Notebookcheck

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN (i7-8550, GeForce MX150, SSD, FHD) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Alex Alderson), 02/21/2018

Powerful long runner. The ZenBook 13 does not lack in power. ASUS has equipped the slim Ultrabook with a quad-core processor and a dedicated graphics card. Coupled with that is a quick SSD, long battery life and a good display. Nevertheless, the seemingly successful ZenBook draws some criticism.

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The ASUS ZenBook 13 is a sleek, compact, 13.3-inch Ultrabook. Onboard are a quad-core Core i7-8550U processor and a GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics card. We reviewed the ZenBook’s practically identical sibling earlier this year; so much of the device has already been covered by us. As such, we will not comment on the case, connectivity, input devices, screen or the speakers in this review. Information about these can be read in our review of the other ZenBook 13. We have chosen the Lenovo IdeaPad 720S-13IKBHP Envy 13Dell XPS 9370, and the MacBook Air 13 as comparison devices.

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN (ZenBook 13 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 - 2048 MB, Core: 937-1607 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 64-Bit connection, ForceWare 390.77, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2133, Dual-Channel, RAM is soldered with no RAM slots
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 169 PPI, AU Optronics B133HAN04.9, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC294 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audio combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 13.9 x 310 x 216 ( = 0.55 x 12.2 x 8.5 in)
Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: VGA
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, McAfee Live Safe (Trial), MS Office 365 (Trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.1 kg ( = 38.8 oz / 2.43 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
1299 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
180 MB/s ∼100% +158%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88 MB/s ∼49% +26%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
72.7 MB/s ∼40% +4%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
72 MB/s ∼40% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
69.7 MB/s ∼39%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 186, n=95)
61.4 MB/s ∼34% -12%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
204.9 MB/s ∼100% +141%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
89.6 MB/s ∼44% +6%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
84.9 MB/s ∼41%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
82.6 MB/s ∼40% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (17.7 - 251, n=95)
81.6 MB/s ∼40% -4%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80 MB/s ∼39% -6%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Broadcom 802.11ac
686 MBit/s ∼100% +31%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
603 MBit/s ∼88% +16%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
588 MBit/s ∼86% +13%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
547 MBit/s ∼80% +5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (71 - 950, n=82)
532 MBit/s ∼78% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
522 MBit/s ∼76%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
311 MBit/s ∼45% -40%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Broadcom 802.11ac
692 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
682 MBit/s ∼99% +4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼95%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
557 MBit/s ∼80% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (72 - 949, n=82)
524 MBit/s ∼76% -20%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
515 MBit/s ∼74% -21%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
343 MBit/s ∼50% -48%

Maintenance

The ZenBook can be repaired and maintained by unscrewing the bottom case from the chassis. There are screws hidden under two rubber feet in addition to the visible screws. The bottom case can only be removed by completely unscrewing these and the other screws. Doing so gives access to the components, of which the battery, SSD, Wi-Fi card, and the fan are user replaceable while the CPU, GPU and RAM are soldered to the motherboard.

A view of inside the ZenBook UX331UA
A view of inside the ZenBook UX331UA

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Display

Subpixel layout
Subpixel layout

The ZenBook has the same Full-HD display as can be found in its sibling. The IPS panel is bright, with good contrast, stable viewing angles, and no PWM flicker. These exact values vary marginally between the two models, but this is to be expected as no two display panels are identical.

There is one observable difference though, which is that on battery our test device has a lower maximum brightness than when it is charging. This is not replicated by the UX331UA’s sibling.

284
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 329 cd/m² Average: 306.4 cd/m² Minimum: 15.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 277 cd/m²
Contrast: 1097:1 (Black: 0.3 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.07 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.76 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
86% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.56
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
IPS LED, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
IPS LED, 1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
TN LED, 1440x900, 13.3
Response Times
10%
8%
-66%
-21%
-19%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44 (22, 22)
22.4 (10.8, 11.6)
49%
35 (17, 18)
20%
62.4 (32.4, 30)
-42%
48 (23, 25)
-9%
52.4 (30.4, 22)
-19%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (13, 11)
31.2 (17.2, 14)
-30%
25 (14, 11)
-4%
45.6 (24.4, 21.2)
-90%
32 (17, 15)
-33%
28.4 (18.4, 10)
-18%
PWM Frequency
131 (90)
1008 (20)
1000 (90)
58000
Screen
-4%
-21%
10%
-18%
Brightness middle
329
338
3%
335
2%
428
30%
281
-15%
Brightness
306
321
5%
303
-1%
405
32%
264
-14%
Brightness Distribution
86
90
5%
85
-1%
87
1%
83
-3%
Black Level *
0.3
0.35
-17%
0.46
-53%
0.26
13%
0.23
23%
Contrast
1097
966
-12%
728
-34%
1646
50%
1222
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.07
4.2
-3%
5.09
-25%
3.8
7%
4.83
-19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.05
6.5
8%
11.92
-69%
7.2
-2%
8.89
-26%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.76
3.9
-41%
3.23
-17%
4.4
-59%
6.63
-140%
Gamma
2.56 86%
2.43 91%
2.18 101%
2.21 100%
1.85 119%
CCT
6915 94%
7144 91%
6214 105%
7067 92%
6794 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56
60.4
8%
54
-4%
62.8
12%
56
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86
93.1
8%
82
-5%
96.4
12%
86
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
3% / -1%
-7% / -16%
-28% / -3%
-20% / -19%
-19% / -19%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8931 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN – Grayscale
CalMAN – Grayscale
CalMAN – Color saturation
CalMAN – Color saturation
CalMAN – Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN – Color Checker (calibrated)
CalMAN – Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN – Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN – Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN – Color saturation (calibrated)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 32 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 22 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 64 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Performance

The ZenBook 13 is a sleek, 13.3-inch Ultrabook that offers more than enough power for Office and Internet applications. The dedicated graphics card is powerful enough to play games on the ZenBook too. Prices for the device start at €960 (~$1174), with our test device costing approximately €1,200 (~$1468) at the time of writing.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
LatencyMon

Test conditions

In terms of power options, the ZenBook 13 comes with just a ‘Balanced’ mode. There are no ‘High Performance’ or ‘Low Power’ modes. These cannot be created later nor are there any power management options in the UEFI menu. All tests were therefore carried out with the ‘Balanced’ mode enabled.

Processor

The ZenBook is powered by an Intel Core i7-8550U Kaby Lake R quad-core processor. The i7-8550U is an ultra-low voltage (ULV) CPU that has a 15 W thermal design power (TDP) and supports Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading allows two threads to be processed per core, meaning that the i7-8550U has a total of eight threads across its four cores. The CPU has a base clock of 1.8 GHz that with Turbo Boost can be temporarily increased up to 4 GHz.

When running multi-thread Cinebench benchmarks the i7-8550U initially runs at between 3 and 3.3 GHz. After a few seconds this then drops to between 2.6 and 2.8 GHz. In single-thread tests, the processor operates at speeds between 3.3 and 4 GHz. Bear in mind that this is only true when the ZenBook is charging. If on battery, CPU speeds will drop to between 1.5 and 1.9 GHz for single-thread tests with speeds for multi-thread tests dropping to between 1.5 and 2.7 GHz.

Single-thread performance on charge
Single-thread performance on charge
Multi-thread performance on charge
Multi-thread performance on charge

We also tested whether the Turbo Boost consistently runs when the ZenBook is charging by running a multi-thread Cinebench R15 test on a thirty-minute loop. Our results show that while Turbo Boost does permanently run when the device is under full load and charging, the speeds to which the processor is boosted vary significantly. Turbo Boost does not keep the processor at a fixed speed for any length of time.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

It is worth bearing in mind that the results of our CPU tests are typical for the Core i7-8550U, and the ZenBook is not atypical in this regard.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3750
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19873
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6418
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
51.77 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.29 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.72 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
93.64 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
630 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
150 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
171 Points ∼100% +14%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
167 Points ∼98% +11%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
164 Points ∼96% +9%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
162 Points ∼95% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=67)
160 Points ∼94% +7%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
150 Points ∼88%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
145 Points ∼85% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼84% -4%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
138 Points ∼81% -8%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
116 Points ∼68% -23%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 171, n=232)
111 Points ∼65% -26%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
669 Points ∼100% +6%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
630 Points ∼94%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
623 Points ∼93% -1%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
585 Points ∼87% -7%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=69)
575 Points ∼86% -9%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
550 Points ∼82% -13%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U (Cool Mode Off)
532 Points ∼80% -16%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U (Cool Mode On)
525 Points ∼78% -17%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
506 Points ∼76% -20%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
353 Points ∼53% -44%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=239)
306 Points ∼46% -51%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
277 Points ∼41% -56%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.95 Points ∼100% +13%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (1.43 - 1.95, n=32)
1.834 Points ∼94% +7%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.72 Points ∼88%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
1.24 Points ∼64% -28%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.09 - 1.98, n=266)
1.144 Points ∼59% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.44 Points ∼100% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.29 Points ∼98%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4.38 - 8.56, n=32)
6.28 Points ∼98% 0%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
2.98 Points ∼46% -53%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.33 - 7.17, n=405)
2.5 Points ∼39% -60%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
6518 Points ∼100% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
6418 Points ∼98%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
6400 Points ∼98% 0%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4202 - 8211, n=30)
6332 Points ∼97% -1%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
5781 Points ∼89% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (322 - 6760, n=447)
3082 Points ∼47% -52%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
19873 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
18890 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (11694 - 24180, n=30)
17908 Points ∼90% -10%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
16804 Points ∼85% -15%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
16646 Points ∼84% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (661 - 20773, n=429)
6809 Points ∼34% -66%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
3875 Points ∼100% 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
3871 Points ∼100%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
3779 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (2471 - 4020, n=11)
3663 Points ∼95% -5%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
3622 Points ∼93% -6%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (592 - 3943, n=65)
2465 Points ∼64% -36%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U
14030 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (11637 - 14030, n=2)
12834 Points ∼91%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2906 - 14452, n=23)
6805 Points ∼49%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
14257 Points ∼100% +8%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (10747 - 15294, n=9)
13316 Points ∼93% 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
13251 Points ∼93%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
13014 Points ∼91% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2529 - 14332, n=23)
7039 Points ∼49% -47%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
4858 Points ∼100% +6%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
4699 Points ∼97% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4439 - 4858, n=9)
4686 Points ∼96% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
4569 Points ∼94%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1179 - 4684, n=23)
3301 Points ∼68% -28%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
15117 Points ∼100% +9%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (10869 - 16294, n=10)
14156 Points ∼94% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
13897 Points ∼92%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
13622 Points ∼90% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2593 - 15166, n=14)
8938 Points ∼59% -36%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
4977 Points ∼100% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (4555 - 4997, n=10)
4847 Points ∼97% +3%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U
4813 Points ∼97% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
4700 Points ∼94%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1529 - 5210, n=14)
3624 Points ∼73% -23%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U (EDGE: 40.15063.674.0)
41706 Points ∼100% +8%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge 41)
38710 Points ∼93%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge)
37517 Points ∼90% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U (Edge 41.15399.15.0)
34196 Points ∼82% -12%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (17296 - 42043, n=34)
34140 Points ∼82% -12%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U (Edge)
33100 Points ∼79% -14%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
31521 Points ∼76% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3963 - 41665, n=116)
24092 Points ∼58% -38%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Subnotebook
  (797 - 30250, n=124)
2139 ms * ∼100% -135%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U (Edge)
1282.8 ms * ∼60% -41%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (877 - 2114, n=39)
1083 ms * ∼51% -19%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U (Edge 41.15399.15.0)
1064.7 ms * ∼50% -17%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
1006.9 ms * ∼47% -11%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U (EDGE: 40.15063.674.0)
943.7 ms * ∼44% -4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge)
924.5 ms * ∼43% -2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge 41)
910.7 ms * ∼43%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge 40)
287.11 Points ∼100% +9%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
Intel Core i7-8550U (EDGE: 40.15063.674.0)
281.82 Points ∼98% +7%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 20M3000LGE
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge 41)
273.62 Points ∼95% +4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge)
264.13 Points ∼92% 0%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U (Edge 41)
262.84 Points ∼92%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-8250U (Edge 41.15399.15.0)
241.1 Points ∼84% -8%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (142 - 288, n=53)
237 Points ∼83% -10%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Intel Core i7-7500U (Edge)
192.92 Points ∼67% -27%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.8 - 277, n=104)
183 Points ∼64% -30%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel Core i5-8250U
177.1 Points ∼62% -33%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Benchmarks confirm our initial thoughts that the ZenBook runs smoothly. The results from our PCMark benchmarks are very good, but it is not possible to overclock the device to improve performance.

PC Mark 10
PC Mark 10
PCMark 7 Score
5647 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3780 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4765 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4811 points
Help
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
5037 Points ∼100% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4906 Points ∼97% +2%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4900 Points ∼97% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4811 Points ∼96%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4777 Points ∼95% -1%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
4371 Points ∼87% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=175)
3944 Points ∼78% -18%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3994 Points ∼100% +6%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
3899 Points ∼98% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3780 Points ∼95%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3773 Points ∼94% 0%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3544 Points ∼89% -6%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
3396 Points ∼85% -10%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4182, n=201)
2991 Points ∼75% -21%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3058 Points ∼100% +39%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
2297 Points ∼75% +4%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (729 - 3160, n=47)
2232 Points ∼73% +1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
2206 Points ∼72%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
2135 Points ∼70% -3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
2036 Points ∼67% -8%
Productivity
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
5957 Points ∼100% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5926 Points ∼99% +5%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
5664 Points ∼95%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
5393 Points ∼91% -5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1690 - 6729, n=47)
4846 Points ∼81% -14%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
3552 Points ∼60% -37%
Essentials
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
7988 Points ∼100% +17%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
7165 Points ∼90% +5%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
7013 Points ∼88% +2%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
6855 Points ∼86%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3092 - 8549, n=47)
6397 Points ∼80% -7%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
5753 Points ∼72% -16%
Score
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3764 Points ∼100% +19%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3282 Points ∼87% +4%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3160 Points ∼84%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
3071 Points ∼82% -3%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1150 - 3860, n=51)
2955 Points ∼79% -6%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
HD Graphics 6000, 5350U, Apple SSD SM0128G
2523 Points ∼67% -20%

Storage devices

The ZenBook comes with an M.2-2280 SSD from SK Hynix with 256 GB of storage, of which around 200 GB is usable. It is a SATA III drive that has good transfer speeds.

According to ASUS’ website, the M.2-2280 slot supports both SATA III and NVMe SSDs. NVMe drives support faster transfer speeds than SATA III, using four lanes of PCI Express 3.0. Replacing the pre-installed SATA III drive would shorten load times and make the ZenBook feel snappier than it already does.

ASUS has installed a SATA III SSD.
ASUS has installed a SATA III SSD.
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Sequential Read: 435.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 263 MB/s
512K Read: 258.1 MB/s
512K Write: 256.6 MB/s
4K Read: 30.37 MB/s
4K Write: 78.63 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 356.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 257.2 MB/s
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Apple SSD SM0128G
Average SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
5%
146%
93%
39%
88%
-1%
Write 4k QD32
257.2
211.9
-18%
332.2
29%
339.86
32%
161.3
-37%
273.7
6%
220 (98.5 - 267, n=19)
-14%
Read 4k QD32
356.8
322.9
-10%
349.2
-2%
381.77
7%
494.6
39%
300.9
-16%
323 (119 - 403, n=19)
-9%
Write 4k
78.63
53.47
-32%
114.9
46%
127.49
62%
109.4
39%
27.17
-65%
74.8 (46.6 - 95.9, n=19)
-5%
Read 4k
30.37
28.04
-8%
51.78
70%
34.18
13%
34.5
14%
16.29
-46%
28 (15.9 - 33.1, n=19)
-8%
Write 512
256.6
369.8
44%
852.3
232%
353.88
38%
172.3
-33%
715.3
179%
243 (138 - 268, n=19)
-5%
Read 512
258.1
275
7%
658.2
155%
839.63
225%
735
185%
898.8
248%
328 (234 - 562, n=19)
27%
Write Seq
263
424.1
61%
1191
353%
352.7
34%
195.4
-26%
730.8
178%
246 (138 - 270, n=19)
-6%
Read Seq
435.6
430.6
-1%
1674
284%
1875.2
330%
1019
134%
1390
219%
481 (282 - 518, n=19)
10%

Graphics card

The ZenBook comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX150. The mid-range graphics card is the mobile version of the GeForce GT 1030. The GPU supports DirectX 12 and operates at a base clock of 937 MHz, which can be boosted up to 1,607 MHz. It also has 2,048 MB of GDDR5 memory.

3DMark benchmark scores are disappointing, with the ZenBook being well behind the competition. For example, the Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5 achieves almost a twelve percent higher maximum clock speed of 1,798 MHz and approximately a fifty-eight percent higher base clock speed of 1,469 MHz. ASUS has factory underclocked the GeForce MX150 to avoid it overheating as there is not enough space in the ZenBook’s case to adequately cool it at full speed.

Likewise, the HP Envy 13-ad006ng and the Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB fail to take advantage of the GeForce MX150’s full performance. Therefore, limiting graphics performance due to inadequate cooling is not a ZenBook exclusive issue.

Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Time Spy
Time Spy
3DMark 06 Standard
12911 points
3DMark 11 Performance
3779 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
13058 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2582 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1257 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
929 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
4742 Points ∼100% +37%
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
4690 Points ∼99% +36%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
4582 Points ∼97% +32%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
4575 Points ∼96% +32%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2796 - 4876, n=41)
4167 Points ∼88% +20%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3581 Points ∼76% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3461 Points ∼73%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-7500U
3459 Points ∼73% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
2796 Points ∼59% -19%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1776 Points ∼37% -49%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1537 Points ∼32% -56%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel HD Graphics 6000, Intel Core i5-5350U
1487 (min: 1466, max: 1553) Points ∼31% -57%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4494, n=320)
1167 Points ∼25% -66%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3688 Points ∼100% +31%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
3576 Points ∼97% +27%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3511 Points ∼95% +24%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2323 - 3739, n=38)
3298 Points ∼89% +17%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2903 Points ∼79% +3%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-7500U
2841 Points ∼77% +1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2826 Points ∼77%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
2324 Points ∼63% -18%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1100 Points ∼30% -61%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
954 Points ∼26% -66%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3459, n=207)
944 Points ∼26% -67%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
21666 Points ∼100% +18%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (16227 - 22183, n=37)
19388 Points ∼89% +6%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
19333 Points ∼89% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
18940 Points ∼87% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
18572 Points ∼86% +1%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
18346 Points ∼85%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-7500U
17750 Points ∼82% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
16227 Points ∼75% -12%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
8025 Points ∼37% -56%
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel HD Graphics 6000, Intel Core i5-5350U
7825 Points ∼36% -57%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 21461, n=230)
6967 Points ∼32% -62%
Geekbench 4.0 - Compute OpenCL Score
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
47999 Points ∼100% +16%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
47987 Points ∼100% +16%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
45746 Points ∼95% +11%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (41337 - 47999, n=7)
45492 Points ∼95% +10%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
41337 Points ∼86%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7566 - 42720, n=22)
20078 Points ∼42% -51%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2 - Compute OpenCL Score
Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-89SL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
47762 Points ∼100% +14%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
47397 Points ∼99% +14%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
46097 Points ∼97% +10%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
41754 Points ∼87%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (22675 - 47762, n=9)
41433 Points ∼87% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7605 - 41754, n=14)
24939 Points ∼52% -40%
ComputeMark v2.1 - 1024x600 Normal, Score
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
2676 Points ∼100% +13%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (2256 - 2856, n=9)
2544 Points ∼95% +7%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
2368 Points ∼88%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (272 - 2403, n=56)
919 Points ∼34% -61%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
283.9 fps ∼100% +40%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (203 - 284, n=4)
226 fps ∼80% +11%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
203 fps ∼72%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (33.3 - 210, n=18)
101 fps ∼36% -50%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
209.6 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
200.6 fps ∼96% -4%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (59.8 - 210, n=4)
132 fps ∼63% -37%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (24.8 - 210, n=15)
57.7 fps ∼28% -72%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
148.7 fps ∼100% +21%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (121 - 149, n=4)
129 fps ∼87% +5%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
122.7 fps ∼83%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (18.2 - 200, n=15)
62.4 fps ∼42% -49%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
112.7 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
111.5 fps ∼99% -1%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (57.9 - 113, n=4)
85.5 fps ∼76% -24%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (10.3 - 113, n=13)
36.3 fps ∼32% -68%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
111.5 fps ∼100% +31%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (85.1 - 112, n=4)
94.6 fps ∼85% +11%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
85.1 fps ∼76%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (13.4 - 92.1, n=9)
42 fps ∼38% -51%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
92.1 fps ∼100% +10%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
83.6 fps ∼91%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (49 - 92.1, n=4)
71.1 fps ∼77% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.8 - 83.6, n=8)
36.5 fps ∼40% -56%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
75.4 fps ∼100% +43%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (52.9 - 75.4, n=4)
63 fps ∼84% +19%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
52.9 fps ∼70%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.5 - 62, n=7)
31.1 fps ∼41% -41%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
63.1 fps ∼100% +33%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (31.8 - 63.1, n=4)
48.9 fps ∼77% +3%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
47.6 fps ∼75%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.9 - 56.6, n=7)
33.8 fps ∼54% -29%
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (415 - 769, n=6)
490 Samples/s ∼100% +18%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
446 Samples/s ∼91% +7%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
415 Samples/s ∼85%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14 - 429, n=49)
191 Samples/s ∼39% -54%
Sala GPUs-only
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (734 - 1451, n=6)
879 Samples/s ∼100% +20%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
790 Samples/s ∼90% +8%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
734 Samples/s ∼84%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (31 - 916, n=49)
400 Samples/s ∼46% -46%

Gaming Performance

Most modern games can be played in HD (1,366 x 768) at low to medium quality, while games with lower system requirements can be played at higher settings. Factory underclocking the GPU affects frame rates though with similarly equipped notebooks, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN and the Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G, achieving between twenty to thirty percent higher frame rates than the ZenBook. Despite the factory underclocking, the ZenBook still performs better than GeForce 940MX notebooks.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 188.2105.270.934.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 98.178.971.727.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 46.428.115.69.6fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 606038.825.2fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 35.834.222.920fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 36.420.119.414.4fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 25.614.21312fps
ELEX (2017) 37.222.217.212.2fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 48.428.222.811.9fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 62.252.928.617.9fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 39.925.820.619.7fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 52.120.717.915.9fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 28.313.88.2fps
BioShock Infinite - 1366x768 High Preset
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
89.5 fps ∼100% +25%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (59.7 - 98, n=27)
82.8 fps ∼93% +15%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
81.8 (min: 13.4, max: 231.3) fps ∼91% +14%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
78.96 fps ∼88% +10%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
71.7 fps ∼80%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
68.48 fps ∼77% -4%
Acer TravelMate P259-MG-71UU
GeForce 940MX, 6500U, Liteonit CV3-8D256
61.9 fps ∼69% -14%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKB 80XL01NEGE
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, SK Hynix HFS256G3BTND
59.7 fps ∼67% -17%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
41.9 fps ∼47% -42%
Lenovo Ideapad 510-15ISK
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
39.3 fps ∼44% -45%
Asus VivoBook Flip TP501UQ-FZ119T
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Micron SSD 1100 (MTFDDAV256TBN)
39.2 fps ∼44% -45%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
29.1 fps ∼33% -59%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (6.96 - 82.5, n=138)
25.2 fps ∼28% -65%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
22.6 fps ∼25% -68%
Tomb Raider - 1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (70.9 - 87.2, n=4)
79.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
70.9 fps ∼90%
Acer TravelMate P259-MG-71UU
GeForce 940MX, 6500U, Liteonit CV3-8D256
62.6 fps ∼79% -12%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
31.4 fps ∼40% -56%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5.4 - 72.5, n=98)
19.6 fps ∼25% -72%
Star Wars Battlefront 2 - 1280x720 Low Preset
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (52.1 - 102, n=3)
71.1 fps ∼100% +36%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
52.1 fps ∼73%
Average of class Subnotebook
 
52.1 fps ∼73% 0%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
44.8 fps ∼63% -14%
The Witcher 3 - 1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Lenovo IdeaPad 320-15IKBRN 81BG001KGE
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Ramaxel RTNTE256PCA8EADL
62.1 (min: 53, max: 71) fps ∼100% +34%
Average NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  (42.6 - 72, n=20)
57 fps ∼92% +23%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
55.14 fps ∼89% +19%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
46.4 fps ∼75%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
GeForce MX150, 7500U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
45.13 fps ∼73% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 320S-13IKB
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
44.73 fps ∼72% -4%
Asus Vivobook S15 S510UQ-BQ189T
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, Toshiba SG5 THNSNK128GVN8
41.4 fps ∼67% -11%
Lenovo Ideapad 510-15ISK
GeForce 940MX, 6200U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
30.1 fps ∼48% -35%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.4 - 60.4, n=42)
22 fps ∼35% -53%
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
16.8 fps ∼27% -64%

Emissions

System Noise

The fan is usually quiet when the system is idling, although this is not the case at medium load, where fan noise measured up to 39.2 db(A), further increasing to 41 dB(A) during our stress tests. While the fan noise is bearable, we suspect that such volumes would be distracting if someone were trying to concentrate.

Noise Level

Idle
30.13 / 30.3 / 30.3 dB(A)
Load
39.2 / 41 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.13 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2044.746.145.544.244.72538.945.141.240.238.93131.132.232.631.631.14031.331.231.131.531.3503031.230.530.2306332.433.931.930.532.48027.82927.627.227.810028.13128.528.428.112525.928.125.925.425.916027.428.827.42727.420024.825.123.623.424.825024.626.624.524.124.63152425.522.822.52440023.825.122.322.123.850022.92521.22122.963023.825.820.219.923.880026.628.319.519.226.6100031.833.318.618.931.8125027.629.6181827.6160026.528.717.317.126.5200029.831.716.91729.82500293116.816.729315027.729.516.516.427.7400026.929.216.516.226.9500026.230.416.416.226.2630022.125.416.516.322.1800019.121.216.516.319.11000018.319.416.516.418.31250017.718.116.816.717.7160001818.117.217.118SPL39.241.330.330.139.2N33.71.41.43median 25.9median 28.1median 18median 18median 25.9Delta2.42.23.23.32.4hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAsus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
7500U, GeForce MX150
Noise
-1%
5%
7%
3%
off / environment *
30.13
29.6
2%
30.13
-0%
29.1
3%
30.5
-1%
Idle Minimum *
30.13
29.6
2%
30.13
-0%
29.1
3%
30.5
-1%
Idle Average *
30.3
29.6
2%
30.13
1%
29.1
4%
30.5
-1%
Idle Maximum *
30.3
29.6
2%
30.9
-2%
29.1
4%
30.5
-1%
Load Average *
39.2
41.7
-6%
34.7
11%
32.2
18%
37.3
5%
Load Maximum *
41
43.5
-6%
33.3
19%
37.3
9%
34.2
17%
Witcher 3 ultra *
43.5
37.3

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The ZenBook during our stress tests
The ZenBook during our stress tests

During our Prime95 and FurMark one-hour stress tests, the ZenBook performed equally well on charge as it did on battery. Processor speeds vary between 1.2 and 2.7 GHZ for the first ten minutes before dropping to and remaining at between 800 and 900 MHz. This throttling is not replicated with the graphics card, which started the stress tests at between 600 and 800 MHz, before stabilizing at 800 MHz.

Notably, our test device stayed relatively cool during our stress tests, with surface temperatures remaining below 40 °C (104 °F).

Max. Load
 33.7 °C
93 F
36 °C
97 F
39.3 °C
103 F
 
 30.9 °C
88 F
32.2 °C
90 F
36.7 °C
98 F
 
 27.8 °C
82 F
27 °C
81 F
29.7 °C
85 F
 
Maximum: 39.3 °C = 103 F
Average: 32.6 °C = 91 F
36.5 °C
98 F
35.9 °C
97 F
32.9 °C
91 F
32.2 °C
90 F
30.5 °C
87 F
30.1 °C
86 F
29.9 °C
86 F
29 °C
84 F
28.7 °C
84 F
Maximum: 36.5 °C = 98 F
Average: 31.7 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  41 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 23.2 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.6 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 39.3 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 35.9 °C / 97 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.5 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 40.3 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.9 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 29.7 °C / 85.5 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (-1 °C / -1.8 F).
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook under load (top)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook under load (top)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook under load (bottom)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook under load (bottom)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook at idle (top)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook at idle (top)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook at idle (bottom)
Thermal imaging of the ZenBook at idle (bottom)
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
7500U, GeForce MX150
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
5350U, HD Graphics 6000
Heat
8%
-5%
0%
10%
-3%
Maximum Upper Side *
39.3
40.9
-4%
43.6
-11%
44.2
-12%
41.6
-6%
42.8
-9%
Maximum Bottom *
36.5
38.1
-4%
42
-15%
45.5
-25%
33.4
8%
41.5
-14%
Idle Upper Side *
30
23.9
20%
28.6
5%
24.1
20%
23.1
23%
27.6
8%
Idle Bottom *
28.3
23.1
18%
28.2
-0%
23.2
18%
24.1
15%
26.9
5%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2045.444.245.4254340.2433137.431.637.44037.431.537.45038.830.238.86338.430.538.48038.627.238.610040.528.440.512541.125.441.116045.32745.320048.723.448.725052.624.152.63155622.55640056.622.156.650059.42159.463061.619.961.680063.719.263.7100062.518.962.5125064.61864.6160063.517.163.5200063.11763.125006216.762315060.316.460.340006016.260500060.616.260.6630059.716.359.7800059.616.359.61000062.916.462.91250067.916.767.91600067.817.167.8SPL74.230.174.2N34.51.434.5median 60.3median 18median 60.3Delta4.93.34.935.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAsus ZenBook 13 UX331UNApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (67.87 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 0.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (2.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 90% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)

Power management

Energy consumption

We measured the ZenBook drawing 8 W at idle, which makes our test device slightly thirstier than its sibling. Additionally, at the start of our stress tests the ZenBook briefly drew 49.4 W. This power consumption varies in accordance with CPU clock speed fluctuations. The power supply is rated at 65 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.33 / 0.98 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.2 / 5 / 8 Watt
Load midlight 33 / 49.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
7500U, GeForce MX150
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
5350U, HD Graphics 6000
Power Consumption
-9%
-26%
-8%
-16%
-11%
Idle Minimum *
2.2
2.7
-23%
3.9
-77%
3.14
-43%
2.8
-27%
3.4
-55%
Idle Average *
5
5.3
-6%
7.7
-54%
5.22
-4%
5.8
-16%
6.3
-26%
Idle Maximum *
8
6.2
22%
10.4
-30%
6
25%
7.7
4%
7
12%
Load Average *
33
37.6
-14%
33.3
-1%
38.5
-17%
48
-45%
34.5
-5%
Load Maximum *
49.4
60.1
-22%
34
31%
50.4
-2%
48
3%
40
19%
Witcher 3 ultra *
35

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The ZenBook has a runtime of eight hours and fifty-eight minutes in our practical Wi-Fi test when set at 150 cd/m². During this test we simulate the effective load created by loading websites. Similarly, the ZenBook lasts eight hours and fifty-four minutes in our video test. For this test we play the short film Big Buck Bunny on a continuous loop with H.264 encoding at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The Wi-Fi modules are disabled and the brightness is set to 150 cd/m².

While the battery life is good, it lags behind its sibling. We subsequently found out that our test device has a battery wear rate of 7.4 percent, which goes some way toward explaining the battery time differences between the two ZenBook models.

The battery is firmly installed.
The battery is firmly installed.
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 40min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 41)
8h 58min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 54min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 45min
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150, 50 Wh
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
8550U, GeForce MX150, 50 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13IKB
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 46 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9370 FHD i5
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
7500U, GeForce MX150, 51 Wh
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
5350U, HD Graphics 6000, 54 Wh
Battery Runtime
6%
-6%
26%
-6%
19%
Reader / Idle
1240
1321
7%
1035
-17%
1417
14%
1198
-3%
H.264
534
576
8%
831
56%
476
-11%
WiFi v1.3
538
504
-6%
608
13%
644
20%
425
-21%
638
19%
Load
105
120
14%
91
-13%
119
13%
118
12%

Verdict

Pros

+ IPS display
+ Full-HD display
+ stylish metal case
+ powerful
+ rarely gets warm
+ good battery life

Cons

- CPU throttles on battery
- significant Turbo Boost fluctuations at full load
- GPU is factory underclocked
- loud under load
- no Thunderbolt 3
- no NVMe-SSD
The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA (90NB0GY1-M00230), courtesy of Cyberport.
The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA (90NB0GY1-M00230), courtesy of Cyberport.

The ASUS ZenBook 13 scores highly by fitting both a powerful CPU and GPU into a compact chassis. This comes at a cost though, as the case dimensions precluded ASUS from including a cooling system that could adequately cool the device. Among other things, ASUS have compromised on GPU performance to circumvent this cooling issue.

Despite this, the ZenBook is a still a good all-rounder that plays games comfortably.

Considering the compact design, the ZenBook remains relatively cool under load, which is a positive. The fan is usually quiet when the device is idling, but it is clearly audible when the device starts to be tested. Users who are looking for a quiet and powerful device would therefore probably be unhappy with the ZenBook.

Given the ZenBook’s price, we would have expected ASUS to include an NVMe drive rather than the slower SATA III drive that comes with the ZenBook. This would have been possible too, as ASUS’ website says that the M.2-2280 slot supports both NVMe and SATA III. The IPS display is respectable with decent viewing angels, good contrast and adequate brightness. Moreover, we liked the backlit keyboard and were impressed by the long battery life.

The I/O will not blow anyone away. It would have been good had ASUS included a Thunderbolt 3 port rather than the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port. Doing so would have allowed the ZenBook to be charged by USB C, which would certainly have increased the ZenBook’s appeal and further future proofed it.

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN - 02/16/2018 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
87 /  98 → 89%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
47 / 80 → 58%
Weight
74 / 35-78 → 90%
Battery
91%
Display
89%
Games Performance
71 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
88 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
93 / 91 → 100%
Noise
78%
Audio
82 / 91 → 90%
Camera
39 / 85 → 46%
Average
78%
88%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UN (i7-8550, GeForce MX150, SSD, FHD) Laptop Review
Sascha Mölck, 2018-02-21 (Update: 2018-04- 4)