Ideally, you want to have a small and portable laptop for home, school, and just for the reason that you can bring wherever you want to. But as a gamer, I understand that this is not generally simple if you want to be able to play intensive games like BF3, Crysis 2, or Skyrim.
On the other hand, people who only play things like Star Craft 2, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Left for Dead, or Star Wars the Old Republic can deal with using a smaller less powerful laptop.
This brings us to the comparison of an Ultrabook and a gaming laptop. (I chose two laptops from asus that each cost roughly the same amount of money, $1,500)
Asus G55VW-DS71 –
This laptop packs a 1920x1080p in a 15 inch LCD
12GB of DDR3 1600mhz (expandable up to 32GB)
750GB 7,200 RPM Hard Drive
Standard DVD-CD player
2GB Nvidia GTX 660m
Intel Quad Core i7-3610QM @ 2.3Ghz-3.3Ghz (in Turbo Mode), with 6mb L3 cache
Asus Zenbook Prime UX21A–
This Ultrabook also has a very nice 1920x1080p resolution in a 13 inch LCD
4GB DDR3 1600Mhz
256GB Solid State Drive
No CD-DVD player
Integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics
Intel Dual Core i7-3517U @ 1.9Ghz-3.0Ghz (in Turbo Mode), with 4mb L3 cache
HDD– The Zenbook Prime has a Solid State Drive which is far more faster than the g55’s 7,200 rpm hard drive. The Zenbook is much lighter, smaller, extremely thin, and incredibly portable, while the G55 is much bigger, thicker, heavier, and bulky. But a trade off for speed leaves a much larger hard drive capacity for the G55. The decision is whether you want to have speed when opening files, programs, or having it turn on fast or having a three times larger capacity.
CPU– The G55 contains an i7 quad core from Intel that can reach 3.3 Ghz, while the Zenbook has a Dual core Intel i7 that can reach 3.0Ghz. Its clear who wins in this category, but not to say that the Zenbook’s CPU is slow. It is actually very powerful considering the Zenbook only uses up to 35 watts. Both of the CPU’s are Ivy Bridge 3rd Gen i-processors.
CD-DVD– The G55 comes with a standard disk reader, but you can always change it out and swap for a Blue Ray drive at any time. The Zenbook requires an external disk reader. In this case you are sacrificing not having a disk reader for having a smaller size, and weight.
Resolution/Screen– Both the G55 and Zenbook Prime have a 1920x1080p LCD screen. This resolution is often known as Full HD, and is very sizable. The Zenbook has a 13 inch screen, while the G55 has a 15 inch screen. The two inches does not really make or break either laptop, its just a preference of small or big.
RAM– The clear winner is the G55 with its 12GB of RAM. The g55 is also expandable to having 32GB, while the Zenbook can only have 4GB. The Zenbook’s RAM is also built into the motherboard, so you cannot add or take away any RAM.
Graphics– The G55 contains Nvidia’s new Kepler series 660m. This card is much more powerful than the Zenbook’s integrated HD 4000 graphics. Both of these GPU’s run Direct X 11, as opposed to intels previously Direct X 10 Integrated graphics. To see an in depth look at both the graphics performance, please check these links
HD 4000 – http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000.69168.0.html
660m – http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-660M.71859.0.html
Size– From the pictures above, it is obvious on which one is smaller and more portable. The Zenbook is also 2.5lbs while the g55 weighs about 9lbs.
Gaming– The G55 crushes the Zenbook with it superior RAM, CPU, and GPU. The G55 can play any game out on the market to date. But this doesnt mean that the Zenbook can’t play any games. The Zenbook is fully capable of playing games as well. The only things it cant play (cant play well* i should say, because it technically can play anything at a lower resolution) are brand new games that utilize the latest graphical technology. Older games such as World of Warcraft, Left for Dead, or Star Craft 2 are able to be played better than you may think on the Zenbook.
School– Because the Zenbook uses a much lower wattage than the G55, the Zenbook will have a much higher battery life. The Zenbook is also very small and can easily fit into any backpack, while the G55 will either not fit, or barely fit. Both also have back-lit keys for lectures using power points in the dark. Carrying a 9lb laptop combined with the weight of books or other things may be cumbersome for some people. The Zenbook is very light and small, so it wont be very cumbersome at all.
You Decide!– At the end of the day, it is all up to you if you want to have a gaming laptop or Ultrabook. As for me personally, i chose to get a G53 (the older brother of the G55). I chose it because it was a desktop replacement. Looking back at my decision i somewhat wish i bought an Ultrabook simply because my G53 is very heavy and big. I find it cumbersome at school because it just barely fits into my back pack, and carrying a backpack, a big binder, and a 17-inch case (because of its size) is tiring. But i love my laptop none the less. If you are willing to bear the weight and size of the G55, it is well worth it. But if you travel a lot, the Zenbook is definitely for you.