Reviews

ASUS Zenbook 13 UX333FN (2018) – Ultra thin Laptop – Review

Powerful laptop need not be bulky and they can be unassumingly thin, light and compact as the new Asus Zenbook 2018 series just released by Asus in India. I have the Asus Zenbook 13 UX333, but I have also played a bit with the 14 and 15-inch models. But let me talk to you about the 13 inch model in the post and lets review it to find out if this tiny laptop is powerful enough for your needs.

Design

The new Zenbook 2018 UX333 is as small as an A4 size paper and yet it has a 13-inch display. This small laptop packs in a powerful hardware spec. It comes with Intel 8th generation i5 or i7 processor, with 8 GB RAM and a max of 512 GB SSD for storage. It is less than 1.19kg in weight. It is just 169 mm thin and literally smaller than an A4 sheet. It has a sturdy metal finish on the top lid with iconic Asus concentric ring pattern. It looks stylish and yet a sturdy laptop. The hinges are firm and the lid have no flex. This laptop conforms to Military standards MIL-STD-810G has been tested to survive altitude, temperature and humidity, drop, shock and vibration testing. A small laptop such as this does not need a laptop backpack, as you can carry it on your handbag or man bag. This is the smallest laptop in the 13-inch segment with powerful hardware and a stylish design.

Connectivity

Unlike Apple products, the Asus Zenbook still retains a whole bunch of ports. On the right, it has a 3.5mm port, USB 2.0 port and microSD card, reader. On the left, there is the USB-C port, USB 3.0, micro HDMI and DC port. The speakers are at the bottom. But on opening the lid, the base raises to an angle revealing space for the speaker and the air vents. The sound output from the speaker is not so loud, but the Hardmon Kardon tuned speakers has a very rich sound signature. It has good frequency separation and feels rich and full. It does not have a fingerprint sensor, but there is a HD webcam and a couple of IR sensors above the display for face unlock. Face unlock is incredibly fast, accurate and reliable at most list conditions.

Keyboard / Number pad

The keys are well spaced out and have a good travel distance. It is backlit and the intensity can also be controlled. I found it very comfortable to type on the keyboard. The trackpad is huge and it is responsive as well. The trackpad is one of a kind. It can be converted to a number key but hitting the capacitive button on the corner. The trackpad can still be used as a trackpad when it is on the number keypad mode. This is a unique and very useful feature.

Display

The Zenbook UX333 has a full HD IPS LCD display. The bezels around the display are very thin and it gives a screen to body ration of 95% which is the highest I have seen in any laptop till date. The color representation on the display is accurate. It has good brightness levels and viewing angles. It is not a touch screen display. The display is well suited for office work and media consumption. It is one of the best displays I have seen on a 13-inch laptop.

Performance

ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333FN) comes with either Intel® Core™ i7-8565U or Core™ i5-8265U processor. It has 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and 512GB/256GB PCIe® 3.0 x2 SSD storage option. It also has a dedicated NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150, 2GB GDDR5 VRAM graphics card. The hardware is impressive on papers and it gives you a smooth performance in real life as well. I installed all of my usual software and a few heavy games on this laptop for testing. Apart from the Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and Illustrator, I tested Asphalt 9 and PUBG gaming on this laptop. The performance was smooth and maximum heat I recorded was 65 degree while rendering a 4k video. PUBG gameplay was not exactly smooth, but I was able to play. The fan noise was very low. The SSD read-write speed was impressive. WiFi was fast thanks to Asus WiFi Master technology for MU-MIMO-capable dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi for speeds of up to 1734Mbps. Overall, this is a reliable performer for anyone who needs a workhorse on the go.

Battery

This lightweight ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333FN) comes with a 50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery. The 65 Watt adapter is very compact and easy to carry. Once charged, this laptop lasted for between 9 to 10 hours of intensive usage. I found it very impressive and again it is one of the best battery performance I have seen on a 13-inch laptop.

Verdict

ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333FA) with 8th gen i5 processor and 256 GB SSD has been launched at Rs 71990 while the ASUS ZenBook 13 (UX333FN) with 8th gen i5 processor, MX150 GPU, and 512 GB SSD is priced at Rs 88990. It is available in two color variants: Royal blue and Icicle silver. The 2018 Zenbook 13 is an engineering marvel. It is a compactly designed powerful laptop with a unique convertible trackpad – number keypad. The nano edge display is a treat to watch and this portable laptop with ultra small form-factor is not just a style factor but also reliable on performance. Though I have seen nothing like it in the market, this is a better choice compared to 13-inch MacBook Air.

14 inch and 15-inch Variants

Zenbook 2018 is also available in 14 inches and 15-inch sizes. 14 inch UX433FA with 8th gen i5 processor and 256 GB SSD has been launched at Rs 72990 while the ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX433FN) with 8th gen i5 processor, MX150 GPU, and 512 GB SSD is priced at Rs 89990. The most powerful variant is the Zenbook 15 inch UX533FD with 16 GB RAM, 8th gen i7 processor, GTX 1050 and 1 TB SSD is priced at Rs 1,39,990.

It will be available on Flipkart and other Asus authorized retail channels.

Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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