ASUS has been a serious contender for the “best ultraportable that isn’t made by Apple” for some years now. Its ZenBook range has regularly impressed with its looks, features, performance and value. The UX331UN is the latest 13in model in the “Classic” range, which means it doesn’t flip into tablet mode or incorporate a touch screen. Yet, despite weighing just 1.12kg, it still comes with discrete graphics.
The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN comes in two colours – grey or blue. You can also specify it with either an Intel Core i5 or i7 from the eighth generation (Kaby Lake R). Our sample used the Core i5-8250U, with the Core i7-8550U the other option, although both are quad-core. There’s a reasonable 8GB of RAM, but the really surprising inclusion is discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, which comes with its own 2GB complement of GDDR5 memory.
Storage is reasonable, with either 256GB or 512GB of M.2 SSD. So you get a very useful amount of computing hardware in a package that weighs just over a kilogram, sports a Full HD screen, and boasts up to 14 hours of battery life.
It’s also reasonably priced, costing just £999 from some vendors, making this cheaper than the equivalent Apple Macbook Air. Let’s find out if this is the perfect “go anywhere” notebook companion.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz, Turbo Boost up to 3.4 GHz
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz
- Hard drive: 256GB Micron 1100 M.2 SATA3 SSD
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Display: 13in (16:9) 1,920 x 1,080 LED backlit 60Hz IPS
- Graphics: Integrated Intel® HD 620 Graphics and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2GB GDDR5 Memory
- Audio: 1W Harmon Kardon speakers
- Networking: Integrated 802.11 AC (2×2)
- Power Supply: 3 Cells 50 Whrs Polymer Battery, 65W power brick
- Dimensions: Width 310 mm, Depth 216 mm, Height 13.9 mm
- Weight: 1.12 kg with Battery
- Interfaces: 1 x combined headphone/microphone audio jack, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Micro SD card reader
- Adapters included: USB 3 to Ethernet