While it might be easy, thanks to a deluge of exciting new Ultrabooks, to forget about what many of us looking forward to just yesterday, Asus has finally put up official product pages for the Zenbook Prime UX21A and UX31A. We’re likely to see both of these next-generation Ultrabooks on sale in the very near future. The Zenbook microsite has been updated as well, and AnandTech has a teardown of the UX21A for anyone interested in the internals.
We know many of you have been looking forward to the Zenbook Prime UX21A and UX31A — and for good reason! The Zenbook Primes feature Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge ULV processors which see gains in battery life and perfromance, and get a significant bump in the graphics department thanks to the updated HD 4000 integrated graphics. Then there’s that gorgeous 1080p full HD IPS display that both are equipped with — a much needed improvement from the low-contrast screens of the original Zenbook UX21E and UX31E. We’re told that the keyboard has also been reworked (and backlit), and with that, just about every complaint we had about Asus’ first Zenbooks has been put to rest.
RAM has also been upgraded from 1333MHz to the fastest now supported by the new HM76 chipset, 1600MHz. Both USB ports are now USB3.0 rather than just one. The 1080p screens are actually optional (though if the alternatives are the same as the original screens, we’d recommend the IPS displays hands-down!). On the UX21A you can opt for a 1366×768 display, and on the UX31A you can go with 1600×900 (both are the same resolution as the original Zenbooks).
Here are the official product pages:
Chippy tracked down some prices for this pair that went live from retailers before they should have. This gives us an indication of how much the Zenbook Primes will run, although next to Sony’s low-cost Ivy Bridge VAIO T option, the Zenbook Primes will be a tough sell for anyone who doesn’t need the 1080p display.
While the UX21A and Ux31A aren’t yet available for sale, Asus (along with other companies) is now offering a Windows 8 upgrade for $14.99 with the purchase of a Windows 7 computer. The UX21A and UX31A are included.
In addition to launching official product pages, Asus finally update their Zenbook microsite which hasn’t been touched since the introduction of the original Zenbooks back in October 2011! Now the site includes the two Zenbook Primes and the lower-cost but better port-equipped UX32 which is expected to also be configurable with a discrete GPU (the only of the Zenbooks to do so).
There’s also a new advertising video for the Primes:
AnandTech goes into great detail in hardware and they’ve got their hands on the UX21A. If you’re interested in the guts of an Ultrabook, head over to their article to have a look at a dissected Zenbook Prime.
Is there room for improvement? Not without significant silicon integration I’m afraid. The Zenbook Prime’s motherboard today is about as compact as you can get given currently available components.