ASUS UX31 Keyboard Test Results in Purchase

Posted on 16 December 2011 By


P1010160

I read two European reviews of the ASUS UX31 yesterday and both of them said that the keyboard was fine. It confused me because I’ve read some bad feedback about the keyboard and my own testing of the UX21 resulted in disappointment in the keyboard department so I decided to venture out today to find a UX31 and test it myself. I found one at Saturn, a large electronics store here in Germany, who are offering the Core i7 / 128GB version for €1099.  Sure enough, the keyboard wasn’t bad at all. The keys still have that slightly wobbly feeling that the UX21 had but here I am typing away now on the UX31 with far fewer problems than I did on the UX21. It’s not perfect (the space bar is catching me out at the moment) but I’m giving it a chance. In fact, I’ve bought it and have a few days in which to test it out. If I’m not happy, I can return it.

Right now, I’m not sure that I will because the screen , SD card slot, noise levels and battery life appear to be fitting with my requirements but the big decision comes later today when the ASUS UX31 goes up against the Toshiba Z830 and the Acer Aspire S3 in a LIVE REVIEW. Yes, the planned Acer S3 session tonight will now be a feast of Ultrabook testing and you’re all invited to come along and watch. Ask questions, track the chat and watch the video and make your decision. Bring a glass of Gluehwein too because it will be the last live session of 2011.

Live session details are here. Summary: 2100 CET (Berlin) at Ultrabooknews.com/live it will run for about 3hrs, or until I fall asleep.

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  1. #1 by rellZ on December 16, 2011 - 16:07

    germany and frankfurt in the building ha…i didnt know you were from germany too…

    id rather be interested in a lenovo U300s live test review soon, ive bought the macbook air but im still not 100% satisfied running it on win7 …

    long storty short i see myself buying another ultrabook next half of the year…

    • #2 by Chippy on December 16, 2011 - 16:55

      The Lenovo should be around in the first weeks of the year. The HP should be available in a few week too with the HG Z330 folowing up in Feb. (Germany)

  2. #3 by Niall on December 16, 2011 - 18:16

    I tried out the UX31 fairly extensively, focusing on the keyboard, trackpad and viewing angles. I ended up buying it as well. The keyboard does annoy me a bit but I will get used to it. The trackpad is the same. The vertical scrolling is actually fairly decent, if not perfect. It’s done well enough to be be useable, which is more than I’ll say for the pinch to resize gestures.

    The annoyance with the keyboard for me is mostly about the left Shift and Ctrl buttons. However I use my pinky finger on those keys seems to be more on the corner than on the centre, so ctrl-tabbing and ctrl-shift-tabbing in Chrome often messes up by either not registering the Shift or Ctrl keys.

    I’ll get used to it, and it does point out to me that my typing style is pretty inaccurate. But it’s frustrating because they feel like unnecessary problems. Asus got all the hard parts done quite well – high res screen that no one else is matching, seriously fast SSD when they could have scrimped, good CPU, battery life, etc. And then the easy things they stuff up. Including the 0.3MP webcam – where do they find those things? Do they have a time machine to go back 5 years and buy them? The webcam’s not important to me, but it seems a silly problem to have.

    I’m still happy I bought it, but I’m sure whenever they release the next edition (and presumably fix these minor problems), I’ll be a bit envious.

    For anyone considering them: they’re quite nice. Very sleek, I love the feel of it. Very fast and responsive. If the keyboard and trackpad don’t bother you, go for it. Otherwise if you can wait till an update, you’ll probably get a more rounded machine. If the lack of ports doesn’t bother you (it doesn’t bother me), then a fix for the keyboard and trackpad would make the machine just about perfect.

    • #4 by Johannes on January 28, 2012 - 19:36

      Same here!!!
      I considered demanding money back, since the keys reacts with the usual tactile feedback (goes down) but doesn’t send the signal.

      My solution was: Remove the left CTRL, put a small piece of paper underneath.

      The keys simply need to much of a push, because the underlying contacts, doesn’t gets pushed enough by the keys.

      It’s a bad design/construction error, on an otherwise almost perfect laptop.

      I love it, and all the plusses outweighs this negative.

  3. #5 by tsog on December 16, 2011 - 22:10

    The screen on the UX31 was the main selling point for me, although with all the reports of 1080P ultrabooks coming out next year I feel like I should have waited a bit longer.

    As for the web cam, I immediately disabled it the device manager to prevent malicious software from monitoring me; I could care less about the 0.3 MP, and the web cam login is nothing more than a gimmick that provides little security.

    Regarding the keyboard, after using it for a few weeks now the thin laptop base can cut into my wrist if I am not positioned correctly. Typing is still a learning process. The keyboard feels way different from other keyboards I used before.

  4. #6 by Chippy on December 17, 2011 - 01:43

    Live review videos of the Asus UX31, Acer S3 and Toshiba Z830 are now available.
    http://ultrabooknews.com/2011/12/17/ux21-s3-z830-ultrabooks-live-review-videos-now-available/

  5. #7 by Niall on December 18, 2011 - 12:28

    Just wondering if you’re still seeing the problem you reported with the insta-power off when you plug the power cable in? I’ve just got that for the first time. I’ve had the laptop for a few weeks now, so it was a surprise.

    Not too impressed with that.

  6. #8 by Niall on December 18, 2011 - 13:05

    Actually I’m wondering if it’s due to having something plugged into the USB 3 port – isn’t that the one that still provides power when the computer is off? I had a portable hard drive plugged in at the time.

    • #9 by Chippy on December 18, 2011 - 13:13

      This is on your UX31?
      I have only seen it on a ux21 so far and I’ve pulled the plug in and out quite a few times.

  7. #10 by Niall on December 18, 2011 - 13:30

    Yeah it’s a UX31. It’s only happened once so far, so it was a shock. I wonder if there’s a shortcircuit between the USB 3 socket and the power socket or something.

  8. #11 by Judit on February 7, 2012 - 14:11

    I have been using it for three months now, and I am still disappointed because of the keyboard. I type a lot, mainly use Word processor, so it would be of key importance for me. I even started to practice typing again so that I really hit on the center of the keys maybe that solves the problem. It is true, that when I am tired, the keyboard’s sensitivity gets worse as well. I know it’s the human factor but it shouldn’t! I am very disappointed that I find no fix for this problem. I type very fast, and lots of letters are missed, when I reread my typing I have to correct a lot.
    Another thing is, that often the Chrome window I am just typing into (usually my mailbox) shuts itself down without any notice. I suspect it might be the touchpad, some function that I use inadvertently, but I have no idea what it may be. Any advices?
    Thanks

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