ASUS ZENBOOK 13 REVIEW 2021: THE BEST ZENBOOK?

It is difficult to find a universal laptop model: design, compactness, power, brand, nice price tag. But we seem to have found: ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325

It is difficult to choose a universal laptop model, so that the design is normal and light, and the performance is good, and the brand is well-known, and the price is not rude. Today we will talk about such a model. Universal Ultrabook – 2020 Zenbook 13.

Now you might have a question: what are the ASUS ZenBook updated? And what was there in the past models? The fact is that the ZenBook line is so huge, and Asus chooses so unfriendly names that it is simply unrealistic to sort it out quickly.

For example, our model is called ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325JA. What does this even mean? For example, is it newer or older than UX333FN? Unclear.

Therefore, for a start, let’s figure out how the ASUS ZenBook line works.

There are 4 types of ZenBook:

  • ZenBook Pro – the most flagship and innovative, with two displays for example.
  • ZenBook S – lightest, thinnest, and smallest business laptop
  • ZenBook Flip – Transformers
  • Simply ZenBook is the classic lightweight and thin ultrabook for everyday computing.

Our ZenBook has no Pro, S or Flip in the name, which means it’s a classic Ultrabook.

Further more difficult. It is not even worth trying to decipher the name UX325JA. On Wikipedia, for example, there is an article about ZenBook with a huge table, where the authors tried to organize the laptops by series, but even half of the models are not there.

Therefore, if you are looking at this line, the easiest way is to go to the ASUS website, select the category you want, and sort the laptops by date.

We did so and found out that despite the fact that 25 is less than 33, the UX325 is the successor to the UX333 series released in 2018. By the way, the old laptop is awesome, last year we got acquainted with the entire ASUS line. So if you find the UX333 at a good price, go for it. But before doing this, let’s find out what the new model is better than. And here there is something to talk about.

Design and ergonomics

First, we improved the design. Zenbooks have always been cute, and most importantly recognizable as if they were assembled from different parts: the top cover from one laptop, the insides from the second, the bottom one from the MacBook.

This year the design has been completed. The form has become more strict and business-like. At the same time, due to the beveled edges on the bottom, the laptop looks very light, it seems to hover a little above the surface.

However, the laptop has really become lighter: it weighs only 1.07 kg. In previous models, it was 1.1-1.25 kg, depending on the configuration.

I love the signature ErgoLift hinge. When you open the lid, the laptop rises, but not very much by only 3 degrees, so it doesn’t piss off. But we get better acoustics, cooling and more comfortable typing.

The keyboard, by the way, has been improved, to the right of the main unit a number of auxiliary keys have appeared: Home, End, PgUp and PgDn. Personally, I don’t need them, on the other hand, they do not interfere and can be useful in specific software. For example, Davinci Resolve has some quick actions tied to the Home key.

But the touch-sensitive number pad on the touchpad is, in my opinion, a useless thing, the buttons work with a delay, so it’s easier and faster to use the physical buttons, although the touchpad itself is very responsive and comfortable. The trackpad runs with a slight delay.

The display was also improved: it became brighter (450 cd / m2) and more energy efficient.

Interfaces

The next important point is interfaces. Previously, there was only one Type-C and that one was stripped down: no charging, no Display Port, and the speed was only 10 Gb / s.

Now, instead of one USB-C, there are two non-cut Thunberbolt 3 with a speed of 40 Gb / s and all the goodies. Now, through one port, it will be possible to charge a laptop, turn off two 4K displays, and, of course, an eGPU.

Thickness and autonomy

First, because the laptop is not only light, but also thin. According to ASUS, this is the thinnest laptop with a full range of ports: it has everything and Thunderbolt, and Type-A, and a card reader, and HDMI. True, instead of HDMI, it would be better to add a second large USB in my opinion.

But this is not the main thing, ASUS managed to cram a 67 Wh battery into such a small case versus 50 Wh in the previous model. ASUS themselves claim 22 hours of continuous work.

Battery tests conducted by ASUS on April 3, 2020 using the MobileMark 2014 Office Productivity scenario. Test configuration: ZenBook UX325JA, 1W FHD display, Intel Core i7-1065G7, SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4 2TB), 32 GB of RAM. Settings: Wi-Fi module on, screen brightness – 150 cd / m2, NumberPad touchpad off.

Disadvantages

But not everything is so rosy. To achieve such a ratio of compactness and autonomy, they sacrificed upgrade capabilities: the RAM was made non-removable. But at least they were allowed to change the SSD!

Also, apparently there was not enough space for powerful speakers. The sound in this laptop is good, but not outstanding either.

And there is also face unlocking, which pleases. Works through Windows Hello.

CPU

Moving on. For autonomy it is worth saying thanks not only to the battery, but also to the new 10th generation Intel processor. They feature the new SunnyCove architecture and 10 nm process technology. This is a major upgrade over the previous generation. New Intel is significantly more energy efficient and productive.

In everyday tasks, the laptop just flies. But most importantly, it does not heat up at all and does not make noise. We have a version with a top-end Core i7-1065G7 processor with 4 cores / 8 threads and a new integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics with 64 compute units. During the announcement of the new build Intel promised us a big boost in speed. And so it happened.

The new integrated graphics are somewhere between the discrete MX150 and MX250 in synthetic benchmarks. But this is synthetic, often in games the lag reaches 60%. All the same, NVIDIA puts a strong emphasis on the diver and optimization in games. Therefore, if you are looking for a gaming machine, you need to take a more powerful model. Or play with eGPU.

By the way, in Counter Strike GO, the number of frames per second jumps from 30 to 40 FPS.

Conclusion

As a result, the new ZenBook is just fiery. It has the size and autonomy of a tablet, and the power is like a normal PC. For those who constantly carry a laptop with them – a very good option. Sometimes, in order to make an excellent device out of a good one, you just need to do some work on the mistakes. ASUS apparently understood this.

Main Characteristics

Video card

● Intel Iris Plus Graphics
● Intel UHD Graphics

Display

13.3 “Full-HD (1920×1080) 16: 9

RAM

8/16/32 GB LPDDR4X 3200 MHz

CPU

● Intel Core i7-1065G7
1.3GHz (with Turbo boost up to 3.9GHz) Quad Core, 8MB Cache

● Intel Core i5-1035G1
1 GHz (with Turbo boost up to 3.6 GHz), 4 cores, 6 MB cache

● Intel Core i3-1005G1
1.2GHz (with Turbo boost up to 3.4GHz), 2 cores, 4MB cache

Interfaces

2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C (up to 40 Gbps)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (up to 5 Gbps)
1 x HDMI
1 x MicroSD card reader

Data storage

2 TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD
256GB / 512GB / 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 M.2 SSD

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