This article gathers our impressions on the Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN, Asus’s top-of-the-line ultrabook for the most of 2019.
The UX392 follows up on one of our favorite ultrabooks of 2018, the ZenBook S13 UX391 series, and competes at the high end of its niche not just with devices like the Dell XPS 13 9380, the Microsoft Surface Laptop or the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but especially with the Huawei MateBook X Pro and Razer Blade Sealth 13, as this 2019 version of the ZenBook S13 now gets dedicated graphics and a larger screen.
The ultra-compact lightweight form-factor, the premium construction, the 13.9-inch display and the latest generation hardware with dedicated graphics from Nvidia are in fact the UX392FN’s main selling points, alongside its excellent pricing for a high-specced configuration, beneath most similarly equipped competitors at the time of this article. We’ll talk about all these aspects down-below, as well as touch on the laptops potential quirks, which you’d be better be aware of before deciding to go for it.
As a disclaimer, our review unit is a pre-production version of the ZenBook S13 UX392, lent by Asus for the purpose of this review. It performed as expected during our time with it, so I’m confident our findings are in line with what you can expect from the units you’ll be able to find in stores.
Specs as reviewed
|Asus Zenbook S13 UX392FN|
|Screen||13.9 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, glossy|
|Processor||Intel Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U CPU|
|Video||Intel UHD 620 + Nvidia MX150 2 GB GDDR5 (10DE 1D12), with Optimus|
|Memory||16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz (soldered)|
|Storage||256 GB SSD (WDC PC SN520 – M.2 PCIe x2 80 mm)|
|Connectivity||Wireless AC (Intel AC 9560), Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||1x USB-A 3.1 gen 2, 2x USB-C gen 2 (with DP and charging), microSD card reader, mic/headphone|
|Battery||50 Wh, 65 Wh|
|Size||316 mm or 12.44” (w) x 195 mm or 7.67” (d) x 12.9 mm or 0.5” (h)|
|Weight||2.4 lbs (1.1 kg)|
|Extras||white backlit keyboard, HD webcam, available in Utopia Blue|
Asus offers the ZenBooK S13 UX392 in a few different configurations, with Core i5 or i7 Whiskey Lake processors, 8/16 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB or 1 TB of SSD storage. On top of that, two different sub-series are available, the ZenBook UX392FN reviewed here, with dedicated Nvidia MX150 graphics, as well as the ZenBook UX392FA, with Intel UHD 620 graphics only. The two are otherwise identical, so most of the article below applies to both variants.
Design and construction
The ZenBook S13 UX392 is one of the lightest (2.4 lbs), thinnest (.5 of an inch) and, at the same time, most compact 14-inch laptops available in stores these days, thanks to its design with a 97% screen to body ratio (according to Asus) and small bezels around the entire screen.
Asus’s patented Ergolift hinge design makes this possible, by hiding the screen’s chin behind the laptop, and at the same time lifting up the main-body on the screen’s frame, creating a slightly inclined typing position.
This is not a novelty, we’ve seen a similar design implemented on most ZenBooks released in the last year. The UX392 minimizes the top bezel more than the other options, though, and it does it without sacrificing the camera placement, which is still there at the top, by including a reversed notch in the middle of the screen ensemble. This accommodates the camera and microphones, and also acts as a knob that you can grab on to easily lift up the screen. Unfortunately, Asus was not able to integrate Hello IR cameras on this laptop as well, so you’re robbed of the convenience of seamlessly logging into Windows with your face, but you can use the alternative finger-sensor integrated within clickpad instead of typing up the password every time.
The UX392 is also nicer crafted than the other current ZenBook lines, as it gets a unibody aluminum design, and not a metal outer-case sandwiched on a plastic inner-chassis. As a result, the entire body feels sturdier, with little to no flex in either the lid-cover or the keyboard deck, and all the pieces fit-in together smoother, with no gaps or loose edges at the joints, something you will run into on the regular ZenBook 13/14 models.
The CNC craftsmanship process does leave some sharp edges and corners though, around the screen and especially around the inner body, which can bite on your fingertips and wrists with daily use. The edges around the palm-rest and keyboard deck are in fact tapered, but milled at a sharp angle and not at 45 degrees as on other devices, thus feel rougher and more unforgiving. It’s hard to describe this in words, yet the bottom point is that the front edge and corners are harsh and not friendly on the wrists, which is something you’ll have to accept and at the same time somehow adds up to the laptop’s utilitarian construction and aesthetics, for the lack of a better word.
I also consider this ZenBook UX392 to be one of the most beautiful devices on the market right now. It’s available in a single color, which Asus calls Utopia Blue, and looks much like a blueish tint of brushed aluminum to my eyes, paired with some subtle gold accents in the Asus logo on the lid and the keyboard’s writing. You might say, hey, that’s just one more silver ultrabook, but its actually a different nuance from what you’ll get with other laptops, which combined with the brushed texture, does a great job at hiding smudges and fingerprints. I do have to warn you about that tapered front edge though: it’s going to dent if you type with your watch on, something I’ve also experienced on my XPS 13 and would experience on any similar aluminum finishes.
Aside from the harsh edges, the UX392 is, for the most part, ergonomic and comfortable to use. The palm-rest offers enough arm support, the screen can be easily lifted with a single hand and the rubber feet at the bottom offer fair grip on a desk. However, the screen only leans back to about 130 degrees, which can be limiting in some situations, and the fact that the whole laptop rises on these tiny rubber feet at the bottom of the screen does have an impact on its overall stability, making it easier to slide across a flat surface than other devices. So be careful not to stumble on the cable, the USB-C charger plugs in snuggly and you’ll end up with the laptop on the ground.
The IO is perhaps the only major aspect where the ZenBook UX392 no longer aligns with my expectations, but the fact that it only gets two USB-C ports, one USB-A and a microSD card-reader doesn’t come to a surprise, given its size and today’s miniaturizing trends.
The USB-C ports support gen 2 USB 3.1 transfer speeds, DisplayPort video output, and charging, but this generation no longer gets Thunderbolt 3. Asus decided to ditch that for the MX150 GPU, however, one should not exclude the other, as the Whiskey Lake Core U CPUs offer 16 PCIe lanes, enough to accommodate a dGPU, Thunderbolt 3 and NVMe storage at the same time, as proven by devices like the Huawei MateBook X Pro or the Razer Blade Sealth 13, among others.
Overall, the ZenBook UX392 improves on the already excellent UX391 in terms of design and build quality, while adding a larger screen. At the same time, the sharp front edge and corners make it more unforgiving on the wrists, but my major gripe is with the lack of Thunderbolt 3 support, something offered by the previous generation. It’s true that some of its functionality is supported by the existing USB-C gen 2 ports, but you’re not going to be able to hook up an external GPU enclosure or get the same transfer speeds with these.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on the UX392 looks identical to the one on the ZenBook 14 UX433, but it doesn’t’ feel the same, and I’ll explain why in a bit.
The layout is standard, with softly finished full-size keys, short arrows and miniaturized Function keys at the top, as well as the Power button integrated into the top-right corner, which I’d advise you to disable from Windows in order to prevent putting the computer to sleep when looking for Delete, even if this is stiffer than the other buttons and pressing it requires more force.
The yellow writing on silver keys doesn’t provide a lot of contrast as is somewhat difficult to read without illumination, but it’s perfectly readable with the LEDs switched on. You can choose between three levels of backlighting, and the illumination evenly covers the entire keyboard and doesn’t’ creep from beneath the keys in an annoying way.
This is also a fairly short-travel keyboard, with 1.4 mm keystrokes, and the feedback is alright. My experience was different than on the UX433, though, as I feel the keys actually actuate very easily on the UX392, don’t feel spongy and don’t require a firm middle press. That made this keyboard very fast, but rather unforgiving at the same time, and my accuracy struggled at around 92-93%, down from my usual 95+%. Capitalizing letters while pressing the left Shift key with my pinky was especially problematic, but it added up to other sporadic missed strokes.
I also found this entire deck to be rather noisy, unlike the quiet one of the UX433, and it might attract some raised eyebrows at the library or in other very quiet environments.
The touchpad underneath the keyboard is a bit short, as this laptop gets a smaller palm-rest than other 14-inchers, but it should be fine for daily use. Asus went with a glass-made Synaptics surface with Precision drivers which performs well, reliably handling swipes, gestures, and taps. The physical clicks are pretty good as well, smooth and only a bit clunkier than I’d want. The surface also feels very stable and even, which means it doesn’t rattle when tapped firmer, which I particularly appreciate as I always use taps on my laptops.
There is however one nuisance you’ll have to get used to, and that’s the integrated finger-sensor. It tracked my fingerprint quickly and is a fast method of logging into Windows, however, it can get in your way on this small clickpad, as the cursor no longer moves when your finger strays over the sensor, which means you’re not going to able to use the entire surface for tracking. Ideally, I would have much preferred a set of IR cameras at the top of the screen instead of this integrated finger-sensor, but hey, perhaps next year…
The ZenBook S13 UX392 gets a 13.9-inch IPS screen with FHD resolution, and it’s one of the better displays I’ve ever seen on a ZenBook, as well as finally a closer match-up for the screens on the other premium ultrabooks.
It uses a hardly known panel from Tianma, which is, however, a known LCD manufacturer in the smartphones world, providing screens for Xiaomi phones and even for some iPhones in the past.
This panel is bright, at 400+ nits, as well as fairly evenly lit, with a variation of no more than 9% between the darkest and brightest spots. It also offers good blacks, contrast and color coverage, as well as excellent viewing angles, as you can tell from the technical specs below, measured with a Spyder4 sensor:
- Panel HardwareID: TIANMA XM (TL139VDXP01);
- Coverage: 99% sRGB, 73% NTSC, 77% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 394 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 950:1;
- White point: 6500 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.41 cd/m2;
- Average DeltaE: 1.54 uncalibrated, 0.65 calibrated;
- PWM: N/A.
This also came well calibrated out of the box, with excellent Gamma and White Point settings, but you can still use this calibrated profile to further address the color and gray-level imbalances.
I do, however, have two nits with the screen. First of all, you probably noticed that there’s a layer of glass on top of this panel, but no touch support, so the glass is only there to protect the display and reinforce the screen’s frame. The side effects are the glare and reflections, something I can accept on a touchscreen, but not that much otherwise. I know some of you like the smoothness of these glasses covered screens, similar to the ones on the MacBooks, but I for one would much rather get the graininess and practicality of matte panels instead.
My second nit concerns potential light bleeding issues, caused by the tiny bezels pinching on the panel. We got some pinching on our review unit, but only visible on a dark background at maximum brightness, so not with actual use, even when watching 21:9 movies at normal brightness. There is no guarantee you’re not going to get worse bleeding on your unit, though, so make sure to test for it once you get the laptop.
Hardware, performance and upgrade options
Out test versions is a higher specced configuration of the Asus Zenbook S13 UX392FN, with the Core i7-8565U WhiskeyLake processors, 16 GB of RAM and Nvidia MX150 graphics, in the lower-power 10De 1D12 variant meat for ultraportable laptops.
It only gets a 256 GB SSD though, which is hooked up via a PCIe x2 line. If you opt for a 512 GB or 1 TB SSD out of the box, those should be hooked via a full-width PCIe x4 connection, although the exact SSD will differ from region to region.
The CPU, GPU, and RAM are soldered onto the motherboard, and the WiFi uses a miniaturized format, so the M.2 SSD is the only easily upgradeable component. Getting to it is a fairly simple task, but requires you to remove the back panel, which is held in place by a few Torx screws.
In here you’ll also notice the dual-fan thermal solution, the 50 Wh battery, and the speakers. There is a little bit of unused space at the front, which suggest Asus could have probably squeezed in a bigger battery, but chose not to and just stick to the 50 Wh battery they offer on the entire 13/14-inch Zenbook lineup these days.
With this kind of hardware, the ZenBook UX392 handles everyday chores easily, while running fairly cool and quiet, as you’ll find out from the next section of this review. The following logs offer insights on the CPU/GPU speeds and temperatures with everyday use.
If you’re only buying a laptop for browsing, movies, and daily multitasking, you can stick to one of the lower-end Core i5 configurations, available with 8 GB of RAM. Asus does force you to go with the i7 if you want 16 GB of RAM, though, much like all the other OEMs in this niche.
The Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processor is fairly competitive, with four cores, eight threads and the ability to run at high frequencies if allowed by the thermal implementation. Normally, we test the CPU’s behavior in demanding loads by running Cinebench R15 for 10+ times in a loop, with 2-3 sec delay between each run, which simulates a 100% load on all the cores. Our test unit is pre-production though, so we’re not going to get in-depth on this matter here.
We will, however, mention that we were able to get some excellent performance after undervolting the CPU at -100 mV, which allowed it to stabilize at frequencies of 2.7-2.8 GHz GHz, 15-18 W TDP, 68-71 degrees Celsius and scores of around 600-630 points. Take these findings with a grain of salt, though, as the final versions might actually run at higher TDPs and thus score higher.
The CPU’s performance on battery was excellent as well, with the CPU stabilizing at 15 W TDP in our loop Cinebench test, which is not the case with many other ultrabooks.
Next, we’ve included a set of benchmarks, for those of you interested in numbers, which we’ve ran on the Best-Performance power profile in Windows, with default voltage settings:
- 3DMark 11: P3946 (Physics – 8740, Graphics – 3586);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 2619(Graphics – 2899, Physics – 7465);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 971 (Graphics – 872, CPU – 2746);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 2096;
- PCMark 10: 4078;
- PassMark: Rating: 4646, CPU mark: 9975, 3D Graphics Mark: 2506;
- GeekBench 3.4.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 4345, Multi-core: 14445;
- GeekBench 4.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5314, Multi-core: 15789;
- CineBench R15 (best run): OpenGL 91.63 fps, CPU 662 cb, CPU Single Core 191 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 –167.39 fps, Pass 2 – 41.78 fps.
Then we reran some of the benchmarks on the -100 mV undervolted profile, which allowed a quite significant increase in CPU related tests and, as expected, pretty much no changes in GPU scores:
- 3DMark 11: P3985 (Physics – 10035, Graphics – 3597);
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 2682 (Graphics – 2911, Physics – 12383);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 995 (Graphics – 877, CPU – 4300);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 2109;
- GeekBench 4.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5324, Multi-core: 17240;
- CineBench R15 (best run): OpenGL 92.35 fps, CPU 846 cb, CPU Single Core 192 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit: Pass 1 –199.34 fps, Pass 2 – 50.10 fps.
These CPU scores are possible due to the fact that the system allows the CPU to run at high TDP for a while, enough to ensure high Turbo Boost frequencies in short-term demanding loads. The performance eventually drops in long-duration demanding sessions, though, as the CPU settles for a more standard 15-18W TDP, as shown in the Cinebench loop test, which is normal from this kind of a thin-and-light laptop.
In the end, what sets the ZenBook UX392 apart from many other ultrabooks is the inclusion of the Nvidia MX150 GPU. Of course, this is merely an entry-level graphics solution in its more efficient 1D12 variant, so don’t expect to be able to run AAA titles at high-graphics settings on this computer. It is nonetheless 2-3 times faster than the integrated Intel UHD 620 chip in benchmarks, which translates in improved performance in applications that can benefit from GPU acceleration (certain video editing/3D work software, certain programming software), as well as in games.
Before we talk about the gaming experience, don’t forget the UX392 implements the 10W 1D12 version of the MX150 chip, the one meant for ultraportable devices. That’s similar to chips in the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2018 or the Asus ZenBook 14, but slower than the 25W variant implemented in devices like the MSI PS42 Prestige or the Razer Blade Stealth. On top of that, some of you might wonder why there’s not the newer Nvidia MX250 chip inside this laptop, something already available in a handful of other thin-and-lights. I don’t have an answer for this, but even so, given how the MX250 is just a rebadged and slightly higher-clocked version of the MX150, the fact that you’re only getting an MX150 won’t actually make any significant difference with real-life use.
Anyway, back to our gaming results, we ran a couple of DX11 and DX12 games on our test-unit, on FHD resolution and Low/High details, and compiled the results in the following table.
|FHD Low Preset||FHD High Preset|
|Bioshock Infinite||73 fps||49 fps|
|Far Cry 5||21 fps||15 fps|
|Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor||45 fps||29 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider||31 fps||22 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider||8 fps||5 fps|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||25-30 fps||18-22 fps|
- The Witcher 3 – recorded with Fraps in campaign mode
- Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities
This is what we got in terms of CPU and GPU speeds in Witcher 3, a very taxing title for this kind of hardware.
Undervoting the CPU has very little impact on the gaming results, as it allows the processor to run at slightly higher speeds, but without an impact over the GPU. Details below.
However, liming the CPU’s frequencies at stock speeds (1.8 GHz) in Throttlestop does lead to lower CPU and GPU temperatures, and as a result, allows the GPU to run at 3-5% higher clocks in Witcher 3, and more in less demanding titles. That’s a minor boost, but something worth keeping in mind if you want to get the best gaming performance on this laptop.
All in all, our pre-production version of the ZenBook UX392 handles demanding loads and even gaming better than I expected, given my past experience with the similarly configured and sized, but actually thicker, ZenBook 14 UX433.
As far as analyzing this one’s performance in comparison to the competition, we’re going to leave that for a separate article. It is nonetheless important to have realistic expectations. Something like the Dell XPS 13 or the Thinkpad X1 Carbon are going to fare a little better in demanding CPU loads, as their thermal implementations focus entirely on the processor, while in this case, the design needs to cater to both the CPU and GPU. At the same time, something like the Razer Blade Stealth or the MSI Prestige PS42 are going to perform better in games, as they are built on the 25W version of the Nvidia MX150 chip, but they’re not as compact or as light as this ZenBook.
That leaves the ZenBook S13 UX392 somewhere at the crossroads, as one of the better balanced multi-purpose ultraportables, and that’s why I expect this to be a popular option down the road.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
Asus updated the thermal design of the ZenBook UX392, which uses a two fan/one heatpipe implementation, with the fans placed in between the CPU and GPU. This is also enhanced with some proper intake grills at the bottom and the fact that the hinge lifts up the laptop and allows good airflow underneath.
As a result, the cooling solution does a better job at keeping the components at bay on this ZenBook S13 than the more standard thermal design of the ZenBook 13/14 series, and also runs quieter.
The fans are active with daily use, but you’re barely going to hear them even in a quiet room with everyday use, and only kick on faster with multitasking, while the laptop is plugged in and on the Best Performance power mode. I did notice some electronic creaking though, but faint and still barely audible from regular use distance.
The fans spin faster with demanding loads and games, but don’t go above 42 dB at head-level, which is still a low noise level for this kind of a device.
As far as temperatures go, the ZenBok S13 UX392FN runs cool with casual use, but heats-up with games. The top part above the keyboard reaches temperatures in the mid-40s, which is not that high for an i7/MX150 configuration of this size, but given the design and the metal unibody, you’re still going to feel the heat. The WASD keys, for instance, reach temperatures of around 42-43 degrees Celsius, which puts them in uncomfortable territory.
On top of that, the thermal design pushes hot air through exhausts placed behind the hinge, and with the very small chin, that actually means that the bottom part of the panel gets rather hot as well, reaching temperatures in the 43-45 degrees Celsius. I’d expect the layer of glass to offer some protection, but even so, I’m not sure if this won’t have a negative impact on the panel’s quality in that particular region. Asus has been using this similar design in the ZenBook 13/15 lines for a few months, and I haven’t yet heard any people complaining about this matter, but who knows what could happen within the expected 2-4 year lifespan of these devices.
*Daily Use – running Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes
*Load – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes
For connectivity, there’s an Intel 9560 wireless module inside this laptop, with Bluetooth 5.0, pretty much the go-to solution for any up-to-date ultraportable these days. It performed great with our setup, both near the router and at 30 feet with obstacles in between, and didn’t run into any drops or other issues.
As far as the speakers go, there’s a set of them firing through cuts on the lateral sides of the underbelly, and they’re pretty much average. We measured maximum volumes of about 76 dB at head level, without any distortions, and the sound comes out alright, with good mids and highs, but rather lacking on the lower end, as lows are only noticeable from around 100-105 Hz. All measurements were recorded on the Music Mode from the included Audio Wizard software.
The ZenBook S13 UX392 only gets a 720p camera, flanked by microphones, and placed on that reversed notch at the top of the display. The quality is average at best and rather washed out, much what you can expect from laptops these days, which makes it OK for occasional use, but nothing to brag about.
There’s a 50 Wh battery inside the Zenbook S13 UX392, just like on all the other 13 and 14-inch ZenBooks released in the last year, and that’s on the smaller side for a 14-inch device in this day and age.
Still, Asus created an efficient implementation, and as a result, the battery life does not disappoint. Do not however expect more than 4-5 hours of real-life multitasking, 6-7 hours of light use and more than 10-11 hours of Netflix.
Here’s what we got on our review unit, with the screen’s brightness set at around 120 nits (~30 brightness).
- 6 W (~8 h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Better Battery Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5.3 W (~9 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5 W (~10 h of use) – 4k .mkv video in Movie App, Better Battery Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5 W (~10 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Better Battery Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 12.5 W (~4 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Better Performance Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 28 W (~1 h 35 min of use) – Gaming – Shadow of Mordor, Max Performance Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON, fps limit of 40.
Asus pairs the ZenBook S13 UX392 with a 65 Wh USB-C charger, with quick-charging functionality. A full-recharge takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes, but 60% of the battery can be filled up in around 50 minutes.
Price and availability
The Zenbook UX392 is listed in stores in some areas of the world as of the middle of April 2019, and scheduled to ship towards the end of the month.
In the US, you’ll mostly find a higher end configuration with the Core i7-8565U processor, the Nvidia MX150 graphics and 512 GB of SSD storage, but only 8 GB of RAM, for $1399. Other options should be available both in the US and worldwide later on, and we’ll update this section once we know more.
In the meantime, you can follow this link for updated configurations and prices at the time you’re reading this article.
The ZenBook S13 UX392 is Asus’s best ultrabook to date.
It’s not perfect and is not for everyone, but it pushes the industry forward with its design, build quality and features.
I’m going to start this wrap-up with the potential deal-breakers, so you’ll quickly know if this is for you or not: it doesn’t get Thunderbolt 3 or IR cameras, is only available with a glossy non-touch display and only offers average battery life. On top of that, its metallic unibody design does leave some sharp, unforgiving edges and corners, which your wrists might not appreciate with daily use.
On the other hand, this is an excellently crafted and spotlessly finished computer, with a small-bezel 13.9-inch screen and a bright, vivid panel, modern hardware, fast wireless, and decent speakers and battery life. It also gets a good glass clickpad and a fast keyboard, although it’s a bit noisy and not the most accurate with my typing style, yet you might feel otherwise.
There’s also the performance aspect. Most ultrabooks of this size and weight get Whiskey Lake processors and NVMe storage, but this one also gets an MX150 GPU, which makes it more versatile for creative-work and games. You might argue that other options are available with the newer MX250 GPU, but as already mentioned in the article, that’s hardly going to make a difference with real-life use, as the MX250 is pretty much a rebadged MX150 with the potential for slightly higher clock speeds, if allowed by the thermal implementation.
So what about the competition?
If you’re not interested in GPU performance on your thin-and-light laptop, then the ZenBook loses one of its primary advantages, so you can either look at the UX392FA variant without the Nvidia graphics, if available in your region, or at devices like the Dell XPS 13, the HP Spectre 13, the Microsft Surface Laptop or the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon series. Each has their pros and cons, and the ZenBook will most likely also have a price advantage over most of these other options, for the higher specced variants.
If the GPU is important to you, then this ZenBook UX392FN can be one of your best bets in its niche, and it’s in this niche where we rate it at 4.25/5, as an excellent ultracompact allrounder with the ability to handle productivity chores and casual games, once that long work day is over. As a word of caution, though, make sure to buy from stores that handle returns and RMAs smoothly, Asus’s quality control has been reported as problematic, and there’s a chance you might run into some issues that we haven’t encounter on our test unit, which include, but are not limited to, severe screen bleeding, coil whine, wi-fi problems or a sticky clickpad.
For some of you, though, the Huawei MateBook X Pro could be a better option. The 2019 variant is expensive, but last year’s variant is aggressively priced and has some strong aces down its sleeve: the 3:2 high-resolution touchscreen, the slightly larger battery, and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The MateBook X Pro is not without flaws, though, and also not available all around the world.
On top of that, in case the performance of the 10W MX150 chip does not allow you to run the games that you want, something like the Razer Blade Stealth 13 or even the MSI Prestige PS42 could be the alternatives to consider, as they are built on the 20-25% faster 25W variant of the MX150 GPU.
That pretty much wraps up our review the 2019 Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN. I’m looking forward to hearing your impressions, though, so get in touch in the comments section if you have anything to add or any questions that I might be able to help you with.
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