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You should know from the beginning that Asus will offer this laptop in a multitude of hardware variants.
We’re talking about a pre-production base level model in the article, with a matte FHD IPS screen, a Core i5-8250U processor and Nvidia MX150 graphics.
You might say I’m nitpicking, and perhaps I am, but when these edges bite into your fingers you’ll understand why this small aspect is actually quite annoying in daily use.
Back to the form-factor, this Zenbook is still one of the most compact 13-inchers available out there, and the extra mm in length and width over the XPS 13 actually leave room for slightly bigger palm-rest and enough space on the top bezel to actually put the webcam on top of the screen, where it should be.
The Asus Zenbook UX331UN is one of the better devices that put both these hardware novelties in a compact and light 13-inch body, and the results are a significant step-up from anything similar available in the last years.
Well, I’m very familiar with the XPS that has been my ultra-portable of choice for the last years, and the XPS is for many the standard in the 13-inch niche of thin-and-light notebooks where the Zenbook UX331 plans to compete as well.
I didn’t actually notice the weight loss over my XPS 13, but if you’re coming from an older laptop you’ll enjoy only having to carry around a 2.5 lbs computer (and the extra .25 charger).
The screen on the other hand is very easy to lift with a single hand and has a nice mechanical sound when shut off.
But although there's nothing utterly wrong about it, it doesn't excel at anything either and pretty much all of its aspects could be improved to some extent, from the build quality, to the panel choice and battery size. The second half of 2017 is finally the right time to buy an all-round ultra-portable laptop that can handle standard everyday activities such as browsing, movies or music, but also games, graphics editing and some other more demanding chores.
And that’s because Intel have unveiled their first quad-core ULV platforms and Nvidia has updated their base-level dedicated graphics.