Monthly Archives: May 2015

Intel HD 5500 ‘Broadwell’ Gaming – Project Cars

GeForce GT 820M Gaming – Project Cars

Article: Dual Channel vs. Single Channel Memory

Disappointingly many laptop manufacturers ship systems without dual channel memory, which has a severe impact on Ultrabook gaming performance.Single Channel vs Dual Channel Memory

We take a look at how this impacts gaming performance, and how you can ensure you buy an Ultrabook with dual channel memory, in our latest article.

Why is ASUS UK pricing of Ultrabooks so high?

Overpriced ASUS UX305Ever since the Ultrabook specification was introduced in 2011 I’ve found it a very appealing idea and have been lucky enough to use a huge variety of them through my work, and amongst them the ASUS Zenbook UX-range of products has stood out as often being amongst the best in their class.

The ASUS Zenbook UX31E and UX31A both combined a better than average screens – 1600×900 and 1920×1080 respectively when most 13.3″ Ultrabooks were using 1366×768 – and a sleek, well built, chassis to create a real MacBook Air killer, whilst the ASUS Zenbook UX301LA upped the ante with Haswell based internals (including Iris 5100 based models), even greater aesthetic attention to detail, and the option of a 2560×1440 screen.

Now their Core M based Zenbook UX305FA has launched with the latest generation Broadwell based Core M 5Y10 offering great power efficiency and sufficient performance for a small, ultra-mobile, laptop, a gorgeous 3200×1800 IPS screen, and a slender, 2015 MacBook style, chassis. I want one, a lot.

But I’m probably not going to buy one, and the reason is the same reason I never bought a Zenbook UX31E, UX31A or UX301LA – ASUS UK continued and bizarre pricing and SKU choices…

The problem with SKUing

Both the original Zenbook UX31E and UX31A models were available in 4 main configurations, with Core i5 and i7 processor and 128GB and 256GB SSD options. The i7 was an expensive option and generally not worth bothering with, whilst in the early days of Ultrabooks SSDs added over £1 per GB to the price due to the cost of flash memory at the time.