Cracking Open: Asus Zenbook UX21
February 15, 2012, 11:12am PST | Length: 00:02:47
Bill Detwiler cracks open the Asus Zenbook UX21. Inside the ultrabook, he found hardware from Intel, Elpida, ADATA, AzureWave, and others. He also discovered that the Zenbook's internal design is a near duplicate of the Apple MacBook Air's hardware layout. For a detailed analysis of the teardown, check out his article and video, Zenbook teardown: Blatant copy of MacBook Air.
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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?
See what I can do
In the mean time, here are a few links to tied you over:
Cracking Open blog: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/cracking-open
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Bill Detwiler: Ultrabooks are all the rage and Asus is throwing its towel into the ring with new 11 inch and 13 inch machines. I'm Bill Detwiler, Head Technology Editor at TechRepublic, and I'm going to crack open the 11 inch Asus Zenbook UX21. Luckily, the Zenbook's aluminum unibody case is a cinch to open. I started by removing the bottom cover screws and then the cover itself. Now once inside, I removed the battery, SSD module, WiFi card and cooling assembly. I then disconnected the speakers, removed the I/O board, disconnected the remaining motherboard connectors, removed the motherboard screws and lifted out the motherboard itself. Lastly, I separated the lid display assembly from the case. And with that, our tear down was complete. So what did I learn about the Zenbook UX21 from our tear down? Well first, the machine's build quality is very good. I saw none of the design or assembly problems I criticized Asus for with their Transformer Prime tablet. Second, the machine is relatively easy to service. The case doesn't require any special tools to open; just a Torx T5 screwdriver. And once you're inside the case, you can remove most components with a Phillips number 0 screwdriver. If you can get replacement parts and are comfortable working on computers, you should have no trouble with the Zenbook. Now third and perhaps most interesting. The machine's internal design is nearly identical to that of the MacBook Air. There's a large battery in the front with speakers on either side. The motherboard and a smaller I/O board are separated by the cooling fan. And the SSD is mounted to the motherboard just below the CPU and platform controller hub. Now one thing I didn't like about the Zenbook is the lack of a membrane beneath the keyboard. Acer did the same thing on the Aspire S3 ultrabook, but Apple did include one on the Air. Overall, the Zenbook is a solid Windows alternative to the MacBook Air. It has a sleek design and offers comparable hardware at a lower price. If Apple updates the Air with better hardware in the next few months, this comparison may shift more in their favor. But as it stands now, price conscious buyers and those who need Windows should seriously consider the Zenbook. For TechRepublic, I'm Bill Detwiler, and this has been a cracking open of the Asus Zenbook UX21.