ASUS Zenbook College Review 2017

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 Portability Battery Display Connectvity Performance
 5 Stars  4 Stars  4.5 Stars  4.5 Stars  4.5 Stars
2.6 pounds 8 hours 13.3″ 1080p IPS matte panel WireLess AC
HDMI
i5  8GB RAM
256GB SSD
We Like We Don’t Like

 Extremely Lightweight Design
 High Resolution and Matte Display
 Long Battery Life
 Great Number of Ports and Connectivity

 Average Keyboard and TouchPad Quality

Summary:  There’s not much to complain about the ZenBook in its current model. It remains one of the most portable laptops college students can get their hands on today. It posseses the necessary performance to  serve all college students except those interested in running 3D Applications due to it’s lack of Integrated Graphics Card. However, it’s extremely lightweight and thin with a long battery life , both being the two most important features for any college student in any field while remaining quite affordable at the same time.

 Engineering   

 Architecture  

 Science  

 Computer Science  

  Medical 

  Nursing 

 Business & Accounting  

 Graphics Design  

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Specs ASUS Zenbook UX330UA
Screen 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080, IPS, matte, non-touch
Processor Intel Core i5-7200U CPU
Video Intel HD 520
Memory 8 GB LPDDR3 (soldered)
Storage 256GB SSD
Connectivity 802.11 A/C , Bluetooth 4.1
Ports 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.1 C, micro-HDMI, mic/headphone, SD card
Baterry 8 hours
OS Windows 10
Size 8.7 x 12.7 x 0.5 inches
Weight 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg)
Extras backlit keyboard, HD webcam, Fingerprint Reader
  Engineering   

Provided that you do not plan on running CAD/CAE software on your laptop. All engineers should consider buying the ZenBook for it’s portability long battery life and wide number of connectivity .
Electrical and Computer Engineering:
As an engineering student, you’ll have to use the computer labs or a personal desktop to dwell into 3D Applications whicih includes CAD/CAE software if you decide to go for the ASUS. However for Electrical and computer engineering students, this can be easily be tolerated as CAD/CAE software usage is rare among most of their curriculums.
Other than that, With the exception of 3D Applications, it should give you the necessary performance in all other tasks: MatLab, LTSpice and other circuit simulators and programming environments as well IDES or Virtual Machines should run smoothly on the ZenBook given the configurations above. The Number of ports (x2 USB 3.0) should make it easier for you should you be involved in circuit or robot design too.
Mechanical and Civil Engineering:
As a mechanical or civil engineer, you’ll definitely encounter 3D Design and Modeling software in your curriculum plus you’ll have to get acquianted with it at some point in your career. CAD/CAE software is much more important for civil and mechanical engineers especially AutoDesk and Solidworks. You should consider buying the ZenBook if you are willing to use the computer labs for Revit/AutoCad(Civil) and SolidWorks(ME) to deal with them or to a personal desktop machine with a dedicated GPU. Other than that any other application should smoothly run on the ZenBook without giving you compatibility issues as it is still a Windows Machine.

 Architecture   

As an architecture student you are probably aware of it by now: this laptop won’t be able to run any of your architectural projects at the undergrad level. It can’t be configured with a dedicated graphics card either. I don’t recommend buying it as your primary laptop. It can be a good addition to your studies along with another primary machine for architectural work (a workstation, much more powerful laptop or desktop ) because of it’s portability and lightweight design being ideal for all other college related tasks.

It’s also a fine choice for the first year or two(check with your department) where you will not encounter much if any 3D Architectural software. However as a primary laptop for your entire program, other options shown in this article are recommended: Best Laptops for Architecture Students 2016.  In Particular, the Dell XPS 15 has a dedicated GPU while being quite portable.

 Science  

This is actually an excellent choice for Science Students in general. It’s extreme portability, thin design and long battery life will become handy when doing research, looking up homework solutions, studying for exams everywhere and anytime. There’s not much software to be worried about either in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Even as a Physics student who’ll  run into LabView for the experiments that require some circuit analysis and MatLab for upper level Math Courses, this laptop is more than enough for that. All science students in general must run into excel and some basic programming with something in the lines of visual basic in which case any laptop would do and this one is no exception. As an added bonus, the zenbook  has a matte and IPS display to make those before exam days when you stare at that same organic chemistry solution for several hours much more comfortable and easier on the eyes as well as backlit keyboard and high definition display for those overnight hours when writing lab reports that are due the next day.

 Computer Science  

Unless you specifically work with 3D Animation software like Unity(95% of CS students don’t),  computer Science students and those focused on Programming in general will find a perfect match with the Asus ZenBook. Being extremely portable and thin, it becomes extremely useful when you want to just whip it out of your bag to do some coding on the go wherever you are. The battery life comes in handy as well so you can code anywhere on campus far away from outlets and to  look up online documentation far away from Wifi Spots thanks to it’s great Wifi reception. You should have no problems loading those heavy IDEs such as eclipse, Visual Studio and using Android Emulators or intensive SQL Queryiing applications with it. The 13.3 HD display makes it much easier to scroll down documentation and having multiple windows for coding and the matte display comes in handy to guard your eyes off from reflections in class rooms or library hours or if you happen to code on the outside. Alternatively, if you want a portable laptop like the ZenBook more linux friendly, the MacBook Air is your best bet.

  Medical & Nursing Students 

The ZenBook is one of the top ultraportable laptops med and nursing students should consider buying. It’s extremely light design along with its battery life will become extremely useful to better deal with those days where clinicals and on campus lectures will force you to be on the go constantly without getting tired. It’s got a decent performance configuration to make sure you can efficiently multitask while at the same time not comprimising battery life. The huge bonus is the display being not too small for accessing medical records comfortably without having to scroll around too much as in the case of tablets or notebooks. The resolution along with the screen size do come in handy for those histology questions or any media files where details are important as well. The only downside is the fact that it lacks a CD ROM Drive for you to access your textbook resources or review questions. However you can always buy an external CD ROM drive and attach it to one of the USB port, alternatively you can burn all those textbooks into you an USB Driver as shown in this guide.

 Business & Accounting  

Business students who are constantly on the go from networking events to group project meetings and lectures should benefit from its great portability and long battery life while still remaining a full Windows laptop.
The range of connectivity will come in handy too should you need to attach a numerical keypad and an external mouse (this model has x2 USB Ports) for much better excell productivity. The HDMI port(which again is a rarity to find among ultrabooks) will become in handy for those instances (either in class or during group meetings) where a bigger display is needed either for a presentation or simply a group project meeting.
As bonus features, the Matte Display finish should save your eyes from strain in those long sessions of data crunching as well should you happen to move to a highly reflective environment. For financing and those accounting students dealing with large data excel sheets along with complex macros and simulations, the 8GB is just the right amount for a smooth performance and heavy multitasking.
Just a reminder, like every ultraportable laptop, you should buy an external numerical keypad for those classes/instances where Excel assignments are given.

 

 Graphics Design  

Graphic design students who decide to go with a Windows Machine should consider the ZenBook provided they are not into motion graphics or 3D Animation due its lack of GPU. It has a good display for graphic design featuring a HD resolution (1080p), IPS to improve color accuracy from different angles. It’s worth mentioning it’s got a matte display provided your work environment it’s quite reflective on your screen or you like to work on the outfield, it will improve the accuracy of your design by eliminating collor pollution from the outside. The RAM size is just right for undergraduate work, it has a decent storage too. Should you be unsatisfied with the storage size, you can always opt to buy an external drive. Another feature you wish to review before your purchase is the display size not being ideal for graphic design but like most ultraportable machines it’s something you gotta put up with. Luckily it has an HDMI port which will make it easier for you to plug your laptop to an external display to finish off the details of every project you come across. Surely there are better options the MacBook Pro with Retina Display being the most obvious but should you be on a budget, this is a decent alternative for Web Design, InPrint Design, UI Design and those who do not require a high performance machine with a GPU.