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ASUS Zenbook UX21 teardown shows MacBook Air similarity

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.

By Electronista Staff


  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009


    Won't work

    The PC market has been in a race to the bottom for so long that no one will buy what essentially is a premium netbook. People have been so used to $600 laptops, the thought of a $999 11" notebook will be foreign. Apple's strategy works because people that buy Apple products understand that it's a premium product, built with premium parts inside and out, and that customer service is second to none. They're willing to pay for that level of a product. The PC market just isn't that way, except for the hardcore gamer market.

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000



    "ASUS chairman Jonney Shih during his AsiaD keynote made it clear Apple was the primary competitor"

    This quote show exactly what's wrong with PC industry, Apple never consider other PC maker as competition or place to get ideas from. In the other hand PC makers like Asus or Acer acting like jealous kids who try everything to emulate Apple design and miss the whole ecosystem Apple puts in place which is the real value of Apple products. If you got in a Apple Store with a defect product, they will not try to blame someone else and giving you excuses for not helping you. The PC industry look like a government office which most of the time is structured to dilute responsibility making sure no one could be blame or even reach when you call.

  1. facebook_Pete

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    Epic Fail!

    This just goes to show how the PC Industry just copies whatever Apple puts out. The PC industry in whole cannot innovate, I repeat with strong emphasis "IT CANNOT INNOVATE". So the consumer goes to buy a bunch apple wannabe products but they miss the point. Its not the hardware of PC machine that makes for a great user experience, its the OS that every dam PC uses which doesn't make them any different to one another regardless of hardware they run. Thanks to Microsoft. Windows just boggles the mind when it gets hit by malwares and viruses, you name it.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    His job is done

    It was a focus of Steve Jobs that people realize that (of course you need good hardware) its the software that makes things work. By owning both, you can optimize.

    Its the software (and eco system)
    just a thought,

  1. mytdave

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000


    different but same

    Of course some components are going to be different, and there are some intentional differences in appearance solely for the sake of plausible deniability. As is typical, it doesn't take but a 2 second glance at the product for anyone to clearly understand where they got their design from (inside and out).

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008



    These competitors are all clueless. What an embarrassment for the PC/Windows industry. They talk down Apple while at the same time, copying them extensively. Pathetic!

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