ASUS Zenbook UX301LA: A Nice Intel Ultrabook For Linux Users
As I wrote about at the beginning of March, I bought the ASUS Zenbook UX301LA-DH71T Haswell-based ultrabook to replace an Apple Retina MacBook Pro as my main system. I've been using this latest Zenbook with Intel Iris Graphics and dual SSDs for several weeks now as my main system and have taken it on four business trips so far and it's been running great. Paired with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the ASUS Zenbook UX301LA makes a rather nice lightweight yet powerful Linux system.
In that aforelinked article I mentioned some of the reasons I settled for going with this particular ASUS Zenbook over other laptops/ultrabooks. The ASUS UX301LA-DH71T boasts an Intel Core i7 4558U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 8GB of DDR3L-1600MHz memory, dual 128GB solid-state drives (capable of RAID), 802.11ac WiFi, a 2560 x 1440 WQHD 13.3-inch display, and comes loaded with Microsoft Windows 8 but can be easily replaced by the modern Linux distribution of your choice.
The ASUS Zenbook UX301LA weighs 2.6 pounds (1.17 kilograms) and measures in at 12.8 x 8.6 x 0.6 Inches. The ultrabook has a non-replaceable 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery that ASUS claims can offer a battery life of up to eight hours, at least under Windows. At most Internet retailers the UX301LA-DH71T is currently being pushed for around $1800~1850 USD though when I purchased the laptop at the beginning of March by chance after eyeing it for a few days I noticed the Amazon pricing temporarily drop to $1699 USD, which is when I bought the laptop, but now it's back up to $1840 at the time of writing.
Like other ASUS Zenbooks I have bought in the past, the UX301LA-DH71T was still nicely packaged and everything arrived in pristine condition. Included with the 13.3-inch Haswell ultrabook was the ASUS user manual AC power adapter, warranty card, a couple cable ties, an ultrabook sleeve, and VGA/Ethernet adapters.
Due to maintaining an ultrabook low-profile, VGA and Ethernet ports are too tall. Unlike the MacBook Air and other ultrabooks where they leave such extra connectivity to using third-party adapters, ASUS included a USB-based Gigabit Ethernet adapter along with a micro-HDMI to VGA adapter. Both adapters worked just fine under Linux without any issues. The Zenbook is backed by a one-year international warranty with accidental damage protection for the first year. The ASUS pixel policy is a 30-day Zero Bright Dot Guarantee.