74

A high-res display, and a much-improved keyboard

74

When ASUS first released the UX31E last fall, we found plenty to like in its striking design, high-quality display and brisk performance. The addition of backlighting and a more comfortable keyboard -- not to mention the step up to Ivy Bridge and Intel HD Graphics 4000 -- makes the whole package considerably better.

But that doesn't mean the Zenbook Prime UX31A is now the best. To claim that title, it needs a more usable trackpad, above all else. We still think the MacBook Air is a better all-around ultraportable, as it offers a more comfortable touchpad and keyboard in a similarly attractive package, though we wish it packed an IPS 1080p display like the one on the UX31A. And though it's considerably more expensive, you might also be happier with the Samsung Series 9, which lasts longer on a charge, rocks an impressive display of its own and sports a more reliable trackpad. Still, given all the UX31A has to offer, chances are you'll be pleased with your purchase. Just evaluate your patience for temperamental touchpads before you pull the trigger.

Buy It:

$773.00

90-Day Price History

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high
$1557
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$600

Critic reviews

7.8
15 reviews
  • Speed and features
    8.1
  • Design and form factor
    8.0
  • Battery life
    7.7
  • Display
    8.6
  • Durability
    7.9
  • Expandability
    6.3
  • Noise
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.1

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User reviews

9.0
10 reviews
8.0
Engadget Aug 12, 2012

Given all the UX31A has to offer, chances are you'll be pleased with your purchase. Just evaluate your patience for temperamental touchpads before you pull the trigger.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine May 22, 2012

The ASUS Zenbook Prime improves upon one of the best Ultrabooks by adding a 1080p IPS screen, backlit keyboard and speedy 3rd generation Core i7 processor.

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8.0
CNET Jul 23, 2012

With a Core i7 CPU, discrete graphics, and a full HD screen, the Asus Zenbook UX23VD is pretty close to being the ultrabook that has it all, but you'll pay for all those features.

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7.0
CNET Jul 25, 2012

Asus makes some of the most full-featured ultrabooks available, but this stripped-down Zenbook UX32A version is missing those extras and faces tough competition in its price range.

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7.0
CNET Jul 30, 2012

The Asus Zenbook UX31A is the best-looking and most compact of the current batch of 13-inch Asus ultrabooks. Unfortunately, there are plenty of systems with the same components and reasonably similar designs for under $1,000, making this a tough sell from a value perspective.

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9.0
CNET AU Jun 25, 2012

The ZenBook Prime UX31A is everything the ZenBook UX31E should have been, and more. We have no hesitation in recommending this laptop if you truly want no-compromise performance in an ultrabook.

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8.0
PC World Australia Jul 7, 2012

It's thin, light, has a backlit keyboard and its battery life is impressive. It still isn't perfect, and our primary gripe with this model is its touchpad, but it doesn't overshadow the strong Ivy Bridge-based configuration and the beautiful IPS-based screen.

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8.0
Pocket-Lint Jul 26, 2012

Sadly though what prevents this Ultrabook from becoming a true portable great is two things. First is the track pad ... and second is the irritating level of bloatware ... If you can get round these issues, then there is a very impressive piece of kit here which will definitely turn heads.

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10
Digital Versus Jul 13, 2012

While in terms of power, battery life and finishing not much has changed since the excellent UX31E, the Zenbook Prime UX31A adds a second USB 3.0 port and, most importantly, a superb, matte, Full HD IPS display. That bumps it up to the coveted five stars.

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8.0
TechRadar Nov 12, 2012

In a sea of Windows 8 machines with funky swivel screens and striking designs, the sleek style of the Zenbook UX32VD may struggle to get noticed. But awareness issues aside, this is a solid performing ultrabook at a reasonable price.

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7.0
PC Pro Jul 17, 2012

The issue is with the competition: with rival models also delivering solid all-round performance, if not the pixel-perfect display, for hundreds of pounds less, the Zenbook Prime UX31A looks to have priced itself out of the market before it's even got off the ground.

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7.0
TechRadar Aug 1, 2012

The Zenbook UX32A is a solid Ultrabook – thanks to the remarkably attractive design and the addition of an Ivy Bridge chipset. If there's one criticism to be levelled, it's that the battery life could have been better.

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7.0
TechRadar Sep 11, 2012

The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is a premium computer with a price tag to match. The build quality is excellent, the performance is great for an Ultrabook and the screen is top-notch. Sadly, the battery life makes you think twice about its good points.

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9.0
Lexzap Lexzap

I wanted to love this laptop so so much. You get the build and style of a MacBook air and the nVidia of a gamers rig, the 1080P IPS screen is by far the best thing since retina. Text looks hand painted. The touchpad is awesome, keyboard great, but man on man that 3d card kicks off and you just...

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10
IntoLaptops IntoLaptops

Simply fantastic laptop! This ultrabook is untouchable, no other ultrabook is this good! Not even the Macbook Air. If you want to improve the speed of this laptop, you just have to buy an SSD an put it into the laptop instead of the 500 GB storage.

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10
YassirX YassirX

All I can say is: "WoW". This is the best Notebooks that I've ever seen and I even compared it with the Retina-Macbook. The Display is totally amazing and puts the Retina-Display to shame, simply because it is totally anti-glare. The viewing expierence on this Notebooks is amazing and I cant...

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10
vmaniku vmaniku

This is such a great laptop. My wife loves it , and has not had any issues with it after a year. She uses it mostly to remote desktop into her work and web browsing. She also uses picasa and skype and both of those work flawlessly for her.

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9.0
sinarf sinarf

Note to reader : I'm a Linux user I don't use Windows, and Asus refund me 65 € for the Windows 8 license that I wasn't using. The device is working quit well under Linux. I tried the following distribution : ubuntu 13.04 (note the 13.10 version doesn't work due to some issue with the graphic...

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4.0
brainiacs brainiacs

This is my first laptop which I bought for college and I would not recommend it to anyone. I paid just over a grand for it and even though it has an i5 its slower than my 4 year old cluttered up desktop even when in performance mode. This computer lags in Microsoft word, paint, cant open more...

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