The Asus ZenBook 14 promises performance, portability, and aesthetic appeal. But does it live up to the hype and price tag?
We spent some time with Asus’ ultralight notebook and here’s what we found…
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ZenBook 14 (UX425E) specs and features
Despite its lightweight form factor, the laptop doesn’t skimp on hardware.
The laptop comes with a 14-inch display (available with either Full HD or QHD resolution), which has an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.
Our specific configuration included an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and Intel Iris Xe GPU. The laptop also comes with up to 32GB of RAM.
When the ZenBook is called ultralight, it’s not an exaggeration, weighing just over 1.1kg. It also measures 13.9mm thick, making it an incredibly slim device to carry around.
It also includes a 67Wh battery with 65W charging, Harman/Kardon audio, and up to 1TB of SSD storage.
Despite its thin-and-light form factor, it still has a decent number of I/O ports. It comes with two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a USB Type-A port, a MicroSD card reader, and an HDMI port.
A display that’s great for the office and home
The first thing you’ll notice about the Zenbook 14 is its premium design. With a spun-metal finish, it definitely has a striking aesthetic.
But past its looks, it has a lot going for it.
Firstly, there’s the display. For a screen its size, the display delivers more than enough resolution to give you clear, crisp visuals.
Colours come through vividly when watching media and the display remains clear and sufficiently contrasted even in bright environments.
This means the Asus Zenbook 14 isn’t only good for working on, but also for using in your downtime when you’re watching series on the laptop. It offers excellent visuals, while the speakers deliver an impressive audio experience for such a compact laptop.
Ultralight and compact, while remaining ergonomic
Despite the small form factor, working on the laptop doesn’t feel cramped or uncomfortable. The edge-to-edge display gives you ample visual room to work with.
Then there’s the new edge-to-edge ergonomic keyboard design that the Zenbook 14 features. This gives you more room to work with when typing, fitting all the necessary keys in while still maintaining seamless travelling between keys while typing.
The touchpad can also be used as a numberpad thanks to a dual-function design by Asus. So if you need a numberpad in your line of work, the laptop is able to provide this functionality as well. The touchpad maintains cursor control when you use it in the Numberpad 2.0 mode for extra convenience.
The laptop also features an ErgoLift hinge, which adjusts the rear of the laptop so that the keyboard and screen sit at a more comfortable and ergonomic angle when you’re using it.
Additional benefits of this hinge include more room for cooling, since the laptop doesn’t since flush against the bottom surface it’s resting on.
Overall, this makes for a device that manages to tread the line between being portable enough for travelling, but comfortable enough to use regardless of the environment.
It avoids feeling overly confined and restrictive, while still being incredibly lightweight and easy to maneuver between different setups. Whether you’re using it on a desk, in bed, or while on the move, the laptop suits a variety of situations.
The ZenBook 14 comes with an unbelievable battery life
The slim ZenBook 14 also packs in a 67Wh battery that can last up to 21 hours with normal use.
When running our video battery test using PCMark, the laptop was able to run overnight — lasting 13 hours while playing local video with sound.
The USB-C fast charging also means that you can charge the laptop relatively quickly — up to 60% within 50 minutes according to Asus.
This means that the laptop’s portability goes past just its design, but also expands to its battery life. You won’t need to be tethered to a power outlet much, and when you do run out of power, you can charge up the laptop quickly.
Performance in a small package
When it came to its performance, the ZenBook 14 did well in a variety of tasks — from general office and word processing work to viewing media.
We also ran it through PCMark 10 benchmark tests to see how it performed in other areas.
It excelled in the tests for essentials and productivity, and also did well in the digital content creation test. This means that the laptop exceeded the recommended scores for general PC use, typical office work, light media content, as well as editing photos, video and other digital content.
This makes it a great all-purpose laptop when it comes to general productivity and workloads, easily handling most of what you throw at it.
While we wouldn’t recommend the laptop for gaming or really graphically intensive creative workloads (that’s not what it’s built for), it is able to handle general video and photo editing. Meanwhile, general day-to-day tasks and multitasking are a breeze.
Conclusion: The ZenBook 14 ticks all the right boxes
When it comes to productivity, convenience, and true portability, the ZenBook 14 (UX425E) checks all the right boxes.
It offers everything you could look for in an ultra-portable laptop, while maintaining comfortable usage and impressive performance.
Feature image: Asus