Asus Zenbook UX21 review
Despite plenty of room for improvement, Asus' adorable Zenbook UX21 is an 11.6in Ultrabook with an obvious allure
Review Date: 8 Mar 2012
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £680 (£816 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The 11.6in display sports a 1,366 x 768 resolution, a comfortable compromise between legibility and desktop size on a screen this small. The glossy panel is eye-searingly bright – we measured it at 547cd/m2 – but closer inspection reveals average image quality. Colour accuracy is unimpressive, with the panel’s high colour temperature leaving images dogged with a bluish tint, and the contrast ratio of 204:1 is poor.
After the disappointing screen, the Asus’ keyboard and touchpad are more refined. The small Scrabble-tile keys remain usable thanks to the wide channels running in between, and the firm, crisp feedback leaves no doubt as to whether you’ve successfully pressed a key. Backlighting would have been a nice touch, though.
The touchpad wasn’t initially impressive; we found it all too easy for a stray finger to snatch the cursor and fling it across the screen. Thankfully, a driver update improved matters. We still saw the cursor ping away on occasion, but the multitouch pinching and scrolling motions became far more reliable. The four-fingered upward swipe worked well, too, allowing us to bring up Flip 3D and switch between applications by brushing left and right.
For all its faults, it isn’t hard to appreciate the Zenbook UX21’s talents. The mediocre display disappoints, but for a first effort this shows immense potential. Pretty, portable and powerful, it’s as fine an Ultrabook as you’ll find for the money.
Author: Sasha Muller
Second photo is upside down
And don't say you put it that way for effect!
By JohnGray7581 on 8 Mar 2012
What about the fan noise?
By rhythm on 8 Mar 2012
If ASUS are trying to win the "Apple Cloan" aware then they will be pleased with my experience today - sitting in an airport lounge and have twice been complimented on my "MacBook Air".
Seriously though, can't see what is wrong with the screen, the picture is sharp and no problem with the contrast. The sound/speakers are much better than my last Sony and there is no real fan noise.
Overall a great ultrabook.
By Physci on 8 Mar 2012
If I could type it would help!
Meant ' "Apple Clone" award'
By Physci on 8 Mar 2012
Oh right so you have one of these and two people mistook it for a MacBook Air?
By TimoGunt on 13 Mar 2012
It's very sharp!
Looks good, small and light, screen a bit on the small side (and viewing angles could be better). Power connector flimsy. White Wi-fi light is bright and in the middle of the keyboard as is a power light - slightly distracting. The real deal-breaker for me is that you'll be slitting your wrists when you start using it - literally! Edges are very sharp making it uncomfortable to use - buy some emery cloth or a file to blunt them down!
By Chris_M on 13 May 2012
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?
- Samsung unveils curvy Gear S smartwatch and Circle smart necklace
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- Round-faced LG G Watch R teased ahead of IFA
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office