Any reservations we had about the Zenbook UX32A come from the internal specifications. Only 4GB of RAM, no dedicated graphics card and a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution aren't what we'd expect from a top-flight Ultrabook.

But, having these components on board will benefit anyone on a budget.

While the Zenbook UX32A will set you back £850, the Zenbook Prime – with Core i7 and a Full HD display is £1,500.

And even if the UX32A doesn't have the best spec, everything else – that is the craftsmanship; usability and connectivity are all first class.

We liked

Where once Asus might have been known for affordable black heaps of plastic, the Taiwanese company now regularly turns out gleaming high-end machines that we can't take our eyes off.

The Zenbook UX32A is one such machine.

The design and usability are great, from the slickness of Windows 7 with the Ivy Bridge processor to the great keyboard with the subtle backlight.

Like its predecessor, the Asus Zenbook UX32A is also slim and light enough to carry around all day and the range of connections, especially the three USB 3.0 ports, is excellent.

Asus Zenbook UX32A review

We disliked

Unfortunately, a 208 minute battery life doesn't really cut it in our book. It'll last you a day at the office for sure, but realistically it should at least match the original Asus Zenbook – which we managed to keep going for 253 minutes with the same test.

Aside from the battery life, there's not much else to dislike about the Zenbook UX32A; both screen and speakers were above average.

Final verdict

The Zenbook UX32A is a solid Ultrabook – thanks to the remarkably attractive design and the addition of an Ivy Bridge chipset.

If there's one criticism to be levelled, it's that the battery life could have been better.

While it would have been nice to see a 1080p display panel and a bit more RAM, these are the preserve of the top-flight Asus Zenbook Prime.

Ultimately, though, if you're on a budget and looking to make the step up from a cumbersome laptop to a gleaming new Ultrabook, you won't find many better options than this one.