We’ve heard the stories, but we’ve yet to appreciate it in the flesh until now. That’s right, Pocket-lint was present and correct at the first UK showing of the Asus UX31, the company’s new Ultrabook. 

Shown at an Intel Tweet Up in London to an unsuspecting audience, the new flagship Asus device and MacBook Air destroyer, according to some, settled in for a quiet 20 minutes with Pocket-lint. This allowed us to enjoy the spun aluminium finished laptop in all its glory away from the marauding tech bloggers (aka the lunch bunch) usually found at such events. All the better for it, according to those who attended. 

asus ux31 ultrabook pictures and hands on image 14

Clientele aside (we love you really), the new UX31 is everything that a PC loving MacBook Air fan would want: a thin design, instant on Windows 7 capabilities, and a week to 10-day standby on the battery life - yes this really is a Windows PC. 

If that wasn’t enough to excite, then the super-thin (to coin an American phrase) metal casing top and bottom probably will. 

Basically, if you’ve been tempted by the Cupertino clan, this will quell those thoughts better than the Dell Adamo ever did. High praise indeed. 

Praise aside, the Asus Ultrabook will come in two models: an 11.6-inch version and a 13.3-inch version. While that’s vastly different to the "several models" the rumours had us believe, we’ve gone straight to the source on this one. 

Specs are still very light on the ground, but based on the ports we've snapped you'll be getting an SD card reader, two USB sockets, DisplayPort and a microHDMI socket.

In the flesh the design is incredibly crisp and one of the best looking Asus models we've seen to date, taking the design ethos first seen in the Asus NX90 launched in 2010 and making it thinner, as well as more approachable to the average consumer.  

As for that trackpad, it's incredibly responsive, with the chiclet keyboard comfortable to use. 

Inside and the new laptop will come with the second generation of the Intel Core i7 processor, aSATA 3 SSD (size still to be confirmed) and a bevy of specs to get you "excited", according to the Asus exec we spoke to. 

Our quick play with the new Ultrabook proved fast and responsive, although to be fair we weren't able to fully test or push it to its limits. 

asus ux31 ultrabook pictures and hands on image 10

Due out before Christmas, Asus has yet to set a date or a price for the new laptop, however the company has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the luxury laptop will come with a leather case to keep your new prize possession safe (as pictured). 

As for the purple bezel in the pictures? That will be toned down, we’ve been told, as our shots are of an engineering sample. According to our man at Asus, the final version will look a lot better. 

Asus UX series laptop has MacBook Air in it's sights

What do you think of the new model? Let us know in the comments below.