ASUS ZenBook 13 UX333F
A New Zenbook series, which is 13.3-33-UX333, 14-4-UX433 and 15.6 of UX533, was disclosed in IFA 2018, where laptops have got several internal upgrades as well as a brand-new chassis. What makes them so special is a bezel-less display that boasts 95% of screen-to-body ratios.
The unit has got us the Dan Zenbook signature Dark Blue and Gold Accent color scheme, which was first introduced in 2017 with Zenbook 3. I know that this is a very subjective matter, but I have to say that it still looks amazing.
Pairing a sexy color scheme is a strong aluminum chassis. Keeping harsh laptops in your hands gives you the feeling of confidence, you will know that it is made very well after handing it over. ASUS had certified laptop’s permanence for MIL-STD-810G standards. Sneaky size, (302 mm * 189 mm * 16.9 mm) measures it, it looks like a netbook 8 years ago. Keep in mind, Netbook 10 is the device, while this is 13.3 13 display game. Although it may not be the slim laptop from there, I think 16.9 mm is very reasonable, is not it? So it’s durable and looks great, are there any weaknesses? Yes, fingerprints. Chassis attracts fingerprint and therefore ASUS has included microfiber wiping cloth with this laptop.
The zenbook series redesign is part of a new ergonomic display. We know that this is not new, but rather to increase the thermal performance, it is a decision to employ this mechanism, it cleverly hides the bottom bezel, which makes the laptop even more smooth. The downside of using this type of hinge is losing the ability to display 180 degrees flat on the surface. The most lid can be opened up to a maximum of ~ 145-degree. Apart from this, the lid is much thicker because the glass panel is used.
Ultra small device footprint is possible with a four side bezel-less display. The choice of a full glass panel is part of the design to make the visual effects of a full-screen display more efficient. No, it does not support touch capabilities. ASUS mentioned that a matte display option is available for those who dislike the luminous display, although it is unlikely that ASUS Malaysia will make it available locally. The display looks spectacular with amazing contrast as well as the exact colors. Ongoing deeper into the technical section, the panel itself is AUO 5C2D manufactured by AU Optronics. It has 100% sRGB coverage, though maximum brightness at ~ 250nits for outdoor use is slightly shorter.
There is something remarkable about adding both webcam and IR camera to the Windows hello at the top bezel. Remember that the reason for a load of laptop makers was decided to keep the webcam camera in a weird place – “Oh, we can not put the camera on top beetles, it is very narrow” Yes, very narrow.
Keyboard and touchpad
I was worried about the first typing comfort on the keyboard, given that small laptops generally have to sacrifice the main shape to fit in the keyboard. There is no doubt that island-style chalet’s keys are small, it is less than 1 ~ 2mm in comparison to standard keys. Sensitive typist will immediately notice the difference. However, after typing half of this review on ZenBook 13, I think I do not have to worry at all. I really appreciate the decision to turn them into half-important elimination rather than placing full-key arrow keys. However, users who rely on the right shift want to complain about the 1x shift key. My real complaint about this keyboard is none other than the placement of its power button. By default, the Windows 10 device will enable single presses on the button to sleep. Whoever thinks that copying the keyboard layout of a MacBook is a great idea on a Windows machine, it should be punished for stepping on the Lego Block for its entire life.
Glass Touchpad supports Windows Precision Drivers. It’s a small touchpad and I believe some of these users will not get used to it, even if the user’s experience is enjoyable on this. In addition, Windows users rely heavily on the physical mouse instead of the touchpad, so … yes, There is a solid and satisfactory response to physical clicks, just that the click on the lower half of the trackpad is more consistent. Here is a feature that some of you may find useful or gimmicky. Behold – “Numberpad” Since you are not using a trackpad, why not use it as a number pad, right? By pressing the icon at the top right of the trackpad, the Numpad overlay will be enabled which you can use for numerical input or calculation. By the way, you can still use the trackpad to control the cursor with the overlay enabled. ASUS has done a great job to differentiate between number input or cursor control. It would be great if they improve the forward palm rejection algorithm.
Port and Connectivity
Looking at the top, we can say that the ZenBook series is still a good option for business users. Port selection for laptops of this size is very good, especially inclusive of full-size HDMI port, 2x USB-A port, and a USB-C port. Just realized that USB 2.0 is old for a laptop that comes in this price range. In addition, USB-C does not support Thunderbolt 3 and Power Delivery.
By the way, remember to connect the USB included in the RJ45 ethernet adapter in the USB 3.1 Jane 2 port on the left for maximum performance. In terms of wireless connectivity, we are getting the Intel 9560 WLAN module and laptops support Bluetooth 5.0.
Speakers have been placed on the sides and they sound very loud for laptops of that size.
There are 2 variants available for you to choose in ZenBook 13 – with an Intel Core i7 and another with Intel Core i5. What we got from ASUS is the latter. New Intel 8th Generation Whiskey Lake-U So far Intel’s mobile CPU lineup is very messy. To make things easier for you to digest, Whiskey Lake U Chips uses 14nm ++ process architecture from Coffee Lakes, just in these U-series chips there is less TDP at 15W than 45W or 28W.
Quad core CPU has Hyper-Threading technology that enables 8 threads to be executed. Performance is approximately 10% ~ 15% better than the previous generation Intel Core i5-8250U (Kabi LK-R), which depends on benchmark software and how many iterations you run. Honestly, this is a fairly up-to-date upgrade if you want to factor in hardware mitigation against meltdown. RAM, however, ZenBook 13 users are kept with 8GB LPDDR3, because ASUS Malaysia has to offer the Malaysian market.
ASUS includes a discrete GPU – Intel’s IGP – NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with UHD Graphics 620. It allows the laptop to switch between two GPUs depending on the workload. Intel for maximum battery life while NVIDIA for maximum performance. Yes, it will definitely play casual games in low-middle settings. Just do not expect amazing graphics from it.
Internal storage is a respectable 512GB PCIe x2 NVMe SSD. While it is a shame that ASUS has to reserve PCIe x4 NVMe SSD for the high-end zenbook model, at least it is still much better than SATA-based SSDs.
So far I’m really satisfied with the laptop. However, one point is that I lack it – battery life. Due to the use of powerful chips, NVIDIA Optimus and small display, I was expecting a long battery life. In actual real life use, a single charge will last for approximately 5 hours. My use was based on Chrome web browsing, 40% screen brightness, and WiFi. If battery life can last long around 6~7 hours, then it will be good.