Despite what Apple tells you, I’m still not convinced that a tablet that wants to be a PC, is the way of the future. Rather, I want a notebook that has tablet-esque design to it. Give me a tried and trusted machine that runs Windows, comes with a keyboard that doesn’t cost you your limbs and allows me to plug a USB into it.
That idea has already been seen in several other devices over the years: Microsoft’s Surface line of notebook tablets are still as brilliant as they are expensive, while Huawei’s Matebook X is one of the best slim notebooks out there that is verboten to Americans. Can the bar be raised? Asus reckons that they might be up to the challenge.
They’ve got a new piece of tech on the way, in the form of brand new ZenBooks. Straight out of Computex, the ZenBook 13, 14 and 15 notebooks are an attempt to make laptops slimmer than ever before while still being proper Windows 10 workhorses. Plus, they’ve got leeeeeeeaaaaather. Here’s what they look like:
Notice the touchpad up top being a whole lot more graphic? Asus calls that the Screenpad 2.0, which is designed to have a “larger display, enhanced productivity and upgraded experience”. It clocks in at 5.65” in size, and includes some nifty apps built into it such as Quick Key program for one tap keyboard functions, handwriting recognition and and number keys for rapid data entry. Basically, it’s a smartphone screen on the notebook, which you’ll want to use instead of hating yourself for leaving your mouse at home. Not that I’ve ever done that.
Beyond that, the Zenbooks are almost as thin as Parisian model. They’ll arrive in 13.3-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch display flavours, with Asus claiming that the screens will take up 95% of the surface to body ratio. All models will have spun-metal finishes on the lid, an ergolift inge design and a luxury version of the ZenBook that even comes with an Italian leather lid cover.
Internally, the ZenBooks will pack in an eighth generation Intel Core i7 processor, PCIe SSDs and up to 16GB of RAM. As for battery life? Asus says that you’ll be able to get up to 14 hours of work done on the ZenBooks 13 and 14, while the beefier battery in the ZenBook 15 will make you productive for up to 17 hours. Here’s a look at the specs for the Asus ZenBook 15, to give you a more detailed idea of what’s under the hood:
- Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor
- 15.6″ 4K UHD (3820 x 2160) NanoEdge display
- 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) NanoEdge display
- 178° wide-view technology
- 72% NTSC
- Four-sided frameless design, up to 92% S/B ratio
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Home
- NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Max-Q, 2GB/4GB GDDR5 VRAM
- Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620
- 8GB / 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 onboard
- 1TB PCIe® 3.0 x4 SSD or 512GB/256GB PCIe® 3.0 x2 SSD
- Wi-Fi 5 (dual-band gigabit-class 802.11ac)
- Bluetooth® 5.0
- 3D IR HD camera
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C™ (display support)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (up to 10Gbps)
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (up to 5Gbps)
- SD card readers
- Audio combo jack
- ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system
- Array microphone with Cortana and Alexa4 voice-recognition support
- 71Wh 8-cell lithium-polymer battery
- 120W power adapter, plug type: ø4 (mm)
- (Output: 19V DC, 120W)
- (Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)
- 35.4 x 22 x 1.89cm
- With anti-glare display: 1.55kg
- With standard display: 1.65kg
That’s…that’s a pretty appealing list of numbers right there. I’d happily lug one of these around compared to trips where I’ve realigned my spine using a ROG laptop that has a power brick the size of a baby elephant, although that hardware will command a premium price. The new Asus ZenBook line will have a price tag that starts from R19,999 for the 14UX434 model and stretches to R26,999 for the 15 UX534 version when they launch in August locally.
Last Updated: May 27, 2019