Asus ZenBook 13 UX331 packs a GeForce MX150 in a half-inch

Early last month during CES, Asus released a few new machines of note. The ZenBook Flip 14 was among the most interesting—a machine the company said was the world's thinnest 2-in-1 laptop with discrete graphics. If you think that's peachy-keen but you're not really a 2-in-1 kind of person, have a look at the ZenBook 13 UX331. The Asus-described "world's thinnest discrete graphics laptop" isn't completely new, but it's just now hitting US shores.

The base hardware options for the new ZenBook are much the same as you'll find on the Flip 14. The CPU options comprise a selection of four-core, eight-thread parts from Intel's Kaby Lake-R series, and the RAM allotment is likewise the same at up to 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory. You still get M.2 SSDs up to 512 GB in capacity for storage purpose. Most notably, though, the ZenBook 13 UX331 packs a GeForce MX150 discrete GPU.

The MX150 may not set gerbil hearts alight, but it's a pretty darn fast chip to be included in a laptop that's only a half-inch (13.9 mm) thick. That slimness contributes to its light weight, too; the ZenBook 13 UX331 tips the scales at 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg). Its 13.3" screen is what Asus calls a NanoEdge slim-bezel display, and it's a capacitive touchscreen in 1920x1080 resolution. Asus doesn't say what kind of panel it uses beyond a vague "wide-view" descriptor, but does say that it can reproduce 100% of the sRGB colorspace, so we're guessing it's of the IPS kind.

Despite the svelte dimensions of the ZenBook 13 UX331, Asus gave it a decent selection of ports. You get two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, a USB 3.0 Type-C port, and an HDMI 1.4 output. A microSD reader serves as a sort of modern-day floppy drive. It doesn't look like the top-spec version of the UX331 has made it over here yet, but Newegg has a listing for this machine with a Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB of memory, and a 256 GB SSD for just shy of a thousand bucks. That variant will arrive on February 19.

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