Joined on 06/24/08
High Quality Product
Pros: Before I made this purchase I looked at nearly every laptop that has come out in the last two years. I am a computer programmer who works primarily with web java and web languages. I wanted a computer that was well engineered, made from high quality components, light, and had a long battery life. I also needed a matte display with good anti glare, a solid keyboard, and sufficient memory and storage to support all my application. This laptop fits me perfectly. I chose this machine for these reasons: 1) From factor. 13 inch laptops are large enough to fit full keyboards a good size screen, but small enough to easily pack away. This is also the second lightest laptop I have found with these specs; at 2.5 pounds only the Lenova lavie Z is lighter, but for a variety of reasons, I think this Asus Zenbooks is a vastly superior design. 2) Battery life. I get about 7 hours on a charge surfing the web, streaming video, and doing basic tasks like using a word processors and text editors. 3) Build quality. The all aluminum uni body chassis feels amazing under my hands. This laptop has no fan and no moving parts, so its completely silent. It feels very solid and exceptionally well made. I expect this laptop to hold up for a very long time. 4) The screen. Its a 1080p IPS panel. The matte on it is excellent; absolutely no reflection at all. The screen is also incredibly bright and has pretty decent contrast. Most of the time I have the brightness set to 10% and it is not at all uncomfortable to use even in brightly lit rooms. 5) Price. There is not other ultra portable laptop on the market right now that has these combinations of features. For a similarly specked ultra book you are looking at easily 1000 dollars. 6) Memory and storage. 8gb of memory gives you enough room to multitask, even with memory heavy OS and applications (windows + Chrome can easily eat through 4gb by themselves). The 250gb SSD drive is very fast and has enough storage for a reasonable amount of programs and media. For reference, in my linux OS it takes just over 30 seconds to restart the computer and to boot into the login screen.
Cons: This laptop suits my needs quite nicely, but it is not the best fit for some. The its a dual core broadwell CPU with hyper threading clocked at only 800mhz. If you need more horsepower, you would be better off getting a haswell i5 or even a haswell i7 HQ. Of course those also drain your battery a lot more and tend to make laptops bulkier and heavier. Trade offs. The onboard graphics are pretty basic. Popular games like WoW, league of legends, and similar will run just fine but many newer AAA titles will be completely out of reach. The track pad on this machine feel cheap. It has a hollow click sound, it attracts a finger prints really badly, and it requires quite a bit of force to register clicks. I prefer to use an optical mouse so this doesn't bother me. When I do use the track pad, I tend to click on the lower right, and I use another finger for dragging and scrolling. The keyboard has a very low key travel. This takes some getting used to. For myself I don't find that appreciably impedes my typing but others might find it uncomfortable. The IPS panel on this machine is just not great for media. I have three TN panels on my desktop. Compared to my TN panels, the IPS display in this laptops is definitely better, but it isn't much better. The whites in particular look washed out, which is unfortunate. I personally use linux, but when I first booted it up in windows it seemed to me that the colors had been calibrated pretty poorly. A little fiddling might help the display some. If you have the money I would recommend a 13 inch mac book pro. It is a little thicker and a little heavier, but it has all the strengths of this machine and none of the weakness. It does cost almost a thousand dollars more though. For anyone who can't afford the macbook pro I feel this laptop offers the best value.
Overall Review: Compared to the macbook air, this machine has more memory, more storage, a higher resolution display, and none of the glossy refection you seen in all macbooks. The macbook and macbook airs do have much better contrast and color reproduction. The macbook airs look a little thinner, but that is because they are thicker in the middle and tapered at the sides. This laptop is completely flat on the bottom. It feels better to use and handle in my opinion. I am really pleased with the shape and dimensions of the body. The Dell XPS 13 inch laptops are also really nice, and the lowest end version starts at a very similar price point to this machine. Compared to the dell XPS, this laptop is a tad bigger because of the bezels, but offers a lot more storage and memory. The Dell XPS 13 has plastic and carbon fiber in the chassy, which isn't isn't as nice all the all aluminum unibody on this machine. I have read that the dell XPS laptops have really good displays. If you can pay a little extra for the i5 model with more memory and storage and a quad HD display, I think that might be a good choice, but it will run you about a 1000 dollars. Overall I am very pleased with this machine. After using it for a while I have really fallen in love with it, and for my use, I am not at all envious of the pricier ultra books. I strongly recommend it. You can't beat the value and the build quality is comparable to or superior to any other high end laptop at mid range laptop price.
Great for emulators
Pros: I bought this CPU specifically for running PS2 and other emulators. It tears through them no problem with lots of eye candy.
Cons: Pretty hot under full load. Pretty expensive but that is intel.
Overall Review: I really wish intel offered a budge dual core processor with its 6100 integrated graphics like on the broadwell i5 and i7 processors.
Pros: Running them at 3333mhz with CAS 17. I wanted high performance memory for my mini itx build, because I was going to use integrated graphics, and integrated graphics benefit a lot from high performance memory. The price is pretty reasonable too for the capacity and the speed of the kit. I am quite happy.
Cons: With XMP enabled my board would not post. Technically my board is only rated for 3200mhz with an OC. I dialed back to 3333mhz and used a "stability" timings preset and it is just fine now. Not G skills fault though, so I won't be taking an egg.
Pros: I wanted a mini itx motherboard with solid build quality. This board feels solid, and with the black pcb and white accents looks amazing too. I won't be making of use of them myself, but the fact that this board includes two gigabit ethernet ports and a wireless AC adapter is amazing. You could make a really cool mini server out of this board. Also comes with other nice to have features, like USB type C, Sata express, dual bios, and really nice integrated audio. Very happy with this board. At 130 dollars it is a great value, and in my opinion the best socket 1151 mini itx board out there right now for anybody who isn't an extreme LN2 overclocker.
Cons: No cons for me.
Compact and quite
Pros: I bought this for a low profile mini itx motherboard and case. It overhangs the socket a little bit but is well clear of the main memory or any other components. With the low RPM adapter the fan is virtually silent when idle, and reasonably quite under full load. My idle temperatures with a 65 watt i3 6300 CPU is almost exactly 30c. Under 11 minutes of combined prie95 with small ffts and furmark in GPU burn test the temperatures peaked at 88c. For what I intend to use the computer for, that is acceptable. If you are going using a processor with a TDP greater than 65 watts, or you are planning to put your 65 watt CPU under load for extended periods of time, this cooler won't cut it. The cooler is must be mounted on the board outside of the case, but otherwise it is really easy to install. High quality components and packaging. It even came with a fancy metal case badge. I will be buying notcua again, very pleased.
Cons: For me, none.