Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA assessment: All you want
“You might spend extra on one other laptop computer, however Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA is all you want.”
Enticing but distinct design
Glorious 1080p display screen
Sturdy all-round efficiency
Lengthy battery life
Bizarre keyboard structure
Dell’s XPS 13 has hogged our prime spot amongst laptops for the previous few years, however a powerful contender has at all times lingered in its shadow. The Asus ZenBook 13 300-series. Although not fairly as good because the XPS 13, the ZenBook 13 constantly delivers nice efficiency and sensible portability. Its workmanlike look was its solely weak point.
The brand new Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 immediately addresses that sore spot. It’s slimmer, extra compact, and sports activities the beautiful blue-and-gold look Asus debuted on earlier, dearer laptops just like the ZenBook three.
Even the brand new machine’s internals are spectacular. You’ll discover a Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB strong state drive, all for simply $850. Is that this the laptop computer that may lastly dethrone Dell’s XPS 13?
As talked about, the ZenBook 13 UX333 has a novel blue-and-gold colorway that first arrived on the Asus ZenBook three, a top-tier laptop computer line Asus debuted in 2017. It completely stands out from the gang, however it’s not so garish that you simply’ll be shy about whipping it out at a gathering. A darker, Slate Grey mannequin is obtainable, however the extra frequent “Royal Blue” mannequin is our favourite.
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In any other case, this ZenBook 13 is the very image of a contemporary laptop computer. It’s slim at zero.55 inches thick, and lightweight at about 2.7 kilos. The show has skinny bezels, one thing earlier fashions notably lacked, and the chassis is constructed from sturdy steel that feels luxurious in-hand. We additionally just like the “concentric circle” etching throughout the lid. It’s delicate, however it provides texture to what would in any other case be a slab of flat, matte steel.
The Asus ZenBook 13 completely stands out from the gang, however it’s not garish.
Does it beat the XPS 13? Not fairly. Dell’s laptop computer seems to be and feels nicer, principally because of the soft-touch, carbon-fiber weave seems to be of the inside. Nonetheless, the brand new ZenBook 13 comes a lot nearer than earlier fashions, and even defeats reasonably priced favorites just like the Huawei MateBook X.
Connectivity’s not dangerous, both. You’ll obtain two USB-A ports, one 2.zero and one three.1, together with one USB-C three.1. Video is offered by HDMI and audio assist is obtainable by a combo headphone/microphone jack. It’s not quite a lot of choices, however it’s completely satisfactory for a 13-inch laptop computer. Wi-fi assist consists of 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.zero.
Thunderbolt three is the one connectivity choice that’s notably absent. That’s excusable given the Zenbook 13’s modest value. Even costly laptops sometimes neglect it, and funds fashions not often embody it.
A superb keyboard that makes bizarre selections
Let’s begin with the excellent news. Asus’ ZenBook 13 UX333FA doesn’t sacrifice keyboard journey to realize its skinny profile. The keyboard feels nice, simply on par with the Dell XPS 13. Apple’s MacBook Air seems like a block of wooden by comparability.
That’s a great first impression, however there’s an issue. Asus made the unusual determination to cram (nearly) full-sized arrow keys into the decrease proper nook. Meaning the right-side Shift and Management keys should be smaller. That’s annoying.
Dan Baker/Digital Tendencies
It will get weirder. The facility button is on the keyboard, situated proper beside the Delete key and above Backspace. We spent our first three hours placing the ZenBook 13 UX333FA to sleep, cursing, and turning it again on. Ultimately we realized the structure and stopped making that error, however it stays an odd determination that might trigger hassle if you happen to usually use different computer systems with a extra, uh, typical structure.
The touchpad works properly sufficient, however it’s cramped. Dell’s XPS 13, Apple’s MacBook Air, Huawei’s MateBook X, Razer Blade Stealth, and plenty of different opponents present room. The ZenBook, although, has a celebration trick. Touching the higher proper nook lights up the digital numpad, providing you with an opportunity to atone for your accounting. It really works for breezing by way of numbers, however we activated it accidentally a number of occasions, so we’re undecided it’s definitely worth the hassle.
This display screen is superb
Laptop computer shows have come a great distance over the previous few years, however we weren’t anticipating the Asus ZenBook 13’s display screen. Simply, uh. Wow.
Distinction ratio is a key quantity. It got here in at 1350:1, which is great for a laptop computer and beats every little thing we’ve seen for the reason that Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA. That features the brand new Apple MacBook Air, the Lenovo Yoga C930, the Floor Professional 6, and even the ThinkPad X1 Excessive with 4K show. Title no matter you’d like. Asus’ ZenBook 13 UX333FA, bought at $850, beats it.
That’s not all. The laptop computer additionally delivers a median shade error of simply 1.68. A decrease quantity is healthier right here. The ZenBook 13 UX333FA isn’t best-in-class– the MacBook Air hits a median error of zero.98, for instance – however it’s definitely fairly good. You additionally get 77 p.c of the Adobe RGB shade gamut which, as soon as once more, is shoulder-to-shoulder with prime performers just like the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13.
The display screen seems to be nice. It provides deep, inky shadows with vibrant colours.
All this implies one factor; the display screen seems to be nice. It provides deep, inky shadows with vibrant colours. And whereas 1080p decision doesn’t sound like a lot in 2018, it stays your best option for a 13-inch laptop computer. It’s sharp sufficient to look good and doesn’t have the battery life penalty related to 4K.
There’s one weak spot. Brightness. The utmost luminance of 265 nits is decrease than all its opponents, but the display screen is shiny. Glare might be a difficulty, and also you’ll must shift the display screen to fight it. We noticed the identical flaw in earlier funds Zenbook fashions, however most had anti-glare coatings that made their meager brightness much less noticeable.
It’s quick, as you’d count on
Asus’ has packed the most recent Intel within the ZenBook 13 UX333FA. Intel’s Core i5-8265U is the star of the present. A quad-core chip with a most clock velocity of three.9GHz, it’s spectacular on paper and delivers predictably sturdy ends in assessments.
Let’s see. Geekbench four’s single-core rating is available in at four,129, whereas the multi-core rating is 13,903. These numbers aren’t a lot completely different from the sooner Core i5-8250U, however they’re about as sturdy as you’ll discover in a 13-inch laptop computer. We’re not going to complain.
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Handbrake is barely extra favorable. This take a look at, which makes use of Handbrake software program to transcode a 4K trailer from h.264 to h.265, sees the ZenBook 13 UX333FA finishing the duty in 4 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s 10 seconds faster than the XPS 13 with a Core i5-8250U, and 30 seconds faster than the Acer Aspire 5. It’s a small distinction, however it’s there.
There’s extra excellent news from the laborious drive. It’s a strong state NVMe-based drive that supplied learn speeds of 1,094 megabytes per second and write speeds of 963 MB/s in a sequential take a look at. It units no data, however it’s good total, and close to the highest of what we’d count on in an reasonably priced value vary. Most laptops within the $800 value vary, together with the earlier Zenbook 13 UX331, have a SATA-based drive. Machines so outfitted wrestle to exceed learn or write speeds above 500 MB/s.
However no, it may’t sport
The brand new Intel processor doesn’t do something to vary graphics efficiency, nonetheless. It’s nonetheless Intel HUD 620 graphics, and which means efficiency that’s solely satisfactory for older 3D titles and, even then, at decrease settings.
If something, the Asus ZenBook 13 is a bit slower than a typical system with UHD 620 graphics. Not that it issues. Even the Razer Blade Stealth hasn’t but managed to suit actual gaming energy into a transportable 13-inch laptop computer.
However sure, it’ll final all day
A 50 watt-hour battery ships within the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA. That’s not a large battery, but not small, and this laptop computer is properly configured to make the most of it. You is likely to be shocked by how lengthy you’ll be able to spend away from a charger.
Even the Basemark benchmark, probably the most demanding battery life loop we run, lasted practically 5 hours on the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA. A lighter load, reminiscent of watching a 1080p video, will prolong life simply past 13 hours. That’s a powerful end result, beating the Apple MacBook Air and even the Dell XPS 13, although the latter comes shut.
Our time with the laptop computer left us as impressed because the numbers recommend. We despatched the ZenBook 13 off on a number of day-long journeys, and it lasted by way of every with out working out of battery by the top of the day. Even frequent fliers ought to discover this laptop computer an exquisite journey companion.
The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA is a superb laptop computer. Its $850 price ticket is barely greater than earlier fashions, and that’s a disgrace, however it buys you a system with many strengths and few weaknesses. That is all of the laptop computer most individuals want.
Is there a greater various?
Dell’s XPS 13 is a greater laptop computer, however it’s additionally significantly dearer for related . Not everybody will assume its enhancements, like a greater keyboard structure and superior design, are definitely worth the value.
Most different options don’t stack up. The Acer Aspire 5 and Lenovo Yoga 730 come up quick in a number of areas. Apple’s MacBook Air additionally falls quick, significantly in processor efficiency – but it’s dearer.
How lengthy will it final?
This laptop computer ought to simply final 5 years. It has the most recent Intel cellular , a strong chassis, a quick laborious drive, and an incredible show. There’s even a variety of connectivity. Asus solely warranties the laptop computer for one 12 months, however that’s par for the course amongst laptops. You’ll obtain the identical guarantee even if you happen to spend 1000’s extra.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA stays the gold customary amongst reasonably priced laptops. In order for you an incredible laptop computer, and also you don’t wish to spend 1000’s, that is your alternative.