Our ASUS Zenbook UX32VD review unit has these specifications:
Performance and Benchmarks
The UX32 series uses Low Voltage Intel processors similar to the older UX31; our UX32VD model has a dual-core i7 chip while the lower cost UX32A has a Core i3 processor. Paired with 4GB of fast system RAM the Core i7 is more than capable of handling everyday office tasks or even more demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
The big news here is that ASUS packed the inside of the UX32VD with the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M dedicated graphics. Although the 620M graphics are based on the older Fermi architecture rather than NVIDIA's newer Kepler architecture, the 96 GPU cores use the latest 28 nanometer technology and a reasonably 625MHz processor clock speed. The bottom line is that not only can the ZENBOOK UX32VD play most modern games (at lower detail settings) but any application that also uses the graphics processors (like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere) will get a performance boost as well.
If there is any negative note on the otherwise stellar performance of the UX32VD, it has to be the hard drive and SSD cache. For those readers who aren't already familiar with the technology, many Ultrabooks and other modern laptops use a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) and a low-capacity solid state drive (SSD) to deliver a "hybrid drive" that combines the high-capacity storage of a HDD with the high speed of a SSD. You never actually see the 24GB SSD because it's only used to temporarily "cache" data that is immediately needed and the 500GB hard drive is used as the primary storage space. A complex set of firmware algorithms configure blocks of commonly used data onto the 24GB SSD so it can be accessed as quickly as possible.
This type of hybrid drive configuration is great when it works ... but it isn't working as well as it should here. Our standard storage tests all show the drive in the UX32VD running slower than a HDD would by itself. This is the reason the UX32VD suffers in the PCMark benchmark scores despite the fact it has better hardware than most of the notebooks in the comparisons below. In real-world terms, this means the UX32VD takes longer than expected to start, it's slow to wake from sleep, and some applications take way too much time to launch. We can only hope that ASUS releases another firmware update at some point to improve the SSD cache performance.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark which measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3Dmark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Heat and Noise
The UX32VD's system fan is sealed inside the chassis with vents hidden between the top of the keyboard and the screen hinge. Warm air is pushed up to the surface of the screen as a result of the vent placement ... meaning you'll start to feel the area above the keyboard warm up if you're stressing the notebook for more than a few minutes. We only noticed the heat after playing some shooter games (Left 4 Dead 2 and Mass Effect 3) for more than 45 minutes. During normal web browsing and casual use the heat output from the fan isn't an issue. Overall the cooling solution works well.
The UX32 has an internal 48Wh polymer battery that is not user-replaceable; as usual for an Ultrabook, none of the internal components are meant to be serviced or replaced by the user. During our standard battery rundown test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds), we measured six hours and 12 minutes of life. This should be a pretty accurate measure of battery life if you're just spending an afternoon at Starbucks browsing the web and working on files in Microsoft Office. Expect to get fewer hours of run time if you're editing HD video or playing the latest first-person shooter online with friends. Bottom line, the battery life isn't bad, but it's not the best either.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
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