updated 10:05 am EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
ASUS UX21 has similar basic design idea as Apple
A new teardown of the ASUS Zenbook UX21 at AnandTech has shown that its internal design, just like the outside, is very similar to the MacBook Air. Partly out of necessity, the 11-inch ultrabook uses the same basic concept of a two-board core area at the back while the front two thirds are dominated by four discrete lithium batteries. Likewise, it uses the same stick-based SSD format, although here the drives are supplied by ADATA (128GB) and SanDisk (256GB) rather than Samsung and Toshiba.
It even goes for a clean underside by moving the forced Windows license sticker to the AC adapter.
Key differences do exist. Along with component changes, the ASUS cooling system is more effective as it covers the companion chipset, not just the main processor. Its drives are potentially faster through the use of SandForce's well-known fast controller.
The unboxing also shows ASUS hoping to court customers with adapters for both Ethernet and VGA in the box as well as a sleeve case for both those and the notebook.
ASUS' final design isn't as closely related to the MacBook Air on the outside as it was once shown, with a black bezel, different keys, and distinct trackpad button spaces. However, the similarities are also clear, and ASUS chairman Jonney Shih during his AsiaD keynote made it clear Apple was the primary competitor.