We barely had enough time to get used to the idea(s) of the UX21 and UX31, that Asus will sweep them off the shelves and replace them with two brand new ultrabooks, namely the UX21A and UX31A. This happens mainly because Asus wants to release machines based on Intel’s new Ivy Bridge platform. While the names of the two ultrabook series are pretty similar, the differences between the two are massive, so buckle up for the full rundown.
The screen diagonal will be the same, namely 11.6 inch and 13.3 inches, but the actual panels will be upgraded. You’ll be able to have a 1920 x 1080 resolution on either model, on a matte IPS display. Alternatively, you’ll be able to go for LCDs, case in which the resolution will be 1600 x 900 for the UX31A and 1366 x 768 for the UX21A.
The Ivy Bridge processors inside are all from the low voltage gang (17 W TDP) and will be available in versions ranging from i3 to i7. The Core i3 version will have a maximum clock speed of 1.8 GHZ, 3 MB L3 cache and 4 threads, the i5 will run at 2.6 GHZ with Turbo Boost, 3 MB L3 cache, while the i7 alpha male will run at 3 GHZ with Turbo Boost, will have 4 MB L3 cache and 4 threads.
The ultrabooks will come with either 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3L of power saving RAM memory, but there won’t be any way to upgrade the lot after purchase, so choose wisely.
We’re still relying on integrated graphics, but this time it’s the Intel HD 4000, instead of HD 3000.
Storage will be SSD, of course, namely SATA III, with a maximum capacity of 256 GB, although a 512 GB version is being tested.
The ultrabooks will come with Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology, alongside Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless N. Ports will include SDXC, 2 USB 3.0 ports and miniHDMI.
The keyboard will be backlit and will benefit from a seamless Chiclet design, which should provide a more consistent typing experience, with better travel.
Battery life should provide up to 7 hours of autonomy on the larger version and about 5 on the UX21A.
The ultrabooks will keep the same anorexic profile, namely 18.3 mm and 1.3 kg for the UX31A and 17 mm and 1.1 kg for the UX21A.
Starting prices will be around $1050 for the UX21A and $1100 for the UX31A and the machines should be available around the same when other ultrabook manufacturers will switch to Ivy Bridge.