ASUS ZenBook S UX393EA review (Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake, 3:2 3K touchscreen)


  1. william blake

    October 1, 2020 at 1:36 am

    maybe its time for me to start recommend small ultrabooks to the people. i never was a big fan of a small machines with 16:9. its not a phone, you need height for all these menus and elements in windows.
    this screen is too good.
    cooling is the achilles heel still. 2k money/25w, what is so difficult to make it quiet, the solution is pretty obvious.

  2. David

    October 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    I understand this is a fine machine, but, honestly, I don't see myself buying something like this for around 2K when you can find excellent 16GB Ryzen machines at a little over 1K.

    You mean 2K for the 8GB version right? In your review? That's insane in my opinion, honestly.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 1, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      It's 2K for the top-tier 16 GB model with 1 TB SSD, based on the little we know so far. That might change once this is listed in more shops.

  3. Jim

    November 17, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Seems like Asus is really getting these new Tiger Lake models out fast!
    I wish Lenovo would do the same, a 28w Tiger Lake Thinkpad would be great.

  4. Efraim

    November 23, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    2000 EUR? what for? I couldn't even find it on Amazon.

  5. Kurt

    November 25, 2020 at 5:45 am

    Could you recommend me a 2-in-1 laptop with Ryzen 7, good keyboard, 12-14" 500 nit display (non-4K), and battery that will score 8hrs+ in your "browsing in Edge" test? My budget is $2.5k USD.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      See this list. HP and Lenovo might offer what you want, although 500-nits might not be an option at this point.

      Also, aim for the largest battery possible, but 8+ hours in my browsing test is hard right now. I'm seeing an average of 8-10W per hour of used power for this test, so you'd need something with a 64-80 Wh battery for that kind of battery life. My test is a bit aggressive so you might end up with 8+ h with regular use, but that depends on what and how you're using your laptop.

  6. Kurt

    November 26, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Thank you so much for your help Andrei. I just tried out the Envy 13 x360 (R5 4500U) in an HP store and the keyboard felt too shallow and mushy compared to other laptops, although that may have been a bad unit. Yoga Slim 7 looked good until I realized it wasn't actually a convertible "Yoga"… So despite its short battery life, HP ProBook x360 435 (R7 4700U, FHD 400 nit) is my best bet – aaand they're out of stock in my country and in the USA.

    Still out of curiosity I did manage to find 5, relatively expensive 2-in-1 ultrabooks under 1.6kg with big batteries and good keyboard:
    1. HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7 – 78Wh, FHD 400, 1000 nits, UHD 550 nits (would be my pick), 1.4kg
    2. Dell Latitude 9410 – 78Wh, FHD 300 nits, 1.5kg
    3. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 13 – 70Wh, FHD 600 nits, 1.2kg (not so good keyboard, but 16gb available in my country)
    4. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 – 70Wh, FHD 600 nits, 1.55kg
    5. LG Gram 14 2-in-1 – 72Wh, FHD 350 nits, 1.2kg, 1.15kg

    Nice but they're Intel, and furthermore 9th Gen Comet-Lake apart from the Galaxy Books.
    I really want to buy Ryzen mobile not just for performance jump but simply out of principle and the spirit of supporting AMD as well.

    Therefore my best hope is that seeing as Lenovo just released Yoga 7i and 9i as "Intel" SKUs, there will be Ryzen 5800U Yoga 7,9a variants coming out in early 2021, fingers crossed. In the meantime, I'll order the Envy x360 13 and hope for a better keyboard than the display unit.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 26, 2020 at 11:18 am

      Hi, that's quite some research!

      If you've decided for a Ryzen laptop, I'd also advise waiting a bit for Cezanne Ryzen U models to be announced earlier into 2021. No guarantee of top-tier designs, but fingers-crossed. Might take a while to see these in stores, though, probably around Spring, so up to you if you can wait that long.

      In the meantime, the current HP ProBook 635 Aero G7 or the Lenovo Yoga 6 could also be worth a look, even if they only get mid-sized batteries. That 635 is expensive, though, and the Yoga 6 is only 300-nits and might not be available everywhere.

      Finally, Intel 11th gen is not bad either imo. Ryzen still wins in multi-threaded CPU loads, but Intel Tiger Lake feels excellent with daily use and offers competitive integrated graphics, fast storage, Thunderbolt 4, etc. Careful though that Tiger Lake is highly dependent on the power-envelope, as manufacturers can implement the hardware at between 12 to 28W, with serious performance gains as they go up in power.

  7. Kurt

    November 26, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you again for all the tips, I really appreciate it!

  8. Zibi

    December 17, 2020 at 12:26 am

    I love everything about this laptop except the screen. Do you recommend to go for this one or stick with matte screens?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 17, 2020 at 11:02 am

      depends on what you prefer. I'm a sucker for matte screens myself, but I can't recall any matte 3:2 options out there. Glare is what mostly bothers me with glossy screens, but should be fine as long as you don't nor ally use your laptop outdoors or in very bright environments. if you do, I'd go with a matte screen instead

  9. James Bennett

    December 26, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Would you recommend the I5-1135G7 version of this? 8GB Ram and 512GB SSD.

    Currently available in the UK for £849

    Need a new thin laptop to replace the shambolic S730 Lenovo!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      The i5 is a good processor for this class, but the question is, are 8 GB of RAM enough for your needs? Should suffice for daily multitasking and casual use, but heavier loads and even heavier Chrome sessions with 10+ tabs open at the same time might requite more memory

  10. Daniel

    January 18, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Hey Andrei.

    The price has gone down quite nicely even with the 16gb/1tb model. The only thing i worry about is the battery life. Do you know if the retail piece is performing better in that sense or do i get 6 hours with 20 tabs open in chrome with this? and do you thinh lowering resolution could bring some more usage

    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 19, 2021 at 11:56 am

      6 hours of lighter browsing should be possible here, although Chrome is a bit of a power hog and I haven't included it in my tests for a while.

      Lowering the resolution doesn't help, the number of screen pixels is fixed, just displayed differently when changing resolution. Lowering the brightness helps, though.

  11. Daniel

    January 19, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you for your response. Would you prefer hp spectre 360 with 13.5'' screen, otherwise having the same hardware and 16/1tb. And what would be the go to 3:2, 16:10 ratio laptop with 16gb of ram? For me an 8hr+ battery is more important than the resolution.

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 20, 2021 at 10:38 am

      The Spectre is a solid laptop overall, just a smaller battery and a different screen. hard to say what's the better pick, that's something you'd have to decide. Nonetheless, I don't think that can realistically get you 8 hours of daily-use battery life either.

  12. Jerry Smiley

    February 15, 2021 at 4:21 pm


    Screen brightness (500 nits+) is critical to me. The UX393EA sounds awesome. Now that they have hit retail, do you plan a follow up review? Also, what else would you recommend?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 16, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      I don't think there will be a follow-up review. The Huawei MateBook X Pro could be an alternative, but you're not getting the same kind of performance. Is a 3:2 panel a must for you?

  13. Jerry Smiley

    February 16, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    No. I prefer 3:2 and 16:10 over 16:9. Do you have other suggestions?

    Some other professional reviews did not get the 500 nits that you did, but consumers were wowed with the screen. Given the variations in screens, do you think I could comfortably get 500 nits?

    Thanks so much for the review and replying.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 16, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      There's no guarantee, you should just buy this from a place that allows returns, just to be safe. If possible where you are. Also, are you sure you can tell the difference between let's say 450 and 500 nits?

      There are a couple of other options, such as that Huawei MateBoo X Pro, the ThinkPad X1 Nano, or that newer HP Envy 14, all with 3:2 screens. Check out some good reviews and try to decide on the one that best fits your needs and budget among these .

  14. Jerry Smiley

    February 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks. I have the HP Spectre x360 15 with 400 nits (actually 380) and know that I need something much brighter.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 16, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      Got it. Check those out then, and perhaps even a MacBook Pro 13 would be worth a look, if you don't have to go with a Windows PC

  15. Dan

    February 18, 2021 at 10:04 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Great reviews, helped a lot. After long research I finally decided on the Expertbook B9450CEA model with the new 11th generation Intel processors. During checkout I was a bit bummed with the 1080p screen for the price and stumbled across the UX393. I'm mainly going to use it as a portable solution, meeting clients, programming outside, office, travel, movies on the go, etc since my main machine is a desktop. Which one of these two would you recommend or any other suggestions?

    Thanks so much for the reviews

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 18, 2021 at 10:55 am

      I like the ExpertBook's compact and lightweight design, also a fan of the materials used for the case. This ZenBook S gets a nicer 3:2 screen, though, and that alone could be a reason to go with it. For what is worth, the FHD screen on the ExpertBook is OK in terms of sharpness imo, but it's dimmer and slightly more washed out than what you're getting on the ZenBook S.

      So it's mostly a choice between a more portable form-factor vs a larger and higher-quality display.

      There are a couple of other options you might consider, such as the XPS 13, Surface laptop, ThinkPads and others. Pricing and availability differ between regions, so it's hard to straight point you towards something else.

  16. Mio

    April 16, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    I have ux393 and I have a problem with it…

    During normal use like web browsing etc the screen turns black for a second, and then works fine. It happens not regularly. Sometime once a time, sometimes few times in an hour. When I'm watching a movie it is ok. Can someone tell me what is the cause?

  17. Adrian

    April 27, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    @Mio: I had that too but with an external monitor. Do you encounter the problem with the integrated display or a second display?

  18. Mio

    May 2, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Integrated display.

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