Price: Rs 1,19,990
Specs: 14-inch Full HD IPS touch display, Windows 10 Home with MS Office Home and Student 2019, 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor @ 2.8GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, secondary touch trackpad, 2 USB Type-C, 1 HDMI, 1 USB Type-A, memory card slot, 63Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery, 65W power adaptor
In the box: Laptop, charger, sleeve
The first thing that comes to mind with the mention of sleek, lightweight laptops is Apple's MacBook Air. Although Windows machines have been catching up fast, not many have been able to counter the design and appeal of the MacBooks. The same doesn't stand true for the latest ZenBook 14 UX435EG from Asus. It looks stylish, has a premium build, and is a great performer.
This new ZenBook has a clean, minimalistic look. The soft spun-metal finish in pine grey looks stunning. With wedge-shaped aesthetics, it measures 16.9mm at the thickest point. This has helped Asus in housing enough ports for seamless connectivity, which includes an HDMI port along with two USB Type-C ports (can also be used to charge) on the left, and a USB Type-A port, along with the audio jack and microSD card slot on the right. At around 1.2kg, it's light and convenient to carry around.
The lid opens to a 14-inch Full HD IPS LCD panel, which is bright and offers great viewing angles. Although this isn't a convertible, the addition of a touchscreen is a handy add-on. Unlike older generation laptops, the bezels on the sides are ultra-sleek, offering an immersive viewing experience.
What I loved the most is the ErgoLift hinge that automatically tilted the keyboard up by 3 degrees. With the keyboard slightly raised at the top, it made the typing experience rather comfortable. This small add-on also offers better cooling. Complementing this ergonomic experience was the well-spaced keyboard with raised backlit keys. This proved to be one strong point of the new ZenBook. My work involves long hours of typing and an average keyboard kills the speed. But this laptop offers just the right amount of key travel, making typing a much more convenient job.
In addition to the standard keyboard is the sleek column of keys towards the right, housing home, page up, down, end and function keys, which I took some time to get used to. The trackpad underneath the keyboard also bundles as the secondary touchscreen called screen pad that enhances productivity. I was able to launch app apps like calculator, word documents and excel sheet, chrome and more, activate number pad, continue to use it as a trackpad or even simply switch it to the traditional trackpad (by pressing F6 key). It's a nice handy feature but takes some getting used to.
This is a powerful machine and the performance speaks for itself. My review unit was outfitted with an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 2.8GHz, paired with 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD. This is a plug and play machine as Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 is included with the PC. This means post set up, one can instantly start working on Microsoft Office tools such as docs, excel and PPT.
This is a powerful laptop good for almost everything - from work to fun. My work style includes working on multiple word documents with presentations, numerous Chrome tabs and Outlook Mail opened in the background, which this laptop handled smoothly. I also attended many virtual meetings on popular platforms including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex and it handled them smoothly. The webcam is pretty decent too.
Given the power, I didn't experience any hiccups while editing images and 4K videos. And the bright screen along with immersive sound enhanced the gaming experience. The lag-free operation helped me in knocking down the opponent while playing the fast-paced 3D fighting game 'Dead or Alive 6'.
An increasing number of laptop manufacturers are going for USB-C charger for laptops. Asus too has added one. The 63W 3-cell lithium polymer battery takes over two hours to juice up fully. A full charge easily lasted me a day's work which included continuously checking emails, switching between work documents and audio recordings, browsing the web and more. When running low on charge, I preferred switching off the screen pad.
In all, the Asus ZenBook 14 UX435EG is a good looking ultrabook that is high on power and performance.