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Asus ZenBook S UX391 Review: Hot and expensive, but a great Ultrabook

Asus ZenBook S UX391 Review: Hot and expensive, but a great Ultrabook
The ZenBook S UX391 is a incredible machine for many who work on the street. Sporting an progressive hinge that lifts the bottom, it improves each cooling and ergonomics. A quad-core processor ensures that it could possibly maintain tempo with workplace duties and even some mild multimedia modifying. It does, nevertheless, run fairly scorching when beneath load in efficiency mode, and I observed mild bleed across the show. Since fashions with lower-end i5 processors aren’t out there in Canada, the ZenBook S UX391 begins at a stratospheric $1,999 for a 4K IPS touchscreen, 16GB RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD.

  • Great show colours
  • Wonderful efficiency
  • Thinner display bezel means smaller physique
  • Quick charger
  • Beautiful aluminum chassis
  • Revolutionary lift-up hinge

  • The display has seen mild bleed
  • Runs scorching and loud in efficiency mode
  • No HDR show
  • Excessive beginning worth with no finances choice
  • Fingerprint magnet

Asus ZenBook S UX391 at a look

Gadget ASUS ZenBook S UX301
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM 8GB / 16GB 2,133 MHz LPDDR3
Storage 512GB / 1TB NVMe SSD
Show 13.three″ 4K IPS touchscreen

13.three″ FHD shiny non-touch

13.three″ FHD anti-glare non-touch

Ports 2x USB-C Thunderbolt

1x USB-C three.1 Gen 1

1x three.5mm microphone/headphone jack

Weight Non-touch show: 2.2 lbs

Contact show: 2.31 lbs

Colours Deep Dive blue, Burgandy Pink
Worth $1,999

Asus’ ZenBook collection has been round ever since Intel first outlined specs for Ultrabooks. Since then, it’s been divided into a number of collection spanning throughout a number of consumer verticals. The Asus UX391 belongs to the Asus ZenBook S collection Ultrabooks – the highest-end Ultrabook line Asus has to supply.

Contemplating its status, it’s pure that the Ultrabook is not any slouch on efficiency. The Asus UX 391 is provided with an Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core processors, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe SSD. It additionally comes with a 4K IPS show, unibody-aluminum chassis, and edge-to-edge glass. It’s as a lot as a enterprise machine as it’s for informal use.

The UX391 touts a trendy, urbane design that marries the formality of a enterprise machine and the sophistication of a trendy system. Freed from extreme decoratives, it blends in comfortably for almost any event. The aluminum shell is printed with Asus’ hypnotic swirl sample spiraling outwards from the brand within the middle.

Consideration isn’t the one factor it attracts, nevertheless, the uncooked aluminum can also be a fingerprint and mud magnet. It’s additionally very susceptible to scratches. I think about myself a pretty cautious consumer, but seen scuff marks appeared after simply two weeks of normal use.

The show’s backside edge props up the bottom when unfolded, creating a hole between the bottom backside of the laptop computer and the floor it’s resting on. The lifted base helps higher dissipate warmth, whereas the slight angle makes typing a little extra pleasant. Though its edge has been rounded to keep away from slicing into your lap, it significantly wants bigger rubber ft to raised pad the show’s backside edge.

Utilizing the show to boost the laptop computer additionally signifies that it could’t fold backward just like the Lenovo Yoga or the HP Spectre X360. For many who want the flip performance, Asus gives the ZenBook Flip S UX370 which is a part of the ZenBook S collection lineup but folds into a pill.

The keyboard employs a commonplace ANSI format with common arrow keys. Some occasionally accessed keys just like the tilde (~) key have been compressed to save lots of area.

Measuring 12.24 x eight.38” x zero.59”, the UX391 simply slips into your bag and weighs solely 2.2lbs. It doesn’t take the award for being the lightest laptop computer, but you definitely gained’t break your again carrying it round.

The UX391 incorporates a spectacular 4K UHD IPS show that covers 97 per cent of the sRGB shade gamut, it’s succesful sufficient for skilled video and photograph modifying. Although its colors are great, it’s not HDR suitable.

As with all IPS shows, the viewing angle isn’t a problem. That is a good factor, as you’ll have to continually regulate its angle to keep off the glare.

At peak brightness, the UX391 is simply shiny sufficient to work underneath indoor lighting and beneath the shade. Working beneath the solar proved to be troublesome. It isn’t vibrant sufficient to persevere towards direct daylight.

There’s, nevertheless, seen mild bleed on the prime left nook. It radiates from the sting and covers round 10 per cent of the show. The bleeding is sort of noticeable when watching films in dim rooms.

Artists and designers might contemplate choosing up the elective Asus pen, but contemplating how the display doesn’t flip again, its practicality is restricted.

The ZenBook S UX391 can function in two energy modes. One is efficiency mode, the place the CPU operates at full throttle; the opposite is Quiet Fan mode, the place the CPU throttles earlier than the fan velocity will increase. Although efficiency mode pushes the processor to the max, it comes on the expense of fan noise. Most customers will select to have Quiet Fan mode enabled, subsequently, I ran my benchmark suite utilizing each modes.


The ZenBook S UX391 comes with both the Intel Core i5-8250U or the Intel Core i7-8550U CPUs, each of that are quad-core processors and are great for basic productiveness. Solely the i7 mannequin is on the market in Canada, nevertheless.


Even pitted towards different laptops in its class, the ZenBook S UX391 nonetheless earns a respectable 594 in Cinebench. With Quiet Fan enabled, its rating drops off to 277.


In efficiency mode, the ZenBook S UX391 scored equally to different laptops in its class with four,637 and 14,170 in single and multi-threaded exams respectively. With Quiet fan turned on, the scores dropped to three,858 and 9,468.


Built-in graphics have seen leagues of enchancment prior to now few years. With that stated, it’s nonetheless removed from being succesful sufficient to deal with triple-A titles. Not that issues, although: gaming on Ultrabooks is an afterthought.

I exploit the essential model of TimeSpy included within the base model of 3DMark to vaguely gauge graphics efficiency in DX12.

the built-in Intel UHD 620 produced 200 in Quiet Fan mode and 369 in efficiency mode, which principally interprets to not so great for gaming.

You’ll be able to configure the UX391 with both a 512GB, or 1TB SSD NVMe SSD. Since we obtained the top-end mannequin, ours got here with a beefy 1TB Samsung PM961 PCIe SSD.

There’s dangerous and excellent news right here. The dangerous information is that there’s a definitive efficiency dip when Quiet Fan is enabled (as anticipated). The excellent news is that the efficiency hit is most extreme at greater queue depths – a territory shoppers won’t ever contact. Random write at QD1 does endure fairly a bit although, so undoubtedly flip off Quiet Fan when working with giant numbers of small bits of knowledge.

I selected the PCMark10’s productiveness suite to guage general system efficiency. The check suite consists of a mix of professional workloads together with writing, conferencing, video modifying, and so forth.

It’s a matter of reality that each one gadget going to throttle (or overheat) when given intensive sufficient work. The query is when and by how a lot.

We check thermals utilizing each artificial and real-world workloads. The artificial workload is generated utilizing AIDA64’s CPU stress check, whereas the real-world workload is just a mixture of net shopping, phrase processing, media playback, and picture modifying utilizing Adobe Lightroom. Temperature and clock frequency are logged utilizing AIDA64’s built-in monitoring device.

No matter which mode you employ, the laptop computer goes to run scorching. Net shopping and workplace duties ran ice chilly, but Adobe Lightroom drove its temperature to above 70°levels Celsius.

AIDA64 reveals precisely how the laptop computer throttles. In efficiency mode, the processor begins at 2.8GHz on all cores, then drops off to 1.8GHz as soon as it reaches its thermal restrict. In Quiet Fan mode, the CPU by no means ramped as much as greater than 1.2GHz when pushing all cores. Thermal targets are set at 70°C for efficiency mode, and 60°C for Quiet Fan mode.

When the fan revved up in efficiency mode, it reached a peak of round 46dbA on my sound meter positioned 40 cm away. It’s undoubtedly audible, but it’s removed from insufferable. There was a noticeable scorching spot on the F8 key, which radiated onto the quantity row barely.

As a result of the UX931 makes use of a fast charger, the world above the keyboard heats up fairly a bit when charging. That stated, the warmth is alleviated considerably by the lifted base.

The 50Wh battery isn’t the most important in school. And contemplating how high-res shows have a tendency to make use of extra battery, the ZenBook S UX391 suffers a bit right here. Nonetheless, it’s capable of final a full day of use with out points. Do maintain the facility twine useful, although, as totally different workloads eat battery at totally different paces.

An ultraportable rule of thumb is the thinner the system, the less the ports. You’ll solely discover a grand complete of three USB-C ports on the UX391; one for charging, whereas two others play double-duty as Thunderbolt three connectors. There isn’t a USB type-A port right here, utilizing a thicker port on a gadget this skinny would mar its design.


The bar for laptop computer webcam high quality is extremely low. Regardless of being a high-end system, the ZenBook S UX391’s 720p webcam is underwhelming and mediocre at greatest. To its credit score, the sector of view is extensive and there’s no apparent lens distortion.

Asus provided a beefy keyboard to the ZenBook S UX931. Its scissor change doesn’t have the deepest journey, but it’s tactile and quiet. Asus additionally caught with devoted arrow keys and the usual ANSI format. White LEDs assist illuminate the important thing legends in darkish environments.

The glass trackpad, although serviceable, nonetheless can’t maintain as much as Apple’s trackpads. Accuracy and responsiveness are each great, although it has a little bit of hassle with detecting rolling fingers. It additionally drifts the cursor should you maintain down the left click on and drag your finger over the underside edge.

Biometric sign-in is all the time good to have. The ZenBook S UX391 comes with a fingerprint sensor positioned within the touchpad. It’s pretty fast to register, and mud doesn’t hassle it a lot, both.

For Canadian clients, the ZenBook S UX391 begins at $1,999.99. That’s the worth of a luxurious mattress or a price range weekend trip. It’s a good laptop computer in the event you’re a spendthrift millionaire, but most of us aren’t, so I feel it might enormously profit Canadians if Asus ported over the extra reasonably priced i5 fashions.

The Asus ZenBook S UX391 is incredible in each perform and type, but it isn’t good. Packing a tremendous keyboard, a beautiful show, and strong elements, the razor-thin Asus ZenBook S UX391 would have been a simple advocate if it wasn’t for its show backlight bleed and excessive fan noise and thermals. Thankfully, these have been the one two main complaints apart from its beginning worth. All issues thought-about, the ZenBook S UX391 is way from the worst funding you possibly can make.

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