Is Harvey Norman Already Selling i5 And i7 UX32VD Zenbook Primes?

Ever since it was announced earlier this year, I've had my eye on ASUS's Zenbook Prime, specifically the UX32VD. Australian prices were offered for its sibling, the UX31A, but there's been no official word on the arrival of the discrete GPU-powered UX32VD or its expected cost. Now it seems that select Harvey Norman outlets have stock... for prices that are hard to believe.

Over at Whirlpool, there's currently mixed reports as to the availability of the new Zenbook Primes at the venerable Australian retailer. A member by the name of "sam'chilla" says he walked into a Harvey Norman and picked up the i7-equipped UX32VD, but failed to mention which one. Another user, "C2H6", contacted the HN in Chatswood, NSW and was given the following numbers:

UX31A 128GB SSD, 13.3" i5 = $1399 UX31A 256GB SSD, 13.3" i7 = $1756 UX32VD 500GB, i7, 13.3" = $1599 UX32VD, as above but i5 = $1299

Those prices for the UX32VDs are, to put it frankly, bonkers... for Harvey Norman at least. The US RRP for the i7-powered UX32VD is $US1299. Add in shipping and whatever customs tacks on, and you're looking at shelling out about $US150-$US200 on top of this. So to able to pick one up locally -- with all the warranty and consumer protection benefits that brings -- for $1600 (or $1300 is you don't mind a slower CPU) is surprising.

Sadly, my own investigations were mostly fruitless. I contacted the Harvey Norman at the QV in Melbourne, where I was told the notebooks weren't on the system. A call to the one in Richmond turned up empty for the UX32VD, however, I was told it did have the UX31A on the system, but I wasn't able to get pricing.

Let us know in the comments if you've had any lucky chasing one down!




    "for prices that are hard to believe" - gerry must be loving this!

    Logan, who pays Harvey-Norman prices? Walk into JB and if they have the model you want, I'll bet you can get 20% off just by saying you want to shop around a bit before you commit, which would bring the price of your UX23VD (VD? Really?) down to $1460, which is more than competitive with US price + postage + duty.

    Can you get one with discrete graphics and an SSD? That would be my preferred combo and I'd happily pay around $2000 (retail, $1600 after discount) for it. If I had to choose one or the other though, I reckon you get a lot more bang out of an SSD than you do out of a graphics card, unless all you want to do is play games.

      All for price matching, but it's about actually having the hardware in stock to do the match!

      Sadly, no, the VD (heh) models are magnetic storage only, which is part of the reason why they're cheaper... though I would have thought the discrete GPU would have made up for that.

      On the upside, they have more upgrade options than the A models, as they allow you to change the hard drive and memory, whereas the A doesn't. It's possible to get a 8GB stick (for 10GB total) and a 7mm SSD into the VD, or a 9.5mm drive with one cover removed and a bit of double-sided tape (the thick, spongy kind). With these upgrades, it's a pretty solid ultrabook -- especially if you have the SDD and/or RAM handy in another notebook.

        Thanks Logan. I just finished over at Whirlpool and got all that info. I like the idea of upgradability (which my spell checker seems to think is actually a word), which makes it tempting, but I think I will probably wait until they at least announce pricing and specs on the Taichi before I get too excited. After all, its not like my UX21 feels like it needs replacing or anything. Interestingly, some of the software I use is very finicky about graphics but it all works quite well with the HD3000. Performance is not stellar but the main culprit, Autodesk Combustion, worked as well on my Vaio with the HD3000 as it did with the 2Gb Radeon graphics (it was switchable). I used to be really fussy about graphics, I had several lappies with QuadroFX mobile graphics, but now I don't really worry too much about it. It is probably down to the drivers as much as anything but, whatever it is, the result is what counts and that's all good.

      And that is the reason Harvey Norman and JB, can't survive much longer, they are selling their products for less then they pay for them. Very soon there will be no shops for you to go look at products you will have to get them all off the internet, and im sure you know how hard warrenty is to deal with over the internet considering all technology brakes after a year or less. Thanks customers i will go work at the airport now :(

    although i like the idea of ultrabooks for conveniences and aesthetic appeal, i dont think its justifiable that consumers have to pay over $1000 for one especially is slower GPU and performance than a normal laptop with dedicated graphics.
    What's even more outrageous is that Aus Consumers have to pay more than other countries because of all these heavy taxes, customers, import costs etc etc.... ACCC needs to take authoritative action!

      I paid $50 more for my UX21 at JB Hi-Fi than the before tax price at Best Buy in the US, when Zenbooks had only been available for a fortnight. Hardly the end of the world. And I'll guarantee you that these laptops are much better made than any sub-$1000 laptop, which makes them well worth the asking price. A larger laptop can be made by slapping a few things in a case and throwing in a fan or two, these machines need to be much better designed and require bespoke components for things like keyboards. I'd also suggest that not too many sub-$1000 laptops have full-HD, IPS displays.

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