The ZenBook UX32VD is a little chunkier than its ZenBook Prime cousins, on account of having discrete graphics inside — not particularly strong discrete graphics, given it's a GeForce GT 620M, but still discrete.
- USB 3.0: 3
- USB 2.0: 0
- Optical: none
- Video: HDMI
- Ethernet: 100Mbps via USB 2.0 adapter
- Wireless: dual-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
The extra height has allowed Asus to also squeeze in some extra ports, for a total of three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a full-sized HDMI port, a mini VGA port (which Asus thankfully includes the adapter for) and a headset jack.
Also included in the box is a USB 2.0 to 100Mbps Ethernet adapter (we're still hanging out for the USB 3.0 gigabit version), a carry pouch for both adapters and another for the ZenBook itself.
While the UX32VD has made a name for itself in the US due to its upgradeability (providing you have a small Torx screwdriver on hand), our North American friends seem to have a one-up on us, with a Core i7, 1080p model being available. Our review sample was the 1366x768 version, and, from what we can ascertain, the 1080p one is more than a little difficult to find in this country, despite some shops listing it.
The screen we did get is 13.3 inches, matte, TN-based and is decent for what it is. Audio isn't spectacular, but it isn't terrible, either. Headphones will always be better, but Asus has done an OK job of balancing the tone here.
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
Asus ZenBook UX32VD (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 24GB SSD cache, GeForce GT 620M)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The UX32VD performs as it should. While the Core i5 inside isn't taking pole position, it's perfectly fine for all but the most taxing of tasks.
|Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|1366x768, 4x AA, Detail level: Medium, PhysX off.|
|1366x768, DirectX 9, 0x AA, Quality: Low, PhysX: Off.|
|The Witcher 2|
|1366x768, low spec.|
|1366x768, low detail.|
The 620M is faster than Intel HD Graphics, but you're not going to be doing any high-level gaming on it.
Battery life (time)
- Heavy battery test
- Light battery test
- 6h 58m
- Dell XPS 14 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
- 5h 42m
- Fujitsu Lifebook U772 (Core i5 3427U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD + 32GB SSD cache)
- 5h 35m
- Apple MacBook Air 13 Mid 2012 (Core i7 3667U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 5h 21m
- Toshiba Satellite U840W (Core i5 3317U, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD)
- 5h 10m
- HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD)
- 4h 47m
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Core i5 3427U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 4h 30m
- HP Envy Spectre XT (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 4h 27m
- Apple MacBook Air 11 Mid 2012 (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD)
- 4h 25m
- Sony Vaio T 11.6 (Core i5 3317U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 4h 21m
- Asus ZenBook Prime UX31A (Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 4h 18m
- Samsung Series 9 13-inch, 2012 (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 3h 55m
- Asus ZenBook UX32VD (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 24GB SSD cache, GeForce GT 620M)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
We really would have thought that with the extra thickness, Asus would have been able to improve on the battery life of the UX31A. Sadly, it's not to be, with the GeForce GT 620M and mechanical hard drive punishing the final scores.
The UX32VD is a decent attempt at an all-rounder ultrabook, though its battery life is uninspiring, and unless you can find the higher-resolution version, do some GPU overclocking and plan to do some home upgrades, it doesn't quite live up to its potential.