Asus has refreshed its thin and light 13.3-inch Zenbook range with some really powerful upgrades.
The new models are known as the UX301 and UX302 and have all new latest-generation Haswell Intel processors, beefed-up graphics and a high resolution WQHD display on certain versions.
The new pair of Ultrabooks replace the existing models launched in 2012 and are the third generation versions of Asus' flagship laptop following on from 2011's original poster boy for Intel's Ultrabook dream.
The models are available in two screen versions – a 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD display that we saw on last year's Zenbook Prime as well as a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 WQHD display. That's not quite at 13-inch MacBook Pro retina 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, but it's really not far off. Other screen stats include a 178-degree viewing angle, plus 10-point multi-touch for Windows 8.
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As you'd expect, they also have latest-gen Intel Core processors from the Core i5-4200U up to a high-end 28W Core i7-4558U option. And to power that high-end screen, you either get Intel Iris or Nvidia GeForce GT 730M with Optimus auto-switching graphics. That's some serious power and happily trumps the standard Intel HD 5000 graphics inside the MacBook Air.
Storage can also be specified up to a 512GB RAID0 SSD unit, while 802.11ac Wi-Fi is also included in all the new Zenbooks.
- Processor UX301: Intel Core i5-4200U / i7-4500U / i7-4558U UX302: Intel Core i5-4200U / i7-4500U
- Operating system Windows 8 / Windows 8 Pro
- Display 13.3-inch LED backlit with 10-point capacitive multi-touch UX301: 2560 x 1440 WQHD / 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS UX302: 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS
- Graphics UX301: Intel HD Graphics 5100 UX302: Intel HD Graphics 4400 / Nvidia GeForce GT 730M (2GB VRAM)
- Memory UX301: 4/8GB DDR3L (1600MHz) UX302: 2/4GB DDR3L (1600MHz)
- Storage UX301: SATA 3 SSD up to 512GB RAID0 UX302: Up to 750GB hard drive with 16GB SSD cache
- Connectivity UX301: 802.11ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0, Mini DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, Micro-HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm headphone/mic, SD card reader UX302: 802.11ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0, Mini DisplayPort, 3 x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm headphone/mic socket, SD card reader
- Audio Stereo speakers with Asus SonicMaster audio technology Internal array mic
- Battery Lithium polymer (50W)
- Size & weight UX301: 325 x 226 x 15.5mm, 1.38kg UX302: 325 x 226 x 17.2mm, 1.5kg