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Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA review:

A sexy laptop that fits more screen into less space

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The Good The Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe is very slim and stylish. It fits a 14-inch screen into a compact body and includes a fingerprint reader. Performance is excellent.

The Bad Battery life is short. Ports are limited. There’s only a standard HD screen option.

The Bottom Line Asus slips a big screen into the thin body of the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, but the battery isn’t as upscale as the design.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.8 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Battery 7.0

If laptops could be twins, the Asus ZenBook 3 and Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe would be nearly identical, although the latter would be the smarter of the two.

That's because the ZenBook 3 Deluxe is essentially the ZenBook 3, but with a larger 14-inch display (instead of a 12.5-inch screen) and the Windows 10 Pro operating system. The Asus ZenBook 3 is a top-notch Windows alternative to the 12-inch MacBook, but the new, larger Deluxe version feels more like a MacBook Pro.

The Deluxe version offers the additional IT-friendly features in Windows 10 Pro that power users or traditional businesses need. The thing is, most people can do without those extra features.

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A slim laptop with a big screen.

Josh Miller/CNET

However, if the Windows 10 Pro features are essential, the Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe is one of the sexiest laptops you can buy. I'd venture to say that it's even prettier than the MacBook.

The configuration of the ZenBook 3 Deluxe we tested had a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. It costs $1,700 in the US. (Official AU and UK pricing was not available at the time of publishing. Pricing converts to AU$2,282 and £1,307.)

Business fashionable

This is what we call a crossover laptop. It has pro-level features like a fingerprint reader and Windows 10 Pro, but it skips the typical business laptop aesthetic: all-black, matte finish and serious.

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Fingerprint scanner for extra security.

Josh Miller/CNET

It has a stylish aluminum chassis, and the back of the deep blue lid has a circular brushed pattern, just like the ZenBook 3. Thanks to its supremely thin and lightweight build, it's extremely portable, especially considering this is a 14-inch display.

It feels very solid, and the screen hinge is tight, however I wouldn't count on it handling a big drop very well. I accidentally dropped it once when it was closed (from about 3 feet), and it hit the concrete on its corner. It wasn't destroyed, but I was pretty bummed about ruining its pristine, gold-accented perimeter.

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