Table of Contents
Asus revamped their entire lines of Zenbook (all-round thin-and-lights), Zenbook S (ultraportables) and Zenbook Flip (convertibles) laptops for the second part of 2018 and first half of 2019, and these are not just some minor updates.
The updated models are thinner, lighter and more compact than before, with tiny bezels around the display and especially tiny chins, as well as screen-to-body ratios over 90%.
They’re motorized by the updated Intel Whiskey Lake hardware, paired with various variants of dedicated graphics chips, and among their prime features Asus mentions updated keyboards, optional IR HD webcams and a backlit number-pad integrated within the glass clickpads, a simplified variant of the Screenpad implemented on the Zenbook Pro UX580. Oh, and there’s also a 14-inch variant of the Zenbook Pro available, the UX480, with Whiskey Lake U hardware, Pantone validated screen and GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics, if you’re looking for a capable all-rounder in a compact shell.
We’ll get our hands on all these models in the weeks to come, so stay tuned for our detailed reviews. In the meantime, here’s what you should expect from these new 2018 Zenbook lines, what’s intriguing about them, where they still might fall short and how they compare to the competition.
Update: I’ll link to our detailed reviews below, as we publish them:
- Asus ZenBook UX433FN – all-around ultrabook, 14-inch screen, i7-8565U CPU and MX150 graphics;
- Asus Zenbook UX362FA – convertible ultraportable, i7-8565U CPU;
- Asus ZenBook UX333FN – all-around ultrabook, 13-inch screen, i7-8565U CPU and MX150 graphics;
- Asus ZenBook UX533FD – all-around ultrabook, 15-inch screen, i7-8565U CPU and GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics.
2018 Asus ZenBook 13, 14 and 15
Asus prepared a complete update of the entire line of Zenbook ultraportables, with new 13-inch (UX333 series, replaces UX330), 14-inch (UX433, replaces UX430) and 15-inch variants (UX553, replaces UX530).
Update: Our full review of the ZenBook UX433 series is available over here, our full review of the ZenBook UX333 series over here, we’re also working on the other reviews and will update when they’re published.
The major update is the total redesign of the outer-shell, with a much smaller footprint and slim nanoEdge bezels around the screen. It comes to no surprise Asus followed this trend, but unlike many other laptops on the market, these Zenbooks not only get tiny 2.3 mm lateral bezels, but also a small forhead (5.9) and chin (3.3 mm), for a screen-to-body ratio of around 95% (on the 13-inch variant, there are slightly bigger bezels on the other two). The camera is still placed on top of the screen where it belongs, and it’s an IR HD module compatible with Windows Hello. It’s about time we see some decent cameras on Zenbooks and it should be a welcomed update over the crappy cameras on the current generations.
The new design also uses the ergo-lift hinge we’ve previously seen implemented on the Zenbook S UX391 series, which lifts the main-body in order to create an ergonomic and slightly downwards inclined typing position, as well as allow for better air circulation underneath the laptop. This approach works on the Zenbook S, but we’ll have to see how well it can cope with the dedicated graphics inside these Zenbooks.
Everything else looks like very familiar Zenbook design, with an all-metal build, Blue and Gold themes, the pattern of concentric circles for the lid-covers and the IO lined on the sides.
The keyboard seems much like what Asus used on the previous generation as well, but early reviewers mention it feels more metallic, so I’d reckon Asus might have changed the materials used for the key caps. As a novelty, the 13 and 14 inch models can get an optional backlit numeric pad integrated withing the glass clickpad. It’s probably not going to be very useful for most people, but it might be for some.
It’s also worth noting that Asus claims the new shells are MIL-STD-810G compliant (can survive small drops and bumps, temperatures of up to 48 C – 118 F and altitudes of up to 15000 feet – 4500 m), which could translate in improved reliability as they age. Time will tell.
Here’s what else to expect in terms of specs and features:
|Asus ZenBook UX333 FA/FN – review||Asus ZenBook UX433 FA/FN – review||Asus ZenBook UX533 FA/FD – review|
|Screen||13.3-inch – FHD matte or glossy||14.0-inch – FHD matte or glossy||15.6-inch – FHD or UHD, matte or glossy|
|Processor||up to Core i7-8565U||up to Core i7-8565U||up to Core i7-8565U|
|Video||up to Nvidia MX150 2 GB 10DE 1D12 variant||up to Nvidia MX150 2 GB 10DE 1D12 variant||up to Nvidia GTX 1050 4 GB Max-Q|
|Memory||up to 16 GB LPDDR3 (soldered)||up to 16 GB LPDDR3 (soldered)||up to 16 GB LPDDR3 (soldered)|
|Storage||1x M.2 PCIe x4||1x M.2 PCIe x4||1x M.2 PCIe x4|
|Ports||2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C gen 2, HDMI, microSD, mic/earphone||2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C gen 2, HDMI, microSD, mic/earphone||2x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C gen 2, HDMI, SD, mic/earphone|
|Battery||50 Wh||50 Wh||73 Wh|
|Size||302 mm or 11.88” (w) x 189 mm or 7.44 (d) x 16.9 mm or .66” (h)||319 mm or 12.55” (w) x 199 mm or 7.83” (d) x 16.9 mm or .66” (h)||354 mm or 13.93” (w) x 220 mm or 8.66” (d) x 17.9 mm or 0.70” (h)|
|Weight||~1.23 kg (2.7 lbs), 1.1 kg for matte version||~1.23 kg (2.7 lbs), 1.1 kg for matte version||~1.7 kg (3.75 lbs), 1.6 kg for matte version|
|Price||starts at $999||starts at $999||starts at $1099|
There’s still no Thunderbolt 3 connectivity on these updated Zenbooks, which can be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers, especially as more and more competitors offer it at this point. The smaller units also merely get a microSD card-reader and two USB-A slots.
As a novelty, Asus seems to offer all these lines with either matte or glass-covered displays as far as I can tell right now. I’d expect the glossy versions to get touch as well, but that’s yet to be confirmed. As for the panels, the official specs mention IPS units with 72% NTSC color coverage, so pretty much on par with what’s available on the current Zenbooks. Hopefully, Asus chose some brighter panels this time and the 14-inch variant no longer gets the flickering pain that was implemented on the Zenbook UX430UN.
Speaking of that, these Zenbooks will be available with Intel UHD 620 graphics as the UX333FA, UX433FA and UX533FA lines. Notice that these variants get the FA moniker now, and not the UA used with the last several generations. It will help distinguish the Whiskey Lake builds from the older variants, but is nonetheless one more way to confuse potential buyers.
Versions with dedicated graphics are also available: UX333FN (MX150), UX433FN (MX150) and UX533FD (GTX 1050 Max-Q). The official specs don’t offer details on whether the 13 and 14-inch variants get the full-power or the Max-Q variants of the MX150 chip. I’d expect the 25W variant on the Zenbook UX433FN and given its thickness, on the 13-inch model as well. That would also allow Asus to keep the fairly recent Zenbook UX331 in their lineup, which is a thinner 13-incher with MX150 Max-Q graphics.
— pictures via TheVerge and Engadget
These aside, some of you might be disappointed by the only 50 Wh batteries inside the 13 and 14-inch laptops, with competitors offering closer to 60 Wh batteries these days. I’m all for bigger batteries myself, but let’s not forget these are some of the most compact devices in their classes, so I’d reckon Asus had to juggle carefully with the internal layout and could only do so much this time. 50 Wh batteries should still offer around 5-6 hours of daily multitasking and 7-8 of video, which is not that bad (Asus announced 15+ hours of battery life in their press release, but that’s far from what you can actually get in real-life use).
As far as competition goes, the 13-inch Zenbook UX333 will have to face harsh competition from the Dell XPS 13 and LG Gram 14. The 14-inch variant will have to outmatch devices like the Acer Swift 3, MSI Prestige PS42 and especially the Huawei MateBook X Pro, while the 15-inch variant swims in less crowded waters and could be a good option for those looking for a more affordable alternative for the Dell XPS 15 and Asus Zenbook Pro UX550 lines.
The 2018 Zenbooks will be available in stores from October 2018, with prices starting at $899. Look further for updates and other articles once we know more.
Updated Asus ZenBook Flip UX362 and UX562
The 2018 editions of the Zenbook Flip come in 13 (UX362) and 15-inch (UX562) variants, both with nanoEdge displays and more compact builds than their predecessors.
Update: Our detailed review of the Zenbook Flip UX362 is available over here, and we’ll update this section once we get to review the larger ZenBook UX562.
These share many traits and features with the clamshell Zenbook variants, but are of course 2-in-1s with 360-degrees convertible displays. The new design of these Flips also implies some sort of Ergo-lift hinge as well, with the hinge mechanism raising the main-body while in laptop mode. We’ll have to wait and see how well this actually works in real-life use.
|Asus ZenBook Flip UX362FA – review||Asus ZenBook Flip UX562FD|
|Screen||13.3-inch – FHD touch||15.6-inch – FHD or UDH Pantone touch|
|Processor||up to Core i7-8565U||up to Core i7-8565U|
|Video||Intel UHD 620||up to Nvidia GTX 1050 2 GB Max-Q|
|Memory||up to 16 GB LPDDR3 (soldered)||up to 16 GB DDR4 (soldered)|
|Storage||1x M.2 PCIe x4||1x M.2 PCIe x4, 1x 2.5″ bay|
|Ports||1x USB-A 2.0, 2x USB-C gen 1, HDMI, mic/earphone, main camera||1x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-1 2.0, 1x USB-C gen 1, HDMI, SD card, mic/earphone, main camera|
|Battery||50 Wh||57 Wh|
|Size||305 mm or 12.00” (w) x 189 mm or 7.44 (d) x 16.9 mm or .66” (h)||357 mm or 14.05” (w) x 226 mm or 8.89” (d) x 20.9 mm or .82” (h)|
|Weight||~1.3 kg (3.0 lbs)||~1.9 kg (4.2 lbs)|
The 13-inch Flip UX362 remains compact and light for what it is, but in order to be this small and still able to house a 50 Wh battery and the Whiskey Lake hardware inside, it no longer gets the dedicated graphics available for the regular Zenbook 13 and relies mostly on USB-C connectivity. It does however get the same keyboard and glass clickpad, as well as the IR camera on top of the screen.
The 15-inch model is larger and heavier, but gets a dedicated GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics chip, a 57 Wh battery, dual-storage, better IO and can be specked up with an Pantone validated UHD panel (with the sensor next to the keyboard, to the left). All these make the Zenbook Flip UX562 an interesting option for creatives and a worthy competitor for the 15-inch Lenovo Legion Y730.
Both the Zenbook Flip UX362 and UX562 are expected for Q4 2018, but we don’t have any exact pricing information for the time being.
Zenbook S UX391FA
An updated version of the ultraportable Zenbook S UX391 line is also available for the second part of 2018, with Whiskey Lake hardware and the appropriate moniker change: UX391FA.
This is an excellent 13-inch notebook with a compact and light (2.2 lbs) build, nice matte screen with slim bezels, a great keyboard, solid performance and pretty good battery life (50 Wh battery), as you’ll find from our review of the series. The article analyzes the KabyLake-R configuration, but given how Whiskey Lake is merely a bump in Turbo Speeds with marginal performance gains over KabyLake-R, everything in the article still applies to the updated UX391FA variant as well.
If you’re interested in this unit, I’d advise you to stick with the Core i5 configurations and the FHD screen, that’s where you’ll get the best value for your buck.
Zenbook Pro UX480
This is the more compact variant of the Zenbook Pro UX580 (reviewed in here), and while it shares the design lines and the ScreenPad integrated within the clickpad, it’s also a different computer in many ways.
For starters, this is a more compact and lighter device, with a 14-inch FHD Pantone screen and 86% screen-to-body ratio. It also gets a more standard keyboard, without the annoying extra row of keys on the right side that Asus put on the UX580. On the other hand, the UX480 lacks the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity that you get with the larger variant, which would have sure been a nice addition.
The UX480 is also not as powerful as the 15-inch model, as it’s built on Intel Whiskey Lake Core U processors, DDR4 RAM, fast PCIe storage, and only relies on the Max-Q GTX 1050 chip for graphics, so is not as capable with games either.
For many though, this could be a better balanced all-rounder, a computer you can use for work and occasional fun, with more powerful components, a better screen and larger battery than you can normally find in a 14-inch notebook.
|Asus Zenbook Pro UX480FD
|Screen||15.6 inch, FHD IPS, glossy, touch|
|Processor||up to Intel Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U CPU|
|Video||Intel UHD 630 + Nividia GTX 1050 4 GB GDDR5 Max-Q|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4 (soldered)|
|Storage||up to 1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD (80 mm)|
|Connectivity||Wireless AC (tri-band Intel AC 9560), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||1x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-A 2.0, 1x USB-C gen 2, HDMI, mic/headphone|
|Battery||70 Wh, 90 Wh charger|
|Size||323 mm or 12.71” (w) x 225 mm or 8.85” (d) x 17.9 mm or .70” (h)|
|Weight||3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)|
|Extras||backlit keyboard, LCD touchpad, VGA camera, dual-speakers, available in Deep Dive Blue|
In fact, the Zenbook Pro UX480 is quite unique in today’s market, thus with the right price, this should turn many heads.
We’ll update once we know more.
That’s about it for now, these are the important Asus Zenbook updates for the second part of 2018 and first part of 2019. Check out our detailed reviews and other articles on the site for more details.
August 31, 2018 at 11:21 am
Zenbooks are okay. Frankly nothing compelling about them and their high pricing hardly reflects the shoddy quality.
– soldered memory and wireless card
– only 1x M.2 NVMe
– small battery
– meager ports
– subpar keyboard, speakers, and webcam (some people care)
– always cheap: hard drive bay, USB 2.0, slow microSD, SATA SSDs on retail models etc
– poor record of build quality, especially the hinges
– inadequate (almost nonexistent) customer support
– no practical innovation
Looks as though Asus is focusing an awful lot on exterior aesthetics, the touchpad and soldering down everything while keeping prices up. Wonder who that reminds me of?
August 31, 2018 at 11:35 am
I don't think generalization is fair here, but I agree with some of your points. They still have room for improvement, but every OEM has its flaws. I also find most Asus laptops quite competitively priced, especially outside the US where other brands are more expensive.
October 16, 2018 at 5:28 am
what would you recommend in this price range though?
August 31, 2018 at 1:04 pm
From product photos and brief specs on ASUS site it looks like only UX533 support display port via USB-C while UX333 and UX 433 does not support that.
No convenient single port docking with these, unfortunately.
There is no information if HDMI is 1.4 or 2.0 so there is still a slim chance for [email protected] support.
September 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm
Hi i am from korea.
Thank you for your posting.
I have a plan to buy zenbook soon.
Very good and useful imformation for me.
October 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm
I'm really looking at the Asus ZenBook UX333 (might be a bit small with the thin bezel to balance on one leg) or 433 at the moment. Wish they were already available in the UK, but I guess this will still take a while? How do you think the matte screen version will compare to the UX330 UA? Might it be worth upgrading? Using my ux330 mainly for surfing, coding, watching tv occasionally, and as sole companion when travelling but feel it could do with a bit more memory.
October 16, 2018 at 10:43 pm
I'm going to get a review unit during this week and publish an article probably by the end of next week, will include details on the screen, performance, etc.
Not sure if it would be worth upgrading over the UX330 though, that's still a good laptop and while the newer generations are smaller and nicer polished, you're not really going to notice the performance gains with everyday use. Still, let's wait for the review for any conclusions.
October 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm
Thanks a lot. Looking forward to it. Personally, my biggest problem is the 8GB of memory that does get max'ed out every now and then due to stupid windows services (Cortana!) colliding with things I do. And the battery is getting a bit weak now. But I also feel that I should not need to buy a new notebook every two years.
October 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm
how is it possible both the 13.3 inch and the bigger 14 inch UX has the same weight? they have the same hardware inside.
October 24, 2018 at 12:19 pm
I have both on my desk and I can confirm that both are the same weight: 1.23 kg in the glossy screen variants.
October 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm
Still no info on release date?
November 9, 2018 at 9:41 pm
They are out now on Amazon!
October 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm
Any update on when the ZenBooks 13/14/15 might release in the US? I'm holding out for one of these!
October 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm
As far as i know, 14 is scheduled for November and 13 for Jan 2019 here in Europe. Can't tell about the US though.
October 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Do these laptops have HDMI 1.4 or 2.0?
November 9, 2018 at 7:39 pm
HDMI 1.4 on most of them.
November 3, 2018 at 6:05 pm
I can't wait for your reviews of these ultrabooks, any idea when they will come out ?
November 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm
working on ux333, ux433 and ux362. should be up in the next 7-10 days.
November 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm
Is this review live yet?
November 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm
sry, not yet
Sofia Lage Vickers
November 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm
I want to buy the Asus ZenBook 15 (UX533FD) and can´t find it anywhere, not even in the ASUS store website.
November 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm
It's not yet available
November 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm
Is the SSD in UX333 upgradable? Can you post the link to your review, once it becomes available? Thank you!
November 15, 2018 at 3:25 pm
It's upgradable, yes. Will update once it's published.
November 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm
Thank you! Is the RAM also upgradable?
November 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm
No, just the SSD.
November 15, 2018 at 6:35 pm
XPS 15 (i7/16/512), Acer Swift 5 (i7/16/512), ZenBook UX410UA (i7/8/128+1tb) or this new UX433FA?
November 16, 2018 at 8:45 am
Not similar, nor in terms of what they can do or how much they cost. Figure out what you need and how much you're willing to spend first.
November 20, 2018 at 5:26 am
When will the review be posted?
Deciding between an XPS15 and the UX533.
Which way would you go?
November 20, 2018 at 1:29 pm
UX433 today, UX333 this week, and I don't have a UX533 review unit yet
November 21, 2018 at 12:56 am
Just wanted to let you all know that the UX433FN review is available over here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/23479-asus-zenbook-ux433fn-review/ . Looking for your feedback and questions. Thanks.
November 23, 2018 at 7:10 pm
That annoying extra row of keys on the right side that Asus put on UX580 was actually the best idea from keyboard engineers since long time. Separate Home/PgUp/PgDown/End keys are must have if you work on laptop, not just browsing the web. I had them my old Samsung from 2007 and it was so convenient. I hope there will be move Zenbook models with such keyboard.
November 23, 2018 at 7:53 pm
You're not the only one to express this opinion. I personally find it annoying and prefer Lenovo's implementation on their Thinkpads (like on the X1 Extreme: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/23223-lenovo-x1-extreme-review/#a3 ), but that's just me. I'd reckon I could get used to it in a few days if I were to go with one of these laptops.
December 17, 2018 at 9:47 am
is there any extra slot for adding ssd?
December 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm
On which one?
January 24, 2019 at 9:19 am
I am looking for a 14inch zenbook laptop. am lil confused between UX433 and UX490. both are zenbooks. while UX433 is more recently released, the former seems much more expensive for some reason. Any idea why and which laptop would you recommend ?
January 24, 2019 at 11:08 am
you'll find review for both here in the site. The UX433 is a better device overall
February 6, 2019 at 7:44 pm
I'm very interested in the UX533 for its dimensions and weight + overall specs (i5 version), but I'm wondering how easy is the maintenance on these ultrabook.
I don't have much hopes on the ram being upgradeable, but what about the ssd? How easy is it to open and how accessible are the different parts once opened? I cannot find such in depths info on the internet so far…
In other words, when will the review of the UX533 be available?
February 7, 2019 at 12:49 pm
I've been asking for a UX533 review unit, but so far I couldn't get one, so for now I cannot tell when or even if we'll review it.
February 6, 2019 at 10:07 pm
I am not sure in my decision which Notebook to buy:
* LENOVO YOGA 730-15
* ZENBOOK FLIP 15 UX 562 FD
They have allmost the same specifications:
PROCESSOR: I7 8th Generation
RAM: 16 GB
SSD: 512 GB
GRAF: GeForce GTX 1050 (Lenovo 4MB, ASUS Q version)
Conection: both Thunderbolt, (ASUS with SD-Slot)
Price should be also almoust the same
Lenovo 1400 €
ASUS 1400-1500 € (regarding AMAZON GE)
Which one is the better alternative? I need it for private use, Picture and Video (Drone).
The Lenovo is actually available. When does the new Flip15 get released (at all, and in Germany)?
It would be helpful to get your opinions and knowledge about these productes!
Best regards from Germany, GUIDO
February 7, 2019 at 12:57 pm
I cannot give you a fair answer because we haven't properly reviewed the UX533 yet. We did review the Yoga 730 and you can find the review here on the site, it's a pretty good laptop, but beware of its performance issues. If the ZenBook ends up performing better with demanding loads, I'd go for it. You'll find some reviews out there,
February 9, 2019 at 9:34 am
In France and Switzerland the Flip 15 UX562 notebooks are available. The offers are from Dec2018, but still actual.
What is the reason, that Germany is out of delivering this new seria? How it is possible, that there is now one review/test of these models available, even if they are on the market?
Is ASUS stopping the production for some reason?
March 19, 2019 at 8:58 pm
Did you get Zenbook UX533FN-A8017T model with MX-150 Graphics Card to Review?
March 25, 2019 at 11:16 am
No, only the 1050 model.
Peter de Coene
August 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm
How do the Zenbook RX-models compare to the UX-models ?
I have seen an offer for a ZenBook 15 RX533FN-A8059T with the followings specs:
Windows 10 Home besturingssysteem
Intel® Core™ i7-8565U QUAD Core Processor 1,8GHz (8M Cache, maximaal 4.60 GHz
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GDDR5 2GB
16 GB DRAM DDR4 Geheugen
512GB PCI NVME SSD HDD
15,6" LED-verlicht FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 anti-reflectie scherm
Vier-weg randloos NanoEdge-scherm met 92% scherm/behuizing ratio 3,0 mm dunne zijbezel en 4,5 mm onderbezel
Weegt slechts 1,59 kg
Are the parts 'better' or 'worse' than the UX533 ?
August 12, 2019 at 9:47 am
Seems to be the same as the UX, but with a different name in the Netherlands.
November 19, 2019 at 10:32 pm
I managed to get my hands on UX562FD. As this was not available in the UK I had to import it from Latvia as other countries offering it had qwertz rather than qwerty keyboards which was an issue for me. Pls note I got this in 12 GB ram and not 16 (apparently 16GB not available in Latvia, checked multiple sites online).
After using it for 7 months, I can say this is one of the most smooth laptops I have used. Fast and powerful. Light and durable.
I have checked the performance on games like warcraft and this runs super smooth. I'll be doing some graphic designing and video editing later in the year so will be able to say more about it then.