When comparing Librem 15 vs ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA, the Slant community recommends Librem 15 for most people. In the question“What are the best laptops for Linux?” Librem 15 is ranked 9th while ASUS ZenBook 3 UX390UA is ranked 15th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Built with security in mind starting from each chip placed onto the motherboard
Pro Optional physical kill switches for microphone/camera and wireless/bluetooth
Pro Good connectivity
3 USB 3.0 (one being type C) and 2 USB 2.0 with the HDMI feels very nice to have on such a lightweight laptop. Sadly no Ethernet port, otherwise it would have been perfect.
Pro Good keyboard
Keyboards are usually bad on laptops, companies reusing small version ones on bigger size laptop with big paddings. Purism managed a good quality and use every bit of space to get a keyboard that feels good to use.
Pro Runs privacy focused software
Librem runs PureOS, a privacy focused operating system, and runs software that respects your rights.
Pro Charges entirely over USB-C
The Zenbook 3 fully implements USB-C charging and charges at full speed without needing a separate AC cable.
Pro Great speakers
Zenbook's speakers are certainly a highlight of the laptop. The music is clear and has some depth to it. The sound enhancement software that comes with the laptop does a pretty good job of adding a little bass to the drum beats.
Pro Decent screen
The 12.5inch screen has a FullHD panel and reaches a maximum brightness of 270nits. Color coverage is rather average unfortunately, at just 85% of the sRGB color gamut. One interesting feature of the Zenbook 3 are the thin bezels around the screen which give it a very premium feel.
Pro Extremely portable
Weighing just 910g and being only 12mm thick, the Zenbook 3 is a very portable laptop that you can easily carry around in a backpack and forget it's there.
Pro Has good keyboard key travel for its size
Pro Finger print reader for quickly logging in
Pro Backlit keyboard
Pro Has the world's smallest fan
Pro Up to 16 GB of RAM
Pro Powered by powerful i5 or i7 CPUs
Con It's quite expensive
You'll be paying a higher price for Purism's commitment to secure, privacy, and freedom respecting electronics.
Con Wifi is weak
Any other laptop or smartphone will have better signal than the Librem 15. Having a strong signal is very rare (you need to be in the same room within 10m of the router), it is still working but a Ethernet port as back-up would have been very much appreciated. This is probably due to the FOSS constraint for the hardware.
Con Speakers are bad
The sound feels really wrong, the trebles are way too high and there is no bass.
Con Touchpad not centered
Touchpad is not centered due to addition of little used numeric keypad keys on the right.
Con Only one USB-C port
The Zenbook 3 comes with just one USB-C port that acts as a port for the charger as well. This means that you need to use a dongle in case you want to charge your laptop and use peripherals at the same time.
Con Keys are a little shallow
While the keyboard is large and (most of the time) pleasant to use, the keys themselves are a little shallow which introduces a weird feeling that can lead to frequent typos.
Con The wrist rest area flexes a little
The area where the wrist is supposed to rest has a little flex due to the chassis being made of plastic.