What is the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U?
‘The thinnest laptop computer on the planet’ is how Asus describes the ZenBook 13 UX331U, a machine that’s simply 13.9mm thick at its chunkiest level. And whereas that boast isn’t fairly correct – Acer’s Swift 7 is a shade beneath 9mm, for one instance – there’s no denying that this super-slender machine is properly designed for all times on the highway.
Despite that slim end, the ZenBook nonetheless packs some first rate specs and a Full HD 13-inch show. So is it properly suited to cell professionals and anybody else who needs to remain productive on the transfer?
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U – Design and construct
If portability is excessive in your checklist of priorities, then the ZenBook 13 might be proper up your avenue. This 1.12kg laptop computer virtually reaches the realms of the Ultrabook with its super-light chassis, which can be pleasingly slender. It’s corresponding to the likes of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, even when the display screen bezels aren’t fairly as ridiculously skinny.
The shiny lid provides a really totally different end to the same old brushed metallic constructions, with a darkish color to assist disguise scuffs and greasy prints. With solely very slight stress, the lid does bend by fairly a worrying quantity. Thankfully, the show doesn’t warp consequently, which is a minimum of partly reassuring.
Open up the ZenBook and also you’re introduced with a wise matte chassis that feels much more sturdy. The edges are lined with a beneficiant variety of ports, contemplating the slim end. You get two USB Three.zero ports and a dinky Type-C USB Three.1 port as properly. In addition, there’s HDMI to connect with shows and projectors, plus a microSD card reader for transferring information.
Asus has additionally added a fingerprint sensor, situated on the palm relaxation to the proper of the touchpad. This is a helpful different to password safety, permitting you to swiftly unlock the laptop computer. It’s a superbly responsive scanner and I just like the shiny trim that makes it straightforward to find, even in low gentle.
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Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U – Keyboard and touchpad
That commendable design continues with the ZenBook’s glorious keyboard and touchpad. Asus hardly ever disappoints in relation to usability, and I instantly obtained to grips with the chiclet keyboard, reaching peak touch-typing speeds very quickly in any respect.
Travel distance takes a little bit of successful because of the slender construct, however this isn’t a deal-breaker. Those keys nonetheless depress into the chassis when struck, so you recognize for positive that you just’ve scored successful when your fingers are flying. Despite the compact 13-inch type issue, the keys are additionally properly spaced. A mis-hit was uncommon, even when utilizing the cursor keys (that are squashed right into a single row as regular).
Burners of that midnight oil can work all by way of the evening because the keyboard is absolutely backlit. You have three brightness settings to select from, or you may knock it off totally to save lots of your battery.
Laptop touchpads is usually a full-on supply of frustration and rage, however the UX331U’s pad is completely high-quality. Occasionally, a click on of the built-in buttons will ship your cursor drunkenly staggering throughout the display screen, which is a reasonably widespread grievance. However, the touchpad can be completely aware of your finger shuffles. Multi-touch gesturing works fantastically, and you’ll merely faucet the floor to carry out a left-click when wanted.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U – Screen
Another of this Zenbook’s strengths is the visuals. That compact 13.Three-inch show boasts Full HD picture copy so photographs, motion pictures and every part else will seem pleasingly crisp. You virtually must mush your face up in opposition to the panel to identify any particular person pixels.
Viewing angles are good and broad, so that you’ll haven’t any bother watching a film with one or two mates. No have to cram your heads collectively awkwardly. Visibility isn’t any downside on sunny days, both. On most brightness, the display screen provides out numerous energy, whereas the anti-glare coating additionally helps.
You may also anticipate moderately life like color copy. An spectacular 95% of the sRGB gamut is roofed by the ZenBook 13, though this dips to 73% for Adobe RGB customers.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U – Audio
My expectations are quite low in relation to laptop computer audio, particularly from super-compact machines comparable to this ZenBook. After spending loads of time consuming music and films with the UX331U, my opinion hasn’t modified.
The largest downside is that these twin audio system are housed on the underside of the system, so any output is muffled by the desk or your lap – or regardless of the system is resting on. However, even in case you elevate the laptop computer, the sound continues to be weak. In a quiet atmosphere, you’ll wrestle to make out conversations in flicks and TV exhibits. Headphones are a should.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U – Performance
Although our evaluation mannequin was the extra fundamental Core i5-8250U model, you too can seize the UX331U with an upgraded Core i7-8550U chipset. In both case, 8GB of RAM sits alongside to maintain issues shifting easily.
As a consequence, I had no bother multi-tasking on the transfer. That Core i5 platform dealt with workplace software program with out breaking a sweat, all whereas streaming music or video on the identical time.
Of course, since this laptop computer’s priorities concentrate on measurement and weight, you received’t discover a devoted graphics card shoved within that slender chassis. Rather, Asus has caught with Intel’s built-in graphics answer. That means solely older or much less demanding video games will play with a decent body fee, whereas intensive duties comparable to 4K video modifying are a wrestle.
At this worth level it’s completely potential to seek out laptops with devoted graphics. However, you’ll must sacrifice a few of that light-weight design.
For occasion, the Lenovo IdeaPad 520s boasts an Nvidia GTX GPU in some configurations, but it surely additionally weighs in at 1.7kg and is considerably chunkier. The solely approach round this downside is to bump up your funds for Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, for instance.
In the usual Trusted Reviews benchmarking exams, the ZenBook 13 scored the next.
PCMark eight: 3211
Geekbench single core: 4137
Geekbench multi-core: 14137
The 256GB SSD additionally performs as anticipated, with learn speeds of 529.4MB/sec and write speeds of 446.9MB/sec.
Asus Zenbook 13 UX331U – Battery life
Slender laptops generally undergo in relation to battery life. Manufacturers typically must make sacrifices on this space to maintain the system slim and light-weight, though the usage of extra energy-efficient elements normally helps.
The ZenBook 13 UX331U received’t make it by way of a full working day on a single cost, but it surely isn’t far off. I usually managed round 5 to 6 hours of combined use earlier than the battery was drained. That principally concerned working in-browser whereas streaming music, with occasional bouts of Netflix, picture modifying or app play thrown in.
In the usual Trusted Reviews battery check, this machine lasted a sniff beneath six hours. That entails working a continuous loop of video playback and net shopping till the laptop computer dies.
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Why purchase the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U?
If you’re after a succesful skilled laptop computer to tackle the highway on daily basis, the ZenBook 13 definitely ticks many of the mandatory containers. Not many laptops can boast being this skinny and light-weight, whereas nonetheless packing respectable specs.
That stated, the likes of Acer’s Swift 5 provides an analogous setup to this Asus machine for round £200 much less. So in case you’re prepared to buy round a bit, you’ll discover comparable experiences for a worth that received’t empty your pockets fairly so fast.
The Asus ZenBook 13 is impressively slim and light-weight, making it properly suited to cell professionals.