Asus shows off Zenbook 3 Deluxe UX490A in detail

We gave Asus' refreshed Zenbook 3 Deluxe a brief mention during CES earlier this month. We now have the full details on the machine, whose full name is Zenbook 3 Deluxe UX490UA. As it turns out, the changes from the original Zenbook 3 go significantly deeper than just a Kaby Lake CPU swap and the addition of a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports.

First off, the UX490UA gets a boost in screen size from 12.5" to 14" along with a four-speaker audio system, while retaining roughly the same external dimensions. The apex model is powered by an Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core, four-thread CPU and 16GB of LPDDR3 memory. A 1080p 14" IPS display covered in Gorilla Glass 5 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi round out the range-topping model's specs. Those seeking the UX490UA's build and style but with tamer performance needs can save money by picking an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU and 8GB of memory.

Storage options for the range range from a 256GB SATA SSD to a 1TB NVMe storage device. The laptop packs a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports for high-speed connectivity to external displays or other devices. Those ports can also be used to charge the machine's 46-Wh battery from a fully depleted state to a 60% charge in less than 50 minutes. Asus claims that a fully-charged battery can power the laptop for ten hours.

Asus is proud of the Zenbook 3 Deluxe's compact dimensions and style. The machine measures 13" x 8.5" x 0.5" (33 cm x 22 cm x 13 cm) and weighs a svelte 2.4 lbs (or 1.1 kg). The company says the all-aluminum unibody requires 40 steps to manufacture and that the two-tone color scheme requires a two-phase anodizing process. Haters of the keyboards found in some ultra-thin laptops might find some respite in the UX490UA's backlit keyboard with 1.2-mm key travel.

Asus didn't offer pricing or availability information, but we would imagine the Deluxe version will cost more than its predecessor. The comparably-equipped Zenbook 3 UX390UA with a Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U CPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB PCIe SSD is available now for $1,540 on Amazon. Buyers will have the option of getting the Zenbook 3 Deluxe with a navy blue or silver finish.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    surprised by the screen resolution at that price.

    • rudimentary_lathe
    • 3 years ago

    Not a fan of the blingy gold accents on navy blue metal. I always liked the old Zenbook minimalist silver finish, so hopefully that variant remains.

    I like the move to 14″. 12.5″ is too little for my tastes.

    At $1,500 though, I’d rather step up to an entry level 15″ XPS or the like. That way I can get 4C/8T instead of 2C/4T, plus the ability to upgrade memory and storage myself, all for around the same sticker price. It’s too bad so few companies are making user upgradable 13″ machines.

      • Metonymy
      • 3 years ago

      I recently bought a Dell Latitude 13 2-in-1 (for work, so I slight higher ed discount but that was eaten up by the better warranty) with and i5-6200U and 16GB and 512 SSD for about $1k, and am more pleased than I expected. I bought it for one reason: I often use a laptop for presentations and most of the new ones that don’t flip around won’t open far enough if I’m standing using a podium. I bought an XPS 13 a couple of years ago and a MacBook Pro and neither one goes quite back far enough.

      So I bought this just for that use and have been really surprised at how nice it feels. The keyboard is too shallow, and it’s only 1920×1080 (which is fine for me with Win on 13″ as I don’t have to worry about scaling) but it seems nice.

      And one completely unexpectedly nice thing (maybe I don’t get out enough…): It has a fan, but it almost never turns on. I have returned more than one Dell laptop because I can live with constant fan noise better than I can with their tendency to ramp up and down aggressively but this is great – most of the time it’s the experience of no fan at all.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Electronic Anorexia is quite prevalent these days.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]First off, the UX490UA gets a boost in screen size from 12.5" to 14" [/quote<] I inferred that as soon as I saw the model number/name. Or am I mistaken in the understanding that the UX3nnaa models are all ~13 inch and so a UX4nnaa model would be 14"?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t really want to drop $1500 on a notebook. I wonder what the i5/8GB/256 AHCI version will run. If that gets me down around $1100 I’ll take a closer look.

      • Airmantharp
      • 3 years ago

      It’s between this and the larger update that comes with a GPU for me.

      I’m going to have to check and see if I can live without the GPU, for roughly the same price and another pound or two…

    • DavidC1
    • 3 years ago

    I don’t get the point of laptops over $500. The 1.5K laptop I bought became almost useless after 3 years of use(SSD setup, Ivy Bridge i7, slow as heck in everyday operations. Benchmark numbers are true for the first year). IMO tablet plus desktop is far better. The former is really mobile, while the latter provides ergonomics and flexibility, along with a much lower price when you upgrade few parts. I understand the upgrade part doesn’t work for everyone. Even Smartphones too though that pushes the limits of comfort.

    Devices I have owned and/or still use.

    Dell XPS 12 2012
    Custom 2600K desktop
    Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
    Dell Venue Pro 8
    Motorola Moto E

    Windows is better in my experience due to true multasking. A good laptop keyboard does not hold a candle to a mediocre desktop one. Proprietary drivers and setup ruins laptops in the long run. I get that proprietary setups exist to have parts work together well, or at least give the illusion it does, but mostly it serves to keep consumers money out of their pockets.

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      I totally agree. I am not a fan of laptops at all. If I’m going to do “real work”, I want a desktop.

      I also agree that tablets are far more portable.

      I’m just glad my life and work are of a nature that allows me to make this work. If I really had to do “real work” when traveling, then I’d probably be forced to get a laptop. I’m lucky that I can manage things so that when I’m on the road, a tablet is sufficient.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]I also agree that tablets are far more portable. [/quote<] Mind telling us how an iPad Pro is somehow more portable than an XPS 13? [Edit: FYI, the XPS 13 is both narrower and shorter than the 12" iPad Pro. The only dimension where the iPad Pro "wins" for portability is thickness (by a few millimeters), which is basically irrelevant when you think about it].

          • nico1982
          • 3 years ago

          The 9.7″ definately is 😛

            • chuckula
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah because that 9.7″ iPad totally fits in my shirt pocket while the XPS 13 can’t!

            • nico1982
            • 3 years ago

            Because the most important metric for being portable is how do you carry your device, right? Then what’s the point of the XPS13 when the XPS15 exist? Or, even better, what’s the point of laptop? I can stuff a desktop in my backpack 🙂

            There’s a remarkable difference in both comfort and usability between a tablet and a laptop when you have a limited amount of working space. Think airplane or train seats, or a crowded metro. Let alone when you cannot sit down…

            • chuckula
            • 3 years ago

            Everything you just said could be justifiable for a smartphone vs. a full sized device.

            But it doesn’t really matter when we start talking about larger devices… and that’s also why iPad sales have been in a nose dive for about 3 years.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Exactly. Notebook makers have simultaneously figured out how to rival iPad portability and continue to win the performance war, all while staying roughly at price parity with higher-capacity iPads. Once you throw in one of Apple’s pricey smart keyboards, you might as well just buy a Baby Lake notebook.

            • nico1982
            • 3 years ago

            I don’t understand why you think it is either tablet or PC. Well, for someone surely it is, but for a decent chunk of the population it is more likely just both 😛

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            There’s no price, performance, or mobility penalty for going PC desktop and PC notebook, with the added benefit of using the same interface and the same apps on both devices.

            • nico1982
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]Everything you just said could be justifiable for a smartphone vs. a full sized device.[/quote<] Sure, and it is. As long as 6" or less of screen estate is enough for you. For someone else it might be not. If you think that an XPS 13 is as portable as a iPad is also fine until you'll find out that it is not (painfully) 🙂 [quote<]and that's also why iPad sales have been in a nose dive for about 3 years.[/quote<] You word it as if Apple is on the verge of dismissing the entire line... The fashion effect is obviously over - thankfully - but we are still talking 1 iPad each 6 PC (all brands, all types) 😛

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Well Apple certainly has taken a Mac-like approach to its iPad line. Just about every model is in that magical 16-month-old range that Apple seems to love so much.

            • nico1982
            • 3 years ago

            If you have an Air to browse the web, watch movies and check the mail, you are basically wasting money with an Air 2. Even a mini 2 (3 years old) is mostly fine for that. The fact that the sales are “stagnating” at 40 millions/year with no disruptive change in the last 3-4 years is telling of a mature product with its own niche in the market.

            Anyway, it looks like they will introduce new models in spring. The Pro 9.7″ is likely to become 10.5″ to mimic, with the mini, the same relationship between the 12.9″ Pro and the 9.7″ (literally two vanilla screens side by side in a Pro). The rest of the line will get the usual SOC improvement and “wide gamut” screen.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Well yeah, but the Air 2 is a 3-year-old device at this point. Which is more Mac-like behavior on the company’s part. I’m sure Apple would much rather sell you a 9.7″ iPad Pro, the only model released in the last 15 months.

          • DavidC1
          • 3 years ago

          -Lighter
          -Cheaper(substantially for Android ones)
          -Regarding Apple they have better service and support
          -You have to open up one while you don’t have to on the other. Mobility wise, Tablet wins
          -With Tablets you can get 10 hours battery easy. Laptops fluctuate immensely based on usage.

          The increasingly mobile optimized websites(to the detriment of PC sometimes), operating systems, heck even the direction of semiconductor development along with ever increasing amount of users attest to this fact.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      What? Virtually any $1500 laptop you bought 3 years ago runs circles around a $500 bought today. That’s fact. You either had a bad unit or had severe software issues.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        I knew something in that post was off when I realized the logical consequence of his statements were that Kaby Lake is better than Ivy Bridge. No way that conclusion is going to fly on TR!

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      My complaint is that quality costs far more than it ought to.

      A cheap $500 laptop has a nasty TN screen and mechanical storage, held together by a low-rent plastic shell. Replace that nasty TN screen for IPS and the difference to the bill of materials is just a couple of bucks. Supplement that cheap mechanical storage with a 128GB M.2 gumstick and we’re still adding under $100. So why does replacing the cheap plastic shell with an aluminium/magnesium/carbon-fibre shell drive the price up by so much?

      This stuff is mass-produced in minutes by a robot in china, not hand-crafted by skilled artisans after 20 years of apprenticeship learning the ancient secrets of CNC milling. Aluminium is cheap, soft and easy to mill. Just about the only bad thing about aluminium is trying to weld it, but I’ve never seen a welded aluminium laptop so I don’t think that’s a concern.

      IMO if have 2GHz+ of modern dual-core tied to a nice screen and your OS+apps running off an SSD, you’re 90% of the way towards a great user experience, and that’s like a $600 laptop at most. I’ll pay a couple hundred extra bucks to get something better made, but not another grand.

        • rudimentary_lathe
        • 3 years ago

        Couldn’t agree more.

        Give me a quality made laptop with a beefy CPU, good display, and let me stuff it with whatever memory or storage I want. It’s unfortunate that after all these years, no one to my knowledge has come out with a well made yet comparatively inexpensive barebones machine.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        I think we’re going that way, some of the Inpsirons (not the gaming one) featured an aluminum build.

      • End User
      • 3 years ago

      My personal 2 year old 12″ MacBook is still up to snuff. Arguably my 12.9″ iPad Pro could replace it but I like to have a classic desktop OS on the go. I bring both and use the iPad as an 2nd display or 2nd workstation.

      My work supplied 15″ MacBook Pro is an absolute must. I’d die if I was tied down to a desk. Too many meetings. A mobile workstation allows me to function 24/7 from any location.

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      That doesn’t make sense. Is it possible that you were afflicted with malware?

      • rudimentary_lathe
      • 3 years ago

      I use a laptop for my work, and when I’m at home or an office 90% of the time it’s plugged into an external monitor and external keyboard/mouse. I get the same ergonomics with the laptop as I would a desktop, plus a dual monitor setup for “free”. There are times when a laptop is a must – such as going to a coffee shop for a change of scenery, going to a conference, meeting with a client, or going on (semi-)vacation.

      Unless your workloads are extremely computationally intensive, then for work purposes I would argue laptops are the best choice for most people. Now I do maintain a personal desktop for occasional gaming, but work stuff never touches it. I like to keep work and play separate. It’s more expensive owning two machines, but I get added functionality out of the setup plus it makes my life easier.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah i have the same, got a second hand 22″ 1080p monitor (TN but matte) and it works well as a pseudo-desktop.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Any 500 dollar laptop I could find today would be slower than my 2014 one with a 4770HQ, 16GB RAM, and a PCI-E 2 lane SSD, all of which gives me 6 hours of upper end of consumer use with high quality videos playing constantly. If you edge up to 800 dollars, maybe the new Inspiron 7000 Gaming could give it a run, but with creaky plastic and poor battery life and a poor display for it, and iirc that 800 is for the HDD-only model.

      Can’t agree with this comment. If anything I’ve put effort into getting people /off/ 500 dollar wal-mart specials, they usually bring a lot of headache with the price tag.

      If an Ivy Bridge i7 is “slow as heck” in day to day operations, something is up with your install and I’d nuke it.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t get the point of phones over $200

      The $800 (i)phone that people buy becomes useless after 3 years of use (lower battery life, EoL support, etc)

      etc.

      (and no, I don’t *really* see the point of a tablet – convertibles with a detachable screen may be a balance here).

      EDIT: My desktop is >5000km away from me, would be severly handicapped without my laptop, which cost <$500 (heck it was free in my case), has been in use for about 3 years now, and will be useful for the foreseeable future.

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    Good to see Thunderbolt 3 Type-C appearing in consumer laptops. The port of the future is here today.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Yes. It’s called USB-A.
      In the future, USB-A will be prevalent because there are [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Host_and_device_interface_receptacles<]10 different types of USB connector now[/url<] but they are called: [list<][*<]USB cable[/*<][*<]printer cable[/*<][*<]mini USB cable[/*<][*<]newer mini USB (this is what regular folk call micro-A)[/*<][*<]The stupid new one that only Apple uses (and I know that's not true, but I deal with almost a thousand regular folk)[/*<][/list<]

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Including Type-A and tacking on some Type-C ports with TB3 looks like the smart thing to have done. Why Apple did what it did is anybody’s guess. It would have been smarter to have at least one Type-A port, but Apple is intentionally tanking the Mac line for some reason.

          • nico1982
          • 3 years ago

          I thought the same, then I bought four Type-C (male) to Type-A (female) thumb sized adapters for 12 euro and forgot about it 😛

          • End User
          • 3 years ago

          I run my 12″ MacBook and my work supplied 15″ MacBook Pro completely stand alone most of the time (granted I do need to check the odd network port for connectivity now and again being a sys admin (Type-C works fine)). A fast Wi-Fi connection is all I need for the most part. You can boot your Mac over the internet now so who really needs Type-A for data anymore.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        • “USB cable” – dead moving forward
        • “printer cable” – ethernet or Wi-Fi
        • “mini USB cable” – dead moving forward
        • “newer mini USB (this is what regular folk call micro-A)” – dead moving forward
        • “The stupid new one that only Apple uses (and I know that’s not true, but I deal with almost a thousand regular folk)” – Which is Thunderbolt 3 via a Type-C connector – PCIe over a cable – amazeballs

          • Airmantharp
          • 3 years ago

          I know USB-C isn’t anywhere close to really making a dent in overall marketshare, but it seriously cannot come fast enough.

        • WasabiVengeance
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]The stupid new one that only Apple uses (and I know that's not true, but I deal with almost a thousand regular folk)[/quote<] I think the fact that most non-apple phones will be adopting USB type-C this year will eliminate that misconception fairly quickly.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, so in 3 years once these phones you mention are on the market and people with 2-year contracts have switched to newer phones, USB-C will have more traction in the market.

          Except they’ll be pushing USB-D by then.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      Until the Port of the Future that comes after this one.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        40 Gbit/s is not fast enough so ya:
        [quote<]Beyond Thunderbolt 3 In order to drive multiple high-resolution displays, the next evolution in the Thunderbolt interface will have to increase the bandwidth still further, probably taking the standard up to 80 Gbit/s (10 GB/s).[56] For example, a single UHD 8K (7680×4320) display uses 33.2 megapixels, hence 80 Gbit/s of bandwidth would be suitable for multiple Single Stream Transport (SST) 5K displays at 60 Hz or 120 Hz, and at least one 8K display at 60 Hz, per connector.[/quote<] [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)#Beyond_Thunderbolt_3[/url<] I gave your a +3 🙂

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Exactly. I’m not popular in saying this, but USB-A isn’t going to go away any time soon. I fully understand that USB-C is superior in every way and if I could click my fingers and make everything USB-C in an instant I would, but I’m a realist with 20 years of daily professional experience in real-world IT usage.

        USB-A is slim [i<]enough[/i<] (4.8mm) and it's the lowest common denominator - meaning that if a manufacturer needs to make something with a USB connection, their highest chance of compatibility (and so largest marketshare and least tech-support effort required) is USB-A. They'll take the Apple stance in their defence too, which is "if you don't have that socket type, just buy an adapter".

    • odizzido
    • 3 years ago

    Every time I read a laptop post I am hoping for a 9-10 inch variant….then I read significantly deeper changes, got a small amount of hope…..then
    [quote<]First off, the UX490UA gets a boost in screen size from 12.5" to 14"[/quote<] fuuuuuuu

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      Yep, much easier to make it thin when the screen is bigger, lol.

      • Lord.Blue
      • 3 years ago

      Remember the part about nearly the same external dimensions – what they did the most of was to get rid of the bezel around the screen like Dell has done with the XPS laptop line. Allows for larger screens in a smaller footprint.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        My 12″ MacBook is about as small as one would want to go. Below that the keyboard begins to shrink.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          I’d like them to expand that design to 14″ to fit between the two Macbook pros, and bring the keyboard from the Pro in. Fuller fat processors can keep distinguishing the Pros.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      Gross. 9 or 10 inch laptop? I suppose if you want an awful keyboard, ultra low power everything, having to squint at the screen at all times if it has a useful resolution and likely mediocre, at best, battery life then sure go for it…

      No thanks.

        • End User
        • 3 years ago

        Ya. 9-10 inch is netbook territory. That is too small.

        • odizzido
        • 3 years ago

        Geez…you guys must really hate tablets. That’s okay. I do as well but not because they’re too small.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      You must have… really small hands.

        • odizzido
        • 3 years ago

        Possibly. I’ve not done much comparing. I also like smaller mice as well because they fit my hand better.

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