The ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A is a great laptop in theory. It offers excellent day-to-day performance (gaming excluded), a wonderful display and respectable battery life. It fixes some problems that have continued to plague PC laptops, such as their inability to provide a display on par with the best tablets.

Execution matters, however, and that’s where this laptop starts to go wrong. Backlight bleed was visible on both the review units I received and was unacceptable on the first. My second review unit also suffered from a warped chassis. This is not unheard of among thin laptops, and it was possible to bend the laptop back into shape. But ASUS needs to find a way to address this problem or, at the least, make sure they’re not shipping units with the issue.

Of course, it’s not all bad news. I’m not aware of a laptop on the market with a better display. The UX31 is also well rounded, providing excellent performance in all areas besides gaming, a good keyboard and a decent touchpad (there have been reports of touchpad problems, but that’s an issue I did not experience.)

Do your research. Think about the pros and cons. And buy from a retailer that won’t charge you a re-stocking fee. There’s a lot to like about this laptop, but you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you buy without giving some thought to its flaws.

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