Asus ZenBook Three Deluxe UX490UA evaluate

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Ultrabooks offered a a lot wanted breath of contemporary air to the drained laptop computer scene after they first made an look simply over six years in the past. Asus has been a significant proponent of ultrabooks since their inception, and whereas there may be nonetheless a notion that Ultrabooks are an expensive approach of getting on the skinny and lightweight bandwagon, the likes of the ZenBook Three proceed to show that there’s a lot of nice expertise and efficiency available in a small kind issue if you happen to’re ready to spend that little bit extra.

The newest rendition of the ZenBook Three employs one among Intel’s latest, Eighth technology quad-core processors, codenamed Kaby Lake R. Asus has mixed that with a wholesome quantity of RAM and the most recent NVMe PCIe SSD to make sure that you’ve got efficiency the place you want it, in a stylishly-slim laptop computer which you could take wherever.

Such high-end parts do come at a really actual price, and the worth sticker connected to this machine definitely signifies that it’s not a mainstream choice. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re searching for a high-end Ultrabook, then this sort of ticket value isn’t too outrageous, and it genuinely does really feel such as you’re getting a variety of equipment for you cash.

Spec Sheet

Right here is the Asus ZenBook Three UX490UA configuration despatched to TechRadar for evaluate:

CPU:  1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache as much as 3.7GHz)
Graphics: Built-in Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3
Display screen: 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1080) LED-backlit (60Hz, 100% sRGB, 178-degree viewing angle, Corning Gorilla Glass)
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Ports:  2 x Thunderbolt Three USB-C, 1x 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C
Connectivity: 802.11ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Digital camera: 480p (VGA) webcam
Weight: 2.42 kilos (1.1 kg)
Dimension: 12.95 x 8.42 x 0.51 inches (32.9 x 21.Four x 1.29 cm; W x D x H)

Value and availability

Ultrabooks do demand a premium on lesser, thicker machines, and weighing in at $1,799 (£1,399; AU$2,499), this definitely prices greater than your common 14-inch laptop computer. Certainly, with the likes of the Microsoft Floor E book and Apple’s Iconic MacBook Professional coming in at roughly the identical costs, this must do one thing particular to set itself aside in a crowded panorama.

It’s price trying again at that specification although, and the mannequin reviewed does play dwelling to some actually cutting-edge {hardware}. That 512GB of PCIe NVMe storage, that we’ll come again to shortly, packs an unimaginable punch on the subject of knowledge throughput, and the truth that it’s additionally dwelling to an Eighth-generation Core i7-8550U shouldn’t be understated both.

One factor to keep in mind when seeking to purchase this laptop computer, or certainly any fashionable laptop computer, is that there are an excellent many specs from which to select from, so it’s price drilling down into the main points to ensure you’re getting the precise mannequin you assume you’re. Variations on the CPU used, the quantity and sort of storage employed, in addition to how a lot reminiscence is used.

On this occasion, a spread of CPUs might be discovered powering the ZenBook Three from the most recent quad-core chips as we’ve right here, to last-generation dual-core elements. Whereas we will see a case for utilizing a Core i5 as a substitute of the Core i7 we’ve right here, we’d nonetheless suggest going for the newer technology of chips over the Seventh-generation if in any respect potential.

The mannequin as reviewed right here is available within the US and UK, though you have to ensure you double examine the specs to ensure.

The excellent news for our Australian readers is that this laptop computer is on the market immediately from Asus, though it doesn’t carry the precise specification that we’ve right here, because the SSD is a slower SATA3 mannequin versus the lightning-fast NVMe drive we’ve within the take a look at unit.


Asus has an excellent repute for its ZenBook model, and it’s solely going to win over extra followers right here, with its brushed aluminium end making for a very effective machine to carry and use.

With the lid closed, the most recent ZenBook is dwelling to a minimalist design that errs on refined relatively than boastful, with solely the gold edging suggesting that that is greater than it might first seem.

The underside is equally understated, with its 4 low-profile rubber ft offering some texture to interrupt up the smoothness. The pair of converse grills might be discovered right here in direction of the entrance of the machine, whereas a pair of skinny air intakes on the perimeters end off the sober aesthetic.

Pop open the lid and the full-size keyboard lights up glows into motion properly in a darkened room, though in regular daytime lighting the backlight on the keys might be laborious to pick, and the lighting is a little bit patchy. Not a significant criticism by any means, however at this stage, we count on perfection, and the keyboard lighting is a little bit off.


We discovered typing on this keyboard a nice sufficient expertise, and for as soon as we’re shocked to report that the trackpad isn’t a waste of time both. In truth, we didn’t really feel the necessity to attain for a mouse when utilizing it. There’s a fingerprint scanner within the prime right-hand nook as nicely, for added flexibility and safety.

The total HD display is a delight to make use of, each for critical work and for watching motion pictures, with good vibrant color replica, and nice viewing angles. These searching for a bezel-less display are going to be disenchanted, however the end is good and general works nicely.

The ultimate level of be aware concerning the design of the ZenBook Three is its weight. It’s mild. Severely so, however doesn’t really feel weak or fragile due to it. That is a straightforward system to slip into its included pouch and toss into your bag, or carry round underneath your arm for a day. It’s slim sufficient to hold round as you’ll a file, however sufficiently big and shiny sufficient to current on to a small workforce if wanted.


If there’s one criticism we might stage at it, the usual VGA webcam isn’t going to do anybody any favors, and in 2018 we merely count on one thing higher. Particularly when Asus are asking for such a excessive value for the machine.

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