Asus X501A: Is it the cheapest Ultrabook in the UK?

PC World is selling the Asus X501A for £340 and this laptop is labelled as an Ultrabook which would make it the cheapest such product in the UK, nearly 25 per cent less than any other brand new Ultrabooks on the market.

We suspect however that this is a misprint for three reasons. Firstly Asus doesn’t mention the term Ultrabook in the laptop’s product page on its own website. Then the laptop is too thick (according to Intel’s own requirements) to qualify as an Ultrabook and thirdly it doesn’t come with a SSD.

As for the rest of the specification, it is more than decent for a laptop this price. It is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, the i3-2328M. This Sandy Bridge-based model is clocked at 2.2GHz, has two cores and 3MB L3 cache.

There’s also 4GB of RAM, Intel’s HD 3000 Graphics, a 320GB hard disk drive, a 15.6in 1,366 x 768 pixel display, no optical drive, a card reader, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, GbE, HDMI and VGA ports, Asus SoundMaster lite technology, a VGA webcam, island style keyboard, a dedicated numeric keypad, and Windows 8.

Asus has also integrated an instant-on feature that allows the laptop to start from standby in two seconds and offer a standby time of up to 14 days.