Launched just the last week, Asus' Zenbooks have started to arrive into the hands of reviewers, and one recent article that focuses on the UX21 battery life and performance has found out that Asus' creation manages to best Apple's ultra-thin in both of these areas.
In both of these tests, Asus' creation comes out on top of the MacBook Air by a slight margin, the battery life being estimated at 263 minutes compared to 247 minutes of the MBA, while PCMark 7 performance is rated at 2735 points compared to the 3457 marks achieved by the Apple ultra-thin.
In its default configuration, the Asus Zenbook UX21 is setup to sleep rather than shutdown, but its cold boot performance is just as good as it goes from a shutdown state to the Windows desktop in just 16.7 seconds.
This is actually in line with the result of the 11-inch MBA that needs 17.2s to get into OS X.
While impressive, these sort of results were expected as Asus' Zenbooks ship with SandForce SF-2281 solid state drives that are faster than the SSDs Apple installed in the MBA.
Outside of this difference, the two ultra-portable have a lot of features in common as they are both based on ultra-low voltage Sandy Bridge processors with nearly identical battery capacities.
Asus launched its Zenbook ultra-portables on October 12, and both the UX21 and UX31 use a thin and light anodized aluminum uni-body chassis that measures no more than 17mm at its thickest point, with an all-aluminum keyboard and glass touchpad, which were designed to accentuate the style of the unit.
Asus' Ultrabooks are available in five versions, two for the UX21 and three for the UX31, and prices start at $999 (€732) for the UX21E-DH52, which comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-2467M processor and an 128GB SSD.