• Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Input/Output: 1x HDMI, 1x audio/mic combo jack, 1x USB 3.1 Type A, 1x USB 3.1 Type C, 1x USB 2.0, 1x MicroSD card reader
  • Dimensions: 302 x 189 x 16.9 mm
  • Weight: 1.19kg
  • Pros:
  • Immersive screen
  • Virtual numpad
  • Cons:
  • No SD reader

Ultra Zen

It wasn’t long after ASUS sent us the latest ZenBook 14 when we got a hold of its slimmer sibling. You may ask: what’s the difference between the current version of ASUS’s ZenBook 14 (UX433) and ZenBook 13 (UX333)?

What’s immediately obvious is the ZenBook 13’s smaller size, but on closer inspection, you’ll also notice that the screen-to-body ratio ever so slightly different. While slight, the bezels on the ZenBook 13 do appear slimmer, allowing the notebook to have a fairly sizable display on a very compact body. The ErgoLift Hinge is effective at giving it enough room at the bottom for ventilation too, which helps with the device’s cooling system.

Like all the other ZenBook models this generation, the ZenBook 13 has a dark blue colour to it for a more subdued feel. Its sleek metallic body and anodised finishing on the cover gives it a very classy look that many would appreciate. Fingerprints aren’t too obvious on the darker coloured lid either, which is a plus point. And of course, it comes with the relatively large trackpad that doubles as a virtual numpad.

This virtual numpad is quite handy in some scenarios

This virtual numpad is quite handy in some scenarios

The ZenBook 13 measures about 300mm across and 17mm in thickness. It’s certainly not the thinnest ultrabook in the world, but we find that it’s always good to have more room to put in USB Type-A ports, of which it has two. It also managed to fit in an HDMI port, USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader. We would have preferred to have an SD card reader, as microSD cards are typically used in smaller devices that can connect directly to PCs via a USB port anyway. ASUS did include a USB-to-Ethernet adapter for those who prefer to use a wired connection, which tends to be better if you’re transferring a large number of files over the network.

While compact in stature, this ultrabook performs quite well, scoring an aggregate score of 3,901 in PCMark 10 with its Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU. In addition, the use of an SSD for storage means that booting up and starting programs are usually fast. You’ll also be able to do more than just process documents or spreadsheets, as the GPU and RAM give the ZenBook 13 enough juice to run applications like photo editing software.

Prefer being wired to your router? Use the included adapter

Prefer being wired to your router? Use the included adapter

The IPS panel has good colour reproduction and contrast, but it does have lower max brightness than some other panels we’ve seen and lacked anti-glare. As for the audio, you get decent volume and sound quality for everyday use but don’t expect much from it.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you’re looking for an ultrabook with good specs and features at a fairly reasonable price, it’s hard to go wrong with this 13-inch model.

(to be published in issue March 2019)