Launched at Computex 2011 the UX31 is part of a new UX Series of laptops from ASUS, also released along side the UX31 was it’s smaller brother the UX21 -11.6 inch screen-. Intels new generation chipset and CPU have allowed power usage and temperatures to drop, essential for this new generation of laptop.
The UX31 and Ultrabook reference design certainly do pack a lot of technology into a sleek and compact design, Intel has tried to make an industry standard model better than the MacBook Air and have generally managed to do just that. The UX31 presented at Computex included a Core i7-2637M –Sandy Bridge CPU– running at 1.7GHz, half the speed of the desktop equivalent. According to ASUS online options will include the cheaper Core i5 as well as the Core i7 CPU as seen in the demonstration models. 4GB of DDR3 Ram is standard along with the SanDisk U100 SATA III SSD, starting at 64GB, options for sizes up to 256GB will also be available. The UX31’s impressive 13.3 inch LED backlight screen boasts 1600×900 resolution, solving the most annoying characteristics of Netbooks, slow speed and low resolution screens. Intel’s anaemic integrated graphics is built into the CPU -keeping power usage down-, which it does very well but at the cost of graphics performance which is still a tad slow, in the same ballpark as most Netbooks. Still there is enough power here to run a second monitor or TV, watch movies and generally plod around as we do.