Most laptop manufacturers these days are trying hard to put emphasis on a portable machine that’s also light. Asus is no different. Its latest ZenBook 13 claims to be one of the lightest Windows laptops around, standing just 13.9mm tall and weighing 1.12kg. The laptop also comes with the latest 8th generation Intel Core processor, 8GB RAM, a USB-C, two USB 3.0 ports, a FHD screen and includes extra functions such as a fingerprint sensor. The keyboard is great and battery life impresses. The cheapest model comes in at Rs 66,990, which is a steal for a ridiculously thin and light laptop. The only thing that would put me off is the lack of a touchscreen. Here is our detailed review of Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U Specifications: 13.3-inch FHD display | 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U |8GB DDR3 SDRAM| 256GB SATA3 SSD|USB 3.0 ports (2)| USB-C port| 1 HDMI port| microSD| Windows 10|3 Cells 50 Whrs Polymer Battery|Fingerprint sensor|Harman/Kardon speakers
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U price in India: Rs 66,990 onwards
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U review: Design, display
The ZenBook 13 is a handsome machine. Our review unit, with its rose gold interior and exterior, was attractive. Though keep in mind that the laptop’s lid is made out of plastic while the main chassis is metal, which is kind of weird. But does it makes a huge difference? Not really.
As with every Asus laptop, the company has made sure that the ZenBook 13 has enough connectivity options. On the right side is the full-sized USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, and microSD card slot. And on the left you will notice another full-sized USB 3.0 port, a USB-C port, a single HDMI port, and a proprietary power supply connector. Wireless connections of course include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Asus has also incorporated a fingerprint scanner, located on the palm rest to the right of the touchpad. It is a handy feature, allowing users to unlock the laptop in a more secure manner. I found it to be highly responsive.
The 13.3-inch Full HD screen (1920 x 1080 resolution) has slim bezels around it. I found the screen to be sharp and bright. Watching YouTube videos or catching up a movie on Netflix is an absolute pleasure. The ZenBook 13 doesn’t support a touch screen though. Sure, touch isn’t necessary on a laptop, but it would have been a nice feature nonetheless.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U review: Keyboard, trackpad
The keyboard and trackpad are some of the strengths of Asus ZenBook 13. The keys are large and well-spaced, and it didn’t take me much time to get used to the chiclet keyboard. In fact, I wrote this review on the ZenBook 13 itself. And yes, the keyboard is fully backlit which shouldn’t be a surprise. The trackpad is wide, and has a smooth and responsive feel to it.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U review: Performance, battery
I tested the base model, one with Windows 10 Home, Core i5-825 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SATA3 SSD. In my week long testing, I used the ZenBook 13 to accomplish basic tasks which I usually do on a laptop such as browsing, typing, watching Netflix, and streaming music. The ZenBook 13 doesn’t disappoint on those parameters, at least. This is a powerful laptop, but you shouldn’t buy the ZenBook 13 to play games. That’s because it comes with Intel UHD 620 graphics instead of a dedicated Nvidia GPU. If your sole purpose to buy the ZenBook 13 is to play heavy duty games, probably you should check out Asus’ ROG-branded laptops.
Then there’s the battery life. This should last at least eight hours under ideal conditions, but don’t expect it to last a full day on a single charge. In my testing, the battery managed to last between six and seven hours under heavy use before it was drained.
Sound output is passable and certainly not the best in class. The dual speakers sit on the left and right edges of the base, unfortunately they do not deliver reasonable stereo effects. A headphone is recommended.
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U review: Conclusion
After using the ZenBook 13, I am sure of one thing: this laptop is an ideal choice for those who have a lot to write, like myself, and are constantly on the move. At 13.9mm thick and weighing at 1.12kg, the ZenBook 13 is also fairly powerful — which makes it a dependable machine at the end of the day. For me, the ZenBook 13 strikes a balance between the size and performance and that really matters in this post-PC era. Asus ZenBook 13 is not perfect (no laptop is), but it is still impressive for being so slim and light, while also packing enough power.