Ultrabooks, as the smaller and more powerful laptops are known, are very popular among travelers and power users. Computers like Asus Zenbook UX330UA-AH5Q cater to this niche with compact 13.3 inches display and a powerful set of components, starting from Kaby Lake Core i5 processor and ending up at a snappy solid-state drive. The laptop has gathered a large audience who, mostly, talk positive things about the notebook. Let’s see what my opinion about the rig is.
Under the hood
ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q packs plenty of power. For that, we are to thank the processor choice: Intel’s Core i5-7200U. It is a modern laptop CPU belonging to the 7th generation family, also known as Kaby Lake architecture. The vital specifications are 2.5GHz clock speed and 3.1GHz turbo boost. It’s a dual-core chip so unfortunately multitasking capabilities are a bit limited, but the i5-7200U still manages to get a decent 4710 score in CPU Mark tests.
For memory, the ASUS uses LPDDR3 clocked at 1866MHz. There is 8GB RAM installed on-board. The disadvantage is, you can not upgrade such a memory. You are stuck with the 8GB no matter what. However, the bright side is, 8GB is still plenty in 2017 (and later), chances are very slim you would ever need more!
The laptop uses M.2 SATA3 256GB solid-state drive for memory. You can change the M.2 card to upgrade the drive if you want. Indeed, the storage can be upgraded but memory and processor can not.
Graphics and display
The graphics card Intel HD 620 is nothing to celebrate about. It will do the job for non-gaming work, but being an integrated unit the Intel HD suits players rather poorly. High-end games, such as GTA 5 or Doom, would be in the sub 30FPS range even on lower settings. On the bright side, titles demanding less like Counter-Strike: Go would run lag-free. In addition, all software (including Photoshop) are supported as far as the graphics card is concerned.
The screen on ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q looks like a quality piece. The 13.3 inches non-touch display blasts 3200×1800 resolution, which is also called Quad HD in the circles. In real life, you are going to fit a lot of data on the screen at the same time (like two windows side by side). The display rotates a maximum 130 degrees, while the viewing angles are around 170 degrees. The anti-glare panel offers an average 300 nits brightness which works for inside and outdoors use.
Ports and interfaces
Don’t expect to find a great selection of ports on ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q, it’s not a large gaming laptop! There are still a set of connections to get you started: two USB 3.0 and one USB Type-C (up to 5Gbps, no charging though). Indeed, the USBs will come handy if you want extra functionality on this rig – for example there is no built-in LAN port but you can use USB to RJ-45 LAN adapters.
Even though wired networking is not supported out of the box, a damn good wireless is. The laptop contains a WiFi card supporting the long-range 802.11ac standard and WiDi (wireless display). Bluetooth 4.1 works too for connecting few devices wireless to this laptop.
Want to use an external display on this Asus? Perhaps the laptop’s own monitor is too small? There is a micro-HDMI connector on this notebook. With the right kind of adapter you’re free to plug in HD television or PC monitor.
There is no optical drive on this laptop. It is logical; there’s not much free space in an ultrabook to begin with. You are, however, free to use external USB drive. With that, discs work exactly like they would with an internal drive.
ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q has an aluminum body which has two advantages. First, it looks cool. Second, the unit is a lightweight 2.6 pounds. Just beware of the scratches, these metal-shelled notebooks can get some if you’re reckless with the laptop.
The unit offers a 3-cell 57Whrs polymer battery. Asus claims it lasts 12 hours for web browsing. There are several user reports that almost back up this claim, stating they get 9 to 11 hours battery life on mixed use. I don’t think the battery can be replaced, if that makes any difference to you.
It has a backlit keyboard and this feature can be turned off.
Reasons to buy it
ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q offers a great deal of performance for everything software-related. You won’t experience lag even with heavier programs, examples being occasional Photoshop or video editor use. You can thank the fast i5 processor and solid-state drive for that.
The notebook weighs next no nothing at 2.6 pounds. It is so effortless to carry with you. In addition, because the unit is just 0.5 inches thick, it takes no space in your backpack, leaving room for more things.
At 3200×1800 resolution I’d dare to say the display looks gorgeous. You will never run out of screen estate.
Reasons not to buy it
Very avid gamers should not bother with ASUS. All the other things but the most important, the graphics card, is in check here. If you are interested in the newest Triple A games the integrated Intel HD will do no good for you. Frame rates would be too slow. There is no way to upgrade the graphics card or use an external GPU.
To me, it looks like ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q deserves the attention it has been getting. A lot of performance put in the neat aluminum body, coupled with a 13.3″ Quad HD screen, is a beautiful sight and useful tool. As said above, the notebook rocks for you if your priorities lie in software performance and portability aspects. Thus, the ASUS would be a good pick for (at least) power users, travelers and students.