UX32A-R3001V w/ Nadia

  7 years ago
  Asus (Ultrabook)
  Mint (older version)
  Works perfectly
What works:

The Zenbook came with Linux Mint preinstalled together with Windows 7, thus it wasn’t a surprise at all that almost everything worked out of the box:
— wired networking with Asus’ external (and included) USB to 100(0)Base T(X) adapter as well as wireless networking by Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6235 combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip (although the original Bluetooth applet has been replaced by Blueman);
— switching on/off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the keyboard with Fn+F2;
— pairing up on Bluetooth (via Blueman) as well as on Wi-Fi (directly in nemo) with a BlackBerry PlayBook, the proprietary Desktop Software of which being the sole “raison d’être” of Windows 7 (the PlayBook connects for backup or recovery via USB cable only to OS X or Windows);
— printing on a Samsung ML-1665 laser printer via one of the three USB 3.0 interfaces, with all features of the printer available and of course no installation of an external driver which is still necessary in Windows 7;
— sound and the built-in micro (there is no audio-in jack) and camera with their corresponding Fn keys, although Fn+V had to be linked to video capture manually, → http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1343;
— adjusting the brightness of the keyboard back light with Fn+F3/F4;
— suspend mode from the keyboard with Fn+F1.

What doesn't work:

Although the brightness of the display is adjustable in the brightness panel applet, its control keys Fn+F5 and Fn+F6 are not recognized (as of kernel 3.5.0-27 and BIOS v212). Key Fn+A of the automatic ambient light control isn’t recognized either.

Kernel mode hibernation does not return from sleep state, so user space hibernation has to be used instead, → http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1346.

What was done to make it work:

The brightness keys can be emulated by software, → http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1349.

Additional notes:

The touchpad has been largely criticized in reviews for its bad usability, although its problems were exclusively due to the very poor quality of Asus’ original Windows drivers. And as the controllability of the synaptics driver in Linux is enormous (→ http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1361), this touchpad is actually much better than the same device on a Mac Pro or Air.

There was some optimization to be done for the soldered-in 32 GB SSD, → http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1366.

Although powertop reports some room for optimization of the power consumption in battery mode too, this little Zenbook works 4½ to 5 hours on battery.

It is just amazing, how much smoother than Windows Mint works on a modern, though relatively modest PC hardware (as it should have been long ago, compared to Mac :-)…