ASUS was one of the first to jump on the Ultrabook trend. Now it seems like it intends to raise the bar before the next generation with screens sporting IPS panels and 1080p resolution. First we have ASUS UX21A and UX31A that launches with Ivy Bridge.

ASUS Zenbook series was a thin and stylish creation with an overall nice impression, but the keyboard and screen with cheap TN panel was below expectations. Already rumors have told us ASUS will use higher quality panels in future Ultrabooks, which according to TheVerge is decided.

The technoblog has published complete specification sheets for ASUS UX21A and UX31A – the successors to ASUS’ first Zenbook models. The ultrathin computers sports several exciting news where not the least Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors is the main attraction. With a TDP at 17 watt, ASUS will launch the Zenbooks with three processor options;

  • Core i7-3517U, dual cores, four threads, 4MB L3, cache, 3GHz max Turbo Boost
  • Core i5-3317U, dual cores, four threads, 3MB L3 cache, 2.6GHz max Turbo Boost
  • Core i3-3217U, dual cores, four threads, 3MB L3 cache, 1.8GHz (no Turbo Boost)

The processors sports a tuned DirectX 11 graphics processor (HD Graphics 4000) and DDR3L RAM support – effective in the Ultrabook segment. Other nice specifications include SATA 6.0 Gbps SSD up to 256GB and support for Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), dual USB 3.0 ports, micro-HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0 and SDXC memory card reader.

Backlit keyboard and matte 1080p IPS panels

ASUS have decided to fix the two most obvious drawbacks of the first models. The keyboard that was not very good will get backlighting and better response to the keys.

The biggest upgrade is not surprising, but still very much welcomed. ASUS will offer consumers to configure their Zenbooks with IPS panels with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 350 nits brightness, better viewing angles and even better image quality than the regular TN panels. TheVerge reports that both 13.3″ and 11.6″ models will get 1080p panels even if the traditional TN panels with 300 nits brightness, and 1600 x 900 and 1366 x 768 pixel resolution will still be around.

ux21sidanASUS UX31A and UX21A will be ver similar physically to the first models with a profile at 18.3 mm for the 13.3″ model and 17mm for the 11.6″ model. The weight lands at 1.3 kg and 1.1 kg, and the battery time is 6-7 hours with UX31A and 5 hours with UX21A.

ASUS is expected to launch the new Zenbooks when Ivy Bridge arrives, in other words about a month from now. Prices are high, 1050 dollar for UX21A and 1100 dollar for UX31A.


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