ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe (UX490UA) Review
Asus has been making really great thin and light notebooks (the term ultrabooks are not that use often these days) for the longest time and the Zenbook 3 Deluxe is the best one Asus can offer in this category.
Is it a worthy and capable necessary successor to the Zenbook 3? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
Undoubtedly, one of the first things that would truly capture your attention on the UX490UA is its façade. It has this all-aluminum chassis with a spun-metal finish which, according to ASUS, has gone through 40-step process to give off that unique sheen when light touches it. You’d also notice the gold accent running along the edges of the laptop, as well on the ASUS logo.
It comes with a 13-inch body but with a 14-inch display which is made possible by having 7.46mm slim and narrow bezels surrounding the screen. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which also equates to 77% screen-to-body ratio, with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 60Hz glare panel, and a 178-degree wide-viewing angle display for a good viewing experience. This is mounted with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Above the screen houses the VGA webcam which produces terrible outputs.
Its keyboard keys also don a gold accent and are well-spaced. The keys are big enough to accommodate different fingertip sizes. And hurrah, it’s backlit! So you have the choice to adjust how bright or dim you want your keyboard to look like. However, there are times when we accidentally press the power button and mistaken it for the delete button.
On the upper right corner of its trackpad, you will find the fingerprint scanner, and below are two buttons that serve as the left and the right click.
Above the keyboard is where the speaker grilles reside. The laptop comes with Quad-speaker powered by Harman Kardon.
Looking at the right side, we have two Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB Type-C 3.1 ports). Just in case you’re wondering, platforms with Thunderbolt 3 ports has a whopping speed of 40Gbps, which means transferring huge files to this laptop would be a no brainer. The laptop uses USB Type-C to charge and its port is located near the hinge. On the left, we can see its 3.5mm audio jack and another USB 3.1 Type-C port. On the left, we can see its 3.5mm audio jack and another USB 3.1 Type-C port.
Having a thin body of 12.9mm and weighing only under 1KG, the UX490UA is definitely for people who are always on-the-go.
Display and Multimedia
The UX490UA comes with a 14-inch LED display with a typical 16:9 aspect ratio. The resolution is just full HD or 1920 x 1080 resolution with a 72% NTSC 178-degree wide-viewing angle display. We were expecting higher than 1080p resolution for a laptop of this caliber. A QHD resolution would have been better.
Despite not having any anti-glare features, the laptop still provides rich, and clear images even when you’re in a bright environment. Color reproduction, on the other hand, is also accurate and punchy.
We also love the ultra-narrow bezels and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for added protection.
Since the speaker is equipped with Harman Kardon, we guess explanations are no longer needed on this one. Audio quality is bass-y, impressive, and immersive. We also tried blasting a song to the maximum volume and we didn’t hear any audio distortion as the quality still sounds clear.
OS, Apps, and Storage
The UX490UA runs on Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), and just like your every conventional Windows 10 platforms, you’d find the usual Mail, Weather, News, and Skype apps in here. Moreover, ASUS’ proprietary apps such as Battery Health Charging, Install, Touchpad Writing, and Splendid Utility are also present. ASUS also didn’t include a bevvy of bloatware, so you only get the necessary ones.
The unit we have comes with 1TB SSD. Out of the actual 952GB, we were left with a sizable 812GB to use.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the UX490UA is Intel Core i7-7500U processor clocked at 2.7GHz (with a max turbo speed of 3.5Ghz), and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. This is a well-apportioned configuration with a generous amount of RAM and internal storage fitting the “Deluxe” label.
So far, we haven’t experienced any lags or crashes while using the laptop. We were able to playback, edit, color grade, and render a 4K video in Premiere Pro 2017 seamlessly. Multitasking has also been a breeze, and gameplay (Asphalt 8) has been pretty fun as we encountered no stutters at all. Its fingerprint scanner also responds quickly.
Meawhile here are benchmarks scores we got from CrystalDiskMark 5 and PCMark 10:
PCMark 10 score: 3,188
- Essentials – 6,780
- Productivity – 5,656
- Digital Content Creation – 2,294
SSD: Samsung PM961 NVMe PCIe M.2 1TB – 178.2%
- 1,529MB/s – Sequential Read
- 1,145MB/s – Sequential Write
The UX490UA is packed with 46Whrs 4-cell battery and as per usual, we ran our video loop test which involved a 1080p movie played continuously with settings set to Airplane mode, 50% brightness, and 50% volume with headphones plugged in, it was able to last for 3 hours and 15 minutes. As for its charging time, the device quickly charges in less than two hours (0% to 100%). Our daily usage got us a decent 6 hours, which includes browsing the web, watching offline videos, and playing casual PC games.
The ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe doesn’t fall far from the tree. It sports the same sleek and premium built of its predecessor, the Zenbook 3. However, their difference lies in certain aspects — this one got a larger display, larger SSD capacity, and bigger battery. Nevertheless, it’s a worthy a successor and if you are willing to spend Php104,995 on a laptop that is compact, premium, and powerful, then this one will surely satisfy you.
The Zenbook 3 Deluxe comes in three price points: Php81,995 for the 256GB SSD, Php89,995 for the 512GB SSD, and Php104,995 for the 1TB SSD Limited Edition.
ASUS Zenbook 3 (UX490UA) specs:
14.0? (16:9) LED-backlit FHD (1920×1080) 60Hz Glare Panel with 72% NTSC 178deg. wide-viewing angle display
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
2.7GHz Intel Core i7 7500U Processor
Intel HD 620 graphics (8GB RAM)
16GB DDR4 RAM
512GB PCI-E Gen3X4 SSD/ 1TB PCI-E Gen3X4 M.2 SSD
Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
VGA Web Camera
Quad speakers (Harman/Kardon)
USB 3.1 Type-C charger port
USB 3.1 Type-C port (2x) (Thunderbolt)
Illuminated Chiclet Keyboard
Multi-format card reader
WiFi 802.11 ac
4 Cells 46 Whrs Polymer Battery
19V DC, A, 65 W (Output), 100 -240V AC, 50/60 Hz universal (Input)
329mm x 216mm x 0~12.9mm (WxDxH)
What we liked:
- Premium look
- Gorgeous display
- Fast performance
- Backlit keyboard
- Harman Kardon quad-speaker
What we didn’t:
- Poor webcam quality