ASUS Zenbook 15

Best ASUS Laptop Windows Central 2019

There are numerous ASUS notebooks available, some at similar price points, so choosing which is best for your needs may appear rather daunting at first. If you were to narrow down your search to one that offers great value and features, the ZenBook 15 would be your best option.

Our pick

ASUS ZenBook 15

An absolute delight to use

The ZenBook 15 does it all. It looks stunning, is lightweight enough for portable use, and houses powerful hardware for work and play. The price isn't too bad either.

Who should buy the ASUS ZenBook 15

Anyone looking for a sleek-looking, thin, portable, and powerful laptop should consider the ZenBook 15 from ASUS. It houses a capable Intel Core i7 processor, dedicated NVIDIA GPU for gaming and intensive tasks, as well as a whole host of ports to hook up all your favorite accessories.

Is it a good time to buy the ASUS ZenBook 15?

Now's as good a time as any to purchase the excellent ASUS ZenBook 15. The company regularly refreshes its line-up of notebooks with newer components, but with the current model, you're still getting 8th Gen Intel processors and NVIDIA GTX 10 series GPUs.

Reasons to buy

  • Gorgeous design
  • Thin, light and compact
  • Windows Hello
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GPU
  • Excellent display

Reasons not to buy

  • Battery life could be better
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • Lackluster speakers

It's not all about the looks

The ZenBook 15 from ASUS is a stunning piece of kit. The company has been at the forefront of laptop design throughout the last decade and this notebook is no different, sporting a sleek design with a compact chassis that houses some powerful internals.

Category Spec
CPU Intel Core i7-8565U
RAM 16GB DDR4
SSD 512GB NVMe
Display 15.6-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080
Graphics NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB MaxQ
Ports HDMI
USB-C
USB 3.0
SD card
3.5mm headset jack
Battery Up to 15 hours

The ZenBook 15 comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM, speedy 512GB storage, and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 MaxQ GPU. It has everything you require for daily tasks and even some more demanding software, but you won't be playing any modern games at max settings due to the lack of Thunderbolt 3 for external GPU support. When the hinge is open, it even protrudes slightly to raise the keyboard at an angle for more natural typing and better ventilation.

With up to 15 hours of battery life (more like 8 hours through our testing) on a single charge, you'll be able to get through the day while you wait for a flight in a lounge or happen to be enjoying the good weather outside with limited access to a power outlet. The battery life can be better though and you'll need to keep your charger with you while you're out and about. This laptop does not utilize USB-C for charging like other compact notebooks, so you won't be able to use power banks to provide additional juice before running flat.

The ASUS ZenBook 15 is a seriously good Windows 10 laptop.

While ASUS opted for non-existent bezels, the company still managed to implement a Windows Hello capable IR camera, full-sized HDMI and SD card, as well as a couple of USB 3.1 ports and a USB-C. It would have been nice to see Thunderbolt 3 behind the USB-C connector as well at this price point, but that's about the only thing the ZenBook 15 doesn't have.

Alternatives to the ASUS ZenBook 15

The ASUS ZenBook 15 isn't the ideal laptop for everyone, which is where our secondary recommendations come into play.

Runner-up

ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe

A near-faultless Ultrabook experience

The ZenBook 3 Deluxe isn't perfect, but it's exceptionally good. If it had a larger battery, a great display, and a good keyboard. It's small but powerful, and it's not particularly expensive for an Ultrabook in this class.

The ZenBook 3 was a great laptop and ASUS wanted to improve it slightly by releasing the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, which comes close to being almost faultless. You have ample performance too with an Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Convertible

ASUS ZenBook Flip

Flipping brilliant

The ZenBook Flip is a laptop you can use in the traditional manner or by flipping the screen right back to transform it into a tablet with the touch-enabled display. Depending on your mood, location, or current task, it's possible to use the ZenBook Flip in a number of different ways.

Don't think that this convertible laptop is a slouch because it has a party trick of being able to transform. Inside you'll find an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, and NVIDIA MX150 GPU. There's even a fingerprint reader with support for Windows Hello.

Powerhouse

ASUS ZenBook Pro

Powerful and compact

When you need a slightly more powerful processor, the ASUS ZenBook Pro has exactly what you need in a capable laptop designed for professionals and intensive applications. It also looks the part with a gorgeous metal design and premium-looking chrome touches.

The ASUS ZenBook Pro comes with some serious specifications, including a 4K touch-enabled display, Intel Core i7-8750HK processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti GPU. The 71Whr battery supports fast charging, allowing you to charge up to 60% in under 50 minutes.

For gamers

ASUS ROG Strix Hero II

Game on the go

A few years ago it was almost impossible to buy a gaming laptop that was relatively thin, powerful and had decent battery life. In 2019, ASUS now offers the ROG Strix Hero II, which houses some seriously powerful internals and doesn't look too obnoxious either.

This gaming laptop has a 144Hz IPS 1080p display, NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU, Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe Nvme SSD, and an RGB keyboard. Spending a little more will replace the already rather good RTX 2060 GPU with an RTX 2070.

Budget pick

ASUS VivoBook S

Budget-friendly computing

Just because you're on a tight budget, it doesn't mean you need to sacrifice heavily on performance and design. The VivoBook S is a sound laptop for the price, sporting the usual ASUS look and feel we've come to expect from the company with the internals to match.

The 15.6-inch 1080p display is joined by an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD combo, and a fingerprint sensor for quickly logging in using Windows Hello. That's not bad when you consider you're paying less than $800.

Bottom line

If you want to enjoy the best ASUS has to offer for Windows 10 fans, the ZenBook 15 is an excellent choice. It's good looking, fast, and can carry you through the day with a full charge of around 8-9 hours. If you're not fond of the design, need Thunderbolt 3, better battery, or more performance for gaming, our alternative recommendations should be better suited.

Our pick

ASUS ZenBook 15

An absolute delight to use

The ZenBook 15 does it all. It looks stunning, is lightweight enough for portable use, and houses powerful hardware for work and play. The price isn't too bad either.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

Richard Devine is a reviews editor at Windows Central. You'll usually find him deep in hardware, gaming, both or drinking root beer for which he openly has a mild addiction.

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