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  • jmunjr - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Does the IPS LCD on this thing produce real reds unlike the Sony 15.6" IPs screen which is orange? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    No, not really... I'm still confused as to why this is the case, but my LCD testing on Windows 8 has been rather poor in terms of results. Sorry, I forgot to put in the numbers in Mobile Bench -- will do that right now. Even so, a mediocre IPS trumps TN any day in my book. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I have a UX51Vz. I wondered, did you try to do some calibration? Did it improve the quality in any significant fashion? I was considering it, but I don't have the hardware handy and I'm not sure it's worth the price... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I can send you the color profile created on my unit. It won't be perfect for any other LCD (and it's not even perfect for this unit -- blues are still pretty far out of ideal), but it may help a bit. The reduction in the red and blue curves will lower the maximum brightness, though. Anyway, here's the link:
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mobile/asus/AS...
    Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Thanks a lot, any improvement is good in my book! Reply
  • Stoffel - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately it has a numpad :( Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Why unfortunately? Personally I'd never buy a laptop without a numpad. Reply
  • Freakie - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Same here, I never buy a laptop without one. It's a bloody waste of space to not include a number pad in anything 13.3" or above. And a laptop's numpad is so much more useful than a desktop's I find. Shallower key travel and keys that don't have gigantic spaces in between them from the sides of the keys sloping makes number entering a breeze on a laptop. Reply
  • Friendly0Fire - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    My last laptop didn't have one. I gotta say I didn't think about it much, but now that I have one again, I realize how I'd missed it. Reply
  • twtech - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I want my keyboard to be centered. The numpad is too rarely used to justify not being able to have my hands centered. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I also prefer the keyboard centered, with standard-width keys.

    I never use the number pad at all because it requires me to move my right hand off the keyboard to do so. This also requires me to look at the keyboard, something I otherwise never do. For me the numberpad is just slower and unnecessary. I that way the keyboard layout that 15" notebooks like the Dell XPS L521x or MacBook Pro is better.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Don't want to be rude or anything, but this seems like a rather short review :( Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I got the impression Jarred rushed it out to clear his backlog without skipping it entirely the way some products appear to have been when they didn't get a near launch time review. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    That's what the introduction is for. ;-) I have several more of these planned prior to the Haswell and Trinity launches. Basically, the laptops are now somewhat older and so I'm giving a quick review to cover the product and get the benchmarks done prior to the updates arriving (and to flesh out our new benchmark suite). If you have any questions about the laptop you feel I missed covering, ask away and I'll be happy to respond. Reply
  • fruitbar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Speaking of Haswell-powered laptops, is there an ETA on their general availability? Can we expect them right after the unveiling at Computex or would mid-/late-Q3 be a more reasonable time-frame? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I think June 2nd is the launch date (or thereabouts), so probably within a few weeks there will be a few available, and in July/August there will be a bunch. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I like the short reviews. The one thing I'd change about Anandtech is just more content for all categories. I know the big reviews take a lot of time to put together, so I'd love more 'mini' reviews like this across the board. The smaller benchmark set still gives a decent idea about performance, and as long as there's some good subjective information about the overall experience I still find them very useful. Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    I presume you mean Haswell and *Richland* launches. Unless you really are that far behind on reviewing AMD hardware. =p Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Er, yup. :-) Reply
  • lmcd - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    Haswell and Richland, you mean? I know Richland is basically Trinity, but... Reply
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I am fine with short reviews.

    I am happy he got the benchmarks and actually prefer the new format (though I wish the chart possess links to bench so it makes easy comparison, for example click on x264 first pass and it shows how other laptops compare with this test on bench).

    I wish there more personal opinions and expressions in the review, for these often give the best insight on the strengths and flaws of a laptop. There are so many opportunity costs with laptops, for example put a good ips screen in a laptop and you sacrifice battery life without using a bigger battery (for ips need a stronger backlight for the same final brightness the user sees, bigger backlit means higher screen power draw.).

    I though Jared did a pretty good job for only 2400 words
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I linked all the results to Mobile Bench... what a pain! Anyway, all of the games (other than Skyrim) only have a single result right now, which is why I used the tables. The other benchmarks have other results, but many are for Ultrabooks that don't really compete with the UX51Vz (e.g. iGPU vs. dGPU, ULV vs. quad-core LV, $1000 vs. $1850). Reply
  • marraco - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Looks like Anandtech was down minutes ago. It was worldwide non accesable. Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    the images on the site are not loading up to now. It seems some server of the new rack has a problem... Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    wow its back! Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    What exactly makes Macbook a bad Windows laptop? The trackpad drivers can be sort of fixed and the keyboard partially remapped. Reply
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Even the keyboard can be remapped, it's still inferior to the keyboard that screened corresponding to the Windows's keyboard layout in term of Windows usage.

    Imagine someone who cannot touch-type but has to type a lot in remapped keyboard. One of my senior programmer cannot touch-type, but his press-typing is super fast!
    Reply
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    (missing one sentence), but if the key is not printed correctly, he would mistype a lot. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    No ACPI optimizations, no support for Intel Speedstep™, no discrete/integrated graphics switching, basic drivers that are never updated.

    Might I add issues with foobar plugins that attempt to bypass Windows' audio subsystem that bsod a bootcamped Windows(most likely due to BIOS emulation).

    Also add the Windows cost...win8 pro is 200$(non-OEM version with support included) worth of software, not a 20$ service pack.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I've used Bootcamp quite a lot, and while I've noticed some audio bugs, I've learned how to avoid them. Never had a BSOD.
    Speedstep works just fine, and switchable graphics isn't an issue in the 13-inch retina I'm interested in.

    Battery life does suffer a little, but Macs seem to have much larger batteries anyway - 74Wh in 13-inch.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Speedstep is supported under OSX not under bootcamped Windows(don't confuse it with turbo boost). Lack of ACPI, lack of discrete graphics switching and poor overall driver support means that on a mac, Windows is not able to fully take advantage of the hardware. Therefore it will always be the "worst" Windows machine. Again, don't forget the Windows cost that must be added to the bottom line.

    But you're right, for the mac crowd, a bootcamp or a VM from time to time is good enough. However, for the Windows user that knows these drawbacks, it's a no go.

    Battery life suffers plenty not just "a little". 20% minimum and more on macs where discrete graphics is present and switching it off not available.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Turbo doesn't exist on the C2D Mac I've been using. The CPU happily steps from 800 to 2400MHz and everything in between. Has something happened since then? Reply
  • snuuggles - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Er, is "anti-glare" different than "matt". Sorry I'm seriously asking what the difference is... Reply
  • snuuggles - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Just to be clear: the reason I ask is that the first paragraph says this is an anti-glare screen, but the chart says it's glossy. I'm just not sure I'm clear what the differences are. Thanks! Sorry if I somehow missed it in the review. Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    According to the ASUS homepage the screen has an Anti-Reflection Coating. So it is glossy, but with reduced/removed glare. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Sorry, the table was not updated. I always copy/paste a table from elsewhere and then update it, and it seems there's always at least one item I miss. LOL Anyway, it's anti-glare/anti-reflective, but not quite as much as on some LCDs. Reply
  • UpSpin - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Anti-Glare (AG) normally stands for a matte display, which spreads the incoming light across a larger surface, thus reflects it over a larger surface and reduces glare thereby.
    Anti-Reflective (AR) stands for a special coating which absorbs a specific wavelength of the incoming light, thus it consists of several layers absorbing different wavelengths. The display remains glossy, but reflections get partially absorbed. The more it absorbs the more expensive the coating gets. It's always used on camera lenses or on the lenses of glasses and also often found on higher end flat screen TVs. The reflected light looks purple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-reflective_coati...
    You can combine both to avoid too high costs and take the best of both worlds.
    What exactly the Zenbook has remains unsolved :-)
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    1. AR coatings do not absorb light. Their working is actually explained correctly on the link you posted.

    2. What the Zenbook has is very clearly stated on their own specs, it is an anti-reflective coating.
    Reply
  • user777 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    At the Asus web site I can see only the model UX52VS (probably UX51VZ is a model only for the USA). Do you have any plans to review the model Asus Zenbook UX52VS (UX32VD is also an interesting model)? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    I found both models with a quick Google; they appear different enough I don't think they're just being sold to different markets. The UX52VS only has a GT645 GPU (vs GT650), a significantly smaller battery (45 vs 70Wh). The battery size is potentially compensated by the use of a ULV CPU instead of standard voltage. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    The quad-core i6-3612QM

    Hm, new cpu come out? ;)
    Reply
  • Krafty1 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    If they had included a Thunderbolt port...I'd be trying to find ways to come up with the money to buy this thing. As is...hopefully when they re-work it for Haswell, they will include a Thunderbolt port. Reply
  • just2btecky - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Pictures are missing, anandtech. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    "The MBP 15 Retina’s glossy 2880x1800 native resolution is still impressive, but the DPI is such that you can’t actually use it without scaling and other tricks, so it ends up being more like a really nice 1920x1200 LCD, at least in Windows. " - I'm SO GLAD to actually read this written as it basically shows the power of Marketing. Thank you! Reply
  • MykeM - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    It still doesn't change the fact that the Retina MBP has more than double the resolution of the Asus and even more staggering since both use a 15" display (another plus for the rMBP is the use of the 16:10 ratio). There's nothing wrong with 1080p but those wanting a denser screen (typeface looks incredible at 220ppi) have a choice. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    You are not allowed to use the native resolution anyway. Reply
  • erple2 - Saturday, May 04, 2013 - link

    So I have a rMBP. And it doesn't really look all that good unless you're using it at the "recommended" resolution (1440x900 equivalent) - which looks amazing. It's not terrible, and it does have good colors, but if I run it at "1680x1050" or "1920x1200" "equivalent", I'm not nearly as wowed. I like having the additional resolution that the 1680x1050 equivalent resolutions afford when I'm working, which is why I don't really like the "recommended" resolution. Reply
  • akdj - Sunday, May 05, 2013 - link

    I run both of our rMBPs @ 1920x1200 all the time. Not sure why you're not 'wowed'. Doesn't matter which resolution you're running, it's pixel doubling and still allowing for pin sharp text and detail. At this resolution, it's actually doubling the density to 3840x2400. Every time I turn mine on, I'm 'wowed!' In 27 years of purchasing computers, I can honestly say its been a long time since a computer actually did 'wow' me. They've been basically just tools til these dropped. I'm a fan of HiDPI and am with the Anand crew. Hopefully this year is the year that Windows OEMs will follow suit. After using 'retina' capable devices....regardless these days of the actual manufacturer (as others have now entered the same segment in tablet and phone production)...it's rough going back to a regular, lower resolution TN panel.

    Certainly not arguing here that windows isn't best run in a windows machine though;).

    J
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    "Yes, you can get similar and even slightly better performance from ASUS' own G55VW for $1156 (don't forget to add an SSD!), but I'm not sure anyone would argue the G55VW looks better than the UX51VZ."

    Eh, I dispute this. So you have someone who argues the point. I guess I think the (silver) "metal" laptop is all played out. Macbook's been doing it a while and it was chic like thin used to be, but now it's just getting stupid and costing a lot more than it should to look... like a Macbook from years ago. Yes, even Macbooks look mostly like Macbooks from years ago.

    I think we deserve better now. We deserve sleek, black laptops again. Screw silver or gray laptops. Black is the new silver metal.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    But would you rather have a thick, massive wedge instead of a thin chassis? Color could be changed if there was demand, but the black "stealth wedge" is hardly attractive. But, I figured someone would disagree, if only to play devil's advocate. It's the Internet after all. Reply
  • Flying Goat - Sunday, May 05, 2013 - link

    This weight 4.5 pounds, the G55VW weights closer to 8.4 pounds. Significantly lighter, thinner laptops tend to cost a lot more than comparably equipped heavier laptops.

    Don't suppose you know of any other quad core laptops with the GT 650M or better that cost significantly less and are under 5.5 pounds or so? If so, I'd love to know. Thinking about getting something like this with Haswell for my next upgrade, some point after it comes out.
    Reply
  • Zap - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    Regarding the WiFi issue, I think it is a problem with some of the Intel WiFi adapters. I've encountered similar issues with the Intel 130 and 1030 models (B/G/N + BT) in Samsung and Dell notebooks, and I've read of issues in HP notebooks. All were using Intel adapters, and various "fixes" include disabling BT, disabling N mode, rolling back drivers, updating drivers. Reply
  • RomanMR - Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - link

    Can anyone provide any details on the "various fixes involving disabling BT support"? I'm at the end of my wits here. Been tweaking the card options this way and that, but nothing has worked so far. Disabled BT both in W8 options and in Device Manager. Connection drops every 2-3 minutes even with very strong WiFi signal. Please share you insights, this is driving me crazy. Ordered 2 usb wifi sticks at Amazon... Reply
  • ZorkZork - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    I wish there was an option of having one SDD and one HDD (when playing around with video and/or images in raw format then a 1TB HDD is invaluable). And they should get rid of the numpad - never use it and I like my keyboard centered. Reply
  • Freakie - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    That's a valid reason, I will admit. Though I find that so long as the touchpad is off center with the keyboard, then it doesn't bug me one bit but if the touchpad wasn't, then I would obviously not enjoy the uncentered main keyboard. But another really nice thing about a numpad is having this nice 3 inch area to the right of your keyboard to set something on, like your phone or a notepad, or a graphing calculator if you're a student, or a camera/mp3 player you're syncing with your computer and you aren't at a desk and have the laptop in your lap. I do frequently find myself using that extra wide space for such things! Reply
  • mabl4367 - Friday, May 03, 2013 - link

    Graphing calculator?

    Run graph89 on your phone! Its free!

    Oh that's right if you are an Apple-man you are out of luck.

    -No emulators for you! That's one of Jobs commandments you see.
    Reply
  • akdj - Sunday, May 05, 2013 - link

    Lol...apparently you've not been by the App Store in a while? The TI89 and any other calculation example you could possibly think of, available, and typically a buck or less. Emulation? Forget-About-It! No need to have an emulator when the app is coded in such a way it's indistinguishable from the almighty '89'! Not sure that for an engineering student though that the 'real thing' isn't arguably a necessity...though with the apps and available 'emulators', $140 calculators will go the way of the slide rule. Sooner than later. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see the review of new samsung chronos with 8870M GPU - initial gaming benchmarks look quite spectacular (for the size), and I was very (positively) surprised to see +10hrs endurance too. Reply
  • Younes - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    My paranoia is arising on the dimensions and weight published for this unit on your article, Sir. It can't be of nearly the same of those of the Macbook Pro Retina 15.4'', they had to go on radical terms to slim the latter down to 0.71" and 2.06kg, other sources say the Asus is rather 1'' thick (you've probably only measures the edges!) and weighs in about 2.2kg. Please do recheck and make corrections if needed. Reply
  • Younes - Thursday, May 02, 2013 - link

    measured* Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 03, 2013 - link

    The measurements are from the ASUS specifications (http://www.asus.com/us/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/UX51VZ... That said, the chassis is definitely less than an inch thick. If you include the feet, it might be a bit closer to 1", but not much (and few if any manufacturers include the height of the feet, since they're not really part of the chassis -- they could be removed). Besides, Intel has certified this as an Ultrabook, which means at 15.6" it needs to be less than 21mm. Reply
  • Younes - Friday, May 03, 2013 - link

    Thank you for your response, Jarred. On Asus' notebook website, it seems they have two measurements for the weight, one with the HDD and one without, I suppose they're indicating the notebook has an SSD already but if you were to add an HDD, it will weigh 120 grams more? Reply
  • colinmollenhour - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Are you 100% sure this thing has Mini-DisplayPort? The port looks extremely similar, but the connector on the VGA adapter that is included looks a little different than MiniDP connectors. Also the Asus specs don't mention anything about MiniDP.. Reply
  • Zoolookuk - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I am looking to switch from a MBP back to a Windows machine, and this looks promising, although I have been considering the HP Elitebook too. I currently have an i7 2.66ghz machine, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. I want something of similar size and build quality as the MBP, but with a Quad Core and better GPU. Reply
  • Zenzei - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    I recently acquired the Zenbook and was loving it until I started to run into issues with the power management. Over the last month or so the Zenbook has been having increasing difficulty coming out of hibernate/sleep. In many cases I have to charge the power to full and play with opening the lid, taking the power out, etc until it decides to let me turn it on. Right now, I am writing this on my iPad since the Asus has turned into a brick and completely refuses to turn on.

    A quick search of the forums, youtube, etc has surfaced a number of similar complaints. Asus support is clueless on this. So my recommendation is to stay away from this brand and model until the power problems are acknowledged and resolved by Asus,
    Reply
  • nicolaim - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    I'd like to know if all the UX51VZ models have the space and connector inside for a hard drive. In other words, can I add a hard drive to an SSD-only UX51VZ? Reply
  • TimRyanTechnicare - Sunday, July 28, 2013 - link

    I have had one since April, the 2x256GB version, I am in the photography business and IMHO this is the best photographers laptop I have ever seen! Scorching performance on CS6 and Premiere Pro, I calibrate the screen with an Xrite I1DisplayPro and while the gamut boundary is not as large as the Lacie 724 on my desktop machine, this is certainly the best laptop display I have ever seen, and in my opinion head to head with the MBP. Reply

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