In my last post, I described my search for the perfect laptop for this traveling man. If you recall, I bought an Asus Transformer Prime (ATP ) and its accompanying keyboard dock thinking that I could have my cake (a lightweight notebook) and eat it to (a tablet) in one nifty little package. Unfortunately, the ATP couldn’t quite pull it off, lacking the ability to sync readily with my MS Live Mesh and an adequate Android substitute for MS Office. There have been reports of a Windows-OS ATP on the horizon, but the expected release date was late 2012 and my old Sony was just not going to make it that long. So I returned it reluctantly and continued my search for a high-performing, slim, and sexy travel companion (of the tech, not the human, variety).
I decided that an ultrabook with an 11.6″ screen was the next best thing. As I always do, I obsessed for weeks looking for the best machine at the best price. After considering specs and pouring over dozens of reviews, I settled on the Asus Zenbook UX21.
I bought it from J&R Music (via Amazon) for $966 (more than I wanted to spend), but when it arrived it was love at first sight. It is lightweight (less than 2.5 lbs.), thin as can be, and has great specs. Plus, it is gorgeous (not that looks matter), made of spun aluminum.
The reviews are laudatory saying that it rivals or surpasses the Apple Macbook Air in most performance and aesthetic respects and costs less. It comes with some nifty extras that the AMBA doesn’t offer. It comes with its own very attractive case. It also includes adapters for HDMI and VGA connectors. Plus, it offers Instant On in which, when opened, turns on in about 2 seconds. Without any more effort than closing the lid, the AZB goes into standby mode that last up to two weeks. The AZB also comes with a power cord with only a small “box” as the plug rather than those cumbersome bricks found on most laptops. Another cool thing that the AZB offers is the Accidental Damage Protection that will repair or replace the unit if it is dropped, spilled on, power surged, or damaged by fire for one year, no questions asked. The only thing it seems to lack is a backlit keyboard.
So, though not my perfect travelmate, the Asus Zenbook is a beautiful and well-built machine that is, by my estimation and many far more tech savvy than I, the best ultrabook at any price point out there.