When comparing ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 vs Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch), the Slant community recommends Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) for most people. In the question“What are the best ultra-portable laptops for an engineering student?” Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) is ranked 7th while ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) is:
The 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This is a powerful, VR-ready card that handles intensive gaming tasks. As for real-world performance, Hitman (1920 x 1080, ultra) runs at 71.9 frames per second, Grand Theft Auto V runs at 45 fps. It should also be mentioned that you need to be using the dock in order to do graphic-intensive tasks since that's where the GPU is located; using the laptop in tablet-mode will yield poor results in this regard.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Great battery life
It can last for up to 8 hours on a single charge, making it a good choice for people who don't have easy access to a power plug during their day and need to use the laptop for extended periods of time.
Pro Slim and sturdy build
All metal, 2.6lbs, 0.5" thin chassis that feels solid and well built through and through. Screen hinge is also very strong.
Pro Excellent linux support
Elementary OS and Linux Mint both work without issues. The only thing that doesn't seem to work is the fingerprint scanner.
Pro Inexpensive for the great build and specs
Slim, light, metal build, strong hinge, large battery, great keyboard (soft, good key-travel) 7th gen core i5, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD, 1080p IPS display and back-lit keyboard for $700.
Pro Gaming performance on-par with gaming laptops
The 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This is a powerful, VR-ready card that handles intensive gaming tasks.
As for real-world performance, Hitman (1920 x 1080, ultra) runs at 71.9 frames per second, Grand Theft Auto V runs at 45 fps.
It should also be mentioned that you need to be using the dock in order to do graphic-intensive tasks since that's where the GPU is located; using the laptop in tablet-mode will yield poor results in this regard.
Pro One of the best performances found on a 15-inch laptop
Equiped with an Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 8GB (or 16GB) of RAM and an SSD that goes up to 1TB, the Surface Book 2 certainly packs a punch. It handles multitasking perfectly; you can open dozens of Chrome tags, stream video, and draw using the built-in software without experiencing any lag even once.
As far as benchmarks go, on the Geekbench 4 overall performance benchmark, the Surface Book 2 got a score of 12,505, better than the 15-inch laptop average (11,004) coming third after the Dell XPS 15 (13,911) and the MacBook Pro (15,170).
Pro The hinge is quite stable as far as 2-in-1 laptops go
The new fulcrum hinge that Microsoft used for the Surface Book 2 is much more stable than the one found on the previous Surface Book or even other 2-in-1 laptops for that matter.
Pro Great display for creative professionals
This laptop's display is bright and vivid, making it perfect for people who do a lot of drawing, design, or video editing work. The display offers an excellent coverage of 131% of the sRGB colour gamut (the average for this price range is 101%). The colour coverage and the bright display which measures an average of 417 nits really makes colours truly pop out and offers lifelike pictures.
Pro Great tying experience
Even though the keyboard is rather shallow (just 1.2mm of travel), the typing experience is excellent. Keys have a great amount of feedback when clicking and you rarely (if ever) bottom out when typing.
Pro The battery easily lasts a full work day on a single charge
The Surface Book 2 lasts on average 12 hours on a single charge. This should be more than enough to get anyone to the end of their workday on a single charge.
Con Display is decent, but could be better
1080p IPS that isnt reflective nor touch screen. Enables lower brightness in bright rooms and saves battery life, but quality of screen could be much better.
Con The touchpad is good, but not great
The touchpad might work perfectly fine in Windows, but in Linux, it is not that great.
Con Occasional fan noise and coil whine
At times there can be some coil whine (as is common in ultrabooks), but it isnt terrible. The fan isnt and issue in normal browsing or document editing, but in anything remotely intensive it will spin up and is noticeable.
Con Bezels thicker than some modern designs
When compared to new screen designs on phones or the XPS line, the bezels are quite "old school" in comparison.
Con No Thunderbolt port
For a laptop aimed at creative professionals, the missing Thunderbolt 3 port is surprising considering the fact that Thunderbolt 3 is used to connect a laptop to peripherals such as external GPUs or power-dual 4K displays.
Con The pen must be bought separately
If you want to use the Surface Book for drawing then you will probably have to buy the Surface Pen which unfortunately does not come bundled with the laptop (it costs an additional $99).
Con Disappointing audio performance
The audio that comes out of the speakers is quite average. It's enough to fill a small room but that's it.