Macbook Air replacement - maybe Asus UX330?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by brubenstein, Dec 22, 2016.

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  1. brubenstein

    brubenstein Notebook Enthusiast

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    My wife's looking for a new laptop and finally ready to move on from the Macbook Air (good news for our budget). We aren't gamers or video editors - just need something portable that can handle work multitasking (and convinces my wife that decent PCs exist).

    I'm thinking the Asus UX330UA looks like a good replacement - but any other ideas in a similar price/spec range?



    1) What is your budget?
    <$900

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    Ultraportable/Thin and Light; 12" - 14" screen
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? US

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Flexible

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, some light image editing and watching video -- nothing very heavy-duty

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Portability is important - taking to work/on family trips

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    No

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    6+

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Online is fine

    11) What OS do you prefer?
    Windows


    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    To a point - not a top concern

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Sometime in the next 6 months

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    2-3 years+

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    SSD, at least 256GB

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    Not necessary
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I would say $900 is still on the low side for a quality Ultrabook, which is what you seem to want, so I don't understand the aversion to a refurbed notebook bought directly from the manufacturer outlet. Most likely it's a return that looks new and has the same warranty, but is sold at a nice discount. While you do see some attractive prices on new notebooks from time to time, it's the outlets where you get higher value on a more consistent basis.

    I'm thinking you can pick up a ThinkPad X1 Carbon or Latitude E7470 from the their manufacturer outlet under budget and they'll offer you a far better experience, not to mention support, than the Asus. The ThinkPad is bit lighter, but the Dell has a better warranty and offers the ability to upgrade some components.

    I did see the T460s last week for $600 on holiday special, so if you can be patient, you may see some better pricing down the road.
     
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  3. brubenstein

    brubenstein Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks - very helpful. I'd consider going the refurbished route - my wife had a bad experience (again, with refurbished Mac) so may be skittish. I'll check out the ThinkPad and Latitude.
     
  4. edit1754

    edit1754 Notebook Prophet

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    A note: If you're looking at the ASUS UX330UA or the Zenbook series as a whole, I might recommend you check the resolution spec and buy one that says 1920x1080, and not 3200x1800.

    The ones that claim to have 3200x1800 are using false-resolution RG/BW Pentile displays. They're not absolutely horrible displays, but ASUS' practice of marketing them as real 3200x1800 is a bit morally sketchy, and the way they have to fit the image to their incomplete dot pattern makes them makes them look worse than normal 1920x1080 displays, to some people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  5. Spartan@HIDevolution

    Spartan@HIDevolution Company Representative

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    I cannot suggest anything in that budget for an ultra notebook but I would avoid ASUS laptops like the plague for their bad quality control and horrible warranty / customer service

    they have excellent marketing and specs for the price, but getting a laptop that actual works is a matter of luck.

    I cannot count the times I have returned ASUS ROG laptops......

    last one where I swore I'd never buy an ASUS laptop is....... Returned my ASUS G751JY

    Your milage may vary offcourse but I am just stating my personal experience. that issue I faced with the above laptop was not just me, it was 10s of other members on the ASUS ROG forums with the same issue (left USB ports causing random freezes when an external HDD is connected and used for large data file transfers)

    If you wanna see my history with ASUS (old post when I had an Alienware 18)

    if you want a laptop that works, avoid anything from ASUS.


    click on the spoiler:


    1) Returned my ASUS G751JY



    2) ASUS = 0 quality, it's a matter of luck if you get a 100% working ASUS laptop, or any piece of hardware made by ASUS.



    3) All the latest and previous last 3 Gen ASUS ROG laptops have USB port issues, it's all over their ROG forums



    4) And old post I made 1 year back.......



    All ASUS laptops has a problem with the left USB 3.0 Ports. You plug in a USB 3.0 HDD to the left top or left bottom ports and it will randomly keep disconnecting. That is for all G750 series, JX,JW,JH,JZ,JS, you name it. don't believe me, just hang around on the ROG forums and see the jokes of problems they have. pathetic for the amount of money you pay. problems with screens,m auto dimming problem, contrast problem.


    I wouldn't use an ASUS laptop anymore even if they gave it to me for free! cheap Taiwanese crap!


    Did I forget to mention...


    their implementation of Optimus is messed up...it is very tricky to force games to use your nVIDIA GPU unless you do a lot of settings and even then users on their forums complain that the freakin' games are using the Intel HD Graphics! LOL! horrible!


    you want Testimony ? Please take the time to read this:


    why ASUS? because people who buy ASUS cannot afford Clevo, no other reason on earth...that's a fact...I was one of them...


    First laptop, 2 years ago..


    G73Sw:


    bought it and ran home like a little child wanting to see my lights in the chiclet keyboards....ooops...no lights...tried all driver updates..BIOS update...nope..


    Called ASUS, they told me to bring it to the service center it's an easy fix!! whaaaat?? I buy a 2000 USD laptop and go to the service center next day? oh well..I did and they activated it with their BIOS tweak utility that they don't give to customers! great quality control Taiwanese Engineers! send out laptops for sale that don't work properly as advertised...


    after 1 week...the screen started giving me fuzzy images...closing/opening the screen lid fixed the problem....wow!! what did I buy? a 1990 Toyota Corolla or a brand new gaming laptop??


    They said they need to replace my screen! wow!! the laptop can't last a week without being repaired! i fought for a refund and got it after a long hassle...


    next laptop...


    ASUS G75VW,


    ASUS decided to remove their awesome creative sound blaster audio chipset and put some cheap VIA audio chipset which made the subwoofer act like a center speaker rather than a subwoofer..


    also..I only had the option to get the matte screen...oh well...people say matte is good...right? NOPE! not on ASUS! the ASUS matte screens look as if someone spilled grease all over them. very grainy image especially if you look at a white screen such as these forums or Google..if you look close..you can see the pixels of colorful rainbows! again shocked in awe for this cheap crap!


    So I called ASUS complaining about the quality of the screen, they offered to change it to the 3D screen not coz I want 3D, but only because that is the only screen they have that is Glossy..


    took the laptop...2 days..I get a call...sorry sir, we changed your screen, but fried your motherboard....we have no spare motherboards...so if you pay $500 USD we can give you a G750JX instead or you can wait till god knows when till we get a motherboard from Taiwan...


    so I got the G750JX...


    very bad driver support....ASUS released the win 8.1 drivers after 6 months of win 8.1 was released...anyone who upgraded while having the old drivers either got a non booting laptop after the upgrade due to outdated bluetooth/wifi drivers or had horrible problems....


    next comes the 2D performance of their GTX770M....there is something not right about it! 3D was fine and performed as it should...but 2D was glitchy and choppy...imagine even a simple game of solitaire..the motion of the cards wasn't fluid...I used to get jealouse when I see my friends' Intel HD Graphics perform so smoothly in the Windows environment while my brand new gaming laptop cries in 2D...opening tabs in firefox...wow..another plethora of jerkiness / slow motion


    next...they put cheap Atheros WLAN chipsets which cannot connect above 72 MBPS!! wow! had to pay 50 USD and get a Bigfoot Wireless N-Killer from the US and pay customs just to have a laptop perform like a normal computer


    next.... USB 3.0 problems..


    basically, I had to connect my USB drives to the right ports and the left ones were kept for my mouse and printer? why? because ASUS cannot produce a piece of hardware that functions right! they claim all ports are USB 3.0 and they are all in blue color...BIG LIE! it wasn't only me, I posted this on the ROG forums and every single one of the members verified the same!


    I can't find my thread that I started, but here are 2 examples I quickly grabbed:


    Asus G750 USB 3.0 Ports not working with some things


    and


    Is it normal that the top left USB port is very slow?


    ASUS? HELLL NO!!


    Worst case scenario, save some money and wait, then get a real gaming laptop from Alienware and be happy for life! rather than bite your fingers after you buy your ASUS


    A quick Google search on the G750JX presents exactly what I experienced! I've probably formatted that laptop over 200 times twice daily just trying to make it work but every time some quirk happens...


    USB 3.0 sooooo Slow on ASUS g750 jx [Solved] - Asus - Laptop Tech Support


    USB problems G750 JX


    Just got a G750JX, and with it, a whole suite of problems..


    Asus ROG: G750JX-RB71 Screen Ghosting..


    http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus-gaming-notebook-forum/727019-big-green-float-g750jx-screen.html


    G750JX Cheap display, horizontal lines - www.hardwarezone.com.sg


    Brand New Asus G750JX-RB71 has been crashing repeatedly


    G750JX - 1day old - Black Screen and not Booting

    @brubenstein

    I found these for you, slightly higher than your budget but if you email donald@hidevolution.com you can get your special NBR Forums discount

    Custom Built Dell XPS 13 9360 (Late 2016) w/ FHD Non-Touch and i5-7200U

    Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook - 12.5" QHD (2560x1440) Touchscreen - 128GB SSD

    Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook - 12.5" QHD (2560x1440) Touchscreen - 256GB SSD

     
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  6. jefflackey

    jefflackey Notebook Evangelist

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    Does buying through this guy help with variability in build quality? For example, I hear great things about the Razer's, but I read hear that build quality is extremely variable.
     
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  7. Spartan@HIDevolution

    Spartan@HIDevolution Company Representative

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    It does help because other than the standard Quality Control Checks of the manufacturer (ie. Razer, ASUS, Clevo, etc.), HIDevolution does their own quality control checks and stress tests.

    For example, before this Clevo P870DM3, I had also purchased a Clevo P870dM then a Eurocom Sky X9 but also through HIDevolution and they were all perfect with awesome screens that didn't have any dead pixels and no back light bleeding.

    Also, their CPU/GPU paste methods are awesome for when they can do it (ie. non BGA / soldered CPUs or GPUs) as they do the paste job using IC diamond with the X Cross method.....

    The X Cross method is the best in my experience as once the heatsink is fitted, it provides the maximum coverage with the least air bubbles

    [​IMG]



    In addition, you are no longer a slave of the warranty from the manufacturer which may be good or bad, but rather, you deal with HIDevolution directly to save the hassle....

    see:
    HIDevolution - The Best Company I ever dealt with

    HIDevolution's Warranty!
     
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  8. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I agree with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon recommendation. It can go 8-9 hours for general usage on battery. Check Lenovo's outlet (here's our guide to outlet shopping). I have ordered notebooks from there on several occasions; even the ones listed as scratch and dent were brand new as far as I could tell. They are warrantied as-new. Lenovo's warranty upgrades are usually inexpensive, too.

    The 12.5-inch ThinkPad X260 is smaller than the X1 Carbon, and will be more portable. The smaller screen size can be confining, though. The X260 can get twice the battery life of the X1 Carbon if you opt for one of its extended battery options. And unlike the X1 Carbon, the X260 has user-changeable RAM and a swappable battery.

    Charles
     
  9. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I say if you want the better keyboard and stick the X1 Carbon offers, go for the ThinkPad. If you want better warranty and likely better pricing, get the Latitude.
     
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  10. Kent T

    Kent T Notebook Virtuoso

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    And both machines are excellent choices, and will be reliable and reasonably durable.
     
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