Taiwanese computer peripheral manufacturer Asus, known for its ROG-series of gaming laptops and the popular range of lightweight yet superfast Zenbooks, introduced three new laptops in its Zenbook series. Launched recently, the ZenBook Pro 15 (UX580) has a starting price of Rs 179,990 and ZenBook 13 (UX331) is priced at Rs 66,990 and above.
While the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 comes with an all-new LCD touchscreen touchpad, the ZenBook 13 UX331UAL is built on the lines of Zenbook 13 and is the latest addition to the popular Zenbook 13 range. While we are yet to conduct a detailed review of both the products, here are their key features.
The ZenBook Pro 15 carries the classic Zenbook design, having the popular spun-metal finish in an all-metal unibody build. The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch 4K UHD multi-touch display framed by 7.3mm thin side bezels. The display has a 178-degree wide viewing angle and 1200:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks.
The machine is powered by 8th generation Intel Core i9-8950HK hexa-core processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics,16GB of high-speed 2400MHz memory, up to 1TB PCIe-based storage, and an additional touchscreen as a touchpad, termed the ‘screenpad’.
The screenpad adds extra functionality in apps such as Microsoft Office, YouTube, and Spotify. It also features a customisable app launcher and a customisable toolbar. While the screenpad needs a lot of development in order to be considered a viable option instead of the traditional touchpad, ASUS is providing an SDK for developers so that they can continue to create new and innovative functionalities for the screenpad.
Cooling is handled by a dual-fan cooling system with three heat pipes and the laptop is powered by a lithium polymer 8-cell. Other features include a fingerprint scanner and Harman-Kardon certified speakers.
Connectivity is taken care of by two USB Type-C ports that support dual 4K UHD displays, two USB Type-A ports and one 1.4 HDMI port. The usual 3.5mm combo audio jack and a MicroSD card reader are also present.
The ZenBook Pro 15 gets a back-lit chiclet-style keyboard with a 1.5mm key travel, weighs 1.88kg and comes in a deep blue colour termed as “Deep Dive Blue”.
The latest addition to the Zenbook 13 range is one of the lightest 13.3-inch notebooks in the market. The laptop is built on a 13.9mm chassis and weighs 985 grams. Unlike the Zenbook 15, the Zenbook 13 has a magnesium alloy construction with a matte finish instead of the existing glossy aluminium alloy finish of other Zenbook models.
Asus states that ZenBook 13 UX331UAL has passed the military-grade MIL-STD 810G standard durability test, which means that the laptop won’t be in danger in case of occasional low-range falls and spills. Although the external lid may suffer a scratch or two, the laptop won’t break down easily. The laptop also looks compact and is roughly the size of an A4 sheet paper.
The laptop features a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with 6.86mm thin bezels on its sides. The display has an 80 per cent screen-to-body ratio, a wide 178-degree viewing angle and touch capability. The display also has an impressive sRGB colour gamut, which can be adjusted in different colour modes in order to balance the viewing experience. Asus has also implemented a new technology called Asus Tru2Life Video, which enhances the video watching experience to certain levels.
Talking of the keyboard, the laptop comes with a chiclet-style keyboard with keys having a 1.4mm travel distance. Typing on the keyboard felt comfortable and the presence of backlit keys is an added advantage.
The keypad is also smooth, well placed and supports Windows 10’s multi-touch and multi-gesture input with up to four-finger gestures.
The laptop is powered by 8th Gen Intel i U series processors, which has two variants to choose from: Intel Core i7-8550U or Intel Core i5-8250U. One can select either an 8GB or a 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM. The integrated Intel UHD620 graphics is perhaps a bit of a turn down as an external graphics card would have been a welcome thing for an otherwise great machine. Also, the memory can be updated up to only 512GB of M.2 NVME PCIe SSD and it may feel less if someone likes to keep everything stacked in one single system.
Asus has said that the laptop comes with a redesigned cooling system, which also cools the keypad area along with cooling down the processors. However, sleek laptops tend to heat up fast and it will be interesting to see how the newly-designed fan cooling system works.
Connectivity is taken care of by a dual-band 2×2 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. The laptop also features a fingerprint scanner at the bottom right edge and one USB 3.1 Type-C port, 2 USB 3.1 type-A ports, and one full-sized HDMI. – Business Standard