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Asus Zenbook On Sale 21 October

David Gilbert


Asus Zenbook On Sale 21 October

Asus has unveiled its entry to the Ultrabook market with the Zenbook, which will go on sale on 21 October with prices starting at £849.

Attempting to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Ultrabook entrants (namely Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo) Asus has given its entry a new name and unveiled two versions of the Zenbook, the 11.6in UX21 and the 13.3in UX31.

We’ve already had some hands-on time with these machines and they are seriously impressive pieces of kit. The 11.6in UX21 will go on sale for £849 while the larger UX31 will cost you £999 when it arrives on shelves on 21 October, making it the first Ultrabook to go on sale in the UK.

For your £849 the UX21 Zenbook will include the latest Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 1366 x 768 display, integrated Bang & Olufsen speakers, 128GB SSD, a promised battery life of five hours and standby time of one week.

The UX21 will weigh in at 1.1kg, and come with a mini HDMI port, mini Display Port, one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. It will measure just 3mm at the thinnest point expanding out to 17mm at its thickest.

The larger UX31 will come with similar specs but will include a Core i7 processor, a 1600 x 900 panel and promises over seven hours battery life with a standby time of two weeks.

Asus were playing up the “balance” aspect of the new laptops at the launch last night and Intel announced that when the new Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8 arrive, so will touch screens on Ultrabooks – which they hope will give you the best of all worlds, though we’re yet to be convinced.

Intel also told us that despite Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba being rather reticent about announcing release dates for their Ultrabook, it is hoping that all models will hit the shelves in the next two weeks.

We will be bringing you a full review of the Zenbook very soon but for now, let us know in the comments what you thinks of the Asus Zenbook.


October 12, 2011, 3:27 pm

So to qualify as an ultra-book it has to cost under $1000 but can cost whatever the company fancies elsewhere?

Did Asus borrow Apple's calculator to convert the currencies here? $1,000 is about £600 so they are charging a 40% premium. Their price in sterling would translate to over $1,400, which is frankly scandalous.

I might have been interested at £600, but that price is mental. If the other ultra-books decide to go with the same trick I'll just get an Lenovo X121e for about £450, ok the processor is pants but at least the price is sensible. Either that or wait til I go to the states and get one there.

David Gilbert

October 12, 2011, 4:32 pm

So far we only know Acer and Asus pricing and both seem to be in or around the £1,000 mark for 13.3in set-ups with SSDs, which is a long way off the $1,000 mark initially quoted by Intel. What exactly constitutes an Ultrabook is something I asked Intel at the launch last night and instead of giving me an answer there and then, they are giving us a briefing on the whole issue soon, which is not ideal but should finally clear up just what an Ultrabook is.

Old Pedantry

October 12, 2011, 4:33 pm

The UX21 is $999 but the UX31 is $1099.

Convert these to GBP at current rate (about £0.65/$) and you get about £650 and £715.

Add on VAT, which is not under Asus' control, and you get £780 and £858. Against these, £849 and £999 are not at a 40% premium, they're respectively around 9% and 16%.

Not sure if there's import duty I'm missing, though possibly not on laptops. However if you buy these in many places in the US you may pay sales tax(es) *on top* of the dollar price - a recent online example relating to a laptop bought in NY was 4% State sales tax plus 8.875% NYC sales tax (so, 12.875%).

Take US sales tax into account and the "UK markup" all but disappears.

Exactly the same is also likely to be true of the Lenovo.


October 12, 2011, 8:06 pm

These seem to be no cheaper than the Macbook Airs. Seeing the prices on these things is just further confirmation that I will be getting my parents a Chromebook.

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