A Windows MacBook: Asus ZenBook 3 Review
Very few laptop manufacturers know how to make a laptop that is ultra portable and powerful at the same time. Asus is one of those few. They’ve continued to dazzle us with their ZenBooks, and today it is the ZenBook 3 that caught our eyes.
This laptop comes in a svelte package that makes you begin to wonder, “Is there a limit to how thin a laptop can be?” Besides the slimness of the Asus ZenBook is the powerful CPU, fingerprint reader, and sharp display that come with it.
Looking at the design of the ZenBook 3 leaves so little to be desired. Staring at this laptop brings a few thoughts to mind; more prominent is Apple’s MacBook. The chassis is made from metal and is very sleek. Despite the metal casing, it weighs only 0.9 kg making it one of the lightest laptops ever. When closed the Asus ZenBook 3 is 11.7mm thick or thin. Other dimensions are 295.9 mm width and 191 mm depth.
Opening the laptop ushers you to its Full HD screen with a VGA camera above it. The lower half of the laptop houses the keyboard, touchpad, battery, the motherboard et al. A fingerprint scanner is visible at the top-right corner. Beneath the keyboard is the button-less touchpad.
In contrast to the great design of the ZenBook 3, the 12.5-inch panel with a 60Hz refresh rate could have been better. While the display is good enough with the 1080p resolution, a higher-res variant should have been better. Nevertheless, viewing on this display is not unpleasant as the colors are rich with enough brightness.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on the Asus ZenBook 3 while good for typing has a shallow key travel. The keys have a poor feedback based on what some users have written. And since this is a 12-incher the keyboard fills most of the horizontal space of the deck.
The smooth touchpad sits below the keyboard. Using the touchpad shouldn’t be an issue as it is highly responsive and very accurate.
Furthermore, the ZenBook 3 features a top-class seventh-generation Core i7 processor. This dual-core processor is clocked at 2.7GHz but can be overclocked to 3.5GHz via Turbo Boost. An integrated graphics chip, Intel HD Graphics 620 is on board for graphics processing while RAM size is 16GB.
A PCIe-based 512GB SSD is there for storing your files and software applications.
The Asus ZenBook 3 needs to be around a power outlet for most of the time because of its poor battery life. When compared to the MacBook Air, this laptop is still far behind in terms of battery life.
Ports and Connectivity
Disappointingly, the ultra-slim build of this laptop means that you only get one Thunderbolt 3 port for all your wired connection needs. This means that you cannot charge the laptop while using the port to connect to an external device. Aside from the single USB type-C port is a microphone/headphone jack.
A probable remedy for the lack of ports is using a multi-USB hub and a USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter. For wireless connections, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are present.
Pricing and Availability
The Asus ZenBook 3 is available for purchase on leading online and retail stores worldwide. The ZenBook 3 starts at about $1600.
Specs at a Glance
|Maximum screen resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Internal Storage||512GB SSD|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7500 @ 2.7GHz|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions||295.9 x 191x 11.7 mm|
The Asus ZenBook 3 has a lot of semblance with Apple’s MacBook Air laptop. That been said, the ZenBook 3 has just very few similarities with Apple’s masterpiece besides the appearance. It has a more powerful CPU and the display is only Full HD – Apple’s retina displays are better – but is plagued by the poor battery life and single type-C USB port.
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