December 3, 2012
- Beautiful aluminum design
- Great-looking full HD display
- Solid performance
- Discrete Nvidia graphics
- High price
The ASUS Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 is yet another Windows 8-powered Ultrabook computer that features an attractive aluminum design, a beautiful 1080p display and long battery life. All these great things come at a high price tag, however.
The ASUS Zenbook is marketed towards taking a bite out of the Apple MacBook Pro, which it has done a little with previous Zenbook models. This new Windows 8 Zenbook continues the great design and powerful performance, but at a higher price which may push away some potential buyers.
The design of the Zenbook has always been one of our favorites. It has a brushed aluminum chassis that measures 15.0 x 10.0 x 1.2-inches and weighs 4.6-pounds. It is both thicker and heavier than other 15-inch laptops, including the MacBook Pro. Despite this, it is still small and light enough to be portable for everyday use.
ASUS includes a backlit, island-style keyboard that also has a full numeric keypad to its right. The keys offer a good amount of click and no flex. The clickpad is adequately sized and responded to our multitouch Windows 8 gestures with no problems.
The ASUS Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 has a 15.6-inch LED IPS display with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, which is full HD resolution. We really liked the brightness and the viewing angles on the display, which makes it one of our favorites of the new Windows 8 laptops. The display is not touch-enabled, which is a downside because the new Windows 8 OS has a touch-oriented interface.
The UX51Vz has a whopping three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA-mini out, mini-DisplayPort out, Ethernet, a dual microphone/headphone jack and an SD memory card reader. We really liked the three USB 3.0 ports and the DisplayPort video output for any potential needs that may arise.
Our review unit had a configuration that included an Intel Core i7-3612QM (2.1GHz) CPU, 8GB of RAM, dual 128GB SSD HDs and discrete Nvidia GeForce GT650M graphics with 2GB of dedicated video memory. In real world use, performance was very good and we encountered no problems when it came to multitasking, streaming video and doing some light 3D gaming. This is probably our favorite Windows 8 powered laptop in terms of performance out of all the others that we've previously reviewed.
Battery life was above the category average at around 6-hours, which is about 30-minutes above the average.
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