Wednesday, December 12, 2018
GeneralSmartphone Reviews

ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331 Key Specs and Review

The ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331 is one of the latest addition to ASUS’ family of ZenBook laptops. It is a low-cost and portable ZenBook with decent, but watered down, specs when compared to upper tiered members of the family like the ASUS ZenBook Pro 14 and ZenBook Pro 15 with ASUS’ innovative ScreenPad — a secondary display incorporated into their touchpads.

However, the Zenbook 13 UX331 still retains some premium specs synonymous with ZenBooks like solid build; generous number and selection of ports; and excellent keyboard with backlit customization while bringing some new additions like slimmer bezels aound the display, slim body, and improved hardware and gaming configuration to handle more heavy tasks and gaming.

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331

ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331 Key Specifications

  • Display — 13.3-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080 pixels non-touch screen
  • Dimension — 310 mm (w) x 216 mm (d) x 13.9 mm
  • Weight — 1.13 kg
  • CPU — Quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U, eight threads
  • RAM — 8GB DDR4
  • SSD — 256GB SATA3
  • Graphics — NVIDIA MX150 2GB
  • Ports — HDMI, USB-C, USB 3.0, micro SD card, and 3.5mm headset jack
  • Connectivity — Wireless AC (Intel Dual Band 8265), Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery — 50Wh, 65W charger

Design

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331

The ASUS Zenbook 13 UX331 is made of a metal and plastic combo and available in two colour options, Slate Grey and Royal Blue. The outer part of the bottom and top chassis are made out of metal while the inner chassis is entirely plastic. The outer part of the lid is, however, covered in some sort of coating that gives it a glossy finish. It’s not entirely shiny but it does retain fingerprint smears and smudges.

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ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331

Ports are generously offered on the ZenBook 13 UX331 and distributed on both sides of the notebook; it comes with just about all the ports you need: USB A, USB C, micro SD card reader, HDMI, headphone and microphone jack. Some modern ports like Thunderbolt 3 port are lacking but that sure isn’t a deal breaker. Port selection is decent enough and neatly (not evenly) distributed on either side of the (0.5inch or 13.9mm) slim notebook.

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331

When the lid is opened, you are greeted by the island-style keyboard, a fingerprint reader, and the touchpad (both outlined on the edges by thin silver lining). The keys on the keyboard are clicky, have a short key travel of 1 millimeter and only require about 68 grams of force to press them; smooth and noiseless typing is assured. The backlit nature of the keyboard further makes it suitable to use at any period of the day. Interestingly, the brightness of the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331 keyboard light can be increased, decreased, or totally turned off by hitting a key or just swiping fingers on the trackpad.

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331

Generally, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331 is brilliantly and compactly built. There is a disappointing flaw though. The dual speakers are housed underneath the device; this will cause weak audio output or output interference during music play or when watching movies with the laptop on a desk.

Display

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331

The ZenBook 13 UX331 has a 13.3-inch display with relatively slim bezels, decent colour reproduction, 298 nits brightness level, and nice viewing angles. The ZenBook 13 UX331, however, comes in three different display types though:

  • A touchscreen IPS Full HD screen
  • A non-touchscreen IPS version with Full HD resolution
  • IPS touchscreen version with UHD (4K) resolution
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Processor and Storage

If you need an under $1000 13-inch slim notebook to handle heavy tasks and multitasking effortlessly, the ZenBook 13 UX331 is up to the task. The laptop has an Intel KabyLake-R Core i5-8250U processor and a Nvidia MX150 graphics unit laced with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB SATA SSD. Should you need more RAM or storage space, there is a version with 16GB and 512GB you can opt for.

The ZenBook 13 UX331 will perform well enough without hiccups as a daily driver but averagely as a gaming PC. Despite its slim build, the PC has a single fan and a heatpipe for optimal cooling and airflow during usage. ASUS says the fan runs all the time and is reasonably quiet with no coil whining or electrical noise.

Battery

Depending on factors like display/screen type, brightness level, and usage intensity, the ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331 should (and will) easily supply be 7-10 hours of usage time. In addition, the laptop also comes with a 65Wh Fast-Charging charger that takes about 1hour 30 minutes to get a full charge.

Price

Price of the Asus ZenBook 13 UX331 will differs based on processor and storage configuration. However, price generally ranges from $900 to $1400.

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