They say you cannot have it all; choosing one over the other imperatively leads to a compromise. The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA-AS51 laptop, however, does manage to have it all: a lightweight, ultra-portable design; seamless and fast performance; high-quality graphics. This 13.3” laptop priced at $799.99 is configurable based on your needs and offers several impressive features without losing out on sincerity. Let’s explore it in depth.
Going with the Flow: Portability and Design
First up: the laptop weighs only 2.5 lbs (1.12 kg) and has a thickness of 13.9mm. This is incredibly thin and light, perfect for carrying with you on your daily commute or even longer travels. It measures 12.2 x 8.5 x 0.5” (310 x 216 x 13.9 mm) which is a fairly compact frame, especially for a 13.3” model.
While the ZenBook establishes its portability upfront, it also performs excellently when it comes to style and durability. The laptop is available in three gorgeous colors—slate grey, icicle gold and royal blue. All color options come with a glossy, attractive finish designed using nano-imprinted lithography. The spun-metal finish that the ASUS ZenBook is known for also continues with this model. All in all, it is a sleek, good-looking and super-light computer tailor-made for portability.
The Processing Question
Times may change and how but when you’re scouting for a suitable computer, something never will: the demand for high processing power. This ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA-AS51 is powered by an Intel Core i7 8550U processor running at 1.6GHz, with the capacity to be Turbo boosted to 4GHz. It is equipped with 16GB RAM and has 1TB of SSD (high-speed PCIE) storage.
This is extraordinary power, especially for a compact ultra-book! It is delightful to use this laptop for all kinds of day-to-day computing tasks, say, taking notes in the classroom or meetings, playing multimedia content, browsing the internet, or doing all that together. Note that the processing specifications are configurable; based on your needs, you can choose a lower (and cheaper) setting of 8GB RAM, 512GB of SSD memory, and an Intel Core i5 8250U or i3 7100U processor. You can also choose SATA3 M.2 SSD memory of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.
The latest ZenBook runs Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home—operating systems with abundant features for productivity, security and accessibility. For instance, you can doodle or write as you please with Windows Ink (and a separately available stylus). The new Windows Cortana is a cool personal digital assistant that helps you keep things organized and can intelligently fulfill basic commands. It works quite neatly!
Here’s the cherry on the cake: an above-par, stunningly long-lasting battery life. Even though this laptop is designed for multiple uses and is likely to travel a lot during the day, the juice lasts for a long time—up to 14 hours. The lithium-polymer battery (50Wh) is durable and tested to retain much of its native charging potential even after you’ve charged your laptop scores of times. In the long run, it tends to last longer than other laptop batteries too—reportedly up to three times as much.
Display & Graphics
The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA-AS51 supports Intel UHD Graphics 620 (integrated) and has a NanoEdge, full High Definition display. It is interesting to note the clever bezel design and its contribution to the overall viewing experience. Since the bezel is incredibly thin—only 6.86mm—it does not take away anything from the screen; in fact, the entire frame looks a good deal more compact than other 13” laptops. You get a near-full screen to body ratio of 80 percent and an aspect ratio of 16:9. This adds realism to your movie watching or game playing.
The picture quality on the LED screen is brilliant. This ZenBook has a viewing angle of 178 degrees, so you can view it from sharp angles without noticing any distortion. The color gamut is complete—100 percent sRGB. This, combined with the ASUS Splendid Technology, ensures that your images render with high accuracy and detail. The laptop supports a maximum screen resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Note that the display offers a special provision to protect your eyes: complete backlighting and an anti-glare panel (60Hz). The NTSC configuration is 72 percent. The result? You can work on this laptop and enjoy quality graphics for long hours, without straining your eyes or experiencing smudgy imagery.
Tuning in to Sound
Listening to audio files on this laptop is, well, surreal. There are two stereo speakers (1W) and the sound system is Harman Kardon-certified. The ZenBook uses something called ASUS SonicMaster technology, which is an inventive combination of hardware and software to boost your listening pleasure and produce pure, unaltered, amplified sound.
The most beneficial feature of the sound system is perhaps the higher volume—as much as 3.5 times more. This bodes well for listening to music, watching movies or video calling on the webcam (VGA) from outside the quiet of your home or office.
Accessibility & Connectivity
Using this device is smooth and straightforward, even on the move. The chiclet keyboard is illuminated and has an ergonomic 1.4 mm distance between the keys. This makes for comfortable typing. Even the touchpad is very convenient to use, delivering a precise and accurate response even with multi-finger gestures. It supports handwriting and palm rejection.
But the accessibility of this ZenBook also goes the extra mile. It lets you log in with a single touch, thanks to the in-built fingerprint sensor and support for Windows Hello. Plus, it complies with Modern Standby, which means the laptop sometimes feel as mobile as your phone. It can be powered on instantly, available for you whenever you need it.
Talking of device support, yes, you can avail of a Type-C USB 3.0 port—the reversible port design that’s taken the laptop world by storm. With this, your data transfer speeds become up to ten times faster than the USB 2.0 ports of yore. There are two USB 3.1 ports (Type A) too, in addition to an SD card reader and an HDMI.
To enable wireless networking, the ZenBook 13 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 AC (dual-band) and Bluetooth 4.2. Of particular note is the ASUS Wi-Fi Master technology used in this laptop. It certainly creates a palpable difference in both the speed and range of Wi-Fi connections. The Wi-Fi speed, by the by, is about 867Mbps—a great deal faster than 802.11n—and perfectly competent at activities like internet browsing, video streaming and even some gaming.
Worth its Salt?
The best things in the world, they say, are free. It certainly isn’t so with a laptop after your own heart, but what matters here is that you get home a machine that understands and supports your needs. The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA-AS51 delivers truly exemplary performance from within its ultra-compact and stylish frame. It packs in impressive graphics and sound and useful connectivity options to stay in sync with your world. The battery life of up to 14 hours and the uber-cool options to access your device make it a terrific on-the-go companion. It sure breaks a lot of ground in the territory of portable laptops.
|Specs of ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA-AS51|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8250U 6-core (up to 3.4 GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD 620|
|Display||13.3″ Full-HD Nano-Edge|