ASUS ZenBook 3 is the latest ultraportable, stylish MacBook competitor

Catch all of the latest news, analysis and reactions from Computex 2016 right here.

ASUS, at a pre-Computex 2016 launch event in Taipei, debuted a slew of new products to its Zen- range and beyond, but most importantly for laptop fans, you finally have a MacBook competitor from Taiwan.

The ASUS ZenBook 3 boasts some serious shiny style, and just enough hardware savvy to make the package appealing to those shopping for an ultraportable workhorse.

ASUS goes as far as to call it “world’s most prestigious laptop”, which is quite a claim. The company does use quite a bit of gold trim on its exterior, but looking at its spec sheet does do a bit of justice to back that up.

At 11.9mm thick, it’s thinner than the Apple MacBook 2016, and also weighs just 910g. The screen is also slathered in Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which is a nice addition to the laptop world.

That screen measures 12.5-inches from corner to corner, and boasts 1920×1080 pixels. Although there’s no 4K option, there’s a claimed 1000:1 contrast ratio, which should appease avid movie watchers. There’s a quad-speaker system too, and processing power is also provided in spades.

ASUS suggests that its engineers wanted to “create an ultra-thin laptop with unprecedented performance, and despite some tough challenges, they’ve succeeded.”

There’s an Intel Core-i7 CPU, up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and an option for a 1TB ePCI SSD. That’s a bit disappointing, especially since Skylake and DDR4 are already fairly established in the top performance tiers. Still, this machine is faster than the MacBook 2016, so there’s that.

It also lasts around nine hours on a single charge, with a fast charging system if things get tight for time at an airport or restaurant. This system’s cornerstone is the USB Type-C port alongside a 3.5mm audio jack. And note, those are the only two ports available. There’s also a dock if ports are a luxury you’d rather pay more for. Nice to see ASUS making the same mistakes as Apple there.

And speaking of cash, ASUS will retail a 4GB/Core-i5 6200U entry level model for US$999. And the top of the range model, you ask? US$1999.

More pricing and configuration details are available here.

Andy Walker, former editor


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