Software, Multimedia Performance and Experience
Then there is the "Instant On" switch in the top right of the screen shot above. This setting is a bit nebulous to us because it actually didn't affect wake from sleep performance much, if at all. Though the UX21 doesn't support Intel's Rapid Boot technology, Asus did bake some impressive sleep state and recovery technology of their own into the machine. Asus specifies a 2 second wake from sleep mode, which is pretty impressive to observe in action. Not to mention, the machine will cold boot in about 12 - 15 seconds, thanks to its speedy SSD. But we digress; if you toggle that Instant On switch, you'll note the Standby time on the gauge widget will increase up to three fold in some cases. We witnessed a 3 day standby time going to 8+ days when we enabled the instant on setting. This setting essentially allows a deeper sleep state for the system when it's enabled, and again, we noticed no appreciable change in wake from sleep time. Regardless, all told, the bonus standby time is a very nice feature indeed.
1080p H.264 HD Video Playback - Marvel Avengers Trailer - CPU Utilization < 5%
Finally, before we fired up our test suites, we kicked back with a little HD video and the UX21 handled it without breaking a sweat. Here we're showing Windows Task Manager Performance Monitor running in the foreground, while a 1080p H.264 QuickTime trailer for the awesome-looking upcoming Marvel Avengers movie plays in the background. You can also see that we have the Intel CPU clock speed widget fired up as well. Turbo Boost would occasionally scale the dual-core Core i7 up to 2.6GHz (max is 2.9GHz), but CPU utilization never peaked over ~10% and usually oscillated between 2 - 5%.