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ASUS ZenBook S13 UX392F Review: One Of The Prettiest Ultrabooks Around

It’s one of the most stylish ultrabooks you can buy today

If there’s one company that can make pretty notebooks, it’s ASUS. The Taiwanese company has a lot of experience putting together beautiful, compact and feature-rich ultrabooks in the past decade, and their newest ZenBook S13 UX392F is no exception. The UX392F’s aluminum chassis, compact size, and beefy hardware make it a perfect fit for people looking for a stylish and powerful notebook, but you’ll have to shell out serious money to grab one yourself.

Thin and light, but incredibly sturdy

The ZenBook S13 UX392F is one of the lightest and thinnest notebooks in its class. It barely tips the scales at just 1 kilo, and its overall thickness is just half an inch.

The ZenBook S13 UX392F’s compact dimensions are complemented by a unibody aluminum design, which is sturdier than the typical metal outer case sandwiched between plastic reinforcements. The ZenBook S13 UX392F may look like a dainty notebook, but it’s incredibly strong thanks to the manufacturing process that ASUS used to make it.

One thing that’s a little annoying with the overall design is the myriad of sharp edges and corners that the notebook has. While the surfaces are chamfered, there are still natural corners that somehow will find its way to your clothes when you’re standing up, which can be infuriating, since it may cause that pretty little expensive notebook to fall on the ground.

One thing that’s a little unusual with the notebook is that there’s a small overhang on the lid, near the top. That’s where ASUS placed the webcam so as not to affect the thin bezels that are on the 13.9-inch display.

Beautiful display, but there’s no touch option

Speaking of the display, the ZenBook S13 UX392F has a 13.9-inch full HD IPS display. The panel has around 400 nits of brightness which is good enough to be used even in sun-drenched rooms, though glare is going to be an issue if you’re working outdoors in a cafe.

Color reproduction is good enough, with the panel sporting 99% sRGB coverage – important if you’re looking to do serious work with the notebook in relation to video and photo editing.

The bezels are incredibly thin for a notebook, and ASUS boasts that the ZenBook S13 UX392F has 97% screen to body ratio thanks to the slimmer than average bezels. The reduced bezel size also gives this almost 14-inch notebook the footprint of a regular 13-inch notebook.

Unfortunately, there’s no touch option for the ZenBook S13 UX392F – you’re only getting a non-touch display for this particular model.

The Ergolift design makes it easier to type

Like ASUS’ other notebooks, the ZenBook S13 UX392 uses the same Ergolift hinge that’s present on other models. The unique hinge tilts the keyboard a few degrees up to give you a more ergonomic typing position when you open the lid which is easily one of the best features in ASUS’ current notebook lineup.

Because of its size, there’s not a lot of ports available on the ZenBook S13 UX392. You get USB-C ports, one USB-A, and a microSD card reader. ASUS throws in a dongle to increase that somewhat.

Sadly the USB Type-C ports no longer get Thunderbolt 3 capability, though you do get DisplayPort video output as well. Charging is done via the USB Type-C port.

The keyboard is a pleasure to type on, though the touchpad is difficult

The keyboard on the ZenBook S13 UX392F has around 1.4mm of travel which is a little short, though we easily adapted to it after a day. Keyboard actuation feels pleasant and short, though the reduced palm-rest size was an issue for someone like me who have bigger than usual mitts.

The trackpad has an integrated fingerprint scanner on the upper left side for faster and more secure Windows sign-in, though it does cut down on the overall space for the trackpad.

Speaking of, the trackpad was alright though it is sometimes erratic and made my life difficult when trying to be precise, and was annoying enough that I plugged in a mouse of my own to use to keep my sanity.

Pretty powerful notebook for productivity

The ZenBook S13 UX392F is a pretty powerful notebook despite having a small physical footprint, sporting an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, paired with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of NVMe PCIe SSD drive.

The notebook is capable enough for most productivity apps like Word and Excel, and not even Chrome and its memory-hogging ways could slow it down when we were working and doing research.

The NVIDIA MX150 GPU on the notebook allows it to tackle fairly graphically taxing apps like Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, but don’t mistake it for a gaming notebook – it’s definitely not.

The battery is decent for its size

The ZenBook S13 UX392F is all about mobile productivity, so it’s not surprising that it has enough juice in its small body to keep it going for an entire workday without having to be plugged into a charger.

With moderate use (50% screen, WiFi on, typing, browsing and watching videos occasionally) we managed to get around 7 1/2 hours of battery life before the notebook gave up the ghost.

That’s more than enough for a workday if you’re willing to turn down the screen’s brightness, though we would have loved it if the notebook could run around 8 hours on a single charge.

A beautiful machine, but it’s super pricy

The ZenBook S13 UX392F is definitely one of the prettiest notebooks we’ve used so far this year and has enough grunt in its aluminum chassis to tackle everything work has to throw at you.

Unfortunately, though that beauty and brawn come at a steep price: the ZenBook S13 UX392F retails for around Php 99,995.

At around a hundred grand, you really have to think long and hard if that slab of beautiful aluminum is really worth it, but if you’re the type that can afford the ZenBook S13 UX392F, there’s really nothing like it in the market today.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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