Review Index:

ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Review - Execution Matters

Author: Matt Smith
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Performance - Processor, Hard Drive


The ASUS Zenbook Prime is notable because of its display, not the hardware inside, but the review unit we received does include a Core i7 low-voltage dual-core. We haven’t tested this processor before and it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against other current Intel parts.

To provide competition we will be using the Acer Aspire M3, which includes a Sandy Bridge low-voltage processor. We’ll also be using the Lenovo Z580, which has a third generation standard-voltage Core i5. And finally we’ll be adding in the ASUS N56VM, which packs a third-generation Core i7 quad and discrete graphics.

Processor Performance

We start our look at processor performance with SiSoft Sandra’s Processor Arithmetic test. Let’s see if how the low-voltage Core i7 performs.

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Surprisingly, the Core i7 low-voltage processor is able to go toe-to-toe with the standard voltage Core i5. It’s only a little bit slower overall, and the difference is barely worth mention. Both third-gen Core processors are significantly quicker than the second-gen model in the Acer Aspire M3, but also much slower than the ASUS N56VM and its Core i7 quad.

Now let’s take a look at 7-Zip and Peacekeeper.

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Once again the third-gen Core i7 low-voltage processor trades blows with the third-gen Core i5 while both run away from the Sandy Bridge part in the Acer Aspire M3. It’s clear that the low-voltage processor is a serious performer. You could “downgrade” from a standard Intel Core dual-core and not notice any difference.

Hard Drive Performance

Our review unit arrived with a 256GB hard drive from ADATA. This is not a company that comes first to the average enthusiast’s mind, but that’s not necessarily reflective of performance. A good controller can create excellent results no matter the brand name slapped on the package.

Please note that for this section we will be substituting different competitors. We’ll be using the HP Envy Spectre 14, which had 128GB SSD from Samsung. We’ll also introduce the Intel Ivy Bridge ultrabook reference laptop, which has a 256GB SSD from Intel. These laptops will only be referenced in this section of our performance review.

Let’s start our investigation with ATTO.

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As you can see, the drive performs extremely well, absolutely blasting the HP Envy Spectre 14 and also defeating the Intel reference laptop. This is the best performance we’ve yet encountered from any laptop with a single solid state drive. Only the Origin EON17-S, which used two SSDs in RAID0, performed better.

Let’s also such HD Tune to see what it has to say.

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Once again the Zenbook Prime provides impressive perform numbers, though these are not the best results we’ve yet seen from a single-drive laptop. The ASUS G75V and Origin EON11-S have scored higher average transfer rates. The UX31A comes in third.

August 31, 2012 | 01:20 PM - Posted by Annoyingmouse (not verified)

Nice review. I have the new 32VD, and it's similarly mixed with epic wins and cringe worthy flaws.

September 4, 2012 | 01:15 AM - Posted by Ss3trnks2

I have the UX32VD-DB71 that I upgraded the ram to 6GB and a Samsung 830 256GB SSD...I love it, however even with Optimus and all the other power savings stuff...because of the graphics card it still will only last a few hours on battery. But I wanted the extra graphics performance and knew this is the trade off that had to be made :P So no complaints on mine.

December 22, 2012 | 07:35 AM - Posted by Aden Ryan (not verified)

ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Review seems to me pretty cool and I'm very much glad by getting this review indeed as well. Thanks for allocating some valuable points to us.

January 30, 2013 | 11:24 PM - Posted by Scott (not verified)

How can you write this review and not even mention if you have the one with an i5 or an i7?!? AARGH

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