Archive for March, 2013

Asus Zenbook UX31A

March 11, 2013

Finally got my Asus Zenbook UX31A. This is my new work computer; took 2 months to get! Apparently a lot of people want this computer. The first thing I did after booting up was to check the amount of RAM. Yes, indeed it does have 8 Gbytes of RAM. This computer must be a special build for Microsoft. I searched the Internet high and low and couldn’t find this computer with 8 Gbytes of RAM.  All specs only said 4 GBytes and apparently from what I read that memory is soldered onto the motherboard – most likely to save space. Anyway, I was very glad to see the Zenbook have 8 Gbytes; otherwise it wouldn’t make much of a dev machine.

The next thing I tried to do was hook the Zenbook up to my Dell U3011. I purchased this monitor for it’s massive size since I knew the Zenbook could only drive one external monitor and I have become quite accustomed to having dual a monitor setup. Yes, the U3011 is large: 30″, resolution of 2560 x 1600 (16:10 aspect ratio). After connecting the micro-HDMI to the HDMI port on the U3011, the max resolution I could get was 1920 x 1200. Ugh! Looks like complete crap. The trade-off solution was to create a custom resolution in the Intel graphics control panel.  I selected width: 2560, height: 1600, refresh rate of 30 Hz, and timing standard: cvt-rb.  Yes, this half the normal refresh rate but is necessary since I believe the source of the problem is the Asus motherboard which doesn’t have the bandwidth to support 2560×1600 at 60Hz.  Anyway, after adding this custom setting and rebooting I was able to get full resolution on the U3011.  I would have expected the quality to be poor but I was not able to notice a difference; maybe due to my poor engineering eyesight.  Probably if you are playing games you might notice the difference, but since mine is mostly a dev machine, I think I’ll be fine.

The next change I made to my setup was to modify how the ‘Asus Smart Gesture’ operates.  I changed scroll so that content moves with finger direction.  This make two finger operation consistent with touch screen operation.

So far, the system works well as a dev machine; cross my fingers.  I’ve had as many four instance of Visual Studio running at time with a dozen web pages open.