The Asus Zenbook Prime has been thrust into the public spotlight after last month's rumors of an incoming Zenbook Ultra refresh.
The new UX21A and UX31A are similar in appearance to last year's UX21 and UX31, but reportedly house a slew of welcome upgrades.
Intel's Ivy Bridge processor is slated to release in June after delays from manufacturing difficulties, and the new chip still powers the Asus Zenbook Prime.
In addition to the upgraded processor, the new ultrabooks will house Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi), a new backlit keyboard, and the option for matte 1920x1080 displays on both the 11.6-inch UX21A and the 13.3-inch UX31A.
Divergent reports have clashed over whether the Zenbook Prime will utilize the Ivy Bridge chip's integrated HD Graphics 4000 solution or a rumored discrete Kepler GPU.
Asus reportedly hasn't commented either way, leaving the possibility of a separate graphics processor open.
Pricing will reportedly come in at $1,050 for the smaller ultrabook and $1,100 for the larger, and they're expected to release in the next few months.
Zenbook Prime vs. Macbook Air
In reviewing the original UX31, TechRadar said, "It stands toe-to-toe with Apple's MacBook Air in the fight for the title of best luxury ultraportable."
Admittedly, it drew a lot of inspiration from Apple's ultra-light laptop, and the Zenbook Prime doesn't look to be altering that. Plus, the Zenbook Prime promises to perform even better than its predecessor.
The newly backlit keys are another step in the right direction, so here's hoping Asus also revamped some of the ultrabooks' software design choices, like the unattractive volume control graphics.
Another glaring issue with the original was the lack of response in the mouse button, which could also be easily fixed with the UX31A and UX21A.
Via The Verge