Just a day after Asus introduced its new Zenbook ultraportable laptops, the first few models are available for purchase. The Zenbook line of laptops feature thin and light case designs, solid state storage, and software designed to offer long battery life and quick resume from standby. Intel calls these ultrabooks, but Asus uses the Zenbook name to set them apart from the competition.
Asus will offer three different models of the laptop, including two with 11.6 inch displays and three with 13.3 inch screens. But so far only two versions appear to be on sale in the US.
Newegg is selling the Asus UX21E-DH71 Zenbook with an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-2677M processor, and 128GB SSD for $1199.99.
You can also get the 13.3 inch UX31E-DH52 from Newegg for $1099.99. That model has a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-2557M processor, a 1600 x 900 pixel display, and a 128GB SSD.
A few other stores have these notebooks available for pre-order, but I haven’t seen the $999 UX21 model yet, or the higher-end 13.3 inch laptops in the Asus Zenbook family. They should be available soon though.
At that price? Who is going to buy it? What more does it offer vs a netbook (I can buy 4 netbooks for the same price)?
Ultra Thin laptops is an already existing product category that has been around much longer than the MacBook Air. So there are people who would buy it, it’s just a question of whether it will remain a niche product like before or whether Intel will succeed in making it a mainstream product by standardizing the specifications with their Ultrabook goals.
Towards why, it’s simple. It may cost more but you get the performance of a full laptop in a more easily carried form factor. While netbooks sacrifice performance for the lower pricing.
So those who need more performance than a netbook can provide but still want something easily carried will look towards a Ultra Thin laptop like these Ultrabooks.
Of course, if you don’t need that much performance on the go then of course you’ll likely prefer the cheaper netbooks instead but there are those who would like the choice for more performance in a more portable design.
Mind though, we’re less than a year from seeing Ivy Bridge starting to replace Sandy Bridge and that will start making the pricing more competitive than they can manage now with Sandy Bridge, as well as give a noticeable performance boost to further justify the pricing.
Timing is very important and we just have to remember we’re still just in the early stages of establishing the Ultrabook market. What you see coming out now is primarily for early adopters who can’t wait for the upcoming improvements that will make this category more easily accessible to the average consumer.
So how does one go about buying a Zenbook?
You need to put on a kimono and assume a meditative yoga stance… and then float like Dhalsim to your nearest Asus dealership. =P
Kimono? Really? This even though Asus is Taiwanese (read “Chinese”) and zen is actually Chan Buddhism from China? Interesting.
I am not sure it is in other computer makers’ interests to slavishly emulate every computer Steve Jobs came out with. The problem with that approach is that the other makers will never have the success Apple has; the UX series, for example, doesn’t have as nice of a keyboard as the Macbook Air (MBA) it emulates.
Since Steve Jobs is no longer with us, where is the innovation going to come from?
As shown by the X101 and X101H, Asus is capable of making fresh and new designs at affordable prices. Indeed, with the right software (READ: Not conventional Linux ), and a better keyboard (this seems to be Asus’ weak spot), the X101 would make a great little portable machine which doesn’t have “me, too!” written all over it.
 The resurrected BeOS as HaikuOS would probably make a good choice once the software matures. I don’t believe in the year of the Linux desktop, but the year of the open source desktop would be great. As long as said open source desktop allows for proprietary drivers and applications.
Heh … The first thing I’m gonna do when I get an “Ultrabook” (the yet-to-be-released Toshiba seems like a nice piece of kit) is attempt an ArchLinux or Debian Sid install.
Having said that, I’m primarily an OpenBSD user on my desktop computers.
As one who doesn’t live in the Fantasy Land, I’m always amused to hear it described by people with a marginal, consumer-grade grasp of technology who call it their universe.
Neither Steve Jobs nor Apple innovated the Mac Book Air. Laptops were getting thinner and thinner. Intel’s latest breakthroughs in its core platform made the Macbook Air possible, and then of course Foxconn, the ODM (where the “D” stands for design and the “M” stands for manufacturer) behind Apple, who is just another OEM, put together a manufacturable industrial design with tremendous thinness. You make it sound like interior designers are the architects and builders behind every house, and when the head of an interior design firm leaves then there will be no more houses built or people designing them.
Even your beloved MBA keyboard is recognized as being lifted from a design brought to the market by Sony over 10 years ago, and it was a design which Steve Jobs (who desperately wanted Apple to be just like Sony) often criticized and kept off of the high end Macbooks, eventually relenting only because that style of keyboard PHOTOGRAPHS better despite functioning less well than the traditional design that they abaondend in the name of aesthetics. If you want want to celebrate Steve’s innovation, then talk about NeXT, the best computing platform that I ever had the privilege to use. Everything thereafter was innovation against consumers and in favor of shareholders, and none of it was technological in nature.
Don’t worry about innovation. Foxconn and Intel are still here, as evidenced by the fact that they are using the EXACT SAME processes to create ultrabooks as they did the MBA. Assuming you did the rational thing and sold off all of your Apple stock over a year ago, then you shouldn’t be worrying about Apple either.
It always amuses me how ignorant and how quick to flame anonymous identities are. I am posting this with my real name and it is a simple matter of performing a Google search to see my real opinions about a subject.
I am no shill for Apple and nor am I a blind fanboy. A look at my blog would reveal this. And, indeed, that amount of research is not necessary to see my opinion … merely basic reading comprehension of what I posted here is necessary.
If “aftermath” would had used his head before bringing out his flame thrower, he would have observed that I was saying it would be better if ASUS would make designs which do not slavishly copy the designs Steve Jobs marketed. That is not something a beaming mac fanboy would write.
I have deep respect for what Steve Jobs has accomplished, yes. He has had far greater success in his life than I have had and far far more success than “aftermath” will ever have. And, yes, I agree with “Aftermath” that Jobs’ greatest accomplishment was probably bringing UNIX to the desktop … something which is easily verified by looking at my recent public blogs and mailing list postings.
I myself am not a user of Apple products … a fact that is, again, a matter of public record. Personally, I feel the netbook is the best innovation the computer industry had in the last decade.
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