Home / Laptop Reviews / Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 review: A lot of laptop for not a lot of money

Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 review: A lot of laptop for not a lot of money

Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 assessment: Quite a lot of laptop computer for not some huge cash

“The Asus ZenBook 14 is a supremely transportable laptop computer for a extremely discounted worth.”

  • Strong construct high quality
  • Elegant design
  • Helpful keyboard and touchpad
  • Nice battery life
  • Unbelievable worth
  • No headphone jack
  • Lacks a touchscreen possibility

Asus has a mind-boggling quantity of ZenBook fashions, and never all of them stand out.

The final Asus ZenBook 14 we reviewed, the UX433 mannequin, was a type of. It lacked some options that set it behind — like no Thunderbolt three ports, unforgivable in a premium laptop computer — and was common in a number of areas the place the competitors excels. This yr, Asus quietly rolled out the ZenBook 14 UX425 mannequin, which provides some lacking options and makes some noticeable enhancements throughout the board — all whereas dropping the value.

I reviewed a mannequin with a 10th-generation Intel Ice Lake Core i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), and a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS low-power show that makes use of only one watt of energy, half the standard two watts. What’s fairly hanging is that this configuration retails for under $800 — add $100, and also you get a Core i7-1065G7 with Iris Plus Graphics. Did Asus make sufficient enhancements to raise the ZenBook 14 amongst its friends, particularly given such a low worth?

Design

Asus has been working onerous for a few years now to make laptops that leverage small bezels to suit into smaller chassis. In that spirit, the ZenBook 14 UX425 is smaller than its predecessor, the UX434, in nearly all dimensions due to the 90% screen-to-body ratio. It’s the identical width, nevertheless it’s barely much less deep, and it’s now simply zero.54 inches thick in comparison with zero.67 inches. It additionally is available in at 2.58 kilos in comparison with 2.98 kilos.

Clearly, the main focus of the UX425 mannequin is on being skinny and light-weight fairly than packing in a few of the extra highly effective options of the UX434 akin to a low-end discrete GPU. The miniaturization places the ZenBook 14 in good firm; for instance, it’s not far off the LG Gram 14‘s 2.2 kilos — and that’s a laptop computer explicitly engineered to be as gentle as attainable. The ZenBook 14’s competitors will seemingly embrace extra in style 13-inch laptops just like the Dell XPS 13, and it’s thinner than the XPS 13 (zero.57 inches) and lighter (2.65 kilos). That’s spectacular for a 14-inch laptop computer.

Asus didn’t skimp on the construct high quality, both. The ZenBook 14 enjoys an all-aluminum chassis that feels fairly strong and handed by a gauntlet of navy certification checks. I may decide some nits, in fact. The lid is a bit flexible, and the keyboard has a smidgen of flex to it. However general, the laptop computer feels strong regardless of being so gentle.

The hinge can be good, straightforward to open with one hand and but it holds the show in place. Kudos to Asus for engineering a laptop computer that feels prefer it earns a premium worth, regardless that it falls near price range territory.

Aesthetically, the ZenBook 14 appears to be like quite a bit like … nicely … a ZenBook. That’s on goal — Asus is as severe about making a constant look to its ZenBooks as Lenovo is about its ThinkPad line. You’ll discover the long-lasting Asus concentric swirl on the lid with the Asus emblem on the suitable aspect on the heart of the circles.

In any other case, the laptop computer is solely however deftly designed and comes throughout to my eyes as fairly elegant. Once more, Asus reveals off its design chops, and the ZenBook 14 competes nicely within the appears to be like division. My assessment unit was the pine grey colour, however there’s additionally a lilac mist accessible.

Connectivity can be wonderful if it weren’t for one obvious omission. You’ll discover a full-size HDMI 2.zero port on the left aspect of the laptop computer to go along with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt three assist. That’s big — earlier ZenBooks skipped Thunderbolt three, and it was a obvious fake pas in comparison with different premium laptops. At $800, it’s much more spectacular. On the suitable aspect, you’ll discover a USB-A three.2 port and a microSD card reader (too dangerous it’s not a full-size model). Wi-fi connectivity is updated, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.zero on board.

So, what’s the omission? Asus needed to make some room given the laptops skinny body, and the corporate had a selection between dropping the HDMI port or the three.5mm audio jack. Apparently, clients they polled most well-liked the HDMI port and the audio jack was not noted.

There’s a USB-C to three.5mm dongle included within the field, however to my thoughts, that was an enormous mistake. When you’ve gotten two Thunderbolt three connections, including an exterior monitor — or, with a dock, a number of screens — is trivial. However, taking on one of many ports simply to plug in some headphones or audio system? Sorry, Asus, that doesn’t make sense to me.

Efficiency

The Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 makes use of 10th-gen Ice Lake Intel CPUs, and my assessment unit was geared up with the Core i5-1035G1. That’s a midrange 15-watt processor that ought to present strong productiveness efficiency however shouldn’t be checked out for demanding inventive duties.

In my testing, it carried out comparatively higher on artificial benchmarks than on real-world checks. For instance, in Geekbench 5, the ZenBook 14 scored 1,209 on the single-core check and four,321 on the multi-core check. That’s quick for the CPU, beating out laptops just like the Acer Spin three that scored 1,215 and three,615 and the Acer Aspire 5 that rating 1,129 and a pair of,899.

The ZenBook 14 lags behind in efficiency in sure content material creation duties.

Nonetheless, in our Handbrake check that converts a 420MB video to H.265, the ZenBook 14 required nearly 5 and a half minutes to finish the check. The Acer Spin three completed in simply over 4 minutes, and the Acer Aspire 5 completed 15 seconds sooner. I used to be stunned it carried out so poorly on this check — the rear edge and vents prop up only a bit whenever you open the lid, which ought to enhance airflow and permit for better-sustained efficiency. Besides, the ZenBook 14 lags behind in sure content material creation duties.

That doesn’t imply it’s not an excellent performer for its focused productiveness duties. Should you don’t run demanding inventive duties, then you definitely’ll discover the ZenBook 14 to be lots fast.

Don’t anticipate to do any actual gaming, although. The laptop computer equips the entry-level Intel UHD graphics, which needs to be restricted to older and e-sports titles at decrease resolutions and graphical element. You’ll wish to bump as much as the Core i7 mannequin with its Iris Plus graphics to do some gentle gaming.

Show

Up to now, the design and efficiency have been top-notch for an $800 laptop computer. Subsequent up is the show, one element that firms generally skimp on to squeeze underneath a selected worth.

Within the case of the ZenBook 14, Asus did no such factor. This might be an excellent show for a premium laptop computer, and it’s a superb show for its midrange worth. It’s common (for premium laptops) in just one space: The colour gamut is 94% of sRGB and 72% of AdobeRGB. These are large sufficient colours for productiveness and multimedia makes use of, and solely inventive professionals would discover them disappointing.

Shifting on from there, although, the show is above the premium common. Brightness is comparatively excessive at 352 nits, nicely above our most well-liked 300-nit threshold. Distinction is available in at 1,060:1, exceeding our most well-liked 1,000:1 ratio and far larger than the 800:1 or so common you’ll discover on most premium productiveness machines. Shade accuracy is excellent at 1.42 (1.zero or much less is taken into account wonderful), and gamma is spot on at 2.2.

I loved utilizing the show whereas penning this assessment — textual content popped, colours have been vibrant and never oversaturated, and there was loads of brightness irrespective of the place I labored (besides underneath direct daylight, in fact). I’d be pleased with this show in a laptop computer costing twice as a lot because the ZenBook 14.

This show is a lot better than the one you’ll discover on the LG Gram 14 2-in-1, and whereas it might probably’t match the Dell XPS 13’s Full HD show, it’s not far off — and the ZenBook 14 is a whole lot of cheaper.

Keyboard and touchpad

One in all my favourite keyboards adorns HP’s Spectre line and a few current Envy fashions. It has giant keys with loads of spacing, ample journey, and a light-weight mechanism that also supplies a clicky, exact really feel. Why do I point out HP’s keyboard? As a result of the one which Asus constructed into the ZenBook 14 appears to be like and feels remarkably comparable. It even has the identical row of Dwelling, PgUp, PgDn, and Finish keys alongside the suitable edge.

I’m not saying Asus copied HP on goal, however no matter — it’s a superb keyboard that comes near matching HP’s model. I’d say I prefer it nearly as a lot, though the Asus iteration is just a bit too gentle with its contact.

The touchpad is one other standout characteristic of the ZenBook 14. It’s considerably wider this time round, making it fairly giant for this dimension of chassis in a Home windows 10 machine. Extra importantly, it has a clean and comfy glass floor for correct monitoring and clicking. After all, it options Home windows Precision drivers, which make multitouch gestures and basic swiping a dream.

Asus stays cussed concerning including contact shows to its clamshell laptops.

However most notable is the NumberPad 2.zero characteristic, which embeds an LED quantity pad within the touchpad that’s fairly helpful for anybody who must enter numbers. You’ll be able to flip the NumberPad on and off merely sufficient by touching and briefly holding an icon on the higher proper of the touchpad and alter its brightness by touching and holding an icon on the higher left. Turning the NumberPad on doesn’t intervene with utilizing the touchpad as a touchpad, which is an effective factor.

Asus stays cussed concerning including contact shows to its clamshell laptops, although. There’s no possibility for one with the ZenBook 14, and that’s a pet peeve of mine. I hate utilizing a laptop computer with no contact show — I’m too used to utilizing my thumb to scroll net pages and to tapping buttons that pop up without having to interact the touchpad. I may be within the minority right here, although, so maybe Asus has merely determined it’s not definitely worth the added weight and thickness for a (theoretically) small variety of customers who would need the characteristic.

Home windows Whats up password-less assist is supplied by an infrared digicam and facial recognition. It really works rapidly and exactly, and although I want a fingerprint reader — which the ZenBook 14 doesn’t have — it’s a helpful characteristic.

Battery life

Asus elevated the ZenBook 14 UX425’s battery capability on this era, from 50 to 67 watt-hours of capability. That’s big. As talked about earlier, the show can be a low-power 1-watt model, which in our expertise sometimes leads to wonderful battery life. I used to be hopeful that the ZenBook 14 would observe swimsuit.

Because it seems, the ZenBook 14 did very nicely in our suite of checks, even when it didn’t fairly match another laptops with low-power shows. It managed over 4 hours in our most demanding Basemark net benchmark check, which is a strong rating and the one which’s most affected by the CPU and GPU and least affected by the show. In comparison with one other sturdy 14-inch performer, the LG Gram 14 2-in-1 with 72 watt-hours of battery life, it misplaced by a mere minute. The Dell XPS 13 lasted for about 20 minutes longer.

When it comes to battery life, the ZenBook 14 is an all-day performer after which some.

It’s in our subsequent two checks, although, that the ZenBook 14 stood out. First, it made it to 11 hours on our net looking check, a powerful rating that lagged the LG Gram 14 by 18 minutes and the XPS 13 by about 30 minutes. Then, in our video check that loops an area Full HD Avengers trailer, the ZenBook 14 made it simply previous 15 hours, in comparison with the LG Gram 14 at about over 16.5 hours and the XPS 13 at about 12.5 hours.

It’s onerous to be disenchanted in outcomes like this, though I did anticipate higher given the low-power show. The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 with its low-power panel lasted for a outstanding 21.eight hours on our video check, which is the place the show financial savings make the largest distinction. Besides, the ZenBook 14 is an all-day performer after which some. You’ll be able to anticipate to get a full day’s work in and have loads of battery life left over for some Netflix bingeing that night.

Our take

At $1,200, I’d say the Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 can be a superior skinny and light-weight laptop computer with quite a bit to advocate it. At $800, I’m extra inclined to name it a steal.

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a good laptop computer no matter worth, with a strong all-metal construct, a refined skinny and light-weight design, an important keyboard and helpful touchpad, and unbelievable battery life. Toss in an $800 price ticket, and we’re speaking some distinctive worth.

Is there a greater different?

The LG Gram 14 is an possibility if you’d like a 14-inch show that approaches the ZenBook 14’s lightness. You’ll pay more cash however get comparable specs, and the Gram 14 received’t be almost as skinny. One other 14-inch possibility you need to take into accout is the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7, an AMD Ryzen 4000-based laptop computer for $100 extra that’s sooner and provides even higher battery life.

Should you don’t thoughts dropping down in display dimension, then then the Dell XPS 13 is a dearer different. It’s going to carry out somewhat higher, its show is a bit larger high quality, and it’ll get considerably higher battery life. Nevertheless it, too, will value extra.

Lastly, if you wish to avoid wasting cash, you would contemplate the Lenovo Flex 5 14, a 14-inch 2-in-1 operating AMD’s Ryzen 4000 CPU. It’s sooner and nearly as well-built because the ZenBook 14, nevertheless it received’t get almost the battery life. It’s additionally simply $600, providing fairly a little bit of worth of its personal.

How lengthy will it final?

The ZenBook 14 UX425 is well-built and configured with the most recent know-how. It’ll final you for years of productive work. The one-year guarantee is disappointing, as normal, however Asus does throw in a yr’s price of accident safety.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Should you’re searching for a skinny and light-weight laptop computer for productiveness and media consumption, you may’t go unsuitable with the ZenBook 14. And also you received’t spend quite a bit, both.

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