Monday, August 20, 2012

ASUS Not Releasing Zenbook UX32VD In The UK?

There are quite a few reasons why I want to get an ASUS UX32VD. I currently have a UX31E, which I like a lot, but it does have its flaws, the keyboard is especially bad, and the screen is not great. With its IPS, full HD screen and improved keyboard the UX32VD should address these issues, the screen particularly has me drooling, but on top of that it has both dedicated and integrated GPUs and of course an Ivy Bridge processor and still seems a reasonable price (approximately £850). So I contacted ASUS to ask them when the UX32VD would be available in the UK. The reply surprised me, apparently they're not planning to release it in the UK at all. Having said that, several UK sites were selling the machine, so I contacted a couple. One said that they were getting in 20 at the beginning of August, but that 19 of those were already pre-ordered. After a bit of thought I put in my order but missed the last one. Not to worry they told me, they're getting in another 40 at the beginning of September. There, I Fixed ItThrowing caution to the wind I pre-ordered from two online shops. On the 16 and 17 August both shops contacted me to say that the UX32VD would not be available, at all. Maybe the UK market's just too small to worry about, or maybe they're making sure they don't get burned again with old unsold stock, or maybe I'm just not being patient enough.


Unknown said...

I also want one of these - PC World Business just let me down, same story as you, now exploring a few more avenues...

Its highly frustrating, have you had any further progress since? It seems daft for Asus to only distribute a few of these awesome machines!

Jamie said...

No. It is possible that there's a shortage of supply everywhere, or maybe they've had some sort of issue either with manufacturing or returns. They're out of stock on Amazon US atm. A friend of mine is going to the US soon so I'm going to ask her to look out for them for me.

Unknown said...

Right. Well.. I'll keep you posted if I find anything going.

Ha - read a bit of your blog and I live on the very same road as you in London, small world 'ey?

Any more agro cabbies come along be sure to give me a shout! ;) Cheers

Matthew said...

Well I have had my 32VD since the end of June and I live in sweden so its definitely not a small market thing. Plenty of them here for sale but of course thats complete with a Nordic keyboard. Can recommend the manual upgrade of the RAM to 10GB when you get yours though

Jamie said...

/Jealous :)

I did see a few on eBay from various EU countries a month or so ago, but they seem to have dried up.

How's the keyboard?

Unknown said...

Yeah, I also looked at some German models, but they have QWERTZ keyboards ;/

And the RAM upgrade? Is there no performace hit from losing dual channel (ie: 2Gb + 8Gb so-dimm)?

Did you also do the SSD upgrade?

Anonymous said...

The notebook was available in two models (i5 / i7) in the Netherlands for the month of August. The last one sold was on the 3/9/12.

The i7 version disappeared.
The i5 is now only available.

I asked Asus why the i7 was withdrawn after a month, but instead of an explanation they suggested the i5. I let them know that no one wants the notebook with an i5 in it when they can have the i7 for the difference of less than a 100 euros.

Result is that I shall await until next year for the next batch of well made notebooks from whichever manufacturer sells the best one at the time.

Shame :(

Finally, the anti-spam word verification has taken me now this # of attempts: 8

Jamie said...

I ended up ordering one from a German website that has a online shop and was advertising in £ and which told me that it would have a QWERTY keyboard. It didn't but I've just bought some stickers.

I got three copies of your comment, so maybe it was only four times that you got the CAPTCHA wring, and three times you didn't realise that the comments are moderated :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jamie,

I was wondering whether it was passiontec that you bought your laptop from?

I was thinking about using them as they told me it was QWERTY keyboard...but if that isn't true I may avoid using them...

Jamie said...

Yes it was. I thought they'd made a genuine mistake, but I guess it's a deliberate scheme :(

Colin Guthrie said...

Bummer on the lack of UK release of this device. I placed an order for one of these several months ago but the vendor had a really hard time getting any info about UK release dates from Asus. Seems you managed to get that info and it is disappointing :(

All I want is a small-ish book with a UK keyboard, large resolution with intel gfx, upgradable ram+ssd... it's not that crazy a spec, and I'm annoyed that so few ultrabooks tick all these boxes :(

How is the german keyboard working out for you can you take a photo of your modifications so I can decide if I want to go down the same route? :)

Jamie said...

As a programmer the German symbol layout is particularly bad, but with the stickers it's ok. Unfortunately the sticker set I got was a US one so I don't have a £ and I had to cut up the @ and ' symbols. I think if I was going to do it again I wouldn't cut off the numbers, but I was thinking it would be good to have the illuminated keys.

Callum said...

Bummer that a UK keyboard model won't be available. Thanks for the blog post, I've been hunting on and off for some months. Oh, and well done for tracking down contact info for Asus, I failed there also!

I'm thinking to get an Italian one, the key layout is pretty close to the UK. How are the stickers working out for you? I always liked Das Keyboard, so I might black out all the keys just for kicks!

At least the German / Italian keyboards are the same physical layout as the UK, I'm in Thailand right now where the layout matches the US. I saw the UX31A in the flesh for the first time yesterday and was pretty quickly sold on the full hd display. How have you found it?

PS> Not sure if my comment posted previously, I was taken back to the same page with my comment still here, and I wasn't taken through the openid verification, so I'm assuming something went wrong.

Jamie said...

The stickers are fine, although unfortunately I was sent a US set (the irony!) and so I had to cut some of the stickers up.

The display is excellent, although I now have an unexpected annoyance in that my two displays have wildly different DPIs which is a pain when moving a browser between the two as text is almost unreadably small on the laptop.

tonii_redgrave said...

I just bought one from thailand (since I couldn't find any from uk store) during my vacation here. Unfortunately there is only i5 with lower res screen (not the full hd one). This is the best I can find here. Everything is great except that I still want to get the full hd one. If anyone interest you can contact me via

* I've also upgraded the main HDD from 500 to SSD 512 GB. Work great so far. The higher version (i7 with full hd + SSD) is not upgradable. This is a shame since Zenbook is the best laptop I ever want besides macbook air.

Jamie said...

I'm not sure what you mean by not upgradable. I have an i7 with full HD screen and I upgraded the RAM to 10gig and the HDD to a Samsung 830:

Jamie said...

Oh I see what you mean. It's the UX31A/E that has the built in SSD, not the higher spec UX32VD.

tonii_redgrave said...

hmm, I meant UX32VD. Not sure if I'm wrong though. I went back to the store to check the fan problem and ask them whether I can change my model to i7 one (128 SSD). They said ok, and open the machine for me to swap with my SSD. Then they found out that it has built-in SSD and not upgradable. So I have to get back to my i5 because that's the only option.

If not because it has 1366x768 screen I won't ever want to change it. Not I'm back in UK and this model is not released here! :(

Jamie said...

The specifications on the Asus website do say "500GB With 24 GB SSD or 256GB With 256 GB SSD", but I definitely have an i7 and HD screen and it came with a 500gb hard drive.

Unknown said...

Nice to see these posts still going, well done on getting your VD Jamie ;)

I also finally got mine, but off this well known company in US:

Very good as they take PayPal, pre-calculate duty and taxes and it arrived in less that a week. Paid about a grand in pounds, did the 10gig RAM upgrade and the 256 Gb Samsung SSD. Never looked back.

6 months since its original release, its still the best Ultrabook out there. Asus are daft not to sell these in more territories.

Tell me Jamie, did you upgrade to Windows 8? Does your screen have any light bleed at all?

Jamie said...

Hello again Paul :)

I use Linux day-to-day so don't really have the motivation to upgrade my Windows installation.

Yes, if I look for it (on a black screen) there is a lot of light bleed. It doesn't bother me though day-to-day.

Cheers, Jamie

Unknown said...

I had mine sent by MindFactory from Germany.

Use Chrome to translate the page.

Good service and cheaper than even the ux31 in the UK. Sent by DHL from Germany to the UK (1 day), which meant in the UK its handled by Parcel Force (not DHL bizarrely), who are a pain (an additional 1 week!!!!)! But arrived eventually.

Laptop is great, upgrade to 10gb of ram is easy as pie and got it running Skyrim perfectly on the lush HD screen... nice.

Comes with a euro plug and qwertz keyboard which takes a bit of getting used to (maybe stickers as suggested).

Unfortunately, i knocked my plug in its euro - uk adapter, and subsequently blew the motherboard. ASUS customer support was great actually and its now being repaired under warranty by LetMeRepair UK.

I contacted them directly to see if they could change the plug and keyboard while its being repaired and they say it shouldn't be a problem, at my personal cost for these parts though obviously. Worth considering if you have time and money to spare. If not for the keyboard, its definitely worth calling for an official UK plug, they're impossible to find on ebay/amazon.

Jamie said...

I didn't really have a problem with the plug, it's a standard figure of 8 socket. It's quite handy to have one of those leads with various plugs on the end for travelling. Having said that I might enquire about an official UK plug, so thanks.