First ASUS ultrabook to market

Casey Johnston

ASUS unveiled its new ultrabook, the UX 21/31 or “Zenbook,” at an event in New York yesterday. The smallest 11-inch version of the Windows 7 computer has an Intel Core i5 processor, weighs 2.43 pounds, and is priced at $999. The Zenbook has beaten all the other manufacturers to market, as it is the first ultrabook available starting today.

The Zenbooks are brushed aluminum unibody—er, “monoshell,” as ASUS puts it. The bladelike notebooks are 0.11 inches thick at the front and 0.67 or 0.71 inches thick at the back for the 11-inch and 13-inch versions, respectively—nigh-identical dimensions to the MacBook Air. The 11-inch version of the Zenbook doesn’t have the wide-and-squat screen the 11-inch Air does, but has the same 1366×768 native resolution; the 13-inch Zenbook’s screen is 1600×900.

Each notebook comes with one USB 3.0 port in addition to one USB 2.0, microHDMI out, and a miniVGA display connector, with USB-to-Ethernet and miniVGA-to-VGA adapters included in the box. The 13-inch model also has a built-in SD card reader. 4GB of RAM is standard in all models, and both sizes can be configured with either Intel Core i5 or i7 processors (1.6GHz Core i5‐2467M for the 11-inch, 1.7GHz Core i5‐2557M for the 13-inch, and 1.8GHz Core i7-2677M for both). The base 11-inch model has a 128GB SSD, and the most pricey versions of the 13-inch can be configured with a 256GB SSD.

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