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Lunchb0x8
Nov 20, 2011, 11:05 PM
I know, everyone always posts about some laptop that they think is a contender for the title of portable machines etc...

I think I have found a windows based machine that fits into the category for MBA contender as far as light, small and portable goes.

http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superior_Mobility/ASUS_ZENBOOK_UX21E/

Just picked up the i5 version for a work PC, is so far a fast, powerful and comfortable to use machine.

Is also very pretty!

Is not quite the same as the MBA, but s very close in design and function.



Trav29
Nov 20, 2011, 11:16 PM
How much was it?

entatlrg
Nov 20, 2011, 11:18 PM
Screen sucks, trackpad sucks end of story.

There's reviews out there confirming that too.

Matthew9559
Nov 20, 2011, 11:22 PM
What's your experience with the trackpad? I have read in several reviews that it is not just awful but one of the worst trackpads to ever grace a laptop. Is it really that bad from your experience? Other than that it looks like a great MBA competitor.

I have been eagerly reading every ultra book review and so far I like the Lenovo u300s the most from the reviews. The design of the laptop is beautiful.

Only two things are missing from the current line of ultrabooks..
-backlight keyboards
-better screens/resolutions

Plus the price, isn't Windows supposed to be cheaper? ;) Right now all of these ultrabooks are on par with MBA pricing.

Apple OC
Nov 20, 2011, 11:44 PM
Asus ... a contender to a Macbook Air? ... seriously? ... maybe an Acer contender :apple:

jsolares
Nov 20, 2011, 11:49 PM
What's your experience with the trackpad? I have read in several reviews that it is not just awful but one of the worst trackpads to ever grace a laptop. Is it really that bad from your experience? Other than that it looks like a great MBA competitor.

I have been eagerly reading every ultra book review and so far I like the Lenovo u300s the most from the reviews. The design of the laptop is beautiful.

Only two things are missing from the current line of ultrabooks..
-backlight keyboards
-better screens/resolutions

Plus the price, isn't Windows supposed to be cheaper? ;) Right now all of these ultrabooks are on par with MBA pricing.

they are cheaper, not by much, and in some cases not enough to go with one over the similar MBA, the SSD's on the samsung are SATA3 so 500MB/s and not 200 or so in the MBAs tho.

part of why they're cheaper is probably the displays, they all kind of suck :S, 3 of the 5 ultrabooks have backlight keyboards.

screens quality and resolution on most is indeed lacking a bit, i'd add better trackpads to that list.

Trav29
Nov 20, 2011, 11:52 PM
I have also read the keyboard on the other Zenbook isn't very good.

Lunchb0x8
Nov 21, 2011, 01:57 AM
Was $1399 AUD, the trackpad, whilst not quite as good as my MBP, is pretty decent.

And 1366*768 is terrible resolution for an 11.6" given it is the same as the 11.6 Air, I think you might be a bit wrong there.

The screen is beautiful IMHO, the keyboard is a little soft, but responsive enough.

Internaut
Nov 21, 2011, 03:06 AM
I haven't been impressed with any of the so called Ultrabooks so far, but they do show a great deal of promise. At the moment, they look like rather poor Air wannabes.

johnhurley
Nov 21, 2011, 07:47 AM
[QUOTE=Lunchb0x8;13888743]I think I have found a windows based machine that fits into the category for MBA contender as far as light, small and portable goes.
Is also very pretty!
[\QUOTE]

Yeah I checked one out last weekend at Best Buy ... it is darn sweet.

The screen is sharp and the machine tests very close to new mbas in performance.

Might have to think about that one for my daughter heading off to college next year.

*** Update:

Not sure if the asus is the one I liked. There was a 13 inch one with 1600 x 900 screen but maybe it was the samsung new ultra book? The best buy store I looked at had two new ultra books side by side and one was somewhat cheesier and the other one with the higher res screen the clear winner. Price difference was close to 150 bucks if I remember correctly.

SDColorado
Nov 21, 2011, 08:13 AM
I have also read the keyboard on the other Zenbook isn't very good.

I have seen negative reviews on the keyboard, as well as poor battery life. Also the fan is reported to be loud and almost constantly on. While it is certainly another entry into the market place, I am not sure it would be considered a legitimate "contender."

nebrot
Nov 21, 2011, 08:18 AM
http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superior_Mobility/ASUS_ZENBOOK_UX21E/



Amazing, how is such a copy possible? Honestly look at it, it's like a direct copy. Keyboard, location of power button, the "F" button sizes, hinge, ports.... Is that possible since Intel was involved in the Air or why? Probably a nice machine with Win 7, but I definitely go with the original...

ecib
Nov 21, 2011, 08:47 AM
Screen sucks, trackpad sucks end of story.

There's reviews out there confirming that too.

This.

If you've got a poor screen, and a terrible interface via trackpad, the whole machine is just a total non-starter.

As a former Windows box user, I can say with absolute certainty that I will never even consider another non-Mac until somebody figures out how to nail the completely effortless multi-touch trackpad interface like Apple has. It's the first laptop I've owned where I don't have to haul around a USB mouse to comfortably interact with it.

It doesn't get more fundamental than the user input and screen. If those are poor, then it's just not worth it unless the machine is faaaaaar cheaper, -but then you've probably got a whole other set of issues with it...

scarred
Nov 21, 2011, 08:59 AM
Finally we can compare "apples to apples" with these windows ultrabooks.

Notice how the price is in the same ballpark now? There are cheaper ultra books (check out the toshiba one for $800), but they come with less hardware (core i3, for example).

Mac's still win though, imho. Why? Because they have a Hardware / Software holistic design to them. They design one with the other in mind... "one team".

So the cheeky reply/question to these types of threads of: "ya but does it run Mac OS X?" is pretty valid. =)

NutsNGum
Nov 21, 2011, 10:24 AM
From a design point of view it's also a bit of a calamity.

The radial gradient of the outer shell and the matte-ish linear finish inside clash horribly. It looks like it was put together by someone who's spent 10 minutes fannying around in Adobe Illustrator.

"this design also looks totally unique" -- You are fooling no-one, Asus.

altecXP
Nov 21, 2011, 10:52 AM
Screen sucks, trackpad sucks end of story.

There's reviews out there confirming that too.

I used it in person at BestBuy, the Screen KILLS the Airs IMO. Better resolution and colors look better. Also the trackpad was fixed in an update. They have a faster SSD also. If most of my software was not already purchased for Mac at this point, and BestBuy didn't have $200 off the 13in Air I'd probably have switched back to Win7.

michaelrp
Nov 21, 2011, 11:09 AM
I've purchased exactly one Asus product. It was a 16" notebook about 1.5 years ago. The unit was defective (couldn't charge a battery), and they made me pay to ship it back to them. Whole thing took 6 weeks, several hours on the phone, and shipping out of the country and back.

Also, the trackpad was awful, and the keypad missed keystrokes if you typed > 40 wpm.

(Fortunately?) it died after 13 months.

I know, sample size of one and all that. Still, I'm never giving that company my money again.

blueroom
Nov 21, 2011, 11:12 AM
Doesn't run OS X. Do not want.

iRCL
Nov 21, 2011, 11:24 AM
Doesn't run OS X. Do not want.

This is exactly what I was going to say.

I love how they show graphics on that page that look OSX'y and notice they never show windows on the screen at any point in time

altecXP
Nov 21, 2011, 12:02 PM
This is exactly what I was going to say.

I love how they show graphics on that page that look OSX'y and notice they never show windows on the screen at any point in time

That's common because then the company has to pay royalties back to Windows for the use of their product in advertising.

johnhurley
Nov 21, 2011, 12:02 PM
I used it in person at BestBuy, the Screen KILLS the Airs IMO. Better resolution and colors look better. Also the trackpad was fixed in an update. They have a faster SSD also. If most of my software was not already purchased for Mac at this point, and BestBuy didn't have $200 off the 13in Air I'd probably have switched back to Win7.

After doing some double checking yes the Asus was the one I liked at BestBuy.

The screen is sharp and the higher resolution 1600 x 900 will make it a top pick in the ( admittedly limited ) ultra book marketplace.

Seriously if you are Acer or HP or Samsung and you knew already Asus was going to do 1600 x 900 why would you put something out below that and also below the macbook air?

Early reviews on amazon do complain about trackpad and network connection but ( apparently ) windows driver updates have fixed ( many? all? ) problems there.

Yes some people complaining about the keyboard.

It looks like some competition is finally entering this area which should be good for all consumers no matter which machine people ultimately decide on!

NutsNGum
Nov 21, 2011, 12:30 PM
It looks like some competition is finally entering this area which should be good for all consumers no matter which machine people ultimately decide on!

All these threads about "MacBook Air Killer" and "MBA Contender" -- The reality is that they aren't either of these things. OSX is the primary reason that I own it, and it's not available on any of the so-called "competitor" ultrabooks.

johnhurley
Nov 21, 2011, 12:58 PM
OSX is the primary reason that I own it, and it's not available on any of the so-called "competitor" ultrabooks.

No viable hackintosh approach?

sixteen12
Nov 21, 2011, 01:20 PM
No viable hackintosh approach?

Naw some parts aren't compatible.

Having played with the Zenbook and Samsung 9 Series, I prefered the 9 series as its trackpad and keyboard were nicer than the Asus. Neither compare to the Air though, and OS X is the main reason I want the Air.

NutsNGum
Nov 21, 2011, 01:20 PM
No viable hackintosh approach?

I wouldn't have thought so. It's debatable whether any Hackintosh is ever really feasible in anything other than self-built PC boxes that use compatible components and some older netbooks, and those netbooks can't run anything past early snow leopard builds because Apple canned support for the Atom CPUs to stop people doing precisely that.

Not an option as far as I'm concerned. Others may disagree, and I'd be happy to be shown a competitor Ultrabook that runs Lion identically to an Air, but I really doubt that I'll see it.

Lunchb0x8
Nov 21, 2011, 02:33 PM
Well, I can see from the general theme in the posts that nobody thinks it is really close, personally, it is my favourite non-mac machine to date.

I would prefer the MBA tbh, but being a windows shop, it would have been hard to convince my boss to pay a few hundred more just for the apple logo (given it would have to run windows as soon as it was booted).

I do agree with the majority of you, it isn't quite the MBA as far as design and OS, but the compact portability and sleek design make it a damn good Win machine.

Cheffy Dave
Nov 21, 2011, 03:07 PM
Thin,light, but no OSX,App Store, no Apple perfection, simply put, only Apple is Apple, and that's why we are all here:cool:

ender land
Nov 21, 2011, 03:55 PM
As a former Windows box user, I can say with absolute certainty that I will never even consider another non-Mac until somebody figures out how to nail the completely effortless multi-touch trackpad interface like Apple has. It's the first laptop I've owned where I don't have to haul around a USB mouse to comfortably interact with it.


Same.

I wonder how many people think similarly? I'm somewhat worried that when I need a new computer down the road I'll have to make decisions based on this... because right now, I don't have to think at all - Apple is the ONLY trackpad that is even enjoyable to use.

johnhurley
Nov 21, 2011, 04:24 PM
Apple is the ONLY trackpad that is even enjoyable to use.

A trackpad is "enjoyable to use"?

I love my new 2011 mba 13 but I for my one vote don't find anything remarkable about the trackpad it has or any trackpad I have ever been forced to use.

Multi touch gestures ... sorry not a big fan so far.

Let's keep hoping for good competition in this part of the marketplace!

Maven1975
Nov 21, 2011, 04:39 PM
A trackpad is "enjoyable to use"?

I love my new 2011 mba 13 but I for my one vote don't find anything remarkable about the trackpad it has or any trackpad I have ever been forced to use.

Multi touch gestures ... sorry not a big fan so far.

Let's keep hoping for good competition in this part of the marketplace!

Congratulations... You Sir at the 1%!

sixteen12
Nov 21, 2011, 05:38 PM
A trackpad is "enjoyable to use"?

I love my new 2011 mba 13 but I for my one vote don't find anything remarkable about the trackpad it has or any trackpad I have ever been forced to use.
!

I actually think the Apple track pad is quite enjoyable to use for every day computing, in fact I like it more for web browsing, word processing...basically everything that isn't CAD, Illustrator or Photoshop.

I hate the trackpad on my old windows laptop so much that I would just wait to get home to my desktop rather than use the trackpad on that thing.

johnhurley
Nov 21, 2011, 07:10 PM
Congratulations... You Sir at the 1%!

Thanks Maven ( I think ).

I always have a usb mouse with me and never do much without it plugged in. If working for long the external keyboard also.

Everyone's different and if trackpads make macs enjoyable for some then more power to the people that like them.

Internaut
Nov 22, 2011, 07:17 AM
Apple is the ONLY trackpad that is even enjoyable to use.

Logitech have launched a trackpad for PC that supports a similar system of gestures with Windows 7. I'm looking forward to trying one with the Dell at work (and hope it will get to market before Apple surgically implants a lawyer up Logitech's a$$ :D).

convergent
Nov 22, 2011, 08:13 AM
Its not a MacBook Air contender if its not running OSX... so that is end of story for me.

deepakvrao
Nov 22, 2011, 08:34 AM
This.

If you've got a poor screen, and a terrible interface via trackpad, the whole machine is just a total non-starter.

As a former Windows box user, I can say with absolute certainty that I will never even consider another non-Mac until somebody figures out how to nail the completely effortless multi-touch trackpad interface like Apple has. It's the first laptop I've owned where I don't have to haul around a USB mouse to comfortably interact with it.

It doesn't get more fundamental than the user input and screen. If those are poor, then it's just not worth it unless the machine is faaaaaar cheaper, -but then you've probably got a whole other set of issues with it...

Getting my first Mac [Air 13] tomorrow, and have heard so much about this trackpad thingie. Can't imagine a laptop without a mouse. Waiting to see if this really lives up to all that you guys say.

Really hope so, as we ordered two [wife and me].

Lunchb0x8
Nov 30, 2011, 03:53 PM
After my praise of the laptop, I then find that my one, had a fault.

Would not run on battery, not at all, unplugging A/C caused it to power off completely.

Took it back to the retailer, got it replaced within an hour, not as fast as Apple would have been with such an obvious fault.

I then got the i7 model.

The laptop itself is still nice, and runs like a dream, but yea, I think I will stick to Mac for personal machines.