It lacks its fancy Gorilla Glass covered body, the touchscreen and its slender body, but it packs more powerful graphics and is actually cheaper than the UX302LG (starts at around 900 Euros in Germany and about $1000 in the US, with a Core i5 and 4 GB of RAM), so if you’re after a 13.3 inch gaming ultrabook, this one should be at the top of your list.
The Asus Zenbook UX32LN is already available in some stores over here in Europe and in Asia and should hit the US/CA soon.
Gallery and Videos
Asus Zenbook UX32LN Reviews and first-hand impressions
I’ve yet to receive the UX32LN for a proper review, but others got their hands on some retail versions and shared their impressions online.
I’ve got in contact with a few of those who bought this laptop and I’ve asked them to share a few things about their units.
Alex Chang bought his unit in Taiwan (i5-4200U version and upgraded it to 8 GB of RAM and a Micron Crucial M500 480GB SSD).
He helped me out with a few benchmark results that you can find below, and a few pictures of the actual product and what’s inside the box.
His unit came with a 1366 x 768 px TN panel, so be careful, looks like Asus is selling the UX32LN with this poorer display as well, not just the FHD IPS panel.
There are also a few pick of the insides below, showing you the cooling system, memory module, storage drive, battery, etc.
He mentions that the middle of the keyboard gets hot while playing games but its bearable, and that while running 3DMark, fan noise is audible. He also mentions normal use battery life of around 5 hours and up to 3 hours under load.
However, he did encounter a problem on his unit: the screen flickers while running some benchmarks and even games (Company of Heroes 2). As a result, he contacted the Support and Asus are going to send him a replacement in a few days. Hopefully he’ll then get back with some gaming results and I’ll update the post.
Alexander Hoek bought his unit in Singapore (i5-4200U version, Samsung 840 Evo SSD inside).
Here’s what he has to say about it: “Only flaws I found so far: yes, there is light bleeding on the edges, but it mostly shows up on black backgrounds, e.g Win 8 boot screen; the bottom tends to flex a bit when grabbing it; I can’t take off the fingerprints off the lid, even with microfiber cloth; Lastly, there is also a problem that it freezes on boot. The problem really annoyed me, but I have found what was causing it: fast startup. I turned it off and it didn’t freeze anymore! Wonder why it happens.”
He also claims he got almost 12 hours of battery life with this unit. “The reason i got over 12 hours of battery life was: Airplane mode on, Power 4 gear was set to battery saver, auto screen brightness, backlight set to low, and i also modified a registry setting.
I currently have no wifi issues, and it’s an Intel ® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260. It can detect wifi signals better than my older Asus A43SD by about 3 strength bars!
The trackpad was a little weird to me at first, but i now think it is great! It used to make squeaky sounds when used which gave me goosebumps, ha ha! It doesn’t squeak anymore now. I give palm rejection about a 7 out of 10, though it does not annoy me.
There is a weird problem i have: the audio jack (3.5mm) does not work anymore when plugging in headphones etc. It used to work at first, but now it doesn’t! When i plug in earphones/ headphones, the sound still comes out of the speakers! Btw, the B&O ICEpower speakers are great! Good clarity, although to achieve great sound you will need to use SmartAudio/ Maxx Audio Wizard to tune it a bit. I think bass is a little shallow though.”
I’ve asked Akexander for some benchmarks and some gaming results, and I’ll update the post if he gets the time to run these for us.
Again, thanks guys for your help, on my behalf and of those reading the article. If by any chance there’s anyone else who bought the UX32LN and want’s to share his opinions, feel free to contact me.
There’s also a thorough review available for the UX32LN on this Russian website (English translated version available here). It goes through all the important aspects of the device and praise the build quality and the screen. They do complain about the tiny speakers though, and show what to expect in terms of gaming performances, benchmarks and temperatures.
More details are also available in this thread on the Notebookreview Forums, where a few buyers shared their impressions on this ultrabook. There aren’t a lot of posts at the time I’m writing this (April 2014), but by the time you’ll get to read this article, there might be, so this link is definitely worth checking.
And that’s about it for now, but I’ll update this section once I find more trusted sources.
The Asus Zenbook UX32LN is a direct successor for the popular Asus UX32VD, with whom it shares the design and chassis. But, as expected, it’s an updated followup, with Intel Haswell guts and an Nvidia 840M dedicated graphics chip.
And that’s what makes it the most powerful 13 inch ultrabook of the moment, graphics wise.
The potential buyers will also appreciate this laptop’s upgrade-ability. It comes with 4 GB of memory soldered onto the motherboard and an extra spare DIMM that can take an up to 8 GB RAM module, for a total of 12 GBs. It also uses a standard 2.5inch 7 mm storage drive, which means that you can buy a cheap version with a HDD and then put in an SSD of your own liking, without voiding warranty. There is no spare mSATA port though, so you can’t have an mSATA SSD and a 2.5 inch HDD connected at the same time. The only mSATA port is occupied by the Wi-Fi module.
Besides these, the UX32LN inherits the keyboard, the trackpad, the panel and most other features from the UX32VD, with their pros and cons. The keyboard is alright, but somewhat mushy, and tends to flex when pressed in the middle, while the trackpad will get jumpy and crazy from time to time.
The IPS Full HD screen is bright and offers good colors and viewing angles, but suffers from light bleeding around the edges (some models more than others, it’s a matter of luck). On the other hand, it’s worth noting that there’s a non-touch non-glare display on this laptop, which is going to put a grin on some faces (mine included).
The ports selection is satisfactory, with 3 USB slots, HDMI and mini-DP, especially since Asus bundles USB to Ethernet and mini-DP to VGA adapters with this laptop.
Of course, you’ll be more interested in what you can do with this laptop and how it can deal with games, but I can’t really offer you exact numbers until I get to actually review this UX32LN. Hopefully soon. However, you should expect the top configurations to be quite capable, as the 840M Maxwell chip is mostly meant for larger multimedia devices. So it should handle alright even the latest demanding titles (Grid 2, Battlefield 4, Crysis 3, etc) on 13 x 7 resolutions and medium details. In fact, I’m expecting a 15 to 20% increase in FPS over the 740M, based on the reviews I’ve found online.
That aside, the Asus UX32LN is going to run fairly quiet, as it packs the dual-fan system also tested on previous Zenbooks, but I am a bit worried about potential heating problems and even throttling when running games and demanding applications for hours. Hopefully Nvidia managed to lower the temps with their Maxwell architecture, otherwise I doubt Asus could have put such a chip inside a 13 incher (the UX302LG only houses a 730M Kepler chip and it gets fairly hot).
And how does the UX32LN compare to the UX32VD (Nvidia 620M graphics) and the UX302LG (Nvidia 730M graphics) when it comes to everyday performances and games? Well, that’s a subject for a different article, so stay tuned.
Long story short, the UX32LN is an impressive machine, and perhaps an even more interesting ultrabook than the UX302LG, if you’re after graphics performance is a small form factor.
It is somewhat bulkier than the UX302, but it is also faster, cheaper and ditches the fingerprint-magnet Gorilla Glass coating for an all-aluminum body, as well a the touchscreen for a non-glare panel. And since it packs an Intel Haswell platform and the same 50 Wh battery we’ve seen on the UX302LG, we can expect this to last for around 6-7 hours in everyday use, or around 2-3 hours while running games, which is not bad.
Especially since the Asus Zenbook UX32LN is significantly cheaper than the UX302LG. Over here, a Core i5-4200U configuration, with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD sells for around 950 euros. I couldn’t find the UX32LN in many stores, but the base versions is clearly going for under 1G, both in Europe and in the US. And that really is a great deal, considering how the UX302LG starts at around 1200 Euros.
Anyway, that’s about it for now on the Asus Zenbook UX32LN, but stay tuned for updates. And in the meantime, if you have any questions or anything to add, well, the comment section below is wide open and I’m around, ready to reply.