make the best stuff, but is this more of a flashy, more usable for wifi leeching computer, or is it also able to run graphics demanding games?

  • Anonymous

    An ultra portable outgun a PC? Very unlikely from a sheer technical capacity. That level of technology simply hasn’t yet been invented. Ultra portables notebooks are for people who want complete mobility but still a full keyboard and Windows support for web/email/office apps/video/pics/full application support etc. It’s not a gaming machine.

  • Jean-Christophe Blachere

    Thanks for the comment and yes, let’s wait for the release.  Guess it’s as often a case of blogger faster than the manufacturer.  The preview (then…) was so exciting that I rushed to the Asus Global site and as the preview mentioned only UX series, all I found was indeed UX30 and UX50V.  My bad!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’m with NickHolland on that one. I suspect integrated graphics using the Sandy Bridge core is most likely. So definitely not a gaming machine, but for things like 1080p playback over hdmi, normal streaming video and day-to-day general usage tasks it’ll be fine. The solid state drive, will also help. I’m not too happy with the non-removable battery, but then something has to give when they’re focussing on design, clean lines and thinness (- I imagine the battery is pretty spread out over the whole area of the bottom).


  • Naif Alnammi

    When it will be in markets?
    Ready for sell?

  • Anonymous

    UX21 will be available later this year. No timescale yet – the ones at Computex were hand made samples, so ASUS still has a lot of testing and validation to do before it’s market ready.

  • Mike Furgason

    Which if this is anything like the u36sd release, means maybe by the middle of next year