Well, ASUS already spilled the beans on this one. Just a few hours ago, the company posted a YouTube video of its new Zenbook UX301 Ultrabook -- i.e., the same Zenbook Infinity we saw back at Computex, just with a new (less catchy) name. Well, if a teaser video didn't make it official enough for you, the company just revealed the laptop on-stage here at its IFA press event in Berlin. As we learned back at Computex, this has a lid made of Gorilla Glass 3, which promises to stand up to both scratches and maybe even drops. Meanwhile, the palm rest is also made of glass, though there's a ceramic coating mixed in, so it doesn't feel at all glassy; just exceptionally smooth. (Think of how smooth the metal on Samsung's old Series 9 felt and maybe you'll get the idea.) All told, this definitely isn't the thinnest or lightest Ultrabook we've held, at 1.38kg (3.04 pounds), but on the plus side, you get a good deal of travel on that backlit keyboard, and most of the keys are amply sized too.
Also revealed in that spoiler of a YouTube video: the UX301 comes standard with a 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 IPS touchscreen. On the inside, it combines a Haswell dual-core Core i7-4558U processor with 802.11ac WiFi, up to 512GB of solid-state storage and Intel Iris graphics -- basically, the best Intel has to offer short of a discrete GPU. If you do need more power, though, ASUS will also offer an NVIDIA GT 730M GPU on some models. Additionally, ASUS will sell a lower-end spinoff called the UX3012 (not pictured here), which will have generally the same design, but a lower-res 1080p screen. Both will be available in white, along with a dark, navy blue -- quite the departure from ASUS' usual color scheme. No word yet on pricing or availability, except that the line is still on track to ship sometime in the fourth quarter. For now, we've finally had a chance to get some hands-on time -- remember at Computex when we had to snap photos through a glass box?
ASUS Zenbook UX301 hands-on
Dan Cooper and Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
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ASUS Announces Zenbook UX301 and UX302 with Sleek Glass Finish
Premium specifications with ultra-high resolution displays and a lid protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 make Zenbook the most desirable Ultrabook around
Berlin, Germany (4th September, 2013) - ASUS today announced Zenbook UX301 and UX302, two flagship UltrabooksTM with a beautiful sleek design and a lid protected by scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 with Native Damage Resistance.
First glimpsed at Computex 2013, the new Zenbook UX301 and UX302 are next-generation Ultrabooks based on the award-winning Zenbook, launched in 2011. The new models feature a metallic 'spun' metal design that's a Zenbook hallmark, but a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 adds a sheer high-gloss finish that's as hard-wearing as it is stunning.
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has the same durability and thinness as Gorilla Glass 2, but Corning's proprietary NDR glass composition gives superior scratch resistance, reduced scratch visibility and improved toughness. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has three times the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass 2 and offers a 40% reduction in the number of highly visible scratches, with a 40% improvement in retained strength if a deep scratch does occur.
Premium specifications for astonishing performance
A 13.3-inch display available with a 1920 x 1080 Full HD and 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution means the new ASUS Zenbook gives incredibly sharp images and text. IPS (In-Plane Switching) display technology also ensures rich and accurate color with wide 178-degree viewing angles, while 10-point multi-touch gives smooth and responsive fingertip control with Windows 8.
The new Zenbook is powered by 4th generation Intel® CoreTM processors for seamless multi-tasking performance and outstanding energy efficiency. A high-end 28W Core i7-4558U dual-core option makes light work of even the most demanding applications, while optional 512GB RAID0 SSD storage turbo-charges performance even more. Models feature either Intel IrisTM graphics, or NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 730M graphics with Optimus technology for incredible game visuals at high resolution and detail settings.
Available in Moonstone White and Sapphire Blue, Zenbook UX301 features 802.11ac Wi-Fi for high- speed wireless data rates, and comprehensive connectivity options include USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0. All models feature a backlit keyboard with automatic light level control and large multi-touch touchpads with full support for Windows 8 gestures. ASUS SonicMaster audio technology is also standard on all models, for rich and detailed sound with video, music and games.
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
￼Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.