Asus Zenbook UX31

 Want a laptop that's a wafer-thin square of aluminium with more power and storage than a MacBook Air, but for £400 less? That's the promise of the Zenbook, one of the first notebooks to meet lntel's full Ultra book spec.

From a distance, it could easily be mistaken for an Air, but the Zenbook is shinier, more industrial and not as smartly dressed, with a mismatched lid and body. That said, the build quality is spectacular. It's cold to the touch, at least at first - beryllium alloy heatpipes under the skin turn the case into a giant heatsink for the CPU. This means it warms up around most of its surface area when in use, without developing a hot spot when you use it on your lap for a while.

The Zen book uses Intel's HD graphics for 30 rendering, which means it's tuned for high-speed video editing at HD resolutions and can run new games, albeit at very low graphics settings. It's just a shame that the high-resolution screen is pale and lacking in contrast. Asus' flattery of the MacBook Air continues in the pricing- there's also an 11in model for E850 – but this Core i7 model offers exceptional performance and value.

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