One of the best all-around ultrabooks of the year is the Asus line of Zenbooks. The new Zenbooks feature a stunning 92% screen to body ratio. However, the 13 inch has an even more impressive 95% screen to body ratio all while keeping the camera on the top, unlike its competitors. All the laptops have PCIe NVME SSDs and LPDDR3 RAM. Full specs will be listed below. The unit I have with me is the 13-inch version with the i5 processor, 8gb of RAM, and 256gb of storage.
The 13-inch model has very nice input including a keyboard with 1.4 mm of key travel. The keyboard is slightly elevated by the screen which Asus calls [hinge term]. The extra space helps with cooling, speaker performance, and improves the typing experience. The trackpad is decently sized and is Windows Precision certified. The 13 and 14-inch versions also have an exclusive virtual Numpad built into the trackpad. The trackpad has a small icon in the top right corner which lights up the trackpad once you press on it. The only thing I think could be improved is maybe add some tactile feedback.
The IO is pretty good considering we have laptops with only USB-C ports. The new Zenbooks still have 2 legacy USB-A ports, an HDMI port for external monitors, one type C port, sadly with no Thunderbolt 3, and a micro SD card slot. The charging is done with a DC-in port, a computer like this would be amazing if it had USB-C charging.
The unit I have with me has the core i5-8256U processor which is one of Intel’s newest 8th gen CPUs with 4 cores. If you have programs that take advantage of multi-core processing, the performance is great. The included GPU is the Intel integrated UHD 620 GPU. You can opt for the MX150 equipped model for a little more starting in early 2019. The UHD 620 is capable of some light gaming but not much else. CSGO can reach a comfortable 40-50 fps with everything turned down.
The bezels on the new Zenbooks are thin, 3.3 mm on the sides, and 5.4mm on the top. The 3D IR camera is still located on the top and supports Windows Hello facial recognition login. The camera is a 720p camera that has ok image quality. The thin bezels surround the 1080p IPS display. The display gets pretty bright at around 300 nits. The glossy display looks really sharp but its a little hard to see outdoors. Color accuracy is pretty good with 98% SRGB and around 73% Adobe RGB.
Asus definitely didn’t skimp on build quality as it’s an all-aluminum build. It isn’t a unibody construction, but rather it is panels. It isn’t as well built as industry leaders such as the Macs from Apple but it’s very sturdy. The screen has zero to no flex and the keyboard deck is a little more flexible but still acceptable. The bottom panel is also aluminum with minimal flex.
This is a repost from read.cash. The link to my original post is here: https://read.cash/@blackmagyk/review-of-the-zenbook-13-efde6890