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Ultraportable ASUS ZenBook Challenges MacBook Air

Monday, October 17, 2011

The ASUS ZenBook measures a mere .11 inches (3 mm) at its thinnest point. Image: ASUS

Hoping to shatter the dominance of the MacBook Air in the ultraportable laptop market, ASUS officially launched its slick brushed aluminum ZenBooks yesterday.

The notebooks are available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, and the 11-incher, the UX21, starts at just under $1,000. It comes standard with a 128 GB hybrid solid state drive, and base models feature an Intel i5 processor (i7 upgrades are available). The ZenBook runs Windows 7 and is part of Intel's “Ultrabook” line, which includes notebooks that are less than one-inch thick and in the sub-$1,000 price range.

The ZenBook is super thin: 0.11 inches at its thinnest point and 0.35 inches at its thickest, validating claims that it's the thinnest notebook available (the MacBook Air is slightly thicker at its largest point, .68 inches). The UX21 weighs in at just under two and a half pounds (2.43 lbs), while the 13-inch model, the UX31, tips the scales at 2.84 lbs. Compared to respective MacBook Air models, the UX21 is slightly heavier and the UX31 is slightly lighter.

When the super-thin MacBook Air debuted in 2008, it carved a niche out of the notebook market. Super light and 11- to 13-inches in size, it was perfect for toting in the wild, and more powerful than similarly small but lower-speced netbooks (and, in the case of the 2011 MacBook Air, just as powerful as the larger 2010 MacBook Pros). The MacBook Air proved thin is in, and now there are several lookalikes — er, competitors — available, such as the Acer Aspire and the ZenBook, which we first previewed in May.

The ZenBook features an “Instant On” capability that allows it to boot from standby mode in only two seconds, and can last for up to two weeks on a single battery charge in standby.

The ASUS ZenBook is available now, starting at $999 for the UX21 and $1,099 for the UX31.

Toshiba Dynabook R731/W4UD 13.3-Inch Notebook

Powered by a 2.80GHz Intel Core i7-2640M vPro processor, the Dynabook R731/W4UD is Toshiba's latest 13.3-inch notebook for the mass market. The system sports a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 LED-backlight display, an Intel QM67 Express chipset, a 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 256GB SSD, a Blu-ray drive, WiMAX, WiFi and runs on Windows 7 Professional 32x64-bit OS. The Dynabook R731/W4UD is priced at 234,800 Yen (about $3,047). [Product Page]

Bangladesh ‘Doel' Affordable Laptop

Bangladesh has unveiled a domestically made laptop namely the “Doel”. It is claimed to be the cheapest laptop in the world. The state-owned telecoms company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) is producing four models of the laptop. The high-end model runs on the Google Android operating system. The basic model is priced at 10,000 taka or only $130. [BBC]

NEC VersaPro UltraLite Type VB 12.1-Inch Notebook

NEC has come out with a new 12.1-inch notebook called the VersaPro UltraLite Type VB. Specs-wise, the system is equipped with a 12.1-inch WXGA LCD display, a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-2637M processor, a 2GB DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive and runs on Windows 7 Professional OS. The VersaPro UltraLite Type VB sells for 228,900 Yen (about $2,975). [NEC]

ASUS VX6 Lamborghini Receives Cedar Trail Update

ASUS has decided to upgrade the VX6 Lamborghini laptop with a more powerful processor. The updated version is powered by a 2.13 GHz Intel Atom D2700 Cedar Trail processor. For your info, the ASUS VX6 Lamborghini was originally shipped with a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525 dual core processor. The new laptop has a 12.1-inch display, an AMD Radeon 6470M graphics card and a 4GB of DDR3 memory. No word on pricing at this time. [Liliputing]

Lenovo IdeaPad U400 14-Inch Notebook Hits Amazon

Now you can buy Lenovo's latest 14-inch notebook ‘IdeaPad U400′ in the US via Amazon. This ultraportable system can be yours for $942.60. In case you didn't know, the IdeaPad U400 sports a 14-inch 1366 x 768 LED-backlit display, a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M processor, a Radeon HD 6470M 1GB graphics card, a 6GB RAM, a 750GB hard drive, a 1.3MP webcam, a slot-in DVD writer, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a USB 3.0 port, a 6-hour battery and runs on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS. [Product Page]

Sony Vaio YB Notebook Receives New AMD E-450 Dual-core Processor Upgrade

Sony has updated its Vaio YB series with a faster 1.65GHz AMD E-450 dual core processor and a Radeon HD 6310 graphics. Measuring 11.4-inch x 8-inch x 1.25-inch and weighing 3.2 pounds, the affordable notebook has an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels, a 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB 5400RPM hard disk drive, a trio of USB ports, a VGA port, an HDMI port and the Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit OS. The Sony Vaio YB is now available for just $479.99 each. [Product Page]

Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5209 15.6-Inch Laptop For Just $329.99

If you're looking for a new 15.6-inch laptop with an affordable price, then I recommend you to check out the Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5209 over at BestBuy. Powered by a 1.6GHz AMD E-Series processor, the system offers a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 LED-backlit display, an AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics card, a 3GB DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, a DVD writer, a card reader, WiFi, a 6-cell battery and runs on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS. The Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5209 retails for just $329.99. [Product Page]

HP Pavilion dv6z AMD A6 2.3GHz Quad-core Laptop Price Cut

LogicBuy has released the HP Pavilion dv6z with a 2.3GHz AMD A6-3400M Quad-core processor for only $487.49 with free shipping. Measuring 1.23-inch thin and weighing 6.1 lbs, the HP Pavilion dv6z features a classy aluminum chassis, a 15.6-inch LCD display, a 6GB of DDR3 RAM, a 750GB hard disk drive, a Blu-ray player, a fingerprint reader and HP's CoolSense technology to keep your computer chilled. [Product Page via Laptop Magazine]







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