Asus Zenbook UX32A review

Asus gives the Zenbook brand an Ivy Bridge makeover

Asus Zenbook UX32A

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The Ivy Bridge chip on the Zenbook UX32A helps to lift it above any second generation Intel machine you'd care to mention, but this is still only a Core i5 processor.

Which means the message here is about balance between performance and affordability. Evidence for this is the fact that our review model didn't break the 10,000 score when we tested it with the Cinebench 10 benchmarking program.

Don't get us wrong, this machine will still perform - and perform well. But it won't match the Asus Zenbook Prime for performance, so you can't run demanding program on top of demanding program.

This machine will take care of what you need it to do – web browsing, basic office programming and multimedia use, but the Dell XPS 14 and Acer Aspire S5 will both outperform it on paper.

Most telling is the 4GB of RAM - we're now routinely seeing 6GB or 8GB of memory on premium notebooks.

Asus Zenbook UX32A review

Similarly, the screen resolution on this model is a modest 1,366 x 768 which lacks the pixel count to display Full 1080p HD.

So if you plan to use this for watching movies you're going to have to content yourself with 720p content. Again, for the majority of us this won't be a problem but it's something to keep in mind if you're looking at an investment beyond two years.

Although we might be berating the internal specifications somewhat, when it comes to the hardware design and connections, Asus has got it spot on.

You're given three USB ports, all of which are USB 3.0 – allowing you to transfer data ten times faster than you ever could with musty old USB 2.0.

There's also an HDMI port and DisplayPort for connecting the Zenbook UX32A to an external display.

There's no VGA connection here which isn't a huge omission because as time marches on, we expect to be seeing less of these connections anyway.

The Zenbook UX32A comes with 500GB of storage space and there's also a full 3-in-1 SD card reader for adding in extra storage if you fancy it.

If you want to use some of that storage space for a music collection, then you'll benefit from the excellent Bang & Olufsen speakers packed into the Zenbook Prime's chassis.

Sound quality was an unexpected highlight of the original Zenbook and Asus has certainly repeated the feat here.