I picked up a UX32VD Asus on Newegg about 2 days after Christmas for a pretty good deal. Since everyone in the reviews said you had to get an SSD drive, I swapped that out. I also upped the memory because 4GB isn’t enough for me. I’m using this laptop for programming and web work mostly, I don’t watch movies on it or anything graphic intensive. I may install Windows on the 24g internal SSD and play Battlefield but that’s about as graphic intensive as it gets for me. Also I have Fedora 20 installed on the main drive.

So I started out with the stock UX32VD and now I have a Samsung 500GB SSD and Crucial 8GB Memory to bring the memory to 10GB (Laptop has built in 2gb.) I should mention that this thing is amazing to upgrade. Most machines this small and thin would normally be a pain to work on. This was easy besides having to remove the battery to get the drive out but that was only a cable and 8 or so screws to be removed.

Let me say this laptop is amazing performance wise. Boot up in less then 3 seconds from the grub boot menu. Close the lid, straight into suspend mode, Open it up, instantly on. Battery life is getting better. Initially after install it wasn’t great maybe 3 hours if I pushed it. But now I get an easy 4.5 hours if not 5 hours. That’s with the backlit keyboard off, and the second to last setting on the screen brightness. I don’t think I could get 6 hours like some say. Maybe if I shut WIFI off but what is the point of a computer without internet? At least to me that matters. But 4.5 hours actually doing work and surfing the web, is really good. Some vendors say their laptop gets 7 hours but its with everything off and very light use. I’m using the laptop to the average level, not pushing the graphics or cpu but opening and closing programs, etc and getting work done. 4-5 of work time without a charge isn’t really that bad. Keep in mind I have made mods to the system to increase battery performance. One of those modes includes using bumblebee. I did use the nvidia drivers and not the open source ones.

Biggest draw back that so many buyers reviewed as a positive is the screen. Now it s beautiful, it looks great. The issue is the the resolution. 1920×1080 on a 13″ screen means really tiny text. And I love small text and high resolution but 1920×1080 on this screen makes me squint a bit. And I have great eye sight. I would lower the resolution but the options don’t offer anything that fits the screen. I thought about manually adding some other resolutions to see if I could try something smaller but I have yet to try that. For now I have increased the default font size slightly, increased wine fonts, increased cinnamon fonts, and increased chrome (default browser) to zoom to 125%. That seems to make it work for me.

The charger is pretty nice. I do wish the ac/dc adapter block wasn’t so big, maybe in a different shape or something. Minor issue though. Really more of a preference.

Fedora 20 installed without issue! I’m running the latest everything and it works without issue. Some other owners of this laptop have mentioned issues with the touch pad not being responsive and other issues. I didn’t find that issue with this laptop when I installed Fedora. I did bump up the settings to be ultra sensitive but that’s because I like a mouse that is ultra sensitive.

One of the things I added that is a must have in my book is a startup script to adjust power preferences and a few other things. I added one line to my script that turns the backlite off on boot, which I really like. If I want backlite ill turn it on, I don’t want it to be on every single time I reboot, or boot the machine.

Overall I will be replacing my main machine with this laptop and honestly its perfect. Their are minor issues to be resolved to get it perfect but it’s a great machine. I can plug it in to two displays if I want. Its light and easy to take on the go. ¬†Fits me and my lifestyle very nicely. I can’t say if Windows 8 on it is good or no because I only booted it up once to see the performance at first. Took it apart and installed Fedora. And then the fan began! If you thinking of getting one I highly recommend it!

Here are some links to sites I got some help while making changes.

http://www.linlap.com/asus_ux32vd

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AsusZenbookPrime

***Update: I will note that after having it for awhile it runs beautifully. It seems to be getting a better battery life, slightly. Some what expected. It’s running the latest updates from Fedora and haven’t hit a snag yet. Never had an issue with the touchpad like others have mentioned. I didn’t mention in the original post about the vga adapter or the USB to Ethernet adapter functionality. I ran into a situation where were I had to test out both. And to my surprise, they both worked. With no changes needed. This laptop has probably been the most painless Linux setup and install I have ever dealt with in my life. ASUS did an amazing job designing this laptop. The Fedora team did an amazing job on 20! All in all, I can’t complain.

 

After deciding whether I need a desktop or Laptop, and weighting out what makes most sense I decided to buy the ASUS G73JW-A1. I multitask like no other. I needed a machine with serious power and a decent amount of data storage. Plus if need be, I wanted it to be upgradeable. Since I’m always on the go, a desktop wouldn’t cut it. For the reasonable price of 1,799.99 from Micro Center, I went ahead and got one.

Performance
WOW! Its fast, with the 8GB of memory I feel like I can never max it out so far. I haven’t put it threw the full ringer just yet. Coming from a AMD fan, Intel knocked it out of the park with the i7 processor. This processor has no problem keeping up with my uncompressing files, editing php files, having 40 tabs open in Firefox, listening to music, and editing video. Yep, it keeps up! My one comment I have to make that I wish I could change is the hard drives. First when you get it, they partition both the drives into two partitions. Not totally sure why they did that. The one thing with the drives is, even though they are 7200RPM with all the other high performance goodies, it feels like the drives are always the one thing I’m waiting on. One thought is adding a SSD drive, and I might do that but Id like to wait till they are further tested. Blueray drive rocks, I have no complaints there.

Engineering
Taking this apart is amazingly easy for how much stuff is packed inside. Its very well engineered, hands down best laptop I have ever touched in the engineered department. The one thing I can say, ASUS engineers are the gods of laptop cooling! WOW WOW WOW!!! I have never ever had a laptop with even 50% the kind of power and still be this cool. My last HP when idling wasn’t even half as cool as this laptop is when playing Call of Duty! Could all the manufactures design laptop cooling like this?

Design
The design is something that hasn’t been seen before. I like it! I will say I wish it was about 1 inch smaller in width, so it could fit in my old laptop bag. Ill have to find a new bag I guess. The backpack that is given with the laptop is pretty cool but it doesn’t clash well showing up at a corporate meeting with a backpack. Minor issue. Besides all that, the design is a 10 out of 10! Back lit Keyboard, was the best design feature they added. Every laptop should have a back lit keyboard. Must comment, The way the chassis is angled makes it so nice to type on it. With all other laptops it rubs into my arms and feels like its cuts off circulation to my hands. Seriously, another feature that all laptops should have, an angled front lip. Also the material the laptop is made of rocks, doesn’t appear to scratch (Haven’t tried hard to make that happen), doesn’t show finger prints, and just feels good!

Battery
This is a double edge sword. Keeping in mind this laptop has a 17.3″ screen, i7 core processor, 8gb of memory, two 500GB 7200PRM HDs, that’s a lot to power. With that said the battery lasts about 50 Minutes on a charge. I really didn’t expect more then an hour myself. Only way to get more time is a bigger battery and I don’t think it would make sense to put in a bigger battery. One, it would make the entire laptop weigh more which I don’t think end users would like. Two, it would be come odd shaped which again end users wouldn’t like. I’m plugged in about 90% of the the time. Occasionally, I’m cordless but 50 minutes should cover me.

Screen & Graphics
Rocks, I have zero issues with it. That is all I can really say. Graphics, WOW! 460 Nvidia packed inside this laptop is impressive. When Playing Call of Duty Black Ops, it plays full 1080, graphics turned all the way up. Its awesome!

Touchpad
Now, I would normally not dedicated a section to the touchpad but this needs mentioning. First off the the touchpad is huge, which rocks! Bad news, some of the software that runs the touchpad doesn’t run properly I believe. Some people have mentioned lag from the touchpad, which I too noticed. Some said to remove the synaptics driver from add/remove programs. Tried that, it stopped the lag but then my mouse didn’t move fast enough. Tired to adjust it but it wasn’t fast enough for me. I decided to reinstall the driver again, worked flawlessly. It brought back the touchpad lag again. This time I decided to go into the synaptics mouse settings and disable things like pinch to zoom, and scrolling on the touch pad. Restarted the computer, and it was fixed. So if your having touchpad lag issues with the ASUS G73JW-A1, then post a comment and Ill email you with the instructions on how I did it. If I get enough requests, Ill post it on the blog here.

Overall
Great laptop, My best yet! I’m not a huge gamer but I like it that I can play when I want without any issues. Nice size, comfortable to walk with. Comfortable typing on the couch or on the desk. Its all an all a great laptop for someone that needs a high performance laptop, who could care less about the battery as long as they get at least 30 minutes of battery. All and all, I would recommend anyone who uses there computer all the time and needs performance.