One of the real premium laptops in 2016 is ASUS UX390UA-XH74-BL. The price tag is enormous, but also the spec list is sweet: latest 7th generation Core i7 processor, huge SSD and plenty of RAM. But do these fast components justify the price, or is there something else to take into consideration…?
Intel released a new set of processors in the late Summer 2016, the 7th generation to be exact. One of those, the Intel Core i7-7500U is the heart of this system. I haven’t seen benchmarks about it yet, but it’s naturally expected to be faster than its predecessor, the Core i7-6500U. The new processor has two cores, and 2.7GHz base speed with 3.5GHz turbo boost. It will run programs lightweight and heavy without issues, throw a image or video editor at it and you’ll see.
Other elements in the engine room are pristine too. There is 16GB memory included, surely enough for the most demanding of users, and 512GB solid-state drive attached to M.2 PCIe (NVMe) slot. Such a drive has pretty good storage and believe me, it’s going to be very, very fast. The system will boot in like 3 seconds.
The glossy 12.5″ Full HD IPS non-touch display is beautiful to look at, even a professional would not find it reprehensible. The screen is also darn slim, the thickness is just 7.6mm. That contributes to the weight of this unit, just 2.1 pounds. It’s a breeze to carry with you. The top of the display includes a basic level webcam.
The 40WHrs 6-cell battery is given up to 9 hours operating time in the ad copy, however I would say 7-8 hours is your best bet. It’s still great, lasting for a whole day. The battery is integrated, so replacing it will be a pain in the ass.
The selection of ports in ASUS UX390UA-XH74-BL isn’t that great, there’s just no space for many connections in this compact frame. There is one USB 3.1 Type-C port for all your peripherals and external monitor (yep, no dedicated video output here). The 802.11ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 card allows for network access.
As you can guess, the laptop doesn’t have an optical drive. If you need discs, get external drive, it will take the one USB port on this unit.
The keyboard is, of course, backlit.
The only bad thing I can think of is the gaming performance. Every other thing about ASUS UX390UA-XH74-BL is great, but the graphics card is just integrated (the Intel HD 620). That is of course understandable given the small size and weight, but anyway you’re not going to enjoy Full HD gaming on this rig. Older ones like WoW and League of Legends run no problem, and you can try some newer games such as GTA 5 on low to medium settings.
ASUS UX390UA-XH74-BL surely is everything a power user or professional needs. First, it’s darn fast: there is absolutely nothing the Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and SSD couldn’t do software-wise. Second, it has a sweet 12.5 inches Full HD display, the screen and the whole system weighing just 2.1 pounds. Only question is the price – if you have the money, and want (and need!) only the best, then giving a shot for this ASUS is an excellent choice.