The Asus Zenbook is another of the 'me-too' crowd that has joined the rapidly growing ultrabook market. This market is typified by high-definition screens - 1600 by 900 for the Zenbook - Windows 7 and ultrathin sizing as the aluminum-bodied Zenbook is only 12.9 by 8.9 by 0.8 inches and weighs in at 2.87 pounds. The Aspire is 8.5 by 12.6 by 0.7 and weighs about 3.1 pounds, so it is a tad heavier than the Zenbook but its screen is 13.6-inches diagonal while the Zenbook is 13.3.
Both are equipped with Windows 7.The Zenbook, whose chicklet-style keyboard has a reasonable feel, does feel a bit more rubbery than the Aspire, but then, again one can point out that the Zenbook does use rubberized keys so that's necessity.Where the Zenbook competes directly with the Mac and outshines the Aspire is in solid-state 'disk' storage. The Aspire feature 20 GB, while the Zenbook features 128 GB. This means you have instant access to any data you may have on the screen if you put the PC to sleep for a time.
Wakeup time is about 2 seconds, like the Aspire, for 'sleep' and about six seconds for a 'deep sleep.'Like the Aspire - and their template the Mac - the Zenbook is ultrathin and it does sport, like the Aspire a second-generation Intel-based Core I5 dual-core processor. Like the other second-generation Intel-based processors, the Zenbook's processor supports Turboboost mode in which it will automatically speed up from its normal 1.6 GHz speed to 3 GHz to handle some applications.Like the Aspire, the Zenbook is 'instant-on' - it takes about two seconds to power up fully from 'sleep' mode.
Once it is in full operation, the network-ready Zenbook will recognized WiFi 802.11 b/g/n nodes. This means you can use the thin Zenbook with any mobile hotspot you find (n) as well as with older home routers and networks that only support b/g. It also supports Bluetooth 4.0 and any devices that can be paired with it. Both the Aspire and the Zenbook have about six-hour battery life, which is somewhat disappointing in computers their size as the thin Aspire and the super-thin Zenbook, both aluminum-bodied, do tend to be powerhogs, although the Zenbook does give you an on-screen power use Wizard.Like the Aspire, the Zenbook delivers great sound thanks to the Bang and Olufsen Sonic Center speaker system that the Zenbook supports.
Like the Aspire, the Zenbook supports two USB (standard) ports, one USB 3 port (mini), an audio jack, a DC charger input, micro-HDMI that, with the proper interface cable, can be used to hook your Zenbook to a high-definition video system and speakers, so this system can be the heart of any high-definition video system that has the ability to surf the net. There's also a Gigabit hardwired port available as well as a mini-VGA output and an SD reader.Like the Aspire, the Zenbook has a front-facing 0.3MP camera built-in for videoconferencing.About the only problem we found was a lack of standardization in the trackpad and a variation in each one's quality.
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