Hello, Folks! Today I’m going to take a look at the Asus Zenbook 13 UX333 Review. It wasn’t long ago that Asus’s decision to enter the premium ultrabook market within the Zenbook series. The Zenbook 13, 14 and 15 model has now been upgraded with the latest 8th Gen Intel Chipsets. What’s more is that Asus has managed to shrink down the bezels quite a lot. I have a Zenbook 13, and it’s so damn good. If you are wondering if the device is worth your money stay here for my full review.
In a bezel-less world, this laptop is going to be ranked pretty high in fact, the Asus Zenbook 13 manages a screen to body ratio of a whopping 95% which is just insane, to put this into comparison the 2018’s Dell XPS 13 has a screen to body ratio is only 80.7%.
As you will see there is no chin visible here of the Zenbook 13. Now, that’s not because it does not exist but because Asus has very cleverly hidden it, all thanks to the hinge. It hides the chin of the laptop making the display seem completely bezel-less.
What’s more is that the hinge also serves for better cooling and uplifts the keyboard for a better typing angle and the laptop is so damn small too. It measures up to almost a single A4 size paper and weight just about 1.09kg.
Coming back to the display, the Zenbook 13 offers a stunning display with its 100% sRGB value and a 178-degree field of view, it’s one of the best displays I’ve used on a laptop. The resolution of the laptop is stuck to just full HD but for a 13-inch laptop I think it’s good and in fact, it also offers a better battery backup.
In a connected world your input and output options might have quite a lot thankfully the Zenbook 13 has them in abundance. You get a DC power port on the left and HDMI Port, A USB Type-A port and a USB Type-C port. Moving on to the right side, you have a microSD card slot, another USB Type-A port and the beloved 3.5mm audio jack.
The only issue here that there is no Thunderbolt 3 support here and that there is this dedicated charger for the laptop. I mean for something as portable as the Zenbook 13 the ability to charge it with a USB Type-C would have been great. I honestly, wish that Asus would have added USB power delivery to this laptop.
Keyboard & Touchpad
Moving on to the Keyboard, little-known fact I primarily work as a writer for the ExtraordinaryMart team and well that makes the keyboard one of the most crucial aspects of a laptop for me. Making the switch to the Zenbook 13 I was a little bit sceptical because you know, the keyboard is a little cramped up for the 13-inch chassis. Surprisingly, the keyboard holds up quite well. The keyboard layout is nearly perfect.
I’m currently averaging about 68 words per minute which are pretty great that being said one thing I despise about the keyboard is the right shift key. It’s too darn small, and I found it hampering my typing experience almost all the time. That is one thing that my hands were just not able to adapt to.
Onto the Touchpad, honestly I’ve been using the Zenbook series since the time of its launch, and well the touchpad has always been a hit and miss for me. The touchpad on the Zenbook 13 is one of the best ones I’ve used in recent times. With support for windows precision drivers, all the gestures work just the way you would expect and the palm rejection too which is what makes the experience all the better. But the key point here is the touchpad also doubles up as the Numpad.
Asus has included a toggle in the top right corner that allows you to illuminate the touchpad on top. It works well and despite being turned on the system intelligently managed to distinguish between gestures and Numpad tabs. However, there’s more to it that I want to say you see the illuminated Numpad does not offer any haptic or mechanical feedback to the user. As such myself using the number up top more often than using the Numpad.
Now, one thing that’s very common with bezel-less laptops is the way that they place the webcam. On the Dell XPS 13, the webcam is right at the bottom while the Huawei Matebook X Pro hides it in the keyboard.
Now, while that’s a perfect implementation the only issues with it is that the webcam points right up your nose thankfully the Asus has managed to overcome that trouble as well. The webcam is right at the top where it should be, and it is a 3D IR camera which supports for Windows Hello.
As such unlocking, the laptop interface is so much easier. The only downside is that the camera quality in itself kind of sucks.
The speakers on this laptop are located at the bottom. Now Asus claims that it helps the audio bounce off the surface and get further enhanced but you know I don’t agree with that I mean it does sound slightly louder than other laptops with a bottom firing speaker, but then again this seems so mediocre. In comparison, the Dell XPS 13 sounds much louder which has dual firing speaker on either side. I’m not saying that the Zenbook 13 sounds terrible or low, but it’s clear that Asus has made some compromises in the audio department.
The Zenbook 13 comes in two variants of the Intel i5 and the i7 processor based on the new of Whiskey Lake Architecture. As for RAM, you get 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and for storage, there’s a PCI express slot that houses either 256GB or 512GB stick depending on your preferred configuration. There’s also a higher end Nvidia’s MX 150 graphics onboard.
How well does it all work together?
Well in our testing pretty damn good. In our benchmarks we found the CPU to be reasonably powerful for our day-to-day activities. As for the GPU, do Note that this is not a gaming card that being said you can play esports titles such as CS Go and Rocket League at medium settings capping out a 60fps.
Being an aluminium body, I was kind of dubious about the thermals on this thing. In my testing, I found that the fans were usually on silent on idle or normal usage. However, it is during Photoshop or while running benchmarks that this thing gets hot. In fact, after an hour of benchmarking the device reached a peak of 89 degree which is indeed alarming.
You are opening the laptop reasonably comfortable. You unscrew the screws with two of them hidden underneath the rubber feet. Popping the lid off the back, you will see that the laptop comes with a single heat pipe that takes the heat falls from the CPU and then towards the GPU and finally blowing it to the only fan. Also, the RAM is soldered on so you can’t upgrade that. The internal storage, on the other hand, is upgradable, but with the speeds, it offers you don’t need to.
The Asus claims that the Zenbook 13 can offer you 10 hours of battery life and well that’s never true. In fact, in my testing I never got that value I did manage to get a respectable 8 hours of battery life which to be honest is pretty damn good.
This is mostly possible due to the 50 watt-hour battery on this thing. It would easily last me an entire day of work. However, in case the same does not work for you, and you’re power user the charger on this thing is a small 65-watt adapter. As I said I would prefer USB type-c charging on this thing but you can’t have it all right.
Coming down to the main question-
Is the Asus Zenbook 13 worth it?
The way I see it’s worth every penny. The Zenbook 13 series is priced starting at rupees at 72000 and goes all the way till 1 lakh which puts it directly in front of the Dell XPS 13. the XPS 13 series still available in India runs on the older Kaby Lake chipsets. The newer Dell XPS 13 series was announced back at CES 2019 and are still a couple of months away before it makes it wake to India.