Asus ZenBook 3 UX390UA-XH74-BL Laptop Review

3The Asus Zenbook 3 hits the market of the thinnest and lightest ultraportable with the most sought after amenities. The size and design of the Asus can be compared with that of Apple’s Macbook. The laptop is among the first to come with the 7th Gen CPU, also known on the mean streets as Kaby Lake. There are more pristine elements in the engine room. It includes 16GB of memory that is enough for most demanding users and a 512 GB Pcle SSD.  The laptop represents a new era of mobile computing with its thin, strong and more powerful design. The Windows 10 pre-installed system comfortably passes across as a capable ultraportable for demanding day to day tasks.

Design

The Asus ZenBook 3 is designed to impress, it sports a royal blue color which makes it the most attractive windows laptop that we have had our hands on. There is also the grayish silver color theme for those accustomed to the traditional Asus colors. It maintains some of the features seen in other Asus laptops such as the lid with a concentric-circle pattern. The Asus goes a notch higher by adding an attractive gold-colored ring around the diamond edge. The party does not end with its looks as it gives a run for its money in terms of portability. The miniature laptop is crafted with an aerospace-grade aluminum body thus giving it a remarkable position in the ultraportable category. The aluminum body feels sturdy and more substantial than what we saw in the LG Gram-14Z950.

The dimensions of the Asus are 0.47 by 11.65 by 7.53 inches, and it weighs at 2.1 pounds. As, such you won’t have a problem carrying it along with you thanks to its slim profile that makes it fit to any bag. This is a thin and light laptop as compared to the Dell XPS 13 Touch which measures 11.8 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds. The Microsoft surface pro 4 carries the day in terms of portability measuring at 7.93 by 11.5 by 0.33 inches and weighs 1.73 pounds. The surface takes pride in its high quality silver magnesium alloy body that delivers the looks and portability. That said, the Asus Zenbook is still a serious contender that deserves a standing ovation for its top of the class features.

Performance

The Asus ZenBook 3 is powered by the latest processor from Intel’s 7th generation core also known as Kaby Lake. Asus boasts of Intel Core i7-7500U processor clocked at 2.7GHz that can run up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost Technology. The system comes with integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. The laptop has 16GB LPDDR3 of RAM with a memory speed of 2133MHz and a 512GB Pcle SSD. This is among the fastest SSDs that you will ever come across in an ultraportable with quick boot times and loading of programs. For instance, it completed copying 4.97 GB of mixed files in 10 seconds which simply means it was copying at 508.92MBps. This is far above the competition with the Razer Blade Stealth copying at 365.3 MBps and Dell XPS 13 at 339.3MBps. The configuration in this system is powerful enough to handle any day to day task thrown at it.

Connectivity

The slim profile of this ultraportable comes with a cost unable to provide enough space for most of the connectivity options. The ZenBook 3 comes with a single USB-C port and a headset jack just like what we saw in the 12-inch MacBook. Conspicuously missing is the thunderbolt 3 which delivers two 4K displays, fast data, and quick notebook charging just like in the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre 13. The single USB –C port is very minimalist but thanks to Asus for including a mini dock in the box. The small unit connects to the USB-C ports and offers a HDMI port, USB A port and another USB C port for charging while you are using the dock. Internet connectivity is taken care of by the 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 card.1

Display

The Asus ZenBook 3 comes with a glossy 12.5” Full HD IPS non-touch display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The screen offers extremely, sharp, bright images with a wide range of highly accurate colors. The increased details offered come under the courtesy of Asus’ True2Life technology. The technology is designed to increase the sharpness and contrast of videos, while reducing motion blur. The display however lags behind the competition with XPS 13 Touch (3200 by 1800) and the MacBook (2304 by 1440). The display is decent enough for most of the daily tasks but if you are into photo and video editing, then you may require a higher resolution screen. The 4K version of the Razer Blade Stealth or the 13-inch Apple Macbook Pro will get your job done.

Other Features

Asus stumbles when it comes to the keyboard which is shallow, but we couldn’t have expected anything better in this compact design. It offers 0.8mm of key travel which is more than the 0.5mm offered by the MacBook. The keys are a bit stiff when compared to the competition such as the Dell XPS 13. The backlit keyboard is bright enough to use while in a dim lit room and you can type up to 95 wpm with an error margin of 2 per cent. The touchpad measures 4.1 by 2.4 inches providing smooth and accurate navigation around the desktop.  Additionally, there is a Fingerprint Sensor that gets you to the desktop in under a second.f

The Audio system on the Asus is on point with ASUS SonicMaster Premium technology and Harman Kardon tuning. It comes with a four-speaker system that is loud and clear for all your entertainment needs. There are two high-power speakers positioned above the function and the other two below the front lip with magnet bass drivers for preventing distortion.

Battery

Asus Zenbook 3 comes with an impressive battery that lasted 11 hours and 52 minutes on our run down test. It comes with a 40W lithium-polymer, 6-cell battery with fast charging capability of up to 60 per cent in 50 minutes. The compact system surprisingly unseated the former champions including 12-inch MacBook (11:37) and MacBook Pro (11:10). Windows laptops in the competition trailed the Asus with the Razer Blade Stealth (6:25), HP Spectre 13  (8:36), Dell XPS Touch offering (9:02). The extra stamina could be attributed to the use of a group of separate flat battery packs shaped to fit inside the contours of the laptop case. The Asus therefore, offers enough juice to get you going all day without having to worry about running out of power.

Conclusion

The Asus Zenbook 3 takes the slim profile in core i7 laptops to a new level save for the HP  Specter 13 that is thinner. The Asus combines its features to let you enjoy watching videos on a sharp and vibrant screen and powerful speakers. The monster comes with a powerful 7th generation processor and 16GB LPDDR3 RAM for multitasking. Asus offers generous storage with a 512GB Pcle SSD that is very fast. The combination will set you back some bucks but you can be rest assured that you have a system you won’t be replacing or upgrading any time soon. When it comes to the display and connectivity options, the laptop lag behind the Dell XPS 13 Touch. Dell has a higher resolution and two USB 3.0 ports with thunderbolt but with a less storage space, device memory and a past generation processor. As such, the combination of a 7th generation i7 CPU, a massive SSD and an attractive design makes the Asus Zenbook 3 an easy recommendation for someone after a high performance laptop in a tiny case.

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