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From all the images of the Zenbooks that I've seen, it would appear closing the lid would obstruct most or all airflow, potentially overheating the machines.

Is this the case? Can they be used with closed lids to allow external monitor use (like a desktop computer)?

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I’m confused. (1) wouldn’t closing the lid make it go into standby? (2) does it really vent the hot air up instead of to the side? It doesn’t look like it. o.O –  Synetech May 31 '12 at 0:55
    
Many computers will not go to standby if an external monitor, keyboard and mouse are hooked up. Even if it does, I assume standby could be disabled. –  oKtosiTe Jun 1 '12 at 8:04
    
To me, it looks like the air is vented up against the screen, but perhaps there are other openings that I missed. I don't own one of these (yet). –  oKtosiTe Jun 1 '12 at 8:06
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Lack of airflow may cause your computer to run at higher temperature.

Even if this does not exceed the laptop's specifications, you could still be shortening your battery life.

In addition, as far as I can see, the battery on this model is not easily replaceable and you’ll probably void your warranty by doing so.

This is taken from the article How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries :

image

As the laptop will most probably be connected to the mains while its lid is closed, battery charge will probably remain at 100%, where temperature highs have maximum effect.

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Based on those figures, I'm not surprised my girlfriend's 2009 MacBook Pro can barely last an hour on light load. Thanks for the reference. –  oKtosiTe May 25 '12 at 21:33
    
You may be interested in this other answer of mine. –  harrymc May 26 '12 at 20:35
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I own an Asus UL30A which I believe is an older model of zen UX{21,31}. For what it's worth I often leave my computer with the lid closed at night... on my bed. I haven't experienced any problems yet. It gets a little warm, perhaps up to 65 degrees according to sensors(1), normally 60 or less I think.

Mind you, I have not tried to let it compile the linux kernel or similar CPU intensive jobs. I think it'll be fine, but YMMV.

Here's the specs for the UL30A (sorry, not the best source): http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/asus-ul30a.aspx

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Thanks. Although it does look quite similar, I'm still hoping to hear from an owner of an UX{21,31} or get a more definitive answer. –  oKtosiTe May 24 '12 at 10:51
    
Ok I understand. Thanks for the feedback and good luck :-) –  ReyCharles May 24 '12 at 10:55
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Yes, you can use it with a closed lid with no problems; I use it like this every day. I don't know what type of work you do, but if you're stressing the hardware a lot it's good to lift up the tail of the Zenbook a little bit (about 1 inch/2cm) to create space for airflow. Its not needed, but I think that can extend life of my machine. :)

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Some of the pictures leave room for doubt about some space being left open between the (closed) hinge for at least some airflow. Could you comment on that? Can any air pass through with the lid closed? –  oKtosiTe May 25 '12 at 21:31
    
I have not this notebook but I never seem any issue with close my LID so if you do not want to close it completely just close it enough to turn off the monitor(LCD). –  avirk May 29 '12 at 1:34
    
No,if your lid is closed,no air can flow under the lid. Todays notebook have good cooling systems, its not big deal close lid and wokr on it like on desktop. –  miky May 30 '12 at 15:43
    
Actually I now own one of these, and can report that airflow is not a big issue with the lid closed. The hot air will simply vent out from beneath the LCD hinge instead of above it. –  oKtosiTe Sep 1 '12 at 11:37
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