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Laptops Reviews
15,611 Reviews

Asus Zenbook UX32A review

Price including VAT £799

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Asus Zenbook UX32A offers a familiar line-up of features for a cheaper Ultrabook. Read our review to find out more.

Asus' Zenbook range of Ultrabook laptops have a premium feel to them. In this case, the UX32A is a more affordable luxury. See all Laptop reviews.

The design, reminiscent of Apple's MacBook Air, tapers from back to front measuring 18mm to just 7mm respectively. It's not the lightest ultraportable we've seen but it won't break your back at 1.48kg. See Group test: what's the best ultrabook laptop?

We like the backlit keyboard with its rounded square black plastic keys. The smooth action makes the keyboard easy and fast to type on although there are certain keys which are a little on the small side such as Shift and Escape. Take a look at the HP Envy 4-1020ea review.

Asus has got it right with the trackpad which is large and responsive to the touch. The reason for its size is down to the integrated mouse buttons which, for once, work without sending the cursor flying round the screen when clicked.

Build quality is excellent and the UX32A feels strong and sturdy thanks to its aluminium chassis. We also like that you can open the lid using one hand without having to hold the keyboard down.

The £799 price seems like a great deal for thin Ultrabook, but look beneath the surface and it's clear that some savings have been made.

Compared to Ultrabooks costing over £1000, the UX32A packs less of a punch. It's equipped with an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, the least powerful Ivy Bridge i5 available. There's also just 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM. The 500GB hard disk is given a boost by a 24GB SSD.

Unfortunately we were unable to run our WorldBench 6 benchmark due, we suspect, to a GTP storage issue. We've estimated score at 123 placing it between the HP Envy 4 and Apple MacBook Air 11in because the specifications sit neatly between these rival laptops.

It's no surprise that the Zenbook relies on the CPU's integrated graphics, which in this case delivered 27fps in our FEAR benchmark.

The 13.3in screen has the typical 1366 x 768 resolution, but at least it has slightly better viewing angles than other laptops we've seen. The matt finish is welcome, though as it's not reflective at all.

All three USB ports support the latest standard and there's an HDMI output. A cable in the box converts a proprietary port to standard VGA, but there's no ethernet port.

Battery life is a big factor in any ultraportable and the UX32A chalked up just over seven hours in our MobileMark test.

Asus Zenbook UX32A Expert Verdict »
Asus UX32A-R3007V Scores 8.1 out of 10 based on 73 reviews
Processor: 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U (2.6GHz Turbo), dual-core
Graphics: Intel HD 4000
Display size: 13.3in (1366 x 768) matt LCD
Operating system: Windows 8 64-bit
Storage: 500GB hard drive with 24GB SSD
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
Ethernet: None
Optical drive: None
Video out: HDMI, mini VGA
Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band
Bluetooth: 4
Webcam: 720p
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen stereo speakers
Audio in: Built-in mic, 3.5mm line-in
Audio out: 3.5mm line-out combined with line-in
USB: 3x USB 3.0
Card slot: SDXC
Trackpad
105 x 71mm, integrated two button, multi-touch
Other software: Asus preloaded software
Power adaptor: 45W adaptor
Battery: 48Wh lithium-ion, non-removable
Dimensions: 325 x 223 x 18.7 (rear) 7 (front)mm
Weight: 1.49kg
Warranty: 1 year return to base
PCMark 7 running Windows 8: 2,519
WorldBench 6: 123
MobileMark 2007: 428
FEAR: 27fps
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Asus UX32A offers a familiar line-up of features for a cheaper Ultrabook. There's nothing outstanding in terms of performance here but you do get a much more stylish and well-built laptop compared to some of the competition.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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