The Good The 13.3-inch Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN delivers overall superior performance from the eighth-generation Intel processor and a discrete Nvidia graphics chip. Almost 11 hours of battery life. All in a slim, lightweight and attractive package.
The Bad The glossy body cannot be kept clean from fingerprints, its USB-C port is not Thunderbolt 3 and cannot be used to charge a laptop, and its keyboard does not provide the best typing experience.
The Bottom Line With its impressive size and long battery life, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN is hard to beat if you want a laptop for school or business that is easy to travel.
Asus claims that the ZenBook 13 UX331UN is the world’s thinnest discrete graphics notebook.
If you are not sure why you need to worry, it is because it shows that we have finally come to the fact that you can get an ultraportable laptop with a long battery life without sacrificing graphical performance or spending a ton of money.
WIth laptops are half an inch thick (12.7 mm) like the ZenBook 13 ($ 1,965 on Amazon) , as a rule, you get integrated graphics that are more energy efficient, ball-based, and cost less than a single discrete graphics chip. The disadvantages of integrated graphics are also included in your system memory and simply cannot cope with more demanding graphics tasks or games. Although the Nvidia GeForce MX150 chip used here is entry-level, it has 2GB of native memory, and Nvidia says it can deliver up to four times faster performance with integrated graphics for photo and video editing and better gaming Indicators.
While you will not be mistaken in the ZenBook 13 for a full-fledged gaming laptop or graphics workstation, games run smoother and faster, and can make things faster with tasks you might not even consider on other ultraportables. Good for a system that sells for $ 999 in the US and £ 1,040 in the UK or Australia for $ 1599 with a high-end processor and twice as much storage.
Asus Zenbook 13 UX331 Series
|Price as reviewed||$999|
|Display size/resolution||13.3-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel touch display|
|CPU||1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U|
|Memory||8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||2GB Nvidia GeForce M150 Graphics|
|Storage||256GB M.2 SATA III SSD|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
All the nits pick up
All in all, this is a great little laptop where there are no real switches for me. However, there are a few things that are less ideal and I could see that the total is sufficient to stop the purchase. Or even just one or two – for example, the inability to add more system memory. You can open your laptop to increase storage, but you’re stuck with its 8GB of RAM, which doesn’t allow for much performance on the go.
The keyboard can also turn your mind around. Although it is spacious and has a three-level backlight, the keystroke feels short, so if you really hit hard when typing, you may find it inconvenient. Also, at the placement, something was slightly rejected for me that adjusted something. In the end, I nevertheless complied and found the experience satisfactory. I had to lower the sensitivity of the touch pad to prevent the cursor from moving accidentally with the palm of my hand, but otherwise it’s very good.
Other problems that I have are things that make the ZenBook 13 feel a little smaller. For example, the laptop is bright blue and looks really nice – while never touching it. The Asus special mirror coating used cannot be kept clean from fingerprints. Even the bottom, which is a matt metal finish, quickly picks up prints.
The 13.3-inch full HD HD touchscreen is bright at 300 bolts and has good color performance. It also responds responsibly and works with an additional Asus active handle – something the company uses as a selling point. You probably don’t want to consider this for this use, as the screen rotates only 135 degrees. This is good for a typical folding laptop, but uncomfortable to write or draw on the screen. In addition, the webcam above the display only has VGA resolution and leaves you looking soft and picturesque.
Another potential blow to this would be its USB-C port. Him USB 3.1 (gen 1), not Thunderbolt 3 , so data transfer speed and display support are limited and it does not support charging your laptop, so you will need to have a small 65W power source. However, it quickly recharges with this adapter and you get a decent set of other ports: two USB 3.0 (Type A), a combo headphone / microphone jack, a full 1.4 1.4 output, and a microSD card slot. However, you will need an Ethernet adapter.
The laptop speakers also sound good and they get loud enough to mute the cooling fans of the system when you play or do something else that requires it. But the speakers are in front and shoot down, so they are usually a little muted on any surface you work on. Again, these are all pretty minor things to store ZenBook from feeling like a real premium laptop and not necessarily having switches for everyone.
Gaming, but not gaming
As for the ultraportable combination of the eighth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 Zen Core 13 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of M.2 SSD and 2GB of Nvidia GeForce MX150 didn’t disappoint. Providing daily activities, such as streaming video and music while using Google Chrome with open tens and more tabs, did not slow down.
The laptop also handled basic high-speed 4K video editing and large raw images with relative ease. Playing this 4K video was also not a problem, and it wasn’t when I tried to do the same on a older laptop with a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor and integrated HD Graphics 620.
As I mentioned earlier, the entry-level MX150 graphics chip isn’t about to blow you away with its gaming performance: it’s not a gaming laptop. Frame rates will not be fast enough for a nice game in high-detail settings with new graphically demanding games. However, this is a clear improvement over the Intel UHD Graphic 620 integrated GPU.
The chip reaches a high frame rate on Bioshock Infinite with high detail and playback settings Overwatch at medium settings, the built-in display resolution of 1.920×1.080 pixels was fast and smooth, and even with Wi-Fi it was delayed. Both the laptop and the power source heat up under heavy load, so you want to make sure you give so much air.
Just as the performance for the laptop was impressive, so was its battery life. In our streaming video test, it lasted 10 hours, 45 minutes. In general, I was able to go through an 8-hour day with productivity and brightness settings up to 70 percent. The nice thing is that it again had a full battery in just over an hour.
Asus’ ZenBooks are its premium laptops, so you can expect nothing but greatness, and for the most part you get it with the ZenBook 13 UX331UN. It looks good (if you can get your fingerprints), it works well, and overall it’s just a good ultraportable for the money, which, although not cheap, costs very well. There are a few things that may be better, but if you want a travel-friendly laptop for school or business that has extra graphics power, put it in your short list.
|Asus Zenbook UX331U||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce M150 Graphics; 256GB SSD|
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