Asus Zenbook UX51VZ review / Asus U500 – top notch 15 inch ultraportable


  1. Berg

    November 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I am curious if you can use the SSDs in another RAID-configuration to get 256GB capacity. Have you tried this or heard if it is possible?

    • Mike

      November 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Not really sure, I did not try it myself

  2. lars

    November 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I was at a gagdet mess in Denmark today called Beep.
    At Asus’ place the man said that they will make the u500 with a touchscreen. BUT he was’nt told from “above” but it seemed a bit like he assumed it because they a making the other zenbooks with touchscreens.

    But MAN even without the touch that machine kicks ass.:-)

    • lars

      November 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      I can confirm that this machine will have a touchscreen:)

  3. Dan

    November 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

    When is this laptop going to be released in US?

    Did you get a chance to test another one to check if the heating issues is still a repro ?


    • Mike

      November 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      NO, not yet. The local PR agency did not receive a final unit yet and although they said they will receive one when i first tested the U500, I’m not so sure anymore that’s going to happen :(

  4. Rahul Kapoor

    November 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I am planning to buy this laptop but I have a question, does it have switchable graphics because when i saw the specs on asus’s global site it only lists GT 650m. Can you confirm if both intel hd 4000 graphics and gtx 650 are listed in device manager.


    • Mike

      November 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Yep, switchable graphics indeed

  5. Kristos

    November 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Is it possible to upgrade the RAM (i.e. throw out the the 4GB and replace it with an 8GB) in order to get a total of 12GB?

    Memory is dirt cheap, and there should be no reason for not allowing this from a technical perspective, right?

    Great review, btw!!


    • Mike

      November 24, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Not sure, the memory might be soldered. I wasn’t able to tear the back apart, this test unit was a lease and was not allowed to do that.. maybe you cna check the forums, in the owner’s lounge section

    • Paolo

      November 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

      Yes, you can take out the non-soldered 4GB slot and replace it with a 8GB one, for a total of 12 GB RAM. Confirmed by owners

  6. Paolo

    December 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Mike! I’ve heard that in Romania it should be available the configuration with 128 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD. Can you confirm/deny?
    If it is actually available, do you know how they can fit this storage configuration in the laptop? (i.e. mSATA, soldered cache, or something..)

    Thank you

  7. MP

    January 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Hello Mike thx for review!
    I`m a mac user since long but not on a laptop, my prime workstation is mac/tower. Now i need a portable device and i look beyond MBP. My prime work is adobe CS… photoshop and indesign. Will this computer manage to fulfill my needs?
    From osx to windows 8 might be a problem but not a big issue.
    Dont think retina is neccesery but ips screen is a must for my work.
    thx for good review and hope you can read my english.
    is Asus Zenbook U500VZ/UX51VZ same computer?
    best regards

  8. Darren McInerney

    February 19, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Just throwing this out there, because I know comparisons to the Retina Macbook Pro are inevitable, here’s some random facts that may be lesser known and may help some people.

    Asus U500: 70-watt-hour lithium polymer
    Retina Macbook Pro 15: 95-watt-hour lithium polymer

    Discreet Video Card:
    Asus U500: Nvidia Geforce 650M w/ 2GB GDDR5
    Retina Macbook Pro 15: Overclocked (900MHz GPU clock / 1254MHz memory clock) Nvidia Geforce 650M w/ 1GB GDDR5 – Performs above a GTX 660M.

    Other noteworthy differences:
    – None of the Macbook Pro’s have number pads
    – Asus uses a semi-matte display, Apple uses a reduced-glare glossy by integrating the display with the glass
    – Both use HDMI 1.4a
    – The Retina Macbook Pro has non-replacable/upgradable memory integrated into the motherboard (configurable to 16GB LDDR3 1600MHz)
    – I believe, the Asus U500 has 4GB integrated (i.e. soldered DDR3 1600MHz) and 1 SO-DIMM slot (Their specs page is confusingly worded)
    – The Retina Macbook Pro does not have an integrated Ethernet port
    – The Retina Macbook Pro is configurable for up to 768GB of flash (solid state) storage, also non-replaceable/integrated into motherboard.
    – The speakers on the Retina Macbook Pro have been improved over the speakers that have been used in Macbook Pro’s for years
    – The fans have also been improved over the fans used in Macbook Pro’s for years

    Hope this helps some people. I’m on the fence between the two also. Rumors suggest the Retina MBP may see a redesign this year, despite this year. This is of course a RUMOR but something to consider.

    • Mike

      February 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Hei Darren and thanks for all these details. Is it OK to add this comment as a section in the article, so it will be more visible. I’m giving you all the credit, of course.

  9. Dwayne

    March 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Being that the 2 SSD drives are raided how much disk space did you have with? I would rather have 256 space instead of 128 Raided as I can back up my own stuff.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      you can have either 2 x 128 or 2 x 256 by default. and of course you can customize that afterwards if you want to

  10. Paul Scholes

    April 5, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Andrei, thank you so very much for all the info, my old 17.2″Asus is now nearly 7 years old, still going strong and I’m going to repplace with the U500, I cannot see an Acer/Samsung/HP 15″ with the same specs, I have been told the price is around $AUD2950.00, yes, a bit pri old engineer,ng design work, looks well worth the money.

    To all you guys out there with your posts and terrific info, thank you to all.

    Regards from an old Aussie Mech. Engineer, Paul Scholes

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

      thanks rot he kind words Paul, I’m glad this post was helpful ;)

    • Rahul Kapoor

      April 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      before you buy the u500 check out the new dell xps line and the hp envy dv6-7300; i was planning to buy the u500 as well but due to the limitation of storage space and battery i decided that dv6-7300 was best for me.

      My dv6 has a i7-3740qm, gt650 2gb, 1080p matte display, backlit keyboard, intel wifi/widi card, and a 9cell battery, i went with the standard dvdrw but you could add a bluray burner; these are customer add-ons that i add to my custom build dv6. for the ssd, i bought a 120gb mushkin atlas and added it by self(didnt take the 32gb msata from hp) and its perfect.

      the best part about this laptop is the fingerprint reader, i didnt have to remember any passwords for any sites; it does it for me.

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

        Rahul, but how big and heavy is you dv6. you’re comparing a regular laptop with a thin-and-light. they are not the same thing

      • Rahul Kapoor

        April 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

        thanks for replying

        Size and weight weren’t a real big concern for me because i already own a G74sx, so an used to travelling with a big laptop but believe me when i say this it wasn’t big difference between the u500 and dv6t

        length and weight on both of then were about the same actually the dv6t was a little bit smaller but we are maily concern about the thickness and weight because they both are 15.6″

        dvt6 29mm thick and 2.5kg
        u500 20mm thick and 2.16kg

        That said you cant justify the price of over $2000, my dv6t for under $1200 came with a bluray and a sub built in, unlike the u500 where you would have to carry both with you separably; so when you weight those to in the u500 is actually harder to carry and heavier.

        In the end the both come with the same ips panel, the only advantage i see in the u500 is if you bought the touch version which is another $200 or so expensive but still doesn’t justify the price; and not to mention you can never get it fixed anywhere.

      • Rahul Kapoor

        April 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        i am not saying that the u500 is a bad product, i m just saying that it doesn’t justify the price and before anyone point to a macbook retina, its specs are identical to my dv6 and are better than the zenbook for cheaper

        macbook retine with 2.4gh i7 cost $2200
        macbook with 2.7gh i7 same as my dv6 cost $2700

      • Andrei Girbea

        April 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

        For many, those 10mm and .35 of a kilo really matter. They will pay the premium price for the U500 just for that, despite not getting the same hardware they would get in other bulkier laptops. Just because that’s what they need: something powerful, but thin and light. for them, the u500 or the retina MBP are not overpriced as you say it is for you.

        And that’s OK, everyone has it’s own needs to satisfy, luckily there are enough good products on the market to satisfy them all :P

  11. Nitin Sharma

    September 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Dear Andrei,

    Which one has a touch screen :

    ASUS UX51Vz-XH71

    ASUS UX51Vz-DH71

  12. Andrew Campbell

    August 15, 2021 at 1:38 am

    Hi I have the Asus U500V 8gb ram and was wondering how much they are today, as i got mine like new but second hand, i dont want to say how much i paid for it but was wondering how much they are going for today for a bit of peace of mind thank you if anyone knows i will be truly grateful.

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