Laptops

Cracking Open the Asus Zenbook UX21 ultrabook

Asus Zenbook UX21 teardown

In late 2011, Asus launched their Zenbook series of Ultrabooks. These super-thin notebooks, offer more processing power than netbooks, but weigh less than traditional laptops.

They are designed to be a Windows alternative to Apple's MacBook Air. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer, Asus, and Toshiba are all jumping on the Ultrabook bandwagon (thanks in part to a significant push from Intel).

As of this writing, the Zenbook is available in 11-inch (UX21) and 13-inch (UX31) models and a variety of hardware configurations. Follow along as I crack open the 11-inch Asus Zenbook UX21.

For a detailed analysis of the teardown, check out my article and video, Zenbook teardown: Blatant copy of MacBook Air.

Photo by: Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic
Caption by: Bill Detwiler

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

13 comments
dellmelo
dellmelo

What do you mean with: "Disconnecting the left speaker wire"? I just got an Asus Zenbook and the left speaker is lower than the right one. Maybe my Zenbook fell and this wire is loose? Thank you.

Ternarybit
Ternarybit

Quality components. Apple's build quality is typical foxconn crap.

abc123a
abc123a

This is so hilarious and pathetic. For the posturing that PC vendors do, ultimately the bottom line is that they remain devoid of any innovation, and imagination. Just like Microsoft in the past they have chosen to copy and steal rather than design and innovate. Given how much of Apple's design and technology these guys copy and steal, the courts should dismiss all lawsuits against Apple.

dujardins
dujardins

Do you really think Mercedes would sue BMW because their cars have 4 wheels, a combustion engine and a windshield........ As long as the different components are assembled in a slightly different way, not using the same bioses and working under a different OS, I really do not see where the problem is.

D9th
D9th

Will it shred?

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

From all that can be seen here, it's hands down, the same design as the MacBook Air. Perhaps not the same components, but the same design.

the.other.james.bond
the.other.james.bond

What's hilarious is that you think Apple is innovative with technology and not simply fantastic marketeers. Apple is a major corporation that steals and stifles innovation with the rest of them. If they didn't shelve innovative technology than their product life cycle would be too short to turn a profit. Why do you think they are still stuck in 3G land while the rest of the field is in the 2nd generation of 4G. OS X is BSD...there was no innovation there. They wrote a UI on top of a great kernel. Wow! Now please get back in line at the iStore and let the grownups talk.

mckinnej
mckinnej

The Asus doesn't have rounded corners! Badda boom! :)

mckinnej
mckinnej

If Asus offered this in an OSX version, then there would be a case. However, since the two machines run fundamentally totally different software, they are most likely dissimilar enough to avoid a lawsuit. (That doesn't mean overzealous lawyers won't try it anyway.) (VMs and the like don't count because a user has to jump through hoops to get them to work. Basically it's a modification of the original intent of the system, which isn't the manufacturer's responsibility.)

Ternarybit
Ternarybit

See, you can't sue someone because their box is similar. You can try, but it doesn't hold water. Asus' bag has always been take something good and make it better, same thing here. Then again, to be familiar with most asus products, you have to actually have an interest in using quality hardware to begin with.

campbellj78
campbellj78

I dont think Asus is the one who has to worry clearly some designs from apple have made it to OTHER.. "Intel" manufacturers. Could it be Intel has thier own objective. They have been in bed with Apple for a lil while now. I am sure Intel had some input on how the new macbook airs have been made also.