Opinions on an ASUS Ultrabook. Zen


Mychael

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I'll be going into hospital for an extended stay. I was going to get a tablet, either ipad 2 or something running Android (probably a Samsung).
Then I was shown these things called Ultrabook from ASUS. It's closest comparison might be a Mac Book air in appearance but it runs WIN7 Home Premium with 4 gig of ram and a 64gig SSD.. Screen size is about an inch larger then a tablet and of course it has a proper keyboard and a couple of ports. No CD/DVD drive.

Price is the same within a few dollars.

Anyone used one or know much about them? I don't want a full sized laptop. It's main purpose is to keep me from going stir crazy in hospital & being Windows based I can install FF with Xmarks and get all my bookmarks etc.

Still not as portable as a true tablet and no 3G feature but I thought it might be a better option.
 
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Digerati

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Price is the same within a few dollars.
Not according to that PCWorld Review which shows that ASUS at $2000 AUD ($2067 USD). That's some serious money. The iPad II goes for $500 - $830 USD (depending on memory and network access).

Plus the ASUS has an i7 - which is more horsepower than most full sized notebooks - or PCs for that matter.

I think you need to consider your mobility and decide how important a real keyboard is. I also think you need to consider security. It is likely you will have many periods of time you will be out of your room. And sadly, things grow legs in hospitals and disappear. You need something you can easily hide, and lock up. If you have to share a room, you will not be able to control (or know) all the guests. You also need something that if stolen, will not be a big loss (like $2000 down the drain and your personal information exposed).

I would also contact the hospital to see what type of network access they provide for patients - if any. You can save a lot of money on the device if you just need wifi access and don't need to subscribe to a wireless carrier.
 

Mychael

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Thanks for the comments guys.
As to hospital, yeah things 'grow legs' as they say but I'd never leave stuff like that in my room. I'd hand it to the nurses station to lock in their cupboard.
The hospital does have some WiFi but not everywhere and by getting a pre-paid dongle we can use it in the car.
Anyway settled on the ASUS UX31E with the 13.3 inch screen.
Intel i5 chip, 4 gig of ram, 256gig SSD (less actually as it has a recovery partition) and Win7 Home premuim 64bit.
Larger then a true tablet but smaller then a 'real' laptop.
Got it through Harvey Norman for Aus $1500. For that got the ASUS, very nice padded carry bag, external DVD burner & extended warrenty.
Never having bought a new complete computer before I was pretty pleased during the unpacking process with what I got.
The box inside the box was very strong with ASUS embossing on it, it was shrink sealed in plastic. Everything inside was also individually sealed in their own packets (as opposed to open ended plastic bags).
The computer itself was covered in that peel off 'skin' and there was a heavy sort of tissue paper between screen and keyboard as well as a cleaning cloth for the screen.
You get adaptor plugs for LAN and HDMI leads with their own little carry bag to hold them. A slipper bag for the computer with microfibre lining and magnetic clip closure. All in a nice brown fake leather look material.
It booted up soo fast and everything went well except getting it to connect to my home WiFi, what worked with phones and dongles etc in the past does not seem to work here and it wont accept the passcode to connect to the router.
It does however work fine on a Lan cable and I'm presently useing that to run all the updates.
The only real downer so far is the manual, less then useless it did not even tell me how long to charge the battery for the first time and the ASUS website was equally unhelpfull.
Next will be getting all my needed programs and bookmarks etc installed.
 

bassfisher6522

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The first thing I would do with a new PC is make sure that I have all the most current drivers for every piece of hardware. Then make sure that all MS updates are in place then check your wi-fi connectivity. Is the wi-fi adapter on the Asus turned on....sometimes theres a button/switch that needs to be enabled/activated.
 
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Mychael

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Yeah it found the router (Fritzbox) straight away. However unlike with our mobile phones, my old imacs and the dongle in my other pc just putting in the id code from the back of the router fails to connect it. That's never happened before.
 

Digerati

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And you might want to check out an Anti-theft program too - like Prey.
 

Mychael

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Prey looks interesting Bill. I wonder though would it work here in Australia?
Finally got the ASUS to wirelessly connect to my router. Go figure, they say doing the same thing again and again gets the same result but then suddenly it connected and with a bit fine of tuning has been staying connected ever since.

Connecting to the prepaid dongle was even easier and quicker.

Got all my needed programs and security stuff up and running. It's in far better repair then I am right now.
 

Digerati

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I wonder though would it work here in Australia?
Umm, why not? The Internet reaches "down under", right? And you got GPS coverage too.

And in any case, it is free so it does no harm to try it out.
 
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yodap

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Get better Mychael!!
 

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