ASUS ZenBook S13 UX392FN Review
In January at CES 2019, ASUS announced a new ZenBook boasting a premium CNC-milled aluminum design and an immersive screen with 97% screen-to-body ratio, the ASUS ZenBook S13 UX392FN. Is this the perfect laptop for productivity? Find out in our full review.
Design and Construction
One of the things that this notebook is boasting is its premium build. And upon opening the box, you can immediately tell that it is. What will greet you is this aluminum lid with the ASUS signature Zen-inspired spun metal finish. Stamped in the middle is the reflective ASUS logo.
The edges are chamfered which feels edgy or sharp in the fingers to the point that we’re sometimes worried that it might cut us. These chamfers are reflective, which is a nice touch and makes the whole device look more dynamic. However, I noticed that these parts are prone to fingerprints and smudges. It doesn’t look good when it accumulates so you’ll be forced to wipe it now and then.
The rest of the body is also made of aluminum, but the bottom is plastic which feels a bit off at first since you’re expecting metal. Found here are the four plastic nubs, the vent for air intake (the exhaust is at the back side at the hinge), and Harman-Kardon stereo speakers on the left and right-hand sides.
Looking at the left, we have two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports (both supports charging and DisplayPort video output) but sadly no Thunderbolt 3, and a microSD card reader. On the right, we have the USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, the 3.5mm audio port, and LED for the power and battery.
The ports feel limited, so it’s a good thing ASUS included a USB-C dongle with a USB Type-C port for charging, full-size HDMI port, and another USB Type-A. Sadly, no support for a regular-sized SD card.
Open the lid, and you’ll see another feature that makes this notebook stand out – the 13.9-inch Full HD NanoEdge display. The bezels are 2.5mm thick and translate to an impressive 97% screen-to-body ratio. As for the HD webcam, it is mounted on top along with the sensors.
Opening the lid also reveals the ZenBook S13’s unique design which is the ErgoLift which lifts the notebook’s back end to create an incline and provide three benefits: to improve typing position, to improve air circulation which helps in cooling, and to enhance audio.
Looking at the rest of the laptop, we have the full-size backlit keyboard with 1.4mm key travel. The spacing is just right although we’re not a fan of the power button placed just above the backspace. Below the keyboard are the glass-covered precision touchpad and a fingerprint reader for extra security.
The touchpad is smooth, responsive, and supports gestures, although sometimes the fingerprint scanner gets in the way. It takes some getting used to to not let your finger stray over that part. The physical clicks are okay as they’re clicky and firm.
When it comes to its size, the ZenBooks S13 is portable and is just a bit wider than an A4-size paper, which is impressive for a notebook with a 13.9-inch screen. It’s also thin at 12.9mm and easy to lug around at 1.1kg. It even comes with a faux-leather carrying case to protect it from bumps and scratches, which is nice.
Display and Multimedia
The screen quality is great and boasts a 100% sRGB color gamut and capable of producing 400nits of brightness. At 13.9-inches, it is not exactly large, but the viewing experience is immersive thanks to the slim bezels. Viewing angles are also great, which also makes it a perfect device for watching videos. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support touch screen given its asking price.
Speaking of videos, the ZenBook S13 is an excellent device for binge-watching on Netflix or YouTube thanks to the loudspeaker. However, you should be mindful where you put the notebook as the speakers can get quickly muffled at the bottom.
OS and Apps
On the software side, the ZenBook S13 is running on Windows 10 Pro. We have the usual Microsoft applications like Office 365 and Skype. Others include the ASUS AudioWizard and McAfee. The latter produces annoying pop-ups so it’s good to know you can uninstall it if you don’t find any need for it.
Storage-wise, the unit we have sports 512GB PCIe SSD with 475GB as usable. There’s a 1TB model as well in case you need more storage space.
Performance and Benchmarks
The ZenBook S13 unit we have on hand is powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U chipset, NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe PCIe SSD. This kind of configuration can handle most productivity tasks, including photo and video editing.
The fans are quiet while thermals are good and are mostly cool except when you’re charging or gaming. The heat is blown towards the hinges so you can feel the heat on the keys on the top row by the F1 to F5 keys. The bottom part can get toasty as well, so I don’t recommend putting it on your lap during these activities.
As for benchmarks, so far we’re getting good results for a laptop focused on productivity. Gaming is possible on this device but don’t expect to get high frame rates. We played World War Z on it, and we can only get decent frame rates when graphics are set to low.
• 3D Mark TimeSpy – 952
• 3D Mark FireStrike 1.1 – 2,600
• PC Mark 10 – 4,167
• Geekbench – 5,233 (Single-Core), 15,913 (Multi-Core), 41,968 (OpenCL)
Battery life is decent on the ZenBook S13 and we’re getting around 8 hours of use in better performance mode in 50% screen brightness. We can extend it to over 10 hours in better battery mode in the same brightness settings. For gaming, it can only last for a little over 2 hours in best performance mode. Charging, on the other hand, is handled by a compact 65Wh USB-C charger and takes almost 2 hours to charge to full.
The ASUS ZenBook S13 is an excellent option for those who are looking for a productivity laptop with a compact build, immersive display, decent battery life, and good performance. It even comes with a dongle if you find the IO ports limiting. Sadly, there’s no Thunderbolt 3 or touch screen. It would have been almost perfect if it had those. But if you don’t require those and are satisfied with what it has to offer, then get the ZenBook S13.
The ASUS ZenBook S13 UX392FN-AB006T is priced at PHP 99,995.
ASUS ZenBook S13 UX392FN specs:
13.9-inch LED-backlit IPS FHD (1920 x 1080) NanoEdge display, 97% screen-to-body ratio
Intel Core i7-8565U 1.8GHz Quad-Core (up to 4.6GHZ, 8MB cache) / i5-8265U 1.6GHz (up to 3.9GHz, 6MB cache)
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU
8GB/16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD
Windows 10 Home/Pro
Wi-Fi 802.11ac gigabit-class
1x 3.5mm audio port
2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (supports fast charging)
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
1x MicroSD card reader
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio (Harman Kardon)
20V DC, 65W output
100-240V AC, 50/60Hz input
1.29cm x 31.6cm x 19.5cm
What we liked:
• Nice premium build
• Immersive screen
• Great performance
• Decent battery life
• Comes with a dongle and faux-leather case
What we didn’t:
• Edges feel too sharp
• No Thunderbolt 3
• No touch screen
• No full-size SD card reader