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Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: The smallest 14in laptop computer on the planet

In 2019, there are already sufficient top-notch 14in notebooks to sink a small ship, but Asus reckons there’s nearly room for yet one more. Fortunately, the brand new ZenBook 14 occurs to be probably the most compact design from Asus but. In actual fact, if the Taiwanese producer is to be believed, the Asus ZenBook 14 is “the world’s smallest 14-inch laptop computer”.

Now I’m not about to circumnavigate the globe with a tape measure in my hand to confirm that declare, however they definitely don’t come a lot smaller. What’s extra, its 92% display-to-bezel ratio makes it the sleekest-looking laptop computer round. Appears aren’t all the things, although. Because the age-old saying virtually goes, it’s the inner specs that depend.

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Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: What it’s essential to know

Asus has launched two variations of the ZenBook 14 UF433, one ending in ‘FA’ and the opposite, pricier mannequin ending in ‘FN’. For this overview I’ve been despatched the previous. Just like the UF433FN, the ZenBook 14 UXF433FA has a 14in 1,920 x 1,080 IPS non-touch show that Asus refers to as ‘Frameless NanoEdge’ as a result of super-slim bezels.

The laptop computer’s powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor. Launched in late 2018, we’ve seen and examined this chipset in quite a few different laptops already, usually backed, as right here, by 8GB RAM. For storage the ZenBook 14 has a 512GB PCIe SSD. Some ZenBook 14 configurations have devoted Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics (which we first noticed within the Razer Blade Stealth 13), however these don’t appear to be obtainable right here within the UK. The ZenBook 14 additionally possesses one function that’s distinctive to Asus laptops: a digital numeric keypad which has been built-in into the touchpad.

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Worth and competitors

All through this overview I’ll seek advice from the laptop computer because the ZenBook 14, however the full title of this actual mannequin is the Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA-A6076T. Forgive me the shorthand. Proper now, you should purchase this configuration from Amazon for £999, which is a superb value. Then once more, the RRP is £1,200 (about what I’d anticipate) so possibly we’re simply fortunate that Amazon is promoting it for much less.

The premium 14in laptop computer to beat is at present the Huawei MateBook 14, a beautiful machine with a 2,160 x 1,440 touchscreen. Our overview mannequin’s unbelievable efficiency stemmed from a killer mixture of 16GB RAM, an Intel Core i7-8565U chipset and a Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. Sadly, the MateBook 14 shouldn’t be but that can be purchased within the UK. Primarily based on the transformed European value, it can value £1,285 – nicely price it, ought to that switch over to real-world pricing.

Need an alternate that you could really purchase proper right here, proper now? The Lenovo Yoga C930 is a surprising 2-in-1 with a 13.9in FHD show and an array of high-end options that embrace the first-ever Dolby Atmos soundbar hinge in a laptop computer. It prices £1,300 though efficiency speeds aren’t fairly as fast because the ZenBook 14 as a result of it’s powered by an Intel Core i5 chip, not an i7.

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Design

The brand new ZenBook 14 is unbelievably compact. Regardless of its 14in show, it’s the dimensions of a 13in laptop computer, measuring 319 x 199 x 15.9mm (WDH), and it weighs a mere 1.19kg. Whereas not fairly bezel-free, the show’s ultra-slim body actually cuts down on wasted house. The highest bezel is a bit greater than the opposite edges simply because it must accommodate the IR webcam.

You should purchase the Asus ZenBook 14 in both Royal Blue or Icicle Silver. As you possibly can see from my images, I used to be despatched the blue variant and it’s somewhat beautiful. The again of the lid is embossed with a silver Asus emblem and the round ‘metal-spun’ end synonymous with the ZenBook line. Above the keyboard, the ZenBook 14 has a Rose Gold panel which Asus says provides “an additional contact of luxurious,” although, personally, I’d desire if it wasn’t there.

The underside of the laptop computer’s lid curls across the lip of the bottom’s rear edge. When the laptop computer is opened, this has the impact of tilting the bottom upwards by three levels, elevating it above the desk floor. The primary good thing about this design is the added respiratory room it gives for the most well liked components of the laptop computer, letting it keep cool and keep efficiency extra effectively. The raised angle additionally permits for a extra snug, ergonomic typing place and, supposedly, it’s meant to enhance the audio of the ZenBook 14’s twin audio system, pushing them nearer to the desk floor for added reverberation.

In fact the bottom-mounted audio system sound higher when not pressed up in opposition to a flat floor. Slightly than bettering the sound, the added proximity makes them louder and extra distorted, including in all types on undesirable noise that spoils the music-listening expertise. You’ll encounter the identical downside with virtually all down-firing laptop computer audio system, actually, and whereas the utmost quantity is sufficiently loud there’s nothing a lot in the way in which of bass.

Laptops this slim usually skimp on ports however Asus has achieved proper by the ZenBook 14, which has lots. On the left edge you’ll discover the DC-in energy socket, a full-sized HDMI enter, one USB three.1 Sort-A port and a USB three.1 Sort-C port. Over on the left is the micro SD card reader, a USB 2.zero Sort-A port and a three.5mm audio jack. The absence of Thunderbolt three connectivity is conspicuous however aside from that the ZenBook 14 meets expectations.

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Keyboard and touchpad

As a long-time proprietor of an Asus ZenBook, typing on the ZenBook 14 feels cosy and acquainted; the chiclet keyboard format is about as commonplace because it will get, and there aren’t any uncommon key placements or standout quirks. The 1.4mm key journey is ideal and the typing expertise is what I’d describe as mild and mushy. Individually, the keys really feel fairly sturdy. Press a bit more durable on the keys, nevertheless, and there’s a worrying quantity of give to the keyboard chassis, particularly across the centre of the keyboard. It’s backlit, too, with three brightness ranges you possibly can change between utilizing the F7 key.

Onto the touchpad or, as Asus calls it, the NumberPad. This dual-purpose touchpad appears completely regular at first look, aside from a small numpad image within the top-right nook. Oddly, you don’t contact the image itself to lively stated numpad, however somewhat an unmarked sensor ever so barely beneath and to the left of it. That is counter-intuitive (why, oh why didn’t Asus simply put the sensor the place the image is?) and requires some precision and endurance, at the least till you’ve learnt the proper finger placement.

Activating the sensor will illuminate a vivid blue digital numeric keypad inside the touchpad. The same, barely smaller 2-in-1 touchpad might be discovered on the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 I reviewed earlier within the yr. The touchpad largely features as regular whereas the numpad is switched on – you possibly can nonetheless scroll, click on and use shortcuts.

The digital numpad is a pleasant function however Asus may have carried out a bodily button on the keyboard to make use of it, somewhat than an invisible sensor built-in on the touchpad. On the aforementioned Zephyrus S GX701 there was such a button, so why not have one right here? It’s annoying whenever you wish to use it and twice as annoying whenever you don’t. Throughout my use of the laptop computer I managed to unintentionally activate the numpad a number of instances whereas typing or scrolling. There isn’t a setting to deactivate the NumPad sensor fully, so it could actually develop into a serious supply of irritation.

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Show

A lot the identical goes for the shiny end that coats the show of my overview unit. Utilizing the ZenBook 14 in our brightly-lit workplace, I used to be continuously distracted by streaks of sunshine mirrored from the ceiling and needed to make a aware effort to maintain it dealing with away from mild sources. Whenever you’re making an attempt to observe a video or research a doc, a shiny show like that is simply not useful. In actual fact, I’m undecided there’s any situation by which it might be.

You’ll be able to really purchase a non-glossy iteration of the ZenBook 14 that seems to be the identical in each manner, besides that the show has a matte end as an alternative. This mannequin, the ZenBook 14 UX433FA-A5128T, prices precisely the identical (£999) as my overview mannequin on Amazon. That’s undoubtedly the one I’d get.

The ZenBook 14’s panel has an sRGB gamut quantity of 98% and an sRGB protection of 84%. For a visible illustration of what this implies, check out the gamut graph beneath. The stable line represents the color vary detectable by the human eye whereas the dotted line represents sRGB, which is the usual color house used on the net and within the majority of functions. Lastly, there’s the colored line, depicting how the panel’s color replica overlaps with the sRGB color house. This panel’s accuracy shouldn’t be nice (however not horrible both), managing a mean Delta E accuracy of three.38.

chartgamut - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

A distinction ratio of 1,323:1 signifies that photographs on display are poppy sufficient however not what you’d name sensational. The show has a most luminance of 312.1cd/m2, which is simply barely beneath common for a laptop computer of this value, although it’s actually not helped out by the reflective coating. Working exterior or by a sun-soaked window goes to be a problem on this explicit mannequin of the ZenBook 14.

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Efficiency and battery life

Having beforehand examined laptops with an Intel Core i7-8565U and 8GB RAM, I knew what sort of efficiency speeds to anticipate from the ZenBook 14. In our in-house 4K benchmark, which is a mixed CPU pace and multitasking stress check, the ZenBook 14 achieved an total rating of 89. That’s a wonderfully good rating and through my time with the laptop computer I by no means had any points when opening functions or operating with a few dozen browser tabs open.

chart4kbench - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

That CPU pace result’s round what I’d predicted and, as you possibly can see from the chart above, it’s not far off the 95 scored by the Dell XPS 13 (2019). The Razer Blade Stealth 13 and Huawei MateBook 14 are sooner however each have 16GB of RAM to play with, somewhat than 8GB..

chartasssd - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

The Asus ZenBook 14 has a 512GB PCIe SSD that’s fairly succesful. Working the AS SSD software program revealed a sequential file learn pace of 1,444.4MB/sec and a sequential file write pace of 664.14MB/sec. Although not as quick because the SSDs in some competitor laptops, it gained’t maintain the ZenBook 14 again when accessing and saving information.

chartgfxbenchcarchase - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

However what about gaming? As by now, the ZenBook 14 UX433FA is bereft of a devoted GPU. The one gaming muscle it has to flex is its built-in Intel UHD 620 graphics. That’s to not say it could actually’t run video games in any respect, although. Within the GFXBench GL Automobile Chase check the ZenBook 14 managed to maintain up a mean on-screen fps of 31.61, and something above 30 is respectable on a laptop computer with out a correct GPU. Primarily based on these outcomes evidently the ZenBook 14 is most intently matched to the Dell XPS 13 (2019) by way of gaming capabilities.

chartdirtshowdown - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

The 720p DiRT Showdown benchmark backs this up; the ZenBook 14 ran the check at a mean of 44fps in comparison with the XPS 13’s 49fps. Numbers like these point out that you just don’t have to solely follow Age of Empires on the ZenBook 14 (though it’s a fantastic selection!) , and may be capable of play some barely extra demanding titles so long as you decrease your settings. You’ll discover within the DiRT outcomes chart above that the MateBook 14 and the Stealth 13 pulled manner forward of the competitors – they’ve their devoted graphics to thank for that.

chartbattery - Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA review: The smallest 14in laptop in the world

Maybe we ought to be thanful that the ZenBook 14 doesn’t have a devoted GPU; if it did its energy effectivity would possible take a nasty hit. It’s hardly probably the most long-lived laptop computer as it’s, solely lasting a lacklustre 7hrs 51minutes in our commonplace battery rundown benchmark. With reasonable use, it ought to nearly see you thru a working day on a full cost however, contemplating its Dell and Huawei rivals can final north of 10hrs, that’s arguably not fairly adequate.

 

Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA overview: Verdict

You’re spoiled for selection in the case of luxurious laptops proper now, so why does the Asus ZenBook 14 deserve your head-earned money? For a begin, it’s actually well-priced for its specs, being the one laptop computer with an Intel Core i7-8565U that we’ve reviewed at underneath £1,000. Secondly, it’s extremely compact for a 14in laptop computer because of that 92% display-to-bezel ratio.

Some individuals won’t be loopy concerning the digital numpad – I’m not offered – however for those who don’t want it you possibly can close to sufficient ignore it. That leaves only one main downside: a shiny show end, which you may get round by shopping for an virtually similar configuration with a matte FHD display. I can’t fathom why anybody would suppose a gloss end on a laptop computer show is an efficient factor, however maybe that’s a dialogue for one more time. Proper now, we will say that, whereas rivals run sooner and last more, the ZenBook 14 is a extremely engaging laptop computer with respectable efficiency to again up its attractiveness.

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