Asus Zenbook UX31A

The latest in the series of Zenbook HP Pavilion DV3 is probably not very original, with a design that has been known for quite some time but it is very attractive. Outside no surprises, there is a frame of high quality aluminum. The colors chosen are sober (dark gray screen and raw aluminum for the base) and the finish is among the best we have encountered in the PC world. If one were to fault, it is on the side patchwork caused by the different finishes used. To look more closely, we find nevertheless that HP Pavilion DV4 is slightly heavier and a little thicker than its predecessors. If there is only one millimeter and sixty grams, it also shows that Asus does not hesitate to change its chassis needed.

The connection has been enriched since HP Pavilion DV6 and is now well stocked for a 13 inch. There are three USB ports (all version three), HDMI and mini-VGA and a card reader. Small wonder, Asus delivers with his machine adapters mini-VGA to VGA, USB to Ethernet and even a protective cover. Attention that we appreciate as it became rare. The keyboard is large and comfortable and it is now backlit. In addition to a manual setting, a brightness Compaq Presario V5100 sensor is provided for adjusting the lighting.

The touchpad of HP Pavilion DV7 left us with mixed feelings, imprecise and not always the manager “gestures”. After a few days of using the UX32VD we can say that there are better. It is generally more responsive and gestures are better supported, but it is still a good notch below the best PC, without even mentioning the Macbooks …

The HP Pavilion DV6000 is the first representative of the second generation ultrabook we test. But more than a simple change of processor, Asus model stands out thanks to its Full HD screen!

The Asus ultrabook Dell Latitude E6400 looks like two drops of water to its predecessor, the UX31. It is in the old pots you make the best soups. This is what Asus had to say in designing the UX31A. It is therefore in the presence of a chassis designed all-aluminum design strongly reminiscent of the Macbook Air from Apple. If it can do a few eyebrows frown we must admit that there are worse inspiration. The Dell Latitude E5400 is distinguished by openly treating its aluminum hull, rendering brushed turned more “industrial” than Apple. It is pretty solid and although we must admit that we would like Asus is fixed once and for all on a color. This effect appears Zenbook three different rendering depending on whether one looks at the screen, the bottom of the machine or the palmrest. Personally I am very contented one, just to get a little more uniform appearance. The build quality is impeccable with parts fit perfectly. Dell Latitude E5500 has not lost his touch.

Full connectivity

The Dell Precision M6400 connector is a standard 13-inch, two USB ports, micro-HDMI and a card reader. Good point, Asus provides in the box VGA and Ethernet adapters and a protective cover. We would like all manufacturers do the same (yes Apple, I look at you) … If we had “chouiner” a little we regret the lack of Thunderbolt connector which begins to spread quietly in the high-end PC Dell Studio XPS 1647.

With 1.3 kg on the balance Zenbook is placed in the middle of the high category. This weight is for the use of aluminum, which makes it particularly strong.

The Dell Studio XPS 13 keyboard is still successful and is now backlit. Type long can be uncomfortable, however, since the angles of the machine a little bite in palms. The touchpad gives us mixed. If it is accurate and has a nice touch, the game software suffers from several flaws. The gestures (zoom with two fingers …) are too uncertain and especially the palm of the hand is badly ignored, which is very annoying when you type text.

A little Full HD

Dell Studio XPS 16 Using a Full HD 13-inch screen is the big novelty of this model. So certainly we are less impressed since the release of Retina Macbook but we must admit that this Zenbook ships finest screen we’ve seen on a ultrabook. Asus has had the good sense to move to an IPS viewing angles are very wide now. The Dell Studio 1735 brightness and contrast are also excellent and the colors are vivid. Icing on the cake, the slab is matte, which is known greatly improves readability. The very high resolution is a real pleasure for both work only to enjoy a film. We will just have to increase the font size in Windows settings to make it a little more readable.

If the display impresses you can not say the same of her. Despite marking the Bang & Olufsen integrated speakers are simply poor, we must therefore fall back on headphones to enjoy good sound.

The Dell Studio 1555 screen is not the only thing to have changed. The UX31A indeed uses the latest generation of Intel processors, called Ivy Bridge. Without a revolution latter sees performance increased by about 15% in fuel consumption and now includes USB 3.0 natively. More interestingly, the integrated graphics performance sees double. The HD4000 will not be provided capable of running recent games in full HD, but it is a good step forward. The Dell Studio 17 Core i7-3517U (double heart at 1.9 GHz) and 4 GB of memory we ensure good overall performance. It is however a little less satisfied with the SSD that is far from what is best in the moment. Note that two versions (128 and 256 GB) are available. No explosions performance but so will the progression UX31A a little more comfortable to use on a daily basis. We also note that the Widi, which transmits sound wirelessly from a Dell Vostro 1015 screen, is now in the game. Rather well thought out, this technology is currently under-utilized because of the lack of screens using the native.

The Dell Precision M4400 screen is a treat for the eyes. And because it adopts a resolution Full-HD! In addition, the brightness is high, excellent contrast and relatively accurate color. IPS requires, the viewing angles are wide and we can use his laptop Dell Latitude E5400 at all times. Another miracle, the slab is matt and perfectly readable in direct sunlight.

Of course high resolution causes some readability issues, it will not hesitate to drive the expansion of fonts for comfort. Without competing with the Macbook on board the Retina slab notebook that easily takes the second place. We are especially impressed that the display is clearly better than the one used on the Dell Latitude E5500. One can only hope that Asus continues on this path.

Note that the speakers are surprises correct for this type of machine. The sound is clean enough not to want to insert rods into the eardrums and the whole is powerful enough sound to a small room.

This notebook Dell XPS M1530 does not heat excessively and is rather quiet. The autonomy that exceeds 5:30 ET correct, even if it does not reach the 7:00 Folio 13 HP. The charger itself is very compact (and nice) which is rather rare for a ultrabook.

The Dell XPS M1730 is an evolution of a solid foundation. With a nice frame, very well finished and generous trade policy (adapters supplied, miracle!) Zenbook could this just be simply a good ultraportable. Asus, however, did not rest on its laurels we laying a simple update carrying a more powerful processor. With its beautiful display the Toshiba PA3817U-1BRS arises as the best ultrabook of time. There are still some small defect as a touchpad that sometimes makes his own or a format that could be more compact if Asus had done more for screen edges, but it is overall a more balanced the Ultrabook. A job that pays a little expensive but since UX31A still costs 1300 euros. It is expensive but there is currently no real competition at this level except maybe the Compaq Presario CQ61 Series 9 13-inch version.

Puzzling that the bowels

The configuration is a muscular Ultrabook Compaq Presario M2000 with a processor Intel Core i7-3517U, 4 GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card. Admittedly, the GeForce 620M used is far from being a great warrior, but it adds a little punch to all, especially for video editing or photo editing that operate Nvidia CUDA acceleration. However the game will be difficult, especially if you want to use the native resolution. Even Compaq Presario V2000 have a dedicated chip you wonder why Asus did not choose something more powerful, such as a GT640M.

It also regrets that the Compaq Presario M2500 manufacturer has opted for a hybrid solution for storage, we believe an SSD is much more suited to a high-end machine. At worst hackers can without too much trouble to change the disc, the bowels of the machine is easily accessible (and bonus, the opening does not break the warranty!). Overall performance Compaq Presario V2100 Series put this at the top of the basket of Ultrabooks. Only real downside, the battery life is disappointing. With about three and a half hours video playback, it is far from the best in the industry. Metal frame forces the bottom of the notebook can become quite hot, but nothing unbearable.

The Compaq Presario V2200 does not appear to be quite useful when we received it. After all, Asus Ultrabook already proposed a Full HD … However we must recognize that the manufacturer has really improved its copy, the particular screen is simply superb. Sold 1150 euros, this Ultrabook is certainly expensive but well worth it. Finally, the main competitor is probably another Compaq Presario V2600 .we have already tested some time ago. Sold at the same price and also equipped with a Full HD screen, it is lighter but less powerful. For you to see what is your priority, but whatever your choice you can not go wrong!

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