The ZenBook 3 turned many heads, including our own, for its ultra-thin chassis, beautiful screen, powerful internal components and surprisingly potent audio quality. It’s small, though, and somewhat limited in the ports it offers. That’s where the ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA comes in. Unveiled at CES 2017, ASUS’ latest ultrabook increases the screen size to 14 inches and throws in a few more ports for good measure.
The ZenBook 3 Deluxe rocks an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU (Kaby Lake); a 14-inch, 1080p display; 16GB of RAM; and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The best part is that ASUS added more ports: Instead of a sole USB Type-C port, the ZenBook 3 Deluxe has three, two of which support Thunderbolt 3. All of this is in a casing only slightly larger than the original, super-sleek ZenBook 3. It will measure 13 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches.
Why You Should Care
Our biggest complaints about the original ZenBook 3 were its mediocre endurance and single USB Type-C port, but the larger Deluxe model has room for three ports and a larger battery. We're willing to trade a slightly thicker notebook for more flexibility and battery life.
ASUS also gave the screen larger, 178-degree viewing angles. Four separate Harmon Kardon speakers promise improved audio.
While it's definitely larger than the original ZenBook 3, it isn't overwhelmingly so. I really like the light blue option, but the notebook looks just as nice in gray. The keys don't feel like they have incredibly deep travel, but the touchpad is comfortably spacious.
Price & Availability
The ZenBook 3 will release in May 2017 for $1,699.
Contributing writer: Dan Tennant