Hey, how’s it going? Dave2D here I think for a lot of people, this will be the laptop that they want. So a lot of people are looking for that laptop that’s thin and light, that doesn’t cost too much, and, can play some games! This is that one. So if this is what you’re looking for, stick around. This is the new laptop from Asus, it’s called the UX331. It’s their ZenBook and what makes this thing special, what makes this video what it is, is the fact that this thing is running a MX150 in a very light and portable package. Now it’s not the thinnest laptop out there, obviously there are thinner ultrabooks than this. But this thing is relatively thin, but they’ve given it enough room to allow for a proper thermal solution because there is a decent GPU inside this thing. Okay, I’m just gonna go through some things that I do like about this laptop and then maybe touch on some points that I don’t like about it. In no particular order, the build quality in this thing is quite good. It is a $1000 device So you’d expect devices at this price to have good build quality and it does deliver. The screen has a little more flex to it I feel than the older UX330, but aside from that, great build quality. Other things I like, the trackpad. This is one of the better trackpads I’ve seen from Asus. It’s glass, great texture, super smooth, with Windows Precision drivers. You can’t get much better than this on a Windows laptop. There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the side if you’re into using Windows Hello to login. And the screen is also surprisingly good. It’s really bright, it’s pretty color accurate, and the viewing angles are good. I do wish the hinge was a little bit stiffer, it’s just got a little more play than I would like but, good screen otherwise. It’s a little bit of work to get inside, you do have to remove the bottom feet, and remove some screws. But inside you can replace the SSD. The one that they include is a little slow, it’s a SATA drive. So, if you want to, you can switch this thing to an NVMe drive. But there’s not much else that you can replace in here. The battery down here is only 50 watt hours, it’s not particularly big. It’s kind of weird because, you look at a device like this with a 50 watt hour battery and then devices with 60 watt hour batteries with similar screen sizes and this is actually getting slightly better battery life, which is… right? It doesn’t really… how are they doing this? I think it’s through software optimization, I’m not sure exactly what they’re doing, but, I’m getting a 9 and a half hour battery with the screen at 250 nits. The speakers also sound quite good. It’s got the Harmon-Kardon branding, and the thing is we’ve seen a lot of bad speakers hiding behind this branding before Not to diss the brand or anything, but Harmon-Kardon at this point means nothing to me on laptops. But this time round, the sound’s really good. It’s a clean sound, with a good range and good volume. I do wish the speakers were located at the top instead of the bottom but, It’s a good sounding speaker. – The webcam’s pretty much garbage. It reminds of the one on the 12 inch MacBook If you use your webcam frequently, then you have to get an external Because, the thing is just terrible. Alright, the feature that makes this laptop the most special is the GPU. It’s running an Nvidia MX150, and if you’ve seen my previous reviews, I’ve actually even done a dedicated video on the MX150 It is a very impressive card. It is not like the most powerful GPU, that’s not what it is, but it doesn’t require crazy heatsinks or fans. It still pushes out decent frame rates in games. You can comfortably play basically
any popular title right now As long as you lower the graphics quality of it. So if you are a casual gamer- you know what? Let’s not even use that term Even for enthusiasts, you’re gonna be fine on an MX150, as long as you don’t need really high quality graphics. Now, if you’re someone who wants to play GTA 5 with like, 20 mods running, then no, this is not the system for you. But for most people, you’re going to be happy with this. The CPU they’re running is Intel’s 8th gen Kaby Lake-R And for right application, like if you’re running stuff that can take advantage of extra cores, performance is great. The fans on this thing are kind of a mix. On idle, it’s completely quiet; it’s literally silent, they don’t even come on. But when you’re doing some intensive stuff, they kick in,
and they don’t get too loud or anything But when you’re playing games, they get quite loud. And it’s actually one of the louder ultrabooks that I’ve seen in 2018 Now, that’s honestly a good thing because remember, we’re dealing with a device that puts out a decent amount of heat If you’re not pushing out quickly, you’re gonna have problems. Now, I did not notice any thermal throttling on this laptop when I was playing games, which is, you know? It’s promising, it’s good But when I ran some stress tests, I did notice throttling And it’s not something that I think will appear for most people’s usage scenarios, I think it does seem confined to stress tests, but it is there And depending on what you do, and how demanding your tasks are, It may or may not be an issue, but if you really need some really intensive CPU or GPU stuff, then this is probably not the best laptop for you. For most people, there’s no throttling issues I can see. Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are couple of things that I don’t like. First, is the ports selection. So, it’s got an okay port selection It has a USB-C port, but it uses a regular barrel port for charging And I just feel like they missed the opportunity because… Universal charging on the device like this would be awesome Uhh, it also does not support Thunderbolt 3
on that USB-C port, so… I don’t know Again, a missed opportunity. I’m sure it keeps the cost down But… it would have been nice. Another thing I don’t like is the top surface. So… this has this kind of glass-looking material I’m not sure if it’s actually glass But, it just looks tacky and it makes the whole thing look cheaper And, it attracts fingerprints like crazy So you’re gonna get smudges and stuff on the top The older one, the UX330 just have like a plain, stainless steel finish and, I like that, but… You know what? This looks like a Chromebook to be honest Like one of those cheaper Chromebooks Come on Asus! You could’ve done better on this one! Kay, another thing I don’t like. This is a big one, The keyboard. This is a keyboard that has a great layout But it’s just not as comfortable to use as I would expect. The keystrokes are a little soft, I feel like the magnets on for the switch isn’t the best But, I think most people can get used to this keyboard given enough time. Okay, overall, I like this laptop a lot. I think it’s a great fit for a lot of people. If you’re looking for something that is thin and light, that does not cost too much money, and can play some games on this device, with decent battery life when you’re not playing games… This could be the one! Okay, hope you guys enjoyed this video! Thumbs if you liked it, subs if you loved it! See you guys next time!