ASUS ZenBook S UX391 Review – My Ideal Ultrabook

I realized that I haven’t reviewed any ZenBook laptops yet. My interest to review a ZenBook started when the ZenBook 3 was announced in 2016. I was able to play with it, but did not have the luxury to spend two weeks for evaluation. When ASUS Philippines learned about this, they happily offered me the ASUS ZenBook S UX391 Review unit. Now’s my chance to share my experience with this ultrabook that caught my fancy in COMPUTEX 2018.

ASUS ZENBOOK S UX391 REVIEW SPECS:

OS:Windows 10
Display:13.3-inches UHD display 3840x2160
Processor:Intel Core i7-8550U processor
GPU:Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage:512GB M.2 SSD
Memory:16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz
Connectors:1 x USB3.1-Type C (Gen1); 2 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3; 3.5mm headphone jack
SRPP69,995.00-P84,995.00

THE UNBOXING

Inside the elegant box of the ZenBook S UX391 are the laptop, charger, ASUS Mini Dock, and a stylish protective sleeve if you prefer not to place it inside your bag.

THE LOOKS AND FEEL – ASUS ZENBOOK S UX391 REVIEW

As I’ve mentioned before in COMPUTEX 2018, I didn’t pay much attention to the ZenBook S as much as I did to the ZenBook Pro 15 2018. The only time it made me listen to Marcel Campos, ASUS’ Global Marketing Head was when he showed the Burgundy Red version of the ultrabook. I love red, and even it’s an unusual color for a machine, I wanted to have one pronto. Then I had a short time with the Deep Dive Blue finish that really made me change my mind about the ZenBook S.

I’ve been using a heavy and thick gaming laptop for almost a year now so reviewing the ZenBook S UX391 is very refreshing for me. I didn’t have to bring a bigger bag, nor carry a big charger. I’m able to slip it inside a backpack, or in most cases, just use the sleeve to bring it elsewhere. Yes, it’s that light. It only weighs under 1kg, 1.3kg lighter than my current gaming machine. It’s like bringing along a tablet, and it’s such a joy that I was able to just hold like one while walking on a busy street or inside a mall.

The slim form factor is one of the best traits of the ZenBook S UX391. It’s only 12.9mm while the lid is closed, which looks sexy by the way but even sexier whenever it gets opened. The back of the lid acts like a stand for the ultrabook, lifting its back to 5.5 degrees. There are three things that will benefit users while the ZenBook S is elevated. First, it keeps it cool thanks to the air that passes through underneath the hinge area. Second, it makes the speakers sound louder, and third, other people would see the thinness of the ZenBook S UX391 while in use.

THE DISPLAY – ASUS ZENBOOK S UX391 REVIEW

The ZenBook S UX391’s display is a 13.3″ LED with UHD resolution. During my COMPUTEX trip an ASUS representative tested the ZenBook’s screen in front of us and the result was 100% sRGB color gamut. True enough, the display is very vibrant with colors popping out of the screen. I only learned about its touchscreen feature after a week of usage and I found it responsive enough, though I’m already contented using the touchpad. The only caveat I have here is it always shows my reflection whenever I try to take photos of the screen.

THE PERFORMANCE- ASUS ZENBOOK S UX391 REVIEW

The ZenBook S UX391’s processor is an Intel 8th Gen i7-8550U with 512GB SSD and 16GB of  high speed 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM. With all this power in the notebook, all my tasks were done in a breeze. It’s my habit to open a lot of apps even when they’re not in use, yet neither of them caused any hiccups on the ZenBook S. Twenty-four tabs open in Google Chrome, Adobe, Wunderfilm, Wondershare, and Spotify were usually opened most of the time.

Even with its smaller size, the ZenBook S UX391 comes with a full-sized keyboard. Touch typing is so enjoyable that I was able to write articles and documents with lesser errors. How I wish my current laptop has this kind of keyboard.

Since the ultrabook’s selling point is its slim profile, it is already expected that it will lose some ports. Found on the left side is a USB Type-C port while on the other side are two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the hinge. The good news is, ASUS offers a Mini Dock that has a 3.0 Type-A, 3.1 Type-C, and a full-sized HDMI port. This accessory may or may not be included in the ZenBook S as it depends on the variant you’re planning to purchase.

THE BATTERY LIFE- ASUS ZENBOOK S UX391 REVIEW

Before I switched to a Republic of Gamers gaming laptop, I used to enjoy 8-10 hours daily usage on my MacBook Pro. I didn’t have to look for a power outlet as I was confident that I could finish my work without the need for charging it. I was confident that I don’t have to bring my charger often, but it certainly did not reach 8 hours of usage. For two weeks, I averaged 7 hours of usage that most consists of typing, browsing and streaming YouTube videos. Sometimes less when using the video editing software.

DR’S CONCLUSION

The question that’s been bugging me since COMPUTEX 2018 was “if ever you will pick a ZenBook, will it be a UX391 or a UX580 ZenBook Pro 15?” Honestly speaking, I still find it hard to answer. However, after using the ASUS ZenBook S UX391, I am compelled to have an ultrabook again in my arsenal. Bringing it along to my road trips was so easy and was never a hassle, so I reckon this would be the perfect laptop not only for business travelers but for leisure travelers as well. Price is also compelling as you can purchase this ZenBook starting at P69,995 with a Full HD resolution, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. I’ll certainly purchase that instead of buying a MacBook again.

The ASUS ZenBook S UX391 certainly deserves a DR’s Choice Award. It’s my ideal kind of ultrabook and if I just have the moolah right now, I’ll buy the base model in a heartbeat!

PROS

  • Slim, sexy form factor
  • Lightweight. Weighs under 1kg.
  • Vivid display. Touchscreen feature a plus.
  • Large keyboard. Fun to touch-type
  • Acceptable battery life

CONS

  • ASUS Mini Dock is not included in all variants.

Thanks to ASUS Philippines for loaning the ASUS ZenBook S UX391 for our review.

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