Since it is a new product line for ASUS we were eager to get a look inside the 11-inch Zenbook as we progressed through our review process. Similar to taking apart a MacBook Air, there are 10 torx screws around the perimeter of the bottom panel of the Zenbook. 

With the bottom panel off, the UX21 looks a lot like an 11-inch MacBook Air with some notable differences. The ultra slim cooling solution actually covers both the Intel Core i7-2677M and its accompanying QS67 chipset, whereas Apple only directly cools the CPU in the MBA. ASUS uses the same two-PCB approach that Apple does, using a slightly stiffer (and conveniently labeled) ribbon cable to connect the two boards.

ASUS uses a familiar stick form factor for its SSD. The 128GB UX21/31 models come with a SandForce SF-2281 based drive from ADATA while the 256GB models use a SanDisk U100 solution. The WiFi card in the UX21 is also a unique form factor:

Other interesting tidbits:

1) The ASUS power adapter is very MBA-inspired - I like it. Cable management is handled via a strip of velcro. ASUS also found a great place to put the Microsoft COA: on the power brick itself.

2) All Zenbooks ship with a USB Ethernet adapter, VGA adapter and two carrying sleeves: one for the adapters and one for the Zenbook itself. 

Check out more in the gallery below and expect our review in the coming days!

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • donline - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Brand new the thing only has 82GB free. I can't do jack with that.
  • r3loaded - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    It looks like a regular mSATA drive, so that's the format you need to be searching for (I personally can find a few, but none of them are SATA 6Gbps drives).
  • donline - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Thanks r3loaded. Can you tell me where I can find a 256GB mSata? I can't seem to find them anywhere.
  • Panlion - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    It actually doesn't look like mSATA. mSTAT drive looks a little wider than this.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Rather they use torx anyhow - those philips screws get stripped so easily. Now if only someone could make a breakaway power cable...
  • michael2k - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Apple does.
  • chrone - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    dear Anand, what is the lcd panel? is it using an ips or just another tft panel?
  • Zak - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    So they didn't put the COA sticker on the laptop because of the looks but they still slapped fugly Intel and MS Stickers on it? I hope they're easily removable.
  • RU482 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Is the WLAN card proprietary, or is this a new form factor?
  • jcornel7 - Sunday, October 23, 2011 - link

    I own the UX31E. I see in the BIOS and in the driver stack there is support for a TPM chip. When you opened this up did you see a spot for a TPM chip. I will buy one and sodder it on myself if its reachable.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now