ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch
The ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch was announced sometime Christmas last year and it immediately got a lot of international press because of its stunning design and impressive internals. It took ASUS Philippines around 3 months to get it here (around March) and we would have probably tried to review it back then but we’ve only gotten close to our good friend Eason lately (lol). We’ve been playing around with the review unit of the ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch for the most part of the last three weeks now and we’d like to share with you guys our unboxing experience as well as our initial experience.
ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch (UX31A) Spec Sheet
- Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz dual-core
- Intel HD 4000 Graphics
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- Up to 256GB SATAIII SSD (there’s a 128GB version)
- 13.3-inches FHD IPS Touchscreen LCD
- 1920×1080 pixels, 350 nits
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
- HD 720p CMOS module camera
- Bang & Olufsen ICEpower SonicMaster
- 2 USB 3.0 ports, SD Card Reader, mini-VGA port, micro HDMI port
- Windows 8
Cool eh? Read on!
ASUS went for a mysterious, cool, sleek, and professional mood for the packaging of the Zenbook Prime Touch. That’s probably due to the obvious target market which are the professionals and executives. These are the type of people who expect a lot of what they buy and they’re the type that notices the little details. Fortunately ASUS went all out with the “little details” from the packaging to even what’s inside the box.
We removed the tapes on the sides and pulled up the lid of the box. We were seriously expecting the usual plastic covered machine with no fluff or fanfare. Suffice to say we were blown away with what we saw when we unboxed it.
The ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch wasn’t wrapped in multiple layers of foam and plastic. Instead it was comfortably slipped in a custom-made ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch envelope! Talk about classy eh? What was interesting though was that the ultrabook wasn’t the only one that got the custom casing treatment. ASUS included the VGA and Ethernet connectors in the box and they also have their own pouch. It’s gestures like these that build the brand and make people happy so we definitely give ASUS two thumbs up for this initiative. 🙂
Other stuff in the box were the power brick and the manuals/certificates.
Stunning Industrial Engineering and Design
We carefully slid out the Zenbook Prime Touch out of the envelope and we were stunned at how gorgeous the device looked. First is the form factor. It was ridiculously and almost freakishly thin. It measured 3mm at its thinnest point making it one of the slimmest 13.1-inch laptops you can find in the market today. Next is the design of the lid. ASUS used what they’re calling “spun-metal” or “concentric circles” design for the back of the monitor. This design element definitely made them stand out and unique compared to a lot of other Ultrabook and laptop offerings.
As expected ASUS used aluminum for the main material of the laptop. That’s probably the best material you could use with a laptop these days thanks to the cooling properties of the metal combined with its durability and lightness.
For you guys to better understand the design philosophy of ASUS with the Zenbook, please do watch this short video which we found on YouTUbe.
ASUS Zenbook Design Story
Touch panel lets you make the most of Windows 8
The display of the Zenbook Prime Touch is special in two ways. First is the display quality. As you guys saw in the spec sheet this has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. That’s a huge improvement over the standard 1366×768 used by a lot of other laptop manufacturers. This results to better images, videos, and text. They also used built in IPS (in plane switching) which immensely helps expand viewing angles.
Second is that they incorporated touch control on the screen. While not everyone appreciates touching the screens of their laptops yet, it’s actually quite an enjoyable and functional experience especially when you’re using Windows 8. The OS offers a much better UX once the touch controls are utilized.
Made for enjoying content
As you would imagine the display quality, mini HDMI port, and the excellent built-in audio lends themselves to turning the Zenbook Prime Touch into a kick-ass entertainment machine. Watching HD videos on it is just awesome and you can watch in different positions or screens. You can plug it into your LED TV via VGA or HDMI. Or you can just watch while you’re on your desk. Heck, you can even just put it on your stomach while watching in the bed since it’s very light and thin, lol.
Other than watching videos, the Zenbook Prime Touch is also a decent gaming rig. It’s far from perfect but it can run the usual titles most people enjoy these days like DOTA 2, StarCraft Heart of the Swarm, and Diablo 3.
Winning Forumla is There: Same Design, Haswell, and Lower Price
Everything considered the ASUS Zenbook Prime Touch is a fantastic product. It’s an offering from ASUS that smacks of innovation and brilliant design. However it comes with a hefty price tag at it retails for a little over Php76,000 making it even more expensive than the 13-inch MacBook Air. Personally I think that’s too high a price to pay given the specifications.
If ASUS wants to sell these babies like hotcakes they should come up with a new model running Intel’s newest Haswell chip, keep the design, and lower the price. Definitely lots of potential but it’s just too far out of reach at this point in time given the price.