ASUS ZenBook UX330UA Ultrabook review

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA Ultrabook review

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A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the ASUS Zenbook Flip which is a convertible laptop / tablet which I liked but if you are more interested in a traditional laptop then the UX330UA may be a better fit.

The Zenbook is powerful and elegant laptop and has more than a passing resemblance to a Macbook Air 13. Designed to be taken on the road the devices is has a premium feel with a quartz grey aluminium body that feels like it could stand being thrown in and out a bag.
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Inside the UX330 is a 6th generation Intel i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 500GB SSD drive. On the outside is a MicroHDMI port, USB C port, 2 x USB 3.0 port, SD card slot and headphone port. The combination of the i7 and SSD make the Zenbook fast and responsive, it should be good for Photoshop, video editing and working on large office documents, probably the only limitation for running lots of virtual machines using something like Hyper V is the 8GB of RAM other than that it would make a great development machine..There isn’t a dedicated GPU so it’s not a gaming machine but for demanding tasks the UX330UA will be up to the job.

The 13.3 inch screen runs at 3200 x 1800 (275 ppi) and is very sharp and clear and has a matt finish. There is very little shine or reflection from the screen which should mean it works well in bright sunlight. It doesn’t suffer the washed out look of some other device (like the Zenbook Flip), there is a rather large bezel around the screen unlike the Dell XPS 13 which Richard Speed recently reviewed or the XPS 15 which I reviewed earlier this year.

The backlit keyboard is the island type design that has a small amount of travel. It has a nice feel that you can comfortably type on, the one minor negative is it tends to squash down when you type but it’s only a small gripe. The precision trackpad is large and supports three and four finger gestures and has a nice smooth glossy finish to it. Overall the keyboard and trackpad are a good combination which makes the ZenBook a great laptop for productivity.
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Asus say the battery should last 12 hours, I found is more like 10 hours with web browsing, email and Facebook. For an i7 processor that is pretty impressive.

It weighs in at 1.2kg and is 13.5mm thin, there are no vents around the side but it doesn’t seem to get hot when running games or task intensive process. I did here the fans spin up playing Minecraft on it but not as noticeable as something like the Surface Pro 3.
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The version I had for review came with Windows 10 Home with an additional cost option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. The i7 version costs £999 at Currys and to get the equivalent specs in a Microsoft Surface Book (i7, smaller 256GB SSD) would cost you £1799, granted it has touch and pen but still you can see what good value the ZenBook is. The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA is well featured Ultrabook that doesn’t sacrifice performance for form factor. There is no touch screen or pen, it’s just a simple well speced good value lightweight laptop.

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