The Asus Zenbook: a steely marvel with an appalling trackpad

Following the runaway achievement of the narrow and effective MacBook Air, laptop producers have ultimately arrived at the scene with their personal blade-skinny models. The Asus Zenbook is one of the first compelling “ultrabooks” and actually the most striking, with a brushed metallic body and smooth strains. The 11-inch core i7 we tested is also inexpensive than the MacBook Air Univers Inform.

While we found the overall performance of the Zenbook to be unfaltering, it does fall short in some regions like display and sound satisfactory. however, in one key recognize it honestly falls down hard: the trackpad is fickle and slightly practical, to the point that the use of the Zenbook as a number one visiting work system precipitated us a good deal of frustration.
The Zenbook is made nearly completely of brushed or anodized aluminum, with a few darker accents of metal and plastic (the body around the display screen and the surface in which the keyboard is inlaid are both darkish plastic). The computer vents warmness underneath the display screen via slots inside the hinge, which is also absolutely steel. Whilst Apple’s MacBook Air uses a strip of plastic in the hinge to assist the pc better pick out up WiFi signals, we did not observe any signal troubles with the Zenbooks.

Edges and corners of the Zenbook are sharp, even though the frame is low-profile enough that we did not have a hassle with the rims digging into our wrists. The bottom of the laptop is slightly curved, and the pc can get pretty warm on the underside for the duration of slight to heavy use. The place near the vents below the display screen gets close to-scalding warm while modifying photos.
Other than the toes, the texture of the Zenbook is quite sturdy. No elements of the notebook squeak or creak or flex, and it felt just like the high-priced system it is after I used it (so long as the heel of my proper palm at the palmrest failed to rock it).

 

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Every time I’d open the Zenbook, it became a toss-up whether the display might lift easily far from the relaxation of the pc or would ought to be prised apart like an oyster. If the hinge were loosened up earlier within the day and we had opened and closed the pc some instances, it becomes easier to open and the lowest 1/2 could continue to be solid on a surface. If it has been a day or because the computer turned into opened, we might need to paintings a fingernail under the nub along the pinnacle facet to pry it open.

As soon as open, the frame of the Zenbook is balanced relative to the weight of the screen. We could tip the display all the way lower back without the computer tipping with it. The profile of the pc is skinny, measuring 9 millimeters at its thickest factor and weighing best 2.43 lbs, thinner however heavier than the equal length MacBook Air. The laptop comes with a brown nylon and leather-based sleeve that snaps closed, which makes it easy to simply throw in a bag and cross (we hope you like brown envelope-fashion cases).

Simplest a handful of ports are at the Zenbook: a DC power jack, USB three.0, and micro-HDMI at the right, and USB 2.0, miniVGA, and headphone jack on the left, and covered inside the field are a USB-to-Ethernet adapter and a miniVGA-to-VGA adapter. The ports are sufficiently spaced and we had no problem plugging matters in next to each other.