Mar 1, 2018

ZenBook 13 UX331UN Review : High Cost Performance Laptop with External GPU

Let's take a look at the operability of the ZenBook 13, which is compact, yet has an external GPU.

I am introducing the ASUS 13.3-inch compact laptop, the Zen Book 13 UX331UN, with an external GPU of NVIDIA GeForce MX150.

Review of the ZenBook 13 UX331UN with an external GPU.

It is light and thin though it has an external GPU

The ZenBook 13 UX331UN has an external GPU, NVDIA GeForce, but it is still compact as a mobile notebook PC. Being 13.9 mm thick and weighing 1.14 kg, it is considered very small as a model with an external GPU.

The ZenBook 13 UX331UN is 310 x 216 x 13.9 mm (Width x Depth x Thickness) and about 1.14 kg.

When I first picked it up, I was surprised with its thinness. According to ASUS, as a notebook PC with an external GPU, it is one of the world's thinnest.

The actual weight including the adapter is 1328 g. This won't be hard for carrying around.

What I was not happy about is that the adapter doesn't have folding pins. A mobile notebook PC is carried around often, so it would have been better if it was foldable.

Uncompromising features such as Full HD display with narrow bezel, various interface, and finger recognition

The 13.3-inch LCD of the ZenBook 13 UX331UN, which supports full HD (1920 x 1080), is not glossy, and has a wide view angle of 170 degrees. Thanks to the narrow bezel of 10 mm each on both sides, the display is very wide. It is the design of the current trend.

The 13.3-inch LCD has narrow bezels of 10 mm on the top, the bottom and both sides, which helps in making this device small. Also, the matte panel is useful when I share this with several people to see the screen. Personally, I like that it doesn't reflect my face when the screen is dark; I get surprised when it suddenly shows a middle aged man's face late at night.

I tried Royal Blue. It has a glossy finish like a mirror on its surface. It feels it fits on my palm, so I'm confident in not dropping it. It is not metallic, so fingerprints stand out a little, which I was not happy about.

The bottom is not glossy and has a smooth finish unlike its top surface. What you can see on both sides of the hinges are fan outlets. What you can see at the lower part of the bottom are speakers. The ZenBook 13 UX331UN has audio recognized buy Harman Kardon, which means it has high sound quality.

On the right bottom of the keyboard, there is a finger print sensor which is compatible with Windows Hello. In terms of the interface, it has HDMI port, USB 3.1 Type-C port, 2 USB ports, micro SD card slot, and a mic earphone jack; it can be said that it has a lot for a thin model. Also, USB 3.1 Type-C port is just for transferring data, and the card slot is not compatible with SD memory card but micro SD card, with which you need to be careful.

The keyboard and the palm rest are big enough. Key pitch is about 18 mm. It doesn't feel it is too close to each other.

The keystroke is 1.35 mm, which is a little shallow. It probably is not everyone's cup of tea.

The fingerprint sensor compatible with Windows Hello is located at the right bottom of the keyboard. The speed of fingerprint recognition was excellent.

It has a power connector, HDMI port (output), USB 3.0 port, USB 3.1 Type-C port on its left. It has a micro SD card slot, microphone and earphone jack and USB 3.0 port on its right. Type-S port is only for transferring data, but this has so much for a thin notebook PC.

With an external GPU, it achieves performance that cannot be done with CPU embedded GPU.

We are looking at the specification of the ZenBook 13 UX331UN. The CPU is the newest 8th generation, intel Core i5-8250U (1.6 GHz, maximum 3.4 GHz), the memory is 8 GB and the storage is 256 GB SSD (SATA3.) We cannot ignore its powerful graphic performance achieved thanks to the external GPU, the NVDIA GeForce MX150.
The NVDIA GeForce MX150 is a successor to the NVDIA GeForce 940MX, which is NVDIA's GPU for notebook computers. Its performance has been improved as much as 1.33 times. Compared to intel HD graphics 620 which is in Core i5-7200U, it has performance up to 4 times as good. The specification is very similar to that of the NVDIA GeForce GT 1030, low end GPU for desktop PC. In short, it is better than an integrated CPU and as good as a low end desk top PC in terms of graphic performance.
When I tested it with the Home accelerated of PCMark 8 (Futuremark), it got a high score of 3432. Also, with PCMark8's creative, which checks software for editing images and movies to work smoothly, it scored 4688. This scored high too.

Comparison of the test results of PCMark 8's Home accelerated and creative.

It scored 918 when I tested with 3DMark's Time Spy, which checks its 3D performance. It is higher than integrated CPU, but it is not as good as a high performance desktop PC.

This is a perfect model for those who seek graphic performance for a mobile notebook PC.

The ZenBook 13 UX331UN has a high performance as a mobile notebook PC that can be used for personal use to business.
If you don't seek graphic performance, you could go for cheaper mobile notebook PCs, but if you want to edit images and movies and play not too heavy games, this will be a good choice. Check this out if you are looking for a powerful mobile notebook PC.

Related Item

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN

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