The Alpha Ultrabook – Asus Zenbook Prime UX21A
Generally acknowledged as the King of the current run of Ultrabooks – the class of laptops endemic to the 21st century that employ more efficient processors and are considerably thinner than the clunky laptops of your parents – the ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A by Taiwanese computer giant ASUS has finally answered the call for a revised laptop that can compete with the flood of Tablet PCs and Smartphones (although when one considers the Samsung Galaxy, is there a difference??).
The improvements to this version of the Zenbook Prime UX21A are most notable in the even greater speed of its Ivy Brid quad core processor. The biggest gripe in terms of usability of the previous generations of ASUS Ultrabooks was the trackpad, which often seemed to have a mind of its own. No longer; the newest version has a trackpad that submits itself to the user’s commands. It has got to the point where consumers are starting to quickly scan over monitors with anything less than a 1080p display, even if all the other specifications are top-of-the-line; ASUS has recognized this reality, and upgraded the resolution of the previous generations to full HD with a 1080p IPS view-screen.
Weighing just about 2.5 pounds, the screen size is 11 inches (there is a 13 inch counterpart, dubbed the UX31A), with either 128 GB or 256 GB of storage in the 9 mm thick machine. As expected, there isn’t the kind of space that larger laptops would have for external connectivity; the UX21A has an HDMI port, a mini-VGA port, 2 fast USB ports, a jack for a microphone or headphones and the larger, 13 inch UX31 also has an SD card reader. The redesigned keyboard is – finally – backlit, without an automated function. Great speakers and a mesmerizingly crisp display make it perfect for watching videos and movies. The UX21A comes in the same shimmering metallic package as its Zenbook Prime forebears, but the contents have enjoyed quite the upgrade.