If you’ve been drooling over the MacBook Air for years searching for an affordable PC equivalent, this might be the year to make the leap. Intel’s long-promised Ultrabooks are finally becoming reality. With the wraps already off models from Acer and Toshiba, Asus finally spilled full details on its own take on the Ultrabook concept on Tuesday: the Zenbook.
If the pictures look familiar, they should. These are the same Ultrabooks Asus showed off when Intel revealed the Ultrabook platform and at subsequent trade shows, like Computex Taipei.
The Zenbooks will initially come in two models: the 11.6-inch UX21 and the 13.3-inch UX31. Both will use 128GB or 256GB SSDs for instant-on capability, ultra-low-voltage Core i5 or Core i7 processors, and 4GB of RAM. They measure just 2.8mm thick at their thinnest dimension, thanks to a wedge shape borrowed from the MacBook Air.
Asus claims battery life of up to seven hours when using Internet Explorer, and standby time of two weeks. When the battery does manage to whittle itself down to 5 percent, the Zenbook will automatically backup whatever’s open on the SSD before slipping into a deep sleep.
True to Intel’s promise of price points under $1,000, the base model UX21 will run for $999 with a 128GB hard drive and a Core i5 processor clocked at 1.6GHz – stepping up to the UX31 will cost you another $100. Both models will go on sale October 12 in the United States.