For too long, picking a thin and light ultrabook for its portability and battery life meant sacrificing graphical prowess. The new Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490 hopes to change that.
The Taiwanese PC maker’s latest ultrabook can be linked up to the Asus ROG XG Station 2 external graphics dock via Thunderbolt. From here, a user can attach a discrete graphics card like the top-of-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080.
The added graphical prowess would make the ZenBook 3 Deluxe a feasible workhorse for gaming or graphical rendering, when it is used at home or the office.
It also packs a 14-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display onto a 1.1kg, 12.9-millimetre thick laptop frame normally meant for 13-inch notebooks. Asus claims the screen comes with a 1000:1 contrast ratio and can display 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut.
The rest of the specification sheet reads like what one would expect in a new ultrabook, including new 7th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCI Express-based solid state drives (SSD) for storage.
Unlike recent ultrabooks that scrimp on ports, the UX490 is a powerhouse. It includes four USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit LAN port, a headphone jack, and HDMI as well as DisplayPort connectivity. It even comes with two USB-C ports that support 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for good measure.
Audio is provided courtesy of four integrated speakers that promise to deliver surround sound, powered by the Asus SonicMaster Premium technology developed in collaboration with sound specialists Harmon/Kardon.
Ergonomics is also not sacrificed in its slim design, as the edge-to-edge keyboard is full sized, backlit and has a 1.2-millimetre deep key travel. Asus even added a fingerprint sensor on the top right of the keyboard.
The ZenBook 3 Deluxe will be available at all Asus Brand Stores and authorised retailers from 26 May, with prices starting from S$2,198. From now till 30 June, you can receive a free Asus Mini Dock with any purchase.