HP Envy 13 vs. Asus ZenBook 13 UX333

The HP Envy 13 and Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 want to do the same thing: deliver outstanding performance, build quality, and battery life for around $ 1,000. They struck a sweet spot between price and performance, packing the specs of Dell’s XPS 13-like Ultrabook for a slightly lower price. Between them, though, which one should you choose?

Asus has moved beyond the ZenBook 13 UX333 to focus on newer models such as the 14-inch UX425. On the other hand, HP is sticking with the Envy 13, updating the range for 2021 with Intel’s latest mobile processor. The NV13 is a better performance-only option, but what distinguishes these two machines more than specs.

The design

Asus zenbook 13 ux333fa
Dan Baker /

When considering their aesthetics, both laptops are far more striking than common budget options.

The ZenBook 13 features a high-end Royal Blue color scheme, with stunning gold trim and a Zenbook swirl on the lid, which attracts its more expensive cousins. The NV13 is also a looker, choosing natural silver and pale gold colors to customize its modern chassis, all angled in the right places, although color upgrades are available if desired.

Design-wise, the biggest difference between the two is their relative bezel size. Zenbook 13’s bezels are very small, fall into the “Little Bezel” category and are slimmer than the Envy 13.

The dimensions of the ZenBook 13 come in at 11.89 x 7.44 x 0.67 inches, while the Envy 13 is 12.07 x 7.66 x 0.67 inches. The Envy 13 is not huge at all, but the Zenbook 13’s chassis is quite small. Both are equally heavy at around 2.88 pounds (Jealous) vs. 2.62 pounds (Zenbook).

Zenbook 13 also benefits from Asus’ commitment to creating quality. Tested to MIL-STD-810g military standards for robustness, it exhibits no bending or flexing in the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis bottom. The Envy 13 has a slightly higher finish in the lid and keyboard deck, meaning that while you won’t worry about it falling off, it doesn’t pan out with the same confidence as the Asus model.

The input options between these two laptops are the same. Both have good travel and snappy, keyboards with precise keys, and both have Microsoft Precision Touchpad drivers for Windows 10 multitouch gesture support. Interestingly, both also have hinges that stretch the keyboard at an angle for increased comfort and airflow.

Where the laptop differs is in the ZenBook 13’s LED inlay which provides a useful virtual numeric keypad. If you enter a very large number, you will be able to apply for a useful feature.

Finally, both laptops have a better legacy than future peripheral support. The ZenBook 13 has a USB-A 2.0 port, two USB-A3.2 ports, a USB-C 3.2 port, and a full-size HDMI port. The Envy 13 has a Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) port and two USB-A ports. Both have a microSD card reader, a microphone / headphone combo jack, wireless AC (Wi-Fi 6), and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.


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Mark Coppock /

The ZenBook 13 comes with an i7-10510U processor, an eight-core part that can turbo up to 4.9GHz. Although a solid processor for 13-inch laptops, the Envy 13 features one of Intel’s new Tiger Lake processors – specifically, the i7-1165G7. Beyond the CPU, you can configure both laptops up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD. HP offers NV13 with Intel Optane memory up to 32 GB.

Machines fall apart when it comes to graphics. For ZenBook 13, you have a choice between Intel’s onboard UHD 620 graphics or Nvidia’s MX250 mobile GPU. You can configure NV13 a bit more with the Nvidia MX450, but you don’t need to. The 1165G7 comes with Intel’s new Iris Xe integrated graphics. A dedicated GPU is preferable, but the Iris X still offers solid performance for light gaming.

Next, the ZenBook 13 features a surprisingly good 13.3-inch IPS full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel, with exceptional contrast of 1,360: 1, over 77%-average-AdobeRGB color, and excellent color accuracy at 1.68. You usually don’t get such a good performance on a budget-priced laptop.

The NV13 features a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) micro-edge, WLED-backlit, multi-touch option that gives us bright and average (but still respectable) colors and contrast. A full HD option is also available for better battery life – you can’t go wrong with the display on any of these laptops.

However, there is a clear winner outside of the performance. Almost by default, the Envy 13 is a better option. You can configure it with a slightly better GPU and it has one of Intel’s latest mobile processors.


Asus zenbook 13 ux333fa
Dan Baker /

While the ZenBook 13 is smaller than the Envy 13, it is slightly thicker. However, it is neither difficult to carry or fit in tight places.

The ZenBook 13 excels in battery thanks to its efficient CPU and full HD display. It’s hard to compare to the NV13, though, as we’ve tested HP’s laptops packing a power-hungry 4K display. The Nbook 13 has a 51 watt-hour battery compared to the 50 watt-hour version of the Zenbook 13, and so we doubt they’ll perform the same with the same Core i5 and Full HD panel.

HP Envy 13 won one

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Mark Coppock /

The Envy 13 starts at $ 800 with the i5-1135G7, a 256GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM (strangely, some more expensive configurations only come with 8GB). The ZenBook 13 UX333 is not available until early 2021.

It doesn’t matter too much because the Envy 13 is a better option because it has new hardware, and is still quite affordable. Asus’s ZenBook 13 UX325 – a similar, more readily available variant of the ZenBook 13 – runs $ 900 for the i7-1065G7, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. Configured similarly, the Envy 13 is only $ 80 more.

If you like the Jealous 13 specs and the Zenbook 13 look, then you might want to consider a bit bigger Zenbook 14 ux 435. It comes with a Tiger Lake processor and dedicated GPU option, although it is slightly more expensive than the Envy 13.

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