Asus ZenBook 3 is a high-end premium notebook focused on those set of audience, who love to carry around a ultraportable notebook with top tier specifications. The device is priced at INR 1,50,000 and offers phenomenal hardware with a slim profile.
Intel Core i7 7500U SoC
16 GB LPDDR3 RAM
12.5 inch LED display with 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate
512 GB PCIe (SSD)
Considering all these specifications, one may speculate that the device might be a bulky one weighing at least 3 KG. However, this is the first notebook available in India with creamy layer specifications and weighs just 910 grams. One has to notice that, the device is shipped with Intel HD integrated graphics, as graphics cards take a lot of space and do require a bigger case to fit in.
One can see that the design is entirely inspired from the Apple MacBook (sort of), with just a single port USB type C port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. However, this notebook does offer lot more than the Apple MacBook. In fact, the device offers finger print scanner located on the top right corner of the track pad. As Windows OS powered laptops are known for their unfriendly behaviour, this is the first laptop/notebook that impressed me with the track pad. The clicks are smooth and the multi-window gestures work well.
Design: The design of the Asus ZenBook 3 stands out on any day. the device measures just 11.9 mm at the bulkier end and feels right to hold in one hand without causing any irritation. The device is available in three different colours namely, Rose Gold, Royal Blue and Quartz Grey. The Royal Blue colour review unit that we received looks bold and feels premium. The device is carved out of single piece of Aerospace grade Aluminium that makes it a cold-blooded head. Unlike polycarbonate or plastic aerospace aluminium not only feels great, it gives the light weight with super sturdiness. The 1080p 12.5-inch display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which makes it one of a kind.
The fully fledged QWERTY keypad does don’t offer a lot of travel. At the beginning, the keyboard might feel bit irritating, but if you spend a good time with the keypad, you would appreciate the goodness behind butterfly mechanisms. As expected, the keypads are backlit with a variable brightness that can be adjusted depending on the situation.
Just one USB type C port: As the technology is moving towards the cloud and more and more wireless devices are emerging, it’s sure that the USB type C is the right step. The USB type C is all you need for every task that you carry out. The device does include an adapter, that offers USB type C to a full sized USB port, full sized HDMI and an extra USB type C port as a complementary part of the deal. So, using this notebook with daily peripherals will not have any problem as everything that you need are in the bundle. However, if you forgot to carry the add-on adapter and you’re are in a middle of the meeting, then the situation might worsen.
Audio: The device offers standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, which delivers good audio output. The loudspeakers on the Asus ZenBook 3 are tuned by premium “Harman/Kardon” that delivers best crispier sound. Even in the high-volume, the sound does not get distorted. For the notebook of this size, the speaker offers immersive sound experience.
Camera: The front facing camera on this device is one of the main disappointment. The 480P VGA camera does not match-up with the high-tech laptop. Even in the natural lightening condition, the stills and video calls look soft and grainy. So, don’t expect high-quality video conferences from this device, unless you use an external web camera.
Operating system: The device runs on a full version of Windows 10 Pro, and supports all windows .exe applications. The Windows app store does add a cherry on the top.
Performance: On the high-end variant with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. The device does perform well with normal tasks like watching a Youtube video, browsing the internet or working with a spread sheet. However, when it comes to rendering a video or playing games, the device’s CPU is capable of playing any games, but the Intel HD cannot handle it. The single fan design inside the machine gets louder and louder if you start to throw one task over other. The games like CS Go, Dota can be played on low graphics settings with appreciable frame rates for few minutes, after that the device starts to throttle and there will be a performance drop over the time. Due to USB 3.1 support, the device can copy an entire season of Game of Thrones (around 10 GB) in less than a minute between USB 3.1 enabled Pendrive or Hard-disk.
Here are the GFXBench GL results:
Tessellation: 3738.14 frames
1080P Tessellation offline: 8605.17 frames
ALU 2: 2488.27 frames
1080p ALU 2 offline: 5710.1 frames
Upgradability: The device comes with 16 GB RAM, which is soldered on to the motherboard. However, the 512 GB PCIe can be easily upgradable over the time.
Battery: Asus promises to deliver 10 hours of battery backup on a single charge. In reality, the device just lasts for 6 to 6.5 hours at the medium brightness. The device does support fast charging (24W) can be fully charged under 1.5 hours via the stock charger.
Conclusion: The Asus ZenBook 3 is a great notebook for those who always travel. The lightweight and the impressive 6 hours battery backup is something that every windows laptop cannot deliver. If you are a college going student, business person, blogger or a frequent traveller then this a laptop for you. However, if you are a coder or a content creator who requires a lot of graphical power then, the performance offered at this price tag might not impress you at all. The notebook looks premium from the first look and feels the same with the sturdy Aluminium build. The laptop offers high-end specifications with latest 7th Gen Intel i7 processor. The sound from the speaker is one of the best in this class. Finally, a laptop that has more class than any notebook and the best laptop from the Asus ever.