Asus has unveiled quite a number of interesting products at CES 2019, but in this article, we’re going to focus on last year’s Asus ZenBook 13 (UX333). Slated to be released in Malaysia tomorrow, it’s a productivity laptop in a very compact form factor, and here’s what you need to know about the ZenBook 13.
First things first, let’s talk about the ZenBook 13’s most attractive element: design. Measuring only 302 x 189 x 16.9 mm, this laptop is even more compact than the recently announced Asus ZenBook S13. On top of that, you’re also getting very thin bezels – with no large chin – on the ZenBook 13.
The newer ZenBook S13 does have thinner bezels, of course, but if you want portability above all else, the ZenBook 13 is the more ideal laptop.
Despite the narrow bezels, Asus still manages to place the ZenBook 13’s webcam at the top of the display; you won’t have to deal with awkward camera angles. To top it off, the webcam also supports Windows Hello authentication, allowing you to log into the laptop by simply looking at the camera.
Another interesting design element of the ZenBook 13 is the trackpad, which also doubles as a numpad. To activate the numpad, all you need to do is tap on the top right of the trackpad. While you don’t get the tactility of a physical numpad, it’s a smart implementation, and you don’t typically get a numpad on 13-inch laptops like the ZenBook 13 anyway.
In the performance department, the ZenBook 13 comes with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, and it can be configured with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU or Intel’s integrated UHD Graphics 620. The MX150 is the Max-Q variant, of course, and it’s impressive how a laptop as compact as the ZenBook 13 comes with a discrete GPU and a U series processor instead of a Y series chip – the latter is typically slower.
When it comes to productivity laptops, the selection of ports is quite important, and the ZenBook 13 has the essentials. These include a USB-C port, two USB-A connections – one of which is a USB 3.1 port – an HDMI output, and a microSD card slot.
That being said, it would’ve been great if the ZenBook 13 had the much more useful SD card reader instead of a microSD slot. Unfortunately, that’s the trend manufacturers are moving toward – an SD card reader is an increasingly rare feature in today’s laptops.
Another important feature of productivity-focused laptops is good battery life. According to Asus, the ZenBook 13’s 50WHr battery can supposedly return up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge. That’s a very generous estimate, but if the ZenBook 13 can really deliver this kind of battery life, we’d be very impressed.
Other specifications of the ZenBook 13 include a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 display, 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, three choices of PCIe SSD storage (256GB, 512GB, or 1TB), dual-band 802.11ac gigabit-class WiFi, as well as Bluetooth 5.0.
The Asus ZenBook 13 is an attractive laptop in a very compact form factor, and that makes it a pretty compelling machine for those who are looking for a solid productivity laptop. However, this will still depend on how much the ZenBook 13 will go for in Malaysia.
In the US, the ZenBook 13 retails from $850, which comes up to about RM3,495 – that’s quite a competitive starting price for a premium laptop. If Asus can replicate this pricing in Malaysia, we reckon the ZenBook 13 will be one of the most attractive compact laptops in the market.
Nonetheless, we’ll find out for ourselves tomorrow once Asus officially introduced the laptop in Malaysia. Keep your eyes peeled for our hands-on of the ZenBook 13 soon!