Asus Zenbook UX330UA review – premium 13-incher for the average consumer


  1. Karl

    August 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Hey Andrei, always enjoy your Zenbook posts. Nice to see you got your hands on a 330.

    What’s the selling point on this over the 306?
    The specs you posted seem to be the exact same as the 306 that I recently purchased. I7, 8gb, 512. The dimensions are the same as well.

    I decided on the 306 because at the time it offered the greatest specs while being one the thinnest offerings aside from the 390.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      I haven’t touched the UX306, but if it looks a lot like the UX305 and if that’s the case, the UX330 has slightly different design lines and feels a little sturdier built. That aside, the UX330 has one more USB 3.0 port. On the other hand, the screen only leans back to about 110 degrees, so it’s more limited than on the UX306. I think the keyboards are the same. What’s your impression of the one on the UX306, is it good or is it shallow?

      To be frank, I find it very odd that Asus have both these lines on the market. I expect not to offer them simultaneously in the same regions. For instance, maybe they’ll have the UX306 in the US and the UX330 in Europe. Just my suppositions though.

      • Alissa Knight

        January 4, 2017 at 4:40 am

        I can tell you that it seems to be everywhere here in the Germany (Stuttgart) market, having arrived a few short months ago (3 months to be exact at Saturn). I just bought mine yesterday, and love it!
        The specs I picked up was the i7/16GB Rose Gold.

      • Gerard Joseph

        January 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

        The UX330 is likely for the Asian market as here in Malaysia we can't have the UX306 and according to the ASUS reps it's the exact same.

        Also, the UX330 does have a -CA model with a fanless core M CPU. I'm not sure if the UX306 comes with that.

      • Nikhil

        April 18, 2017 at 3:21 am

        Hi Alissa,
        Does the 110 degree limit bother you when the device is on your lap?

  2. Jeff

    August 21, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Thanks for this excellent review (and your other ones, too). I’m debating between this, the UX306, and the UX310. I want to go Linux-only, so I’ll wait to hear what folks say, and hopefully these models will work as well as UX305 for that. The prongs on the power brick is an unfortunate design. Any chance of a photo of it, to gauge how obtrusive it is? The display color and brightness issue is discouraging, too, so hopefully they’ll go with the Samsung panel and that will improve. I might wait for the Kabylake versions to come out, if that’s not too far into 2017, and I’m still trying to determine whether the i5, like you say, will cut down on fan operation (without slowing things down). Thanks again.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

      The KabyLake version will be available in October from what I’ve bee told. I usually recommend the i5 over the i7, if you’ll look at the tech sheets you’ll see they are similar in most ways, but the i5 is a little lower clocked. It’s well enough for daily tasks, but if you want to run demanding software then you could get the i7. Keep in mind it’s only 5-10% faster than the i5 though, so don’t expect much.

      I don’t have a picture of the brick but I’ll take on of the Zenbook 3, which uses the same charger, and send it to you via email.

    • Desmond

      August 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Jeff, if you find any information about Linux compatibility, please write on Reddit in this topic:

      Laptop seems good, but i wanna bit more information and opinions about it.

    • Yannick

      September 13, 2016 at 4:56 am

      Hi, I bought one. I tried to go full Linux on it. A common issue was the display brightness keys which were not working.
      Here are the results:
      – Ubuntu unity & Gnome: ok
      – Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon : Live USB never worked
      – Linux Mint Debian Exition: Live starts but TouchPad does not work and screen resolution is poor. I could not install it
      – SolusOs (my favorite) : live works very well. Install fails due to goofiboot. There is a solution for this that I have yet to try.
      – Fedora 24: works only if USB key is created with dd command. I did not try to install it.
      – Debian 8.5: live did not work
      – Mageia 5: live did not work

      • Jukie

        September 13, 2016 at 10:00 am

        Hi Yannick,
        I have this UX330UA since last week and installed on the first day a clean windows 10 and a linux Mint 18 cinnamon without issue. I used linuxliveusb creator. Everything seems to work except some FN keys shortcuts, I have the luminosity shortcut near the clock (right bottom) so that’s ok for the moment, the sound FN touch works though.
        Maybe you had something wrong during the live usb creation.

      • Yannick

        September 13, 2016 at 10:43 am

        You are right, I certainly made something wrong in the process. Linux Mint is known to be easy to install on most of the computers. As I was more interested in other distributions (LMDE and Fedora), I did not spend time to solve this issue.

      • anomuumi

        February 19, 2017 at 5:54 am

        How come mine worked right out of the box, not including minor bugs. Why do you use a a linux os, if you dont know how to debugg things in order?

  3. Desmond

    August 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    > screen only leans back to about 110 degrees
    Is it really annoying? I’m comfortable with old laptop with ~135 degrees and I wanna get almost same experience.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      It’s OK for desk use. When used on the lap or leaned on thighs while lying in bed or on the couch, you’ll find the angle very limiting.

      • Desmond

        August 25, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        Thank you! Today all 8Gb/256Gb UX330 sold out from shops in my city… Maybe all buyers read your website? :D

  4. Jeff

    August 25, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    @Desmond: From what I’m seeing, the UX330UA seems not to be a model sold in the US, at least for now, so I’m not really following it until it is. I think most of the Zenbooks are safe bets for Linux, though, based on earlier models.

  5. Jurij

    August 26, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I’m reading your reviews regulary and as well users comments as I’m also interested in buying new Ultrabook. I’ve still not finally decided yet whether to go with UX330 or wait for a review of UX306, or even go with Dell XPS13.

    However, in the users comments I’ve read something about the power brick. After Google search for Zenbook brick I’ve found out the design as shown on pictures would actually for me be decisive factor against Asus, but I would like to be sure, that this isn’t only US power brick.
    Would you happen to know, whether EU power brick also has prongs on it?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 27, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Yes, the EU brick has the same design. Pretty much all Zenbooks have this Macbook like power brick. I will have a picture in the next review of the Zenbook UX390.

      About the UX306, from what I understand that’s going to be offered in the US, while the UX330 will be available in Europe, I don’t think they’ll have both simultaneously in the same region

  6. Jeff

    August 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    At first I thought the power-brick prongs would be annoying, but then I realized you could get (or make) an elegant, minimal extension to go from the brick to the wall. Amazon has several such offerings, and also parts to make your own. Now I’m thinking that the trouble caused by the power brick is much less than would be the trouble caused by getting a less ideal laptop.

  7. ebackbone

    August 29, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Hi there,

    I like your reporting for ultrabooks but i find one part which is very lacking in them yet very important, and this is a review of the performance of the build in I/O ports ESPECIALLY the SD Card reader port.

    It is important to ensure that the I/O ports are performing as stated and also as expected. This is more so for the SD Card reader port which is now ubiquitously used in nearly all other electronic devices nowadays. It would help the readers a lot when considering ultrabooks whether the SD Card reader is performing speedily or slowly where they need to consider using the build in or having to carry their own external version or even abandoning the ultrabook model solely for having terrible built in I/O transfers!

    This is especially relevant to those groups of people who do lots of photography and/or videography when they are travelling or on a trip and would like to carry as few items as possible.

    Thanks very much.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 29, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Hi, noted. I’ll put this on the list for my following reviews. Can’t do anything about the old ones though. I you have any other suggestions, please let me know, I’m always looking to improve these posts.

  8. Pascal

    September 1, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    > last updated on August 31, 2016

    what was updated please ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 2, 2016 at 6:44 am

      If there’s a significant update you’ll find a log towards the top. Otherwise there are just small corrections, typos, etc.

  9. Gerard

    September 2, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Hi Andrei,
    I contact asus service to understand if ux330 max capacity for ram memory others is 8 or 16 gb
    If you visit official web site, there is a picture with 16 gb and on a specification it is limited to 8 gb.
    The model ux306 comes with 16 gb max.
    Can you pls check it?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 2, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Only configurations with 8 GB of RAM will be available in my country, but I can’t tell for sure whether 16 GB versions won’t be launched elsewhere.

  10. pascal

    September 4, 2016 at 8:38 am


    I received it friday and it seems not well ajusted here.

    Can you confirm there is a problem ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Can you put the picture on imgur? The source you pointed too is insecure, I took out the link.

  11. Pascal

    September 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      That doesn’t look normal. The hinge was perfectly even on my unit: . I’d contact the seller for a replacement. Looks like Asus still struggle with quality control :(

      • Alissa Knight

        January 4, 2017 at 4:44 am

        I can attest to that. A few weeks ago I purchased the new ASUS Transformer 3 and it was horrible! 2 manufacturer defects: Loud grinding noise with the internal fan as if it was hitting the inside of the laptop and a raspy sound from the speaker from windows media sounds as if the speaker was blown. But for some reason that sound never happened with music/videos, just Windows media sounds (odd). Sent it back to Asus to be replaced or fixed and in the meantime purchased this new UX330 and LOVE IT! :)

  12. Chris

    September 23, 2016 at 6:12 am


    i contacted the support of Asus to get more informations about the amount of ram which can be installed on the UX330UA. I was surprised when the technical support told me that there are 8 GB soldered and the possibility to upgrade to 16 GB. Can you confirm this statement in any case?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      I’m pretty sure that’s wrong, here’s a pic of the internals:

      There’s no spare DIMM and I don’t think it’s placed behind the motherboard. Also, the official specs don’t say anything about that.

      Chances are the support guy confused it with the UX310?

      • Chris

        September 23, 2016 at 6:32 pm

        The official specs tell us partially that the UX330UA should support up to 16GB if you take a look at the Overview tab of the asus website. It’s confusing, because at the Overview they write 16 GB and on the Specification site it’s up to 8 GB… Is the picture from the pre-production unit or from a after-release model?

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 24, 2016 at 5:06 am

        Pre-release, but I really doubt their going to change the internals in any way. Imo, if they put 16 Gigs on this one, they’re going to be soldered. There’s a chance I’d be wrong, but I’d say it’s pretty slim

  13. Dani

    October 8, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Hi Andrei,

    is there any update on this machine, especially with regards to Kabilake pocessors and energy consumption of the lesser resolution panel (if it every shows up in Europe anyway)?

    What I’ve been wondering: Did you ever get your hands on the old UX32VD (I think 32A was the same apart from graphics chip)? I wonder how the keyboard feel, flex around the keyboard, screen tilt and screen brightness (LED display) compare. I really love the solid feel of the old one and actually found the keyboard flex of the Dell XPS 13, and most other modern ultrabooks quite annoying in comparison – and I love the keyboard. I also wonder whether the screen tilt really is less than of the old ones as I read that people complained about the limited tilt back then – though for me it never was an issue even though it’s mainly used as a laptop.

    Thanks a lot

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 8, 2016 at 11:28 am

      No update on the UX330. I did review the Core i7-7500U on the UX390UAK, in case you want to have a look, yet the experience isn’t that convincing, giving the cooling on that very thin laptop.

      I reviewed the UX32A a while ago but I don’t remember anything about its keyboard. Based on the review ( ) it was decent. The one on the UX330 is an update over the later Zenbooks imo, so I’d reckon it’s an update over the UX32 as well.

      Also, I’m surprised you consider the XPS 13 to have significant keyboard flex, it’s one of the sturdiest devices out there imo. Yes, there’s some flex if you put a lot of force into the chassis, but I notice no flex at all with daily typing.

      • Dani

        October 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        Thanks a lot for your reply. Maybe I noticed the flex on the xls 13 due reflections on the dark casing in combination with shop lighting or because my old machine feels fairly solid. Who knows. But it’s not my computer anyway as I just couldn’t hit a key even after nearly 30 minutes of trying to write something. Something is odd with that one while I never had that issue with any other notebook before, regardless of keyboard size.

        I think I’ll wait a bit longer, potentially for the Yoga 910 (Love the looks! Maybe there’s space for a matte screen protector) and to see if Lenovo gives the X1 Carbon an update, and then potentially order this and the two Lenovos to decide.

      • Dani

        October 10, 2016 at 9:06 am

        I decided to order the i5 version for a test. Here’s a quick review without switching it on (I’d not be able to return it otherwise).

        If you own an old ux32 then the ux330 sounds very familiar. It’s not as wobbly as the 305 models. The hinge looks fairly similar even though it’s lacking the speaker holes at the top. The screen angle that has been mentioned in this review above is exactly the same. Some people complained about it in the past, others, like myself never had any problems with it even though I mainly use it as a laptop. Though being a woman, I suppose my not too long upper body length might play a role there. The

        The casing itself also feels fairly familiar though a bit rounder here and there. The screen has a bit more flex than I’m used to but it’s not wobbling when I’m typing, and I suppose I could still lift it up by the lid. The lid closes perfectly with a satisfying sound.

        The keyboard seems to have a tiny bit more flex than the old models, though I don’t think it’s noticeable when typing. I wonder if the grey/silver finish mutes visual signs of movement compared to the more shiny dark finish of the Dell XPS. I do think that the flex is a bit more than of the Dell, but I don’t find it annoying. The keys have a slightly shorter movement than of my old computer, though a deeper one than of the XPS 13. It might need a little big of getting used but the keyboard still feels fairly comfortable. The power switch is still on the keyboard to the upper right, just above the backspace key. This was never a problem for me. It might be personal, but I had more problems with notebooks that have the power switch (and other switches) on the side due to me using it as a laptop with constantly changing sitting positions. I never accidentally hit the powers switch this way when lifting up the notebook or moving it into a slightly different position.

        The cable seems to be long enough with around two meters, though the socket connector is placed right onto the power brick. I would prefer a plug with a cable going to a brick, then a cable to the computer as this design probably blocks two sockets, and is somewhat more inconvenient if you’re faced with the combination of a wobbly hotel room socked on a wall and an international adapter. I know what I’m talking about here. This usually turns into creative use of available materials to prevent the plug from disconnecting and falling down. A slightly longer cable might be useful as well as 2m hardly ever gives me a comfortable position on the hotel room bed (did I mention I hardly ever sit on a desk?)

        While I’m quite happy with this computer in it’s shut down state I’ll still send it back as I’m hoping for a i7 with bigger harddisk, or potentially a Kaby Lake version. And it would be good to see a few more reviews pop up, especially with regards to battery life and screen quality.

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 10, 2016 at 9:32 am

        Hi, thanks for the feedback, other buyers should find it very useful.

  14. Gaetan

    October 11, 2016 at 9:27 am


    I was wondering if the UX330 was compatible with Windows Hello face authentication?


  15. Ali

    October 13, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I’m a longtime MacBook Pro user who needs to buy a Windows ultrabook for work (office, emails, browsing etc). I was originally drawn to zenbooks due to their lightweight portability, style and price tag. But now I am confused by all the different models.

    My original thought was the ux305, but is that too old now? Should I go for the ux306 or ux330 or hold out for the new zenbook ux390 which looks very tempting? But then the price is running away from me, and is comparable with the dell xps 13…

    I would prefer not to spend as much as I would for a MacBook Air or dell xps 13, but don’t want to end up throwing away money on only a half decent ultrabook.

    Is it better to wait for the new zenbook 3 to be released (I am in the UK) and see if the older zenbooks are reduced? Or will they become obsolete soon?
    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      The reason I wouldn’t get the UX305UA is the fact that it doesn’t get a backlit keyboard. Otherwise, the hardware bumps of the newer versions are only minor, but the keyboards on them are much better.

      As for the UX390UA, well, it’s a sligthyl different computer, much smaller and also more expensive. You might want to read the review here on the site and make sure it’s actually what you want

  16. Evangelos

    October 19, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Hello Andrei, many thanks for this review which was actually quite influential in me deciding to buy this laptop. So I ordered it and, while I’m waiting for it to be delivered, I’m trying to figure out the answer to the following question:

    Does the USB Type-C port on this laptop support video output? (I got the FC006T configuration if that’s important).

    I’m basically asking because I know I will need HDMI and VGA output from this computer. Will I be fine with a USB-C to everything (Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, USB) adapter which I plan on buying, or should I rely on the micro-HDMI port for video output?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 20, 2016 at 5:15 am

      I haven’t tried it and I’m not 100% sure of this, but it might. This is not a Thunderbolt 3 port though, but even so it might be (in theory) compatible with VGA and DisplayPort 1.2 with the right adapters. Can’t tell for sure without trying though, take this with a grain of salt, I might be wrong.

      • eb

        October 20, 2016 at 5:57 am

        Thanks for your reply. I guess I will have to try and see. Meanwhile, if any fellow reader has tried this and knows the answer, please feel free to share your experience :)


      • Ivan

        November 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

        Hi, did you manged to try it and is it possible to use 2 monitors with this laptop? One with HDMI and one with USB Type-C?


      • Andrei Girbea

        November 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm

        I haven't , sry, I can't comment anything on this

      • Alissa Knight

        January 4, 2017 at 4:37 am

        Hi, I just purchased this laptop yesterday. The USB-C port is GEN1, which means you won't be able to drive power or video output through the port. Im however successfully using a USB 3.0 HDMI dock on it (By Plugable) just fine. Though, I wish I could use my USB-C dock with it.

  17. Jure

    October 27, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I'm trying to find UX330 in Europe, with i5 (Skylake) CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, FHD display and English keyboard, however there aren't any available. Do you have some info about overall availability of UX330 in Europe? Where they taken out of the supply chain? When are they planned to be in stores in Europe?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      It's available in some regions in Europe, just not everywhere. I don't have any insiders on availability other than what I was told and what I mentioned din the post.

      • Johannes Pinxter

        October 28, 2016 at 9:34 am

        The ASUS ZenBook UX330CA-PURE4 (13,3" FHD Intel m3-7Y30 / 8GB / 256GB SSD / Intel HD 615 / Win 10) is at least available in Scandinavia and Swiss. Price around € 1000.
        Succes and regards, Jan

      • Johannes Pinxter

        October 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

        Sorry I forgot, see also
        and it includes the Kaby Lake

    • Dani

      October 28, 2016 at 5:33 am

      The i5 Version with the higher resolution screen is available in the UK at one chain of shops at the moment (Curry's/PC World) and at every now and then (status constantly changes btw. preorder, out of stock, few items available). I heard from one store that they are expecting the i7 with 512GB next Tuesday. Fingers crossed as that's the one I'm hoping to get. I also looked in the Netherlands (US international keyboard) but it's not available there at all. :(

    • Dani

      October 28, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Just fyi: the i5 model is currently available at for 670 pounds, reduced in price by about 100 pounds compared to when it was available last. One a handful of items available though.

      • Jurij

        October 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        Thanks for the info. I've noticed in UK there are only QHD versions, however I'm looking for FHD version and i5.

        Andrea: Are there any news regarding the panel in production version? Do they get Samsung panel or the one you didn't like in your review? Are both, QHD and FHD, of the same supplier, or is FHD Samsung's panel?

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 30, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        I don't know anything more than what's in the review. Also, my name is not Andrea :)

      • Jurij

        November 1, 2016 at 3:45 am

        I'm sorry for misspelling.

        Where did you get info on the panel supplier for reviewed laptop? There is nothing on Asus site (on Specifications tab).

      • Andrei Girbea

        November 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

        You can find this info with HWInfo or from Device Manager.

    • Alissa Knight

      January 4, 2017 at 4:38 am

      The UX330 hasn't been taken out of the supply chain. I did notice that it is not on the Asus Germany web site (but the laptop is now, having arrived at Saturn in Stuttgart, Germany as recent as 3 months ago)

  18. Milton turner

    October 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Hi, trying to work out the reason for choosing this over the ux310ua. As I gather the 310 comes with same processors, cheaper and has room for upgradeable ram? Is the 310 just a better build with a usb-c?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 30, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Yes, but the UX310 gets a TN panel according to many reports, which is more than enough reason not to get it imo. If you can confirm it's available with an IPS panel in your region, then you could at least consider it over the UX330.

  19. Jure

    November 13, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Andrei, would you happen to know, whether the keyboard can be replaced (by service provider)? As English version is not available, I would purchase the one with German keyboard layout and then got it replaced with English keyboard.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 13, 2016 at 6:17 am

      I don't have any experience with this but I'd reckon the keyboard could be replaced, however, that's only if you can find the English version anywhere.

  20. Catalin

    November 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Hi, between an UX305UA i5-6200U QHD+, 8GB, 256GB at 750 EUR and UX330UA QHD+, i7-6500U, 8GB, 512GB SSD at 950 EUR which one you will recommend for a student? Office, Google docs and email. No games.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Hi, You should ask yourself if 256 GB of storage space is enough for your needs. If yes, I'd get the UX305UA. Otherwise, you can consider the UX330 instead, which has a better keyboard imo and it's a little sturdier built, but for your requirements the Core i7 processor in not necessary.

  21. Mark

    November 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    Thanks for your great review.
    I'm seriously considering the UX330, but is it possible to upgrade the SSD storage without voiding the warranty?
    I can only seem to find it with 256 GB, but would prefer 512 GB.
    RAM also tends to be 8 GB, although I have seen one or two with 16 GB, which I would prefer. Is the RAM soldered on?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 18, 2016 at 1:39 am

      the RAM is soldered and upgrading the storage is simple and normally shouldn't void warranty, but it's best you ask the local Asus representatives.

  22. Kamil

    November 19, 2016 at 2:51 am

    What do you think about bad comment on Amazon, when some people face issues with hibernation, screen lock, etc etc.
    There are plenty of 1-star reviews.
    Do you think they are fake, or realy, Asus laptop is similar to lottery?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Looks to me like Amazon actually merged the old UX305UA comments with those of the UX330UA, thus only the most recent ones (October or later) actually speak of the UX330. I don't use hibernation and I can't comment on this aspect, however I had no issue with putting this laptop from sleep and resuming when needed.

  23. Kamil

    November 21, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Can you recommend the UX330UA with i7 for buying?
    Or there is some better device at $1100?

  24. Richard

    November 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hi Andrei,
    I'm from Paris. Here they are selling a version of the UX330UA as GL110T, for 850 €. It comes with a i5 kaby lake, 8GO RAM and 512 Go SSD. The thing is, for the description of the display the seller annouve a 13,3" LED Back-lit, Ultra Slim 250 nits, FHD 1920 x 1080 16:9, AG. And some French web sites are saying that it's a TN Plus display….
    Can you tell me anything about this display ? Do you know about a TN display for the UX330UA ? What is a TN Plus display ?

    Thanks you for your help and your work

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Hi, there's no way to be sure, but the UX330UA should only get IPS panels, according to Asus's website and my experience with this series:

      Asus also offers a UX310UA model, which actually comes with a TN panel.

      Not sure what a TN Plus panel means, but probably a slightly better TN panel with improved contrast and color accuracy. Viewing angles are still going to be problematic, no matter how good the TN panel is.

      • Richard

        November 25, 2016 at 7:09 pm

        Hi Andrei. Thanks for you answer.
        One of my French folks who just bought this zenbook configuration told me this afternoon that the one he has doesn't have any angle dark view problem. For him this panel is definitely an IPS.
        And he gave me these specs from Asus website for the UX330UA :

        Display : 13,3" (16:9)LED Back-lit FHD (1920×1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare Panel with 72% NTSC With IPS

        (and an other version with QHD+ PANEL)

        So it seems to be an IPS Display afterall. Don't know why this french dealer shows a TN display for this model.
        Thanks a lot for your help !

  25. avid

    December 6, 2016 at 7:40 am

    please give me a solution !
    Dell xps 13 9350 or Asus ux330

    i want a much reliable one!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 6, 2016 at 7:49 am

      Hard to say which is going to be the more reliable one, I'm sorry. What I'd do is get extended warranty for both, given how they are expensive.

      • aravind

        December 6, 2016 at 8:04 am

        is it good to buy kabylake version of Asus ux330?
        and Asus is cheaper so I think I can get the extended warranty under my budget.
        on paper for me both seems to be powerful , hope u had hands on n worked with both ,what u would suggest (value for money).?
        and Amazon says ux330 has the fingerprint sensor. is that included in new kaby version ? i can't see that in asus site.

      • Andrei Girbea

        December 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

        There should be a fingerprint sensor, yes. I'm sorry but I can't make the choice for you, I've listed all my opinions on the UX330 in this article and there are many posts on the site on my XPS 13, which is the one I personally prefer for my needs, but you might have different requirements. Consider the pros and cons and then make the choice :)

      • Johannes Pinxter

        December 6, 2016 at 8:36 am

        On the site
        you can find the specifications of the new UX330CA.
        In the overview is also stated:
        The touchpad also incorporates an advanced fingerprint sensor for fast, easy and secure login* with the remark:
        *Fingerprint sensor feature not available on all models
        I see as a great advantage the fanless design but at the same time a disadvantage if you want to use the laptop for your own advanced photo and video processing. Wish you succes with your choice aravind!

      • Andrei Girbea

        December 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

        True, that's because the UX330CA is built on Core M hardware. The UX330UA is however built on Core U processors and a closer match to the XPS 13.

  26. aravind

    December 8, 2016 at 11:32 am

    this is one is ua edition and it says it has the fingerprint . Is this the correct description ?

  27. David Chou

    December 31, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Hi everyone, I just bought, and am typing on the new Kaby Lake version of this laptop.

    Reading through these comments, I see that some people are wondering about the screen, and how Kaby Lake performs.

    The fan is pretty aggressive still, and I have the i5 version. It's definitely noticeable, and if you care about noise it will get on your nerves (e.g. it spins up more than it has to and more aggressive than it has to). It's winter right now and the case was icy cold, and the fan still spun up.

    The screen is an IPS panel from some no name manufacturer, "AU Optronics, Model: AUO272D.

    The battery life is stellar, I have probably 6 or 7 hours of screen on time, watching YouTube videos and browsing the web, and I have 32% of the battery left, which Windows expects to last for 3 more hours.

    If you have any other questions, ask me!

    I am in the US and bought it from Amazon, it's cheaper than the UX305 right now, which is great!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 31, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Thanks for the feedback David, much appreciated. It's a shame Asus can't get their heads around those fans, they're aggressive across their entire line of ultraportables.

    • Grey Cat

      January 1, 2017 at 7:02 am

      How aggresive are they ? can you record it with some db meter?

      idle and 100% load would be amazing if you could provide it :D

      i'm on the fence between two ultrabooks.

      also, is the display good ? backlight bleeding? yellowish tint ?

      • David

        January 3, 2017 at 6:36 pm

        I don't have a dB meter, sorry. At idle the fans are usually very quiet, but at 100% load it is definitely noticeable.

        The display is great, there is no backlight bleeding, and no yellowish tint that I can see.

  28. ebackbone

    January 8, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    avoid the notebook like the plague. i thought i'd give Asus a chance but clearly it's a stinker of a notebook iteration up till today and i've since returned it and got a dell xps 13.

    quick short & sweet review:

    – the lcd monitor does not flip backwards enough, it'll constantly annoy you if you're used to ANY other kinds of notebook before. anyone taller than 5 feet 6-9" will have a terrible stiff neck using this ultrabook with its limited display angle.

    – the constant loud fan and heavy CPU throttling. there's a reason why other manufacturers don't make ultrabooks super thin and this is one of the reason. the super thin profile of the Asus makes the fan trigger very easily AND very loudly. CPU throttles to a dismal 1+GHz when this happens and you can feel the notebook become super sluggish

    – SD Card transfer speed @ 30MB/s!!! this is 2017 for goodness sake, it's time to discard such old components already and switch to high speed SD card interface component. i can get 100+MB/s transfers with the XPS 13.

  29. jan

    January 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Unfortunately, in Germany the laptop isn't available with a 512 GB SSD but with 256 GB only.

    In your picture I see that the included SSD is covered with aluminium. Is the aluminium glued to the SSD or is it removable?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 17, 2017 at 6:09 am

      It's just a removable piece of thermal tape.

  30. Ian

    February 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Loved the review and I am considering getting the kabylake version. I only have one question. If I buy a type c to HDMI dongle, would it work on this laptop or is the type c port only for data?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 20, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      That's a good question, but unfortunately I don't have a sure answer for you. Theoretically, USB Type C can output video and audio signal, so it should work, but I'm not entirely sure that's possible on this laptop and I haven't tried it either during the test. Sry I can't be of more help.

    • Aravind

      February 22, 2017 at 4:02 am

      If u need an HDMI, get micro to normal HDMI jack !! than buying type c converters!

      • Ian

        February 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

        I already have that. I was planning on getting a dock setup with a dongle that connects my monitor, speakers, peripherals, etc. through the type c port.


    March 6, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Can you tell me if the display on Kaby Lake models for QHD+ variant has improved in terms of contrast ratio? I am planning to buy this in India but not sure what kind of panel are they using. They say it is 178 degree wide viewing angle, 100%sRGB etc but God knows how is the display.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 6, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I'd reckon it's the same panel.


        March 7, 2017 at 7:11 am

        Yes, i bought the product(QHD+,512GB,i5 7th gen) here in India and looked up the model number of display in HWinfo tool, it is the same panel. But honestly i didn't feel like blacks were washed out on the display. You know what is more worse is the fact that here in India, Asus is selling the FHD(i5 7th gen, 256GB) variant without IPS panel(because they are not specifying Wide Viewing Angle Display on them).
        So, what Asus is doing in India is that FHD variant is without IPS and QHD+ variant is using cheap LG-Philips panel as Andrei pointed out. Both are priced closely.

        Did you experience heating issues and thermal fan kicking in too frequently even on lighter web browsing. I am facing this issue. They have rolled out a BIOS update for this but that is valid only for BIOS model number:UA not UAK. Unfortunately my BIOS model is UAK. Check here.
        If your BIOS is UA model, you can update your BIOS. The update clearly says it is for Thermal Policy.

      • aravi

        March 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

        I got the lap from US (zenbook ux330ua ah54)so ur saying i can update the bios ?

        and its U processor and as it super thin thermal fan ll kick on easily so it won't be a big issue unless ur in a complete silent room..,

      • aravi

        March 7, 2017 at 11:58 am

        Sorry mine us UAK as i looked in systemInfo it says ux330uak ..
        i thought mine ll be ua as i bought from US


        March 9, 2017 at 2:46 am

        The noise is not a problem. I don't mind if the fan runs intensely when Windows is updating which you can hear. But i have noticed that even when I am not doing something demanding, the fan is always running. It is silent and you can barely notice but it is always running. My concern is battery impact this fan will have as it will always draw power. My unit is QHD+ screen so I am already falling short in terms of battery when compared to FHD Screens. I opened my BIOS settings and kept it opened for 5 minutes, the fan was always rotating at ~3500rpm. Is it normal? Did you face such issues?

      • Andrey

        May 6, 2017 at 2:43 am

        hi! i have the same notebook just with hd screeen (not qhd). and i have the same problem with fan. it rotates ~ 3500rpm most of time (its loud and consume more energy). i see the bios update with thermal policy but it's for UA model, unfortunately mine is UAK.
        Did you solve your problem in any way? (i'm on linux now).


    March 10, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Hi Andrei, just wanted to share this. You know i noticed one thing, with default values in Intel Graphic Properties there wasn't much of a difference between dark shades(Here is the site which i referred ). On my laptop the shades numbered 1 to 4 on this site, all looked the same. I calibrated my display from Intel Graphic Options(tweaked contrast and brightness) at a point so that I can see shade 1 clearly and now the display looks better than before. I sensed this when i was looking at various UI elements of Windows. I had a background wallpaper of rain forest where all shades used to looke dark green,brown and black. Now, the same wallpaper looks so different than before that i could differentiate light green and dark green shades.
    Hope it helps!

  33. Nitesh

    March 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    What are the differences between the UX330UA an the UX330CA?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 16, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      The UX330Ca is built on Core Y fabless hardware, a little slimmer and lighter. The UX330UA is built on fan-cooled Core U hardware.

  34. Nitesh

    March 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    So I ended up getting one of these (after two years on an rMBP 15). First impression was, well, 'quartz grey' means more of a pink in Asus world, lol. Some people have said it's so slight it's hard to notice – I don't agree, it's definitely decidedly pink and not grey, even if it's a light pink. A non-issue for some, some will like it, it's a bit too toyish for my liking.

    But, bigger issue for me, the trackpad. I've read a lot about microsoft precision trackpads and how much better they were than others, so I'm not sure if it's the Precision trackpad or the hardware Asus chose for it, but I don't find it all that great. Scrolling feels laggy and motion doesn't reflect your fingers well, and both that and pointing can't seem to distinguish involuntary hand movement we all have from intended motion, making fine detail movement a pain.

    Keyboard action is fine to good, with just a few layout gripes I could get used to. The screen is decent but marred by an overly grainy antiglare film. Display hinge is overly loose and moves when picked up, but hasn't been an issue while typing. Can't find a way to make media keys default over function keys in the UEFI.

    I think this will be going back within the return window. Does anyone know if trackpads within the MSP program are better, or they're all like this one?

    • Nikhil

      April 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Hey Nitesh,
      Do you find the 110 degree screen lean angle annoying and limiting? Thanks!

  35. robert bischof

    March 22, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Hi I have the UX330UAK, i7 and 16 Gig memory. The notebook is loud as a fck generator. Have not installed anything big, no special programs, usiing it just for office and surfing. I contacted ACER, they told me to update the BIOS ?!?!?! the notebook is 3 months old. WTF….BIOS is up to date. Anyhow…is loud as hell…
    ….and I also have a ASUS ZenBook UX303LB…the hinge broke after 1 1/2 years…
    so good luck Ladies and Gents…would not recommend buying one.

  36. Amitesh Singh

    March 23, 2017 at 8:41 am

    How does it compare with Lenovo IdeaPad 710S in terms of value-for-money and performance? Also, I have heard the asus ux330 has some issues with the trackpad.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 28, 2017 at 6:51 am

      I haven't reviewed the 710s but there's a good review here: Each has its lacks, but I'd say they are mostly similar


      March 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I didn't notice any issues with the trackpad. The trackpad is smooth and responsive.(Microsoft animations are laggy eg. switching between windows) It is slightly over sensitive if i were to say. What i mean by that is that sometimes when you want to drag something, a minute delay(in ms) in deciding(whether you want to tap or move) would make trackpad register it as a Single Click. I was planning for Lenovo Ideapad 710s but it hasn't been launched in India yet. On their Lenovo India Site, it says 'Coming Soon' for the past 6 months. Definitely Asus UX330 has better battery(57WH) and form factor(13mm thickness,1.2kg weight,metal build) than Lenovo Ideapad 710s(if at all it makes to India). I have called number of Lenovo stores and nobody knows when is it going to launch not even Lenovo India Sales team. I say at 83,000 INR , 4K IPS Display, i5-7th gen,512GB SATA SSD,8 GB RAM is apt for money(if not worth) considering that it is an ultrabook and ultrabooks are expensive in India than rest of the world.

  37. shonar

    April 1, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Hello. Thank you for your review.
    I have a go-pro camera and need to edit HD footage once in a bluemoon. Would the 330 or even the 305 be able to handle such editing?
    On another note, would the dell xps 13 also be able to handle it?
    Other than that i only browse and watch movies.

    Im torn between asus 330/305, dell xps 13 and the yoga 900 and the decision would be primarily based on which one can handle this tiny bit of editing that i need to do. Your observation about the lack of tilt in the monitor for asus has put me off somewhat.


    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

      All these laptops should handle basic to mid-level projects fine. Make sure you get at least 8 GB of RAM though. the Core i7 processor would also help if you want to render things a little faster.

  38. Bbotto

    May 14, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Is the rose gold edition not available in the US or something? I am searching high and low for a non black or non silver one and I have come up empty! Also debating between the Asus ux310ua and the ux330ua, will be using it for medical billing and coding school can anyone help?

    • Dianne Dennison

      May 22, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Rose Gold available on Amazon now

      • Bbotto

        May 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

        Can you link? All I can find on Amazon is the ux310ua in rose gold which doesn't have the same specs as the ux330ua

  39. Nisha

    May 17, 2017 at 1:56 am

    I got my hands on UX330C notebook yesterday. While I was impressed by the sleek look and the performance. One thing bothered me today morning that is, on the backside of the notebook the surface cover was having a slight bulge near the joint. When I closed the notebook, I noticed that the bulge was evident. to be precise this is exactly on the right side of the top screw and below the fold . I called the customer care twice and they told me its the design, but its not convincing. Can you help. That area gets heated up on constant use for more that 45 mins.

  40. David

    October 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Hey, why does your contrast differ so much from the one on notebookcheck? Theirs is 1636:1, while yours is 380:1.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      We're using a different, cheaper sensor. Notebookcheck are a much bigger publication and afford better tools, so their results should be more accurate.

  41. Eugene Petrus

    March 19, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Hi, Andrei.
    Don't you have this laptop's calibrated color profile (.icc) left?
    Need it badly for exactly the same screen panel.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 19, 2018 at 11:30 am

      No, I didn't save the icc file at that time.

  42. Somebody

    April 25, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    I brought a ux330ua as a mini-upgrade from my ux305, these are the things I noticed:
    I'm missing keys all the time, I tested the keyboard and I noticed that when you press the key just in the corner is not recorded, this doesn't happens with my ux305. Somebody else also noticed this and made a video
    Sometimes, not very frequently, the fan starts to make rattling noise even on idle, the only way to stop it it's to close the lid.

    – Weights only 100gr less, but feels more lighter than that.
    – I notice the system a bit faster, is i5 6th vs i5 7th gen, that's not much difference, maybe my ux305 needs some system clean up.
    – Backlit keyboard

    I will return the lap and keep my ux305, the keyboard is a deal breaker, i can't stand going back to fix my words all the time, or to be "alert" and make sure i'm not pressing the corner of the key. The fan thing is quite tolerable, since it doesn't happends too often and the solution is easy.

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