Price Who Has Best Deal? Overall Rating
$1,599 MSRP $1,456 View on Amazon View on NewEgg

Introducing the ZenBook 3 UX390UA

The next generation of ZenBook ( UX390UA )is here. It’s ZenBook reimagined for the next era of mobile computing. Every single precision component and every elegantly crafted detail has been completely re-engineered and redesigned to make ZenBook 3 UX390UA the most sophisticated ZenBook yet. It’s lighter, thinner, stronger, impossibly powerful. It’s equipped with the latest 7th-Generation Intel Core i7 Processor for unbelievable performance in its slim profile.

  • Slim, compact and light
  • Excellent build quality
  • Surprisingly good keyboard
  • Solid specs and overall good performance
  • Doesn’t get as hot as One Would expect
  • Potent speakers
  • Solid performing wireless
  • The battery life is decent (considering the actual size of the battery)
  • The cooling fan is active all the time
  • The display is too dim for the premium niche and glossy Despite not being a touchscreen
  • Limited IO, but an adapter is included
  • Pricey
When we draw the line, I think the Zenbook UX390UA is an excellent ultraportable, but it’s necessarily the best pick for everyone looking for a thin and light computer these days, and here’s why.

  1. It gets a small screen, which might not suffice for daily use. I’ve been using a 12.5-incher for many years in the past, but after switching to a 13-incher I wouldn’t go back, and even so I think the sweet spot for productivity is around the 14-inch mark.
  2. It’s dim panel make it difficult to use in bright environments or outdoors, and I find this limitation problematic on a computer that’s supposed to go with me everywhere. Personally, I don’t even use the laptop outside that often, but when I don’t want to struggle.
  3. MY biggest nit with the laptop is the fact that the screen doesn’t lean back past 135 degrees. I lean my laptop on my thighs while on the sofa or in bed and almost never use it at the desk, that’s why the screen on my laptop of choice needs to go back to at least 150 degrees, preferably all the way back to 180.
  4. Performance Issue. This Zenbook handles everyday tasks buttery smooth, yet when pushed with games and demanding applications the implications of having a Core U hardware in such a compact body will show of.
  5. And then there’s also the average daily-use battery life, as there was no space inside for a big one, the limited IO and even the price, although I don’t think these are necessarily deal-breakers.

These are pretty much the compromises you have to make when going for the Zenbook UX390UAK, so if you’re not able to cope with them, then this laptop is probably not for you.

But who is it for then? Well, for those of you who greatly value portability and aesthetics, and simply want a computer able to handle daily chores flawlessly. For them my recommendation would be to go for a Core i5 configuration, it will be fast enough for your needs and will run a little cooler and more efficient than the Core i7. Still, if you’ll want the 16 GB of RAM you’ll probably have to get the i7 anyway, due to the pre-defined configurations Asus throws at the market.
The Zenbook UX390UA is a great ultraportable, but I feel only a few people would find this the best fit for their needs

The Zenbook UX390UA is a great ultraportable, but I feel only a few people would find this the best fit for their needs

So at the end of the day, the Zenbook UX390UAK is a great computer and pretty much unique on the market. If it fits your requirements, you’ll be happy with it, but I can’t stop feeling that the reality is most of you looking for an ultraportable would probably get a better return of your money in some of the slightly larger options out there.

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Did you Know ?

ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA

Best notebook Xataka Awards 2016 – Bronze

The jury of Xataka, along with its readers, have chosen this laptop as the third best of the year
SPAIN
XATAKA
2016/11
SPECS
  • Processor
    Intel® Core™ i7 6500U Processor,
    Intel® Core™ i5 6200U Processor,
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Home
    Windows 10 Pro
  • Chipset
    Integrated Intel® CPU
  • Memory
    DDR3L 1600 MHz SDRAM, OnBoard Memory 4 GB , DIMM Up to 12 G
  • Display
    13.3″ Auto HD (1366×768)/IPS FHD (1920×1080)/IPS QHD+(3200 x 1800)
  • Graphic
    NVIDIA® GeForce® 940M with 2GB DDR3 VRAM
  • Storage
    – 128GB SSD
    – 256GB SSD
    – 512GB SSD
    – 500GB HDD
    – 1TB HDD
    – 500GB HDD With 8 G SSD
  • Card Reader
    2 -in-1 card reader ( SD/ SDHC)
  • Camera
    HD Web Camera
  • Networking
    Integrated 802.11 a/g/n or 802.11 ac (WiDi)
    BT 4.0 support (on WLAN+ BT 4.0 combo card)
  • Interface
    1 x COMBO audio jack
    3 x USB 3.0 port(s)
    1 x HDMI
    1 x mini Display Port
    1 x SD card reader
    1X AC adapter plug
  • Audio
    Built-in Speakers And Microphone
    ICEpower®
    ASUS SonicMaster Technology
  • Battery
    3Cells 50 Whrs Polymer Battery
  • Power Adapter
    Plug Type :ø4 (mm)
    Output :
    19 V DC, 3.42 A, 65 W
    Input :
    100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
  • Dimensions
    323 x 223 x 19.2 mm (WxDxH)
  • Weight
    (with Polymer Battery)
  • Security
    Intel Anti-theft
  • Certificates
    UL, FCC Compliance, BSMI, Australia C-TICK / NZ A-Tick Compliance, CCC, Energy star
  • Only for Search
    Thinnes – Ultrabook
    Thinnes – Laptop
DESIGN

ZenBook 3’s design took some serious engineering prowess and craftsmanship to realize. The ultra-thin 11.9mm profile meant to invent the world’s most compact laptop hinge, just 3mm high to preserve its sleek lines. To fit in the full-size keyboard, ASUS had to create a surround that’s just 2.1mm wide at the edges, and they designed the powerful four-speaker audio system in partnership with audiophile specialists Harman Kardon. ZenBook is renowned for its unique, stunning looks, and you’ll instantly recognize the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish on ZenBook 3’s all-metal unibody enclosure a finish that takes 40 painstaking steps to create. But Asus have added a beautiful twist, using a special 2-phase anodizing process to create stunning golden edge highlights. To complete this sophisticated new theme, they have added a unique gold ASUS logo and given the keyboard a matching gold backlight.

PORTS

While the ZenBook 3 UX390UA outdoes the 12-inch MacBook in many ways, including better performance and design, the Asus machine has the same port problems.

In addition to its 3.5mm audio jack, Asus’ laptop has only a single USB Type-C port for both charging and data. At least the box includes the company’s Asus Mini Dock, which goes from USB Type-C to HDMI, and USB Type-A and Type-C (for charging). Apple charges its users an extra $79 for the exact same kind of adapter.

Asus ZenBook 3 UX390UA headphone jack
Though we wish the laptop had more ports, using USB Type-C has some great advantages, including the ability to use all kinds of third-party AC adapters and docks. When I accidentally left the Asus charger at home, I charged the ZenBook 3 using an Innergie USB-C 45-watt universal charger we had lying around the lab.

You can also connect to a docking station that offers power and video-out over a single cable. Asus is selling its Universal Docking Station, which has HGMI, VGA, Ethernet and two USB 3.0 ports. However, our favorite dock right now is the Plugable USB-C Triple Docking Station, which can output to three monitors at once.

Zenbook UX390UA Keyboard and Trackpad:

On a more positive note, the Zenbook UX390UAK types surprisingly well considering its slim form factor. I’m really not a big fan of the Macbook’s keyboard with its limited travel keys and shallow feedback, and I actually had low expectations from this Asus notebook as well, but I was proven wrong.

Yes, the keys have limited travel, but they still drop 0.8 mm and deliver surprisingly good response, to the point where I was able to type thousands of words effortlessly with little accommodation time and only a small amount of typos, although a little more than my average. In fact I can say that after using this Zenbook for the last days I enjoy typing on it more than on my XPS 13, whose keys are deeper but mushier, so if you’re OK with short-stroke keyboards you’ll probably find the one on this Zenbooks at least good enough. The keys are also fairly quiet, with the exception of the space key that has a voice of its own, but I learned to ignore it over time.

ux390ua keyboard

BTW, the keys on the UX390 are rectangular, measuring 17 x 14 mm, so even those of you with larger hands shouldn’t have a problem with them. The keyboard is of course backlit and there are three intensity levels to choose from. As a note, there’s a small LED on the Power Button (integrated withing the keyboard as the top right key) that remains active all the time, which you might find annoying when watching movies in a dark room, and the keyboard’s back-lightning spreads to the speaker meshes on top of the keys on both of my test units.

Price Who Has Best Deal? Overall Rating
$1,599 MSRP $1,456 View on Amazon View on NewEgg

Unbelievably Powerful

ZenBook 3 overcomes the challenge of combining high-performance components into the smallest chassis yet for the ZenBook series. The result is an unbelievably powerful laptop, with the latest Intel Core i5 processor and a fast 256GB SSD and the latest USB-C port that supports display. So there’s no need to worry about what you can or can’t do with ZenBook 3 it’s practically unstoppable.

Robust Cooling Performance

With ZenBook 3’s Intel Core i7 / i5 processor inside a slim chassis, our engineers had to invent a brand-new cooling system using state-of-the-art components such as a liquid-crystal-polymer fan impeller that’s just 0.3mm thick and a copper-alloy heat pipe with walls a mere 0.1mm thick. This innovative cooling system is a mere 3mm thick, and the warm air is gently routed through hidden vents in the hinge for efficient, serenely quiet cooling even under full load.

 

 

Vivid and stunning QHD+ display

The display looks just as good as you’d expect from such a beautiful laptop. The ultra-sharp screen has an amazing up to QHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1800 and a brightness of 300cd/m2, so it’s always easy and comfortable to view. And with an incredible pixel density of 275 pixels per inch, images and text are always pin-sharp and ultra-detailed.

Impressive All Day life Battery in UX390UA:

There’s a 40 Wh battery on the Zenbook UX390UA, which is small for a computer motorized by an Intel Core i7 processor, and as a result you’re not going to get countless hours of use out of this one. Check out the results below.

  • 6.5 W (~6 h of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 5 W (~8 h min of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 3.8 W (~10 h 30 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 4.8 W (~8 h 20 min of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~3 h 15 min of use) – heavy browsing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 40%, Wi-Fi ON.
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Did you Know ?

Asus includes its Mini Dock in the box, which goes from USB Type-C to HDMI, and USB Type-A and Type-C (for charging).

When we draw the line, I think the Zenbook UX390UA is an excellent ultraportable, but it’s necessarily the best pick for everyone looking for a thin and light computer these days, and here’s why.

  1. It gets a small screen, which might not suffice for daily use. I’ve been using a 12.5-incher for many years in the past, but after switching to a 13-incher I wouldn’t go back, and even so I think the sweet spot for productivity is around the 14-inch mark.
  2. It’s dim panel make it difficult to use in bright environments or outdoors, and I find this limitation problematic on a computer that’s supposed to go with me everywhere. Personally, I don’t even use the laptop outside that often, but when I don’t want to struggle.
  3. MY biggest nit with the laptop is the fact that the screen doesn’t lean back past 135 degrees. I lean my laptop on my thighs while on the sofa or in bed and almost never use it at the desk, that’s why the screen on my laptop of choice needs to go back to at least 150 degrees, preferably all the way back to 180.
  4. Performance Issue. This Zenbook handles everyday tasks buttery smooth, yet when pushed with games and demanding applications the implications of having a Core U hardware in such a compact body will show of.
  5. And then there’s also the average daily-use battery life, as there was no space inside for a big one, the limited IO and even the price, although I don’t think these are necessarily deal-breakers.

These are pretty much the compromises you have to make when going for the Zenbook UX390UAK, so if you’re not able to cope with them, then this laptop is probably not for you.

But who is it for then? Well, for those of you who greatly value portability and aesthetics, and simply want a computer able to handle daily chores flawlessly. For them my recommendation would be to go for a Core i5 configuration, it will be fast enough for your needs and will run a little cooler and more efficient than the Core i7. Still, if you’ll want the 16 GB of RAM you’ll probably have to get the i7 anyway, due to the pre-defined configurations Asus throws at the market.
The Zenbook UX390UA is a great ultraportable, but I feel only a few people would find this the best fit for their needs

The Zenbook UX390UA is a great ultraportable, but I feel only a few people would find this the best fit for their needs

So at the end of the day, the Zenbook UX390UAK is a great computer and pretty much unique on the market. If it fits your requirements, you’ll be happy with it, but I can’t stop feeling that the reality is most of you looking for an ultraportable would probably get a better return of your money in some of the slightly larger options out there.

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