It was only a matter of time before ASUS refreshed its line of Ultrabooks with Intel’s new Ivy Bridge chips, but the truth is, the company needed to improve a little more than just the CPU model number. If you recall, the Zenbook UX31 ushered in a modern metal design and unbeatable speed, but our enthusiasm waned after spending a week with the flat keyboard and temperamental touchpad.
Well, friends, it looks like Chairman Jonney Shih and co. were listening: the outfit is about to bring four of its leaked Zenbook Prime laptops to the US. These include the 11-inch UX21A, which you see up there, along with the 13-inch UX31A, UX32A and the UX32VD — essentially, the UX31A with discrete graphics. Though different configurations are bound to vary, they all bring retooled, backlit keyboards, refined trackpads and, of course, Intel’s third-generation Core processors. And while the lower-end UX32A is stuck with 1366 x 768 resolution, every other model — yes, even the tiny UX21A — will be offered with a 1080p IPS display.
In general, ASUS isn’t ready to talk availability for these four models, and has not given any indication as to how much the UX21A will cost (it did reveal tentative prices for the other three). So these aren’t shipping products you can buy just yet, but luckily for us, we got the chance to spend a few days with the UX21A. While we’re holding off on calling this a review — we need a price and final, production-quality unit for that — we’re good and ready to share our early thoughts. So what are you waiting for? Meet us past the break where photos, benchmark scores and detailed impressions lie in waiting.
Gallery: ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A preview