In April I decided to finally replace my workhorse HP laptop that I purchased back in January of 2010. I wanted smaller, lighter, and more powerful. I tend to work with my computer docked almost all of the time, whether it’s at my standing desk at home or my desk at the warehouse. However, if I’m traveling for any extent of time I also need to be able to get close to that docked experience with just the computer and the contents of a laptop bag. I spent quite a bit of time researching every Windows Ultrabook as well as evaluating the option of installing Windows on the Macbook Air, and the ASUS Zenbook UX32VD was the best balance of price and performance that I could find. After using it for several months now I can unequivocally say it was the right choice – it is great in every single situation I need it to be.
- Light – only 3.2 lbs
- Slim profile – 12.8″ x 8.79″ x 0.72″
- Intel i7 quad-core processor
- 6GB of RAM
- 13.3″ 1920 x 1080 display, a full 1080p!
- 1x HDMI port plus a display port making two monitors simple
- Mini-DisplayPort adapter and RJ-45 USB adapter included (I like to hard wire my connection at home)
- 3x USB ports
- Hardly any crapware installed by ASUS
- Windows 8 – the performance is so much better than 7, once 8.1 arrives the metro quirks will be cleaned up
- RAM and hard drive are easily upgradable
- Carrying sleeve included
- Purchased mine on Newegg for $1,185.90
- Hybrid SSD (500GB HDD + 24GB SSD), although it can be upgraded
- The Newegg description mistakenly said 4GB of RAM so I purchased an extra 8GB stick for $83 that I wouldn’t have bought had I known it came with 6GB (haven’t installed it yet but I will eventually)
- Still some ASUS crapware
- One of the USB ports was really tight, it loosened up after some usage but at first I didn’t know if it would be usable
Would I buy it again? Absolutely. Nothing that has come out in the past five months has changed my mind either. It is the elusive balance of portability and performance that I’ve been chasing for years.
However, when you spend $1,200 on a laptop there’s always the fear of losing it or having it stolen. In my next post I’ll discuss my $250 insurance policy: the Samsung Chromebook.