Asus Zenbook UX31A Ultrabook available from £1437

This is one of the more expensive Ultrabooks on the market but also one of the very few which can rival Apple’s laptop range in terms of design, features and functionality.

The new Zenbook UX31A is Asus’ answer to its main competitor, the MacBook Air. The laptop which is on sale at Amazon for £1,437 weighs a mere 1.5Kg and, at its slimmest, is only 12mm thick.

The rest of the feature list includes an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7-3517U processor clocked at 1.9GHz (two cores, 4MB L2 cache, a maximum turbo frequency of 3GHz), 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 13.3in display with a 1,600 x 900 pixels resolution powered by an Intel HD Graphics 4000, Windows 8, a HD webcam and a brushed aluminium finish.

As expected though, because of the Ultrabook’s form factor, connectivity is limited. You get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, two USB ports, a mini VGA and microHDMI connector and a SD card reader.

Other features include Asus SonicMaster audio, a two year warranty, a 50Whr battery, Bang and Olufsen ICEpower and an illuminated island-style keyboard. Asus says that it can resume from sleep mode in 2-second and has a standby time of up to 150 days.

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