ASUS’ newest Ultrabook, the Zenbook UX301, has smooth looks and smoother performance. This 13-inch ultraportable, which ASUS revealed at IFA 2013, is coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which will help prevent unsightly scratches to the lid, as well as cover up and scratches that do happen to break through. In fact, the company claims the coating will offer a 40 percent reduction in the number of scratches that do appear and help the lid retain its strength.
Beyond its slick exterior, the UX301 sports an impressive 2560 x 1440 WQHD IPS touch screen display and an Intel 4th Generation Core i5 or Core i7 processor. The system is also the first Ultrabook to combine a Core i7 processor with Intel’s new Iris graphics chip, which will provide twice the performance of the current generation of integrated GPUs.
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Below the coating is ASUS’ now trademark spun metal design, which emanates from a Silver ASUS logo. The rest of the Zenbook is constructed using aluminum. We were particularly impressed with the system’s lightweight design and thin profile. Similar to last year’s Zenbook UX31A, the UX301 weighs 3.04 pounds and is 0.6 inches thick, but has a smaller 12.8 x 8.9-inch footprint, about half an inch less than the 13.3 x 8.9-inch UX31A. The Zenbook UX301 proved easy to lug around without weighing us down.
Inside, the Windows 8-powered ultraportable sports up to an Intel Core i7-4558U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. Graphics processing come by way of Intel’s HD Graphics 5100. During our brief time with the notebook, swiping through Windows 8 apps was a breeze and programs opened in a flash.
ASUS hasn’t announced any pricing or availability information for the Zenbook UX301, but we expect to see it make its debut later this fall.