Asus ZenBook 13 Review: Compact but highly effective

Highlights Asus ZenBook 13 is a very compact and tiny laptop computer. It achieves that design with none compromise...

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Asus ZenBook 13 Review Lead


  • Asus ZenBook 13 is a very compact and tiny laptop computer.

  • It achieves that design with none compromise on keyboard.

  • It doesn’t ship in software program expertise or the trackpad, which is a brand new function.

At IFA 2018, held in late August final 12 months, all the most important laptop computer makers, besides Apple, launched new gadgets. While Lenovo, HP, Dell had massive presence on the present, there was a sales space that had three distinctive merchandise, however set away from many of the prying eyes. Yes, I’m speaking in regards to the new ZenBook collection. From my expertise strolling by way of the massive IFA present flooring, I can say that you can be forgiven should you missed the Asus laptops at first. I did, till somebody pointed me in direction of the precise place. The laptops have been vital as a result of they show the progress made in creating notebooks with actually skinny bezels and very compact kind issue. If you might be shopping for a laptop computer in 2019 then you should ask for a 12-inch kind issue that homes a 13-inch show or a 13-inch kind issue with a 14-inch show. The second factor is to ensure that these laptops match inside a handbag and never simply backpack and the third factor to know is that they need to be gentle sufficient that your again doesn’t ache after carrying them for few hours.

The final thing to know is that these laptops function the most recent cellular platforms from Intel. The ZenBook collection ticks all the above packing containers. While these new laptops have been first launched at IFA, the corporate has launched them in India solely this week. It isn’t clear why the Taiwanese firm took 4 months to convey them right here however it’s providing the ZenBook 13, ZenBook 14 and ZenBook 15 through Flipkart. Ahead of their launch, Asus despatched the ZenBook 13 to BGR India for evaluation and I need to say they’re good at numerous issues and unhealthy at few that might a deal breaker. Here is our evaluation.

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda

Design and Display

The ZenBook 13 is not like something that now we have seen available in the market to this point. Yes, the Dell XPS 13 fashions are beautiful piece of engineering however the brand new ZenBook goes a step additional with the concept of trimming bezels. When you place the XPS 13 and ZenBook 13 aspect by aspect, it feels as if each the laptops are preventing an ego conflict as to who has the thinnest bezels. The ZenBook 13, in fact, comes out on high with its NanoEdge show however each are on par on the subject of general design. The ZenBook 13, like most different laptops nowadays, is constructed from a single block of aluminum and the sides of the pocket book are polished in such a means that they appear too skinny from the perimeters.

Asus has achieved its slim and light-weight kind issue with the assistance of an distinctive hinge design known as the ErgoLift hinge. Every time whenever you open the lid of the pocket book, the hinge not solely opens the show but additionally lifts the keyboard. Think of it like the straightforward elevate suspension discovered on automobiles like Jeep and Land Rover. The show itself measures 13.3-inches diagonally however has slim 2.5mm bezels round it, which minimizes the general chassis space. The hinge raises in such a means that it hides the underside aspect of the show bezel, giving a very clear and bezel-free viewing expertise. The design is so stealthy that Asus saved the webcam on the high and never on the backside or on the aspect.

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda

The ZenBook 13 includes a 13.3-inch show with Full HD decision of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The show is so tiny that it’s smaller than that of an A4 dimension paper. The show is vibrant with vibrant colours and the viewing angles are so correct that it’s a delight to devour content material on the display. But, I need to say the display on the Surface Laptop appeared a lot sharper to my eyes and the identical is true for gadgets just like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Dell XPS 13, which have excessive decision shows and are costly. With the ZenBook 13, Asus claims to have the lightest 13-inch laptop computer available in the market, which weighs simply 1.09 Kg. Honestly, should you put this laptop computer in you a sling bag then you’ll most likely not even really feel it and within the backpack, it provides little weight. The ZenBook 13 additionally affords sensible choice of ports with one USB 3.1 Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, one USB 2.Zero port, one HDMI port, one microSD card slot and an audio combo jack. Only complain for me is that it nonetheless makes use of a barrel-type charging cable when it may have switched to USB-C charging.

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda

Performance, Battery Life and Software

Our evaluation unit got here with eighth era Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD storage and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 reminiscence. This is the highest finish configuration that Asus affords within the ZenBook 13 lineup and is priced at Rs 99,990. As one would anticipate, the laptop computer performs like a attraction. You can throw at advanced workplace information, a number of functions, Microsoft Office, internet shopping and anything that would wish numerous compute reminiscence. During the week spent utilizing the laptop computer, I didn’t see any form of slowdown or snaggy efficiency in any way. Since there may be GeForce MX150 onboard, you possibly can even play video games like PUBG and Fortnite on the native decision. The solely drawback that I may discern is that the fan runs a bit too excessive and after some extent, the sound begins to bother you.

The laptop computer additionally affords one of the best in-class battery life. During the time, I spent testing the system, which was largely within the work state of affairs, the laptop computer managed to get me by way of all the work day. My work day seems to be like having two dozen open tabs on Google Chrome, Spotify app streaming podcast within the background and Slack sending out messages at common interval. I’ve seen laptops that hand over at round 5 – 6 hours however the ZenBook 13 with its 3-cell 50Wh lithium-polymer battery. Asus says it’s rated to last as long as 14 hours however probably the most conservative determine is eight hours.

The ZenBook 13 runs Windows 10 Home with April 2018 Creators Update or model 1803. The replace comes with timeline, which lets you take a look at the historical past of your exercise and even resume work began on a Windows laptop on Android or iOS system utilizing Edge browser. It additionally brings Fluent design, Focus Assist, Nearby Sharing, capacity to decide on your GPU, capacity to mute tabs in Edge (which not many use) and Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer. The one massive takeaway of Windows 1803 is that it’s not as buggy as Windows 1809 or October 2018 Update however Asus has not avoided including bloatware like an antivirus bundle that simply stalls the general good expertise. Asus ought to actually begin transport a very clear set up of Windows 10 after which let its clients select whether or not you need an antivirus instrument or not.

Image Credit: Rehan Hooda

Keyboard and Trackpad

This is the fascinating a part of the ZenBook 13 and one which makes this laptop computer the lightest and distinctive on this phase. The ZenBook 13 appears so small that one would assume it comes with a shallow keyboard providing little or no key journey nevertheless it really ships with a correct keyboard providing a journey of 1.4mm. Asus achieved that with the help of ErgoLift hinge which lifts the keyboard half somewhat increased however there are additionally dangers of getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome utilizing such a mechanism. The keyboard is kind of nice to kind and Asus has executed good job with the actuation level making it much less noisy. The solely actual drawback with this keyboard is the shift and performance key that are actually small and positioned on both aspect of the higher arrow key. It is such a nasty implementation that everytime you choose one thing and want to transfer the arrow, you find yourself transferring the cursor.

The trackpad comes with an distinctive function nevertheless it additionally suffers from points that almost all Asus laptops are recognized for. The distinctive ingredient known as NumberPad, which is actually the trackpad augmenting numerals on high of it. It is a intelligent solution to give you numeric keypad with out having to put it on the keyboard and it really works rather well however the issue is with the trackpad drivers, which are inclined to allow or disable it whenever you simply don’t plan to strive that motion. The function is activated by by urgent an icon on the trackpad for a second however the trackpad believes that you’re doing simply that even when you find yourself really simply scrolling by way of a webpage. Asus is amongst these OEMs which use Windows precision drivers however the trackpad expertise is nowhere is near what Microsoft affords on its Surface Laptop or Dell and Lenovo supply on XPS 13 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Asus can actually do higher.

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I need to say that is one of the best ZenBook that Asus has ever made and it reveals the promise of a laptop computer with actually skinny bezel, compact issue and one which gained’t break your again. It delivers on areas like efficiency in a means that will power you to query whether it is even doable on a kind issue like this. It can also be not the costliest laptop computer on this worth phase however that nagging software program expertise and a trackpad that forces you to do away with numberpad design altogether makes me query if that is the precise pocket book for all shoppers. While the Surface Laptop 2, which begins at Rs 91,999, doesn’t supply the identical configuration, it affords superior software program expertise. The ZenBook 13 has put me in a conundrum the place I wish to advocate it but additionally deep down suppose it has some points that must be ironed out for a traditional shopper expertise.

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