Sure, you’ll be able to scoop up a quicker Eighth-generation Intel quad-core ultraportable than the $1,000 Asus ZenBook 13, however good luck discovering one with a discrete graphics core, good for Photoshop-minded professionals or informal avid gamers craving on-the-go Fortnite or Dota 2. A strong array of ports, a quick keyboard and spectacular battery life spherical out the engaging (if fingerprint-prone) package deal.
Asus ZenBook 13 specs and worth
We examined the $1,000 royal-blue version of the ZenBook 13, which comes with a 13.Three-inch contact show, an Eighth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U processor, discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. A less expensive model of the ZenBook 13 with built-in graphics could be on faucet in “a pair months,” in line with an Asus rep.
The ZenBook 13’s most arresting function must be its shiny, beautiful lid, etched with Asus’s telltale sample of razor-thin—or, to be extra exact, nano-thin—concentric circles, courtesy of a five-layer course of the producer calls “nanoimprint lithography.”
The shiny result’s actually a sight to behold, by no means extra so than whenever you first glimpse the pristine ZenBook sitting in its cardboard delivery field. Inside just a few days, although, the lid of my ZenBook 13 evaluation unit was lined with fingerprints. I used to be in a position to buff the shiny end again into form, however preventing off the smudges turned out to be a shedding battle.
Measuring 12.2 by eight.5 by zero.5 inches, the ZenBook 13 makes for an impressively slim machine given its discrete graphics core, and it feels fairly mild at about 2.7 kilos, or somewhat over three kilos when you embrace the seven-ounce energy adapter.
Asus ZenBook 13 show
The ZenBook’s 13.Three-inch 1920-by-1080 show appears sharp and vivid, with svelte 6.9mm bezels alongside the perimeters however considerably thickers bezels alongside the display’s high and backside edges. Measuring about 282 nits (or candelas) at its highest brightness setting, the ZenBook 13’s show is fairly vivid, nicely above our minimal 250-nit commonplace for snug indoor viewing, if a tad dimmer than the 300-nit readings we’ve recorded on competing laptops.
Viewing angles on the ZenBook 13’s AHVA (a proprietary twist on IPS) display have been wonderful, with the show dimming solely barely as I moved back and forth or above and beneath.
The ZenBook’s touch-enabled show simply dealt with my faucets and swipes, and sure, there’s pen assist, though you’ll should pony up $50 for the elective ASUS energetic pen.
Asus ZenBook 13 keyboard, audio system, webcam
I’m an enormous fan of the ZenBook’s 13 snappy keyboard. The Zenbook’s backlit, barely concave keys boast a strong, pleasingly bumpy really feel when caught, whereas the roomy keyboard makes it straightforward for fingertips to seek out the proper keys whereas contact typing. The hotkey choice is pretty typical, together with the same old hotkeys for brightness, quantity, airplane mode, toggling the trackpad and juggling exterior screens.
The ZenBook 13’s midsize trackpad felt easy and responsive, though it requires fairly a little bit of strain to click on. To the proper of the trackpad sits a fingerprint reader, which helps you to unlock your Home windows profile and log into choose Home windows Hiya-enabled apps and providers. Personally, I discovered the ZenBook’s fingerprint sensor to be a bit sensitive. The reader not often acknowledged my fingerprint on the primary strive, even after I deleted my preliminary fingerprint and thoroughly scanned a brand new one.
The ZenBook’s Harman Kardon-made audio system are a reduce above your common laptop computer audio system, though thery’re no substitute, unsurprisingly, for external speakers. “Reside and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings sounded crisp and detailed, even with the quantity cranked, whereas Mozart’s 27th symphony provided up a powerful quantity of mid-range refinement, though little in the best way of bass (once more, no huge shock).
Whereas the ZenBook 13’s audio system are above common, its VGA webcam is disappointingly sub-par, delivering muddy and grainy video high quality that hardly suffices for video chat.
Asus ZenBook 13 ports
The ZenBook 13 boasts a strong number of ports, beginning on the left facet with a full-size HDMI port, a USB Three.zero Kind A port, and USB Three.1 Gen 1 Kind C (as much as 5Gbps). Additionally on the left: a barrel-style charging port.
On the proper, you’ll discover a second USB Three.zero Kind A port, a Micro SD reminiscence card reader, and a combo audio jack.
Nope, no Thunderbolt Three, however that’s not an enormous shock given the ZenBook’s middling worth level.
Asus ZenBook 14 efficiency benchmarks
Whereas it’s not the quickest Eighth-generation quad-core Intel laptop computer we’ve examined, the ZenBook 13 retains tempo with the competitors and closes the take care of strong battery life and a discrete GPU, a rarity in an ultrabook this skinny and low cost.
PCMark eight Work Standard
As with most of its Eighth-generation Intel-powered opponents, the ZenBook 13 breezes by on a regular basis computing duties.
In our PCMark eight Work Standard benchmark, which simulates internet shopping, video chatting, spreadsheet constructing, and different day-to-day PC duties, the quad-core ZenBook notched a rating nicely above 2,000, our minimal commonplace for easy Workplace efficiency.
Not dangerous, however remember that cheaper dual-core programs usually ship related PCMark eight outcomes, which means these trying to carry out solely primary computing duties are most likely losing their cash on a pricier quad-core laptop computer.
A significantly better take a look at of quad-core efficiency, our Handbrake benchmark measures how nicely a system handles the CPU-intensive process of encoding massive video information.
Whereas the ZenBook 13’s rating of four,872 seconds trails its closest opponents, it’s nonetheless within the ballpark (albeit close to the warning monitor) when it comes to what we’d count on from a quad-core ultraportable within the $1,000 vary, and its Handbrake efficiency simply outshines cheaper dual-core programs, which commonly take 6,000 seconds or extra to finish our Handbrake take a look at.
Sprinting from final to the entrance of the pack, the ZenBook 13 surges in our Cinebench benchmark, which exams CPU efficiency beneath the crushing load of rendering a 3D picture. In our multi-core Cinebench take a look at, the ZenBook lags the chief (the Dell Inspiron 13 two-in-one) by a mere level, leaving its different quad-core Eighth-gen opponents nicely behind.
Why the distinction? Properly, let’s think about the truth that the Cinebench take a look at, which takes solely about 5 minutes to carry out, is just like the 100-yard sprint, whereas the hour-plus Handbrake benchmark is extra just like the 10,000 meters. It’s possible the ZenBook 13 can dash brief distances however prefers to tempo itself for longer hauls, all within the curiosity of retaining all the pieces cool contained in the system’s svelte chassis.
In the meantime, the ZenBook 13’s single-core Cinebench mark rating is just about in the midst of the pack, as we’d count on, and just like what you would possibly see from a less expensive dual-core system.
3DMark Sky Diver 1.zero
Earlier than we get too excited in regards to the ZenBook 13’s 3DMark Sky Diver rating, remember that our comparability chart pits it in opposition to Eighth-gen quad-core programs with built-in graphics cores. Naturally, the Sky Diver outcomes for the ZenBook and its discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU will crush these of any competing laptop computer that settles for built-in graphics.
However the entry-level MX150 was by no means supposed to compete with, say, the GeForce GTX 1080, the 4K-capable graphics core that sits within the $2,300 Alienware 17, our favourite gaming laptop computer. As an alternative, the Pascal-based MX150 is extra suited to Adobe Premiere and Photoshop chores, or mild 720p gaming and e-sports. Suppose Dota 2 or Fortnite (which I performed at 60 frames per second on medium settings), slightly than Battlefield 1 with all its graphical bells and whistles enabled.
It must also be mentioned that the ZenBook 13’s Sky Diver rating (eight,630) is considerably decrease than that of the Acer Aspire E 15 (11,526), one other GeForce MX150-powered funds laptop computer. Then once more, if you wish to select the Acer Aspire E 15 over the ZenBook 13 based mostly on its greater Sky Diver rating, you’ll should accept a laptop computer that’s twice as heavy and twice as thick.
We take a look at laptop computer battery life by looping a 4K video utilizing the inventory Home windows video participant, with display brightness tuned to about 250 nits (which, within the ZenBook 13’s case, means turning the brightness setting as much as 95 p.c) whereas dialing the quantity midway, with headphones plugged in.
The ZenBook 13’s result’s fairly good, squeezing out a strong 9 hours-plus from its 50Whr battery. That’s inside spitting distance of the Lenovo Yoga 920 and its a lot greater 70Whr battery, if nicely shy of the HP Spectre x360’s practically 13 hours of battery life from its 61Whr battery.
Both approach, when you’re heading out for the day with the ZenBook 13 in your knapsack, you’re most likely secure leaving the AC adapter at residence, an enormous plus in our e book.
With its enviable mixture of peppy efficiency, slim design, lengthy battery life and a discrete graphics chip, the $1,000 ZenBook 13 makes for a compelling ultraportable, significantly for productivity-minded customers with a style for informal gaming.