ASUS UX31 Hands-On: Sexy Ultrabook Has High-Res Screen, Speedy SSD

ASUS’s UX31 might just be the ultimate Ultrabook right now, combining a svelte metallic chassis, high res screen, and blazing fast components into an attractive brushed metal package. We spotted the 13.3-inch system on a tablet in Ultrabook pavilion at this year and were blown away, not only by its good looks, but by its fancy components.

The UX31 on display had a blazing fast Core i7 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and . . . wait for it . . . a 256GB ADATA XM1 SSD. The XM1 uses a speedy SandForce controller and provides support for SATA 6Gb/s connections, meaning that this drive could get transfer rates in excess of 500MBps!

Better than the internals is the colorful 13.3-inch screen, which sports a 1600 x 900 resolution, much higher than the typical 1366 x 768 we typically see on notebooks this size. With the extra pixels, you can fit a lot more of your favorite web pages or documents on screen without scrolling so this is an absolutely critical feature.

For a notebook that’s just .67 inches thick and weights only 2.9 pounds, the UX31 has more than its fair share of ports, including a mini HDMI, mini DisplayPort, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader. 

We didn’t get much of a chance to type on the ASUS UX31, but we noticed that the chiclet-style keyboard exhibited just a bit of flex and not enough tactile feedback, both common problems on ASUS notebooks. The clickpad has an attractive, smooth chrome surface, but it seemed a little jumpy in our very limited testing. We’ll have to see how it responds to serious use.

There are no details yet on pricing and availability for the ASUS UX31 and we can’t even be sure that the configuration we saw will come to the U.S. If the UX31 comes with this set of specs, we would expect it to cost well over $1,000 simply because of the 256GB SSD. For now, check out the video and gallery below to get a closer look at the ASUS UX31 in action.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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