Asus has been releasing some really good looking and great performing ultraportables recently. The Asus Zenbook 3 is one such example in which you can see the latest Intel Kabylake Core i5 and i7 which are Intel’s 7th generation processors.
These Zenbooks are aimed towards people who are looking for power in a slim and good looking form factor. We have the Asus Zenbook 3 UX390UAK with us for review and the ultraportable is really something. While it does have its own pros and cons, we will see how this device actually fairs out when it take several of its aspects under testing in this review.
Key Specifications – Asus Zenbook 3 UX390UAK
|Screen||12.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, glossy|
|Processor||Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 or Core i5 CPU|
|Video||Intel HD 620|
|Memory||16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz (soldered)|
|Storage||512GB M.2 NVMe SSD (80 mm)/512GB SATA3 SSD|
|Connectivity||Wireless AC (Intel AC 8260), Bluetooth 4.1, WiDi|
|Ports||1x USB 3.1 Type-C gen 1, mic/headphone|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home/Pro|
|Size||296 mm or 11.66” (w) x 191 mm or 7.51” (d) x 11.9 mm or 0.46” (h)|
|Extras||Fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard, VGA webcam, available in three colors: Rose Gold, Royal Blue or Quartz Gray, IO adapter included in the pack|
Design & Build Quality
One of the major factors about these ultraportable devices is their form factor and slimness. The Asus Zenbook 3 UX390UAK is quite slim and good looking. It comes in 3 colors i.e. Rose Gold, Royal Blue, and Quartz Gray.
The laptop itself weighs just under a kilogram at 910 grams and it has an Aluminum chassis which makes the body quite solid and flex-free. The lack of ports like a full sized USB port, HDMI and more makes it easier for Asus to keep the profile slim. The hood and the keyboard both have almost no flex and you can only notice the flex when you’re willfully pressing the keyboard and hood surface.
The lid has an Asus logo and there’s a gold streaking going around the laptop in all three models. Pulling the lid up will let you see the backlit keyboard, the speakers and the trackpad which also houses the fingerprint sensor.
The keyboard is good for typing and has a nice feedback. The trackpad itself is quite good, smooth and easy to use. The fingerprint sensor on the trackpad supports Windows Hello and you can use it to log in easily!
The display is a beautiful 12.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, glossy panel and it has very small bezels that make it look quite good. Unlike many other laptops, Asus has decided to keep the VGA webcam on top of the display which is good. You can lift the lid up easily just with one hand and the lid can open up to 135 degrees which is good. Overall, Asus has spent some good time designing and choosing the material to build the laptop and it shows in the final product.
Display & Webcam
As mentioned, the laptop has a 12.5-inch full HD IPS display. You don’t get touch functionality on this but to be honest, you won’t really miss anything since the lid doesn’t really open up more than 135 degrees.
Since the display size is just 12.5-inch, the resolution of full HD makes the display look quite sharp and it also produces some really good colors since it is an IPS display. The graphics on the display are powered by the integrated Intel HD 620 graphics. Now you obviously can’t use this to render out videos or even to play games, but it can easily glide through handling work related graphics.
Coming to the webcam, this is something that Asus has skimped out on. The Possible reason could be to reduce the space taken by the webcam in order to maintain the slimness or Asus might have a totally different logic behind it. You get a VGA webcam which is just OK for conferencing. Don’t expect good low light performance or crystal clear images from this webcam.
Hardware & Performance
The Zenbook 3 is a premium product and it definitely looks like one if you check what’s under the hood. You’ll find a powerful Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 7500U or an Intel Core i5 7200U processor that is coupled with 16 GB LPDDR3 2133MHz SDRAM.
Not only that, but you can choose to have either M.2 or an SATA3 SSD on this device. The M.2 SSD will be faster but SATA3 isn’t very slow either. The M.2 SSD can reach a read speeds up to 1700MB/s and a write speed of up to 1500MB/s.
The boot up time will be speedy and the apps will open instantly on these SSD storages. The processor and the RAM combo will also provide great processing capabilities. The processor is cooled by a compact fan which only spins when you’re doing CPU intensive tasks.
The laptop runs surprisingly cool even with the fan off and when you turn up and start a CPU intensive task, then the fan makes sure that everything is cool under the hood.
Battery Life & Verdict
You get a battery of 40Wh on this laptop which can provide backup of up to 6 hours. But it totally depends on how you use the laptop. You can use it for browsing and watching YouTube videos and you will notice that the battery drains faster, use it moderately and you will have a longer backup. Overall, the battery is good enough for most of the users.
The Asus Zenbook 3 UX390UAK is a really good ultraportable. It offers great design, sturdy build quality, good display and powerful specs. Few things that did bother me was the VGA webcam and the lack of ports. But, you can always use the Dongles to access devices which use ports like HDMI etc.