We’re coming out with a general review of Intel’s ultrabook laptop form factor within the week. And in preparation for that, we are unboxing what is probably one of the sleekest Windows-based laptops around, the ASUS Zenbook UX32VD ultrabook.
But, more important, one of my pet peeves is how far too many consumer electronics companies just don’t get the importance and value of packaging. Packaging should excite, should delight, should make you feel like you’re opening a gift to yourself. Particularly if it’s a pretty expensive item. This is an art that Apple has mastered. And I get so frustrated when other tech makers still don’t get it.
Why is this important? Well, because packaging is part of your first impressions. And if the packaging doesn’t do the job of exciting you, then your reception of the product won’t be as enthusiastic as well.
First off, as seen above, it comes as a box within a box. That’s something that Apple doesn’t do (yes I’m clearly comparing ASUS to Apple now). Apple wants you to bring around its fashionable bleached white boxes, handles and all, so that you can be seen and envied by passersby, akin to shopping bags from high end boutiques. ASUS, on the other hand, chooses to tuck in their designer box inside a big boring brown box. There are no handles. You are expected to lug the boring brown box home.
Inside, you’ll get to the real deal package:
It’s a pretty standard black box. A dull black at that, so it doesn’t really excite the senses, the way Apple’s bleachy whiteys do. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen this black box before, on anything from low cost generic China-made MP3 players to electronic cigarettes. Perhaps a shinier, glossier, gift-wrappier box next time, ASUS?
Let’s go inside then.
The Zenbook comes with a free folio (deeper inside the box), in this case a brown one, along with a matching accessories pouch. And of course, there’s the Zenbook.
The Zenbook itself, admittedly, offers a promising sheen. More on that later.
Meanwhile, a peek underneath the Zenbook shows the big brown folio:
It’s not a bad folio, although the assumption here is that brown is the new white or black. Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah. The Microsoft Zune. It came in brown too and, heheh, look where it is (or isn’t) these days.
Okay. Lift the divider and take out the folio and you will find a box within the box:
Inside this box, you will find the manuals, installation discs, and even a cable tie:
So what else is there? Well, you get the charger, which is squarish and black, looking like a MacBook charger’s evil twin:
As for the pouch, open it up and you will find the plug-in add-ons, namely a VGA port and LAN cable port:
And that’s about it. Which leaves us with the Zenbook itself:
The ASUS Zenbook is actually quite a looker in its own right. Two-tone aluminum cladding, with a confident finish, nice heft, and excellent build quality. More on that at a later time. For now…
The packaging for the ASUS Zenbook UX32VD Ultrabook is certainly an improvement over previous ASUS packaging, reflecting the upscale nature of the Zenbook. But ASUS still has a long way to go. Remember, ASUS, you’re supposed to excite the customer with the package. As it is, perhaps because of the drabness of the color or the visuals, the packaging just looks blah. Next time, avoid black. But avoid white too because, you know, Apple’s gonna sue…
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