ASUS ZenBook Prime UX32: Performance

September 27, 2012 by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (67,546)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 2
    • Usability
    • 6
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 5
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 6
    • Total Score:
    • 5.57
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Performance and Benchmarks

Our ASUS ZenBook Prime UX32 has the following configuration

  • 13.3-inch anti-glare 720p display with wide viewing angles (1366×768 resolution)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-3317U dual-core processor (1.7GHz, up to 2.6GHz Turbo Boost, 3MB cache, 17W TDP)
  • Integrated Intel HD graphics
  • 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM (max. supported)
  • 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Hitachi HTS545050A7E380, 7mm thickness)
  • 24GB SanDisk SSD i100 cache
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235
  • Integrated Bluetooth V4.0
  • Integrated HD webcam
  • No internal optical drive
  • 1-year limited warranty w/ accidental damage protection
  • 48Wh li-ion battery
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.83 x 8.9 x 0.72 inches
  • Price as configured: $899.99

The specifications would be unremarkable for an Ultrabook save for two things, the first of which is the storage. The UX32 includes a traditional hard drive with a small 24GB SSD which is not Ultrabook-like. The SSD is slaved to the hard drive to help improve performance. The advantage is that the UX32 has a lot of space, double that of Ultrabooks using the largest SSDs available (256GB). The second interesting item is the display; it has an anti-glare surface and wide viewing angles. This is one of the first 1366×768 resolution displays we’ve used that has better than average picture quality. It’s worth noting that the Zenbook Prime is also available with a crazy 1920×1080 resolution IPS display.

This configuration of the UX32 did just okay in our benchmarks; the performance holds up to everyday usage including Internet browsing but feels sluggish next to other Ultrabooks; the hard drive is unquestionably slow. Other variants of the Zenbook Prime are available with SSD-only solutions.

wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):

PCMark Vantage is an older benchmark that measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):

PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall system performance in Windows 7 (higher scores mean better performance):

3DMark06 measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:

Heat and Noise

The UX32 is more or less silent in all operations. The cooling system pushes air out the back of the notebook towards the display hinge, something that I’m not a fan of; I like to see the air exhausted directly out of the chassis instead of being deflected. Nonetheless the cooling system works well; fan noise is just about nonexistent with no whine and it keeps the notebook cool even under full load. The hard drive makes subtle clicking noises which are audible in an otherwise silent room.

Battery Life

We measured six hours, 35 minutes of battery life during our standard battery run-down test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% display brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). This is an unremarkable time for an Ultrabook; it falls within the range of acceptability.

Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):


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