ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN Review: A Versatile Ultrabook For Any Occasion

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN Review – The current line of ASUS ZenBook ultrabooks was presented at IFA 2018, later we met them personally at a presentation in Kiev, and now our editorial staff have finally got a 14 inch version of ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN. The whole line is characterized by a recognizable design, compact size, minimal bezels around the perimeter of the screen, although the interest does not end there. Let’s see what he’s capable of.

 

What is that?

The ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is the flagship ultra-compact metal laptop with a 14-inch IPS display, 8th generation Intel processors, up to 16GB of RAM, fast SSD storage and discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics MX150.

 

Why is this interesting?

ASUS ZenBook’s current flagship line has retained the familiar slim metal case with a concentric pattern on the cover and low thickness, but the linear dimensions have become even smaller. This was made possible by reducing the bezels around the display perimeter: in ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN, it occupies 92% of the area of ​​the entire top cover, while the camera remains in its usual place. above the screen.

The camera itself now has an infrared sensor that can identify the owner by the face (instead of a fingerprint scanner). Another cool feature is the NumberPad: a touchpad that turns into a touchscreen numeric keypad. Inside, There are Whiskey Lake Core i5 or i7 processors, 8-16 GB of RAM, fast PCIe NVMe SSDs, and even simple GeForce MX150 discrete graphics.

The screen is 14 inches IPS with a resolution of 1920 × 1080.An interesting and important bonus – there are full-size USB and HDMI ports, which are increasingly being phased out of modern ultraportable laptops.

 

What’s in the box?

The laptop comes in a not too big gray box and a laptop picture (our box was completely sealed with many stickers from international delivery services). The box contains a laptop, compact charger, holster, USB Ethernet adapter and documentation:

 

What does it look like and is it assembled correctly?

The ASUS ZenBook line of ultraportable laptops are still recognizable, primarily due to the characteristic concentric grinding on the cover, and the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN was no exception. When developing the current ZenBook line, the company didn’t try to keep the thickness to a minimum, but instead focused on linear dimensions.

The laptop is really very compact for the 14 inch model. For visual understanding, you can remember the dimensions of an A4 sheet of paper: 297×210 mm, the laptop is slightly longer, but the width is less than 319×199 mm. The thickness isn’t a record 15.9mm, but it kept us from giving up on full-size connectors.

A separate proprietary connector is used to charge the laptop. It is located on the left side of the laptop. In the same place – full size HDMI, 1xUSB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 (without Thunderbolt support, unfortunately) and 1xUSB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2.

On the right are LED lights, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, a microSD card slot, and a full-size USB 2.0. Strange solution, I don’t know if the savings are so big that it was impossible to install USB 3.0.

On the front there is a traditional cutout for opening a laptop.

On the back, there are two slim rubber feet that the laptop stands open on, ZenBook line marks, and plenty of cooling holes.

Bottom – four round rubber feet for laptop stability, ventilation holes and stereo speaker grilles.

The bezels on all sides of the screen are really very thin. 2.9mm on the sides and 3.3mm at the bottom of the screen, the screen-to-body ratio is 92%. But keep in mind that the ASUS bottom frame considers the distance between the edge of the visible area of ​​the screen and the edge of the screen when the laptop is opened 90 °. Actually, there’s more of a gap in there, but ErgoLift’s successful design allows it to be hidden away and in real life the frame is really incredibly thin.

Despite the thin bezels, the webcam was placed in the usual place above the screen. There is also a pair of microphones, a webcam and infrared cameras to identify the owner by the face. By the way, it works quickly and accurately. In our review, we had a setup with glass, but there will be options for sale with matte screens.

With its compact size and weight of just 1.19 kg (1.09 kg for the matte display model), the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is ideal for travel. There was no question about the build quality and reliability of the design, everything was done in the best possible way.

 

How convenient are the keyboard and touchpad?

The ErgoLift mechanism is regularly used by ASUS in new ultraportable laptops. It lifts the back of the work surface, resulting in an angle of 3 ° to the table. It is comfortable and improves air circulation. The screen can be opened up to 145 °. There are no complaints about the keyboard layout, it is typical of modern ultraportable laptops.

The reduced top row F, Home, End, PgUp and PgDown are combined with F9-F12, immediately behind them is a screen of ‘separate print, insert, delete and the line ends with the power button… In the Windows settings it is possible to configure it for those who are afraid of accidentally bumping into it. The two Shifts are long, a story Enter. A block of arrows of reduced height. The Fn + Esc combination switches the operating mode of the functional row of keys, the Fn key has an operating indicator.

1.4mm button stroke, white backlighting with three brightness levels.

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN has a comfortable glass touchpad with medium size with good sensitivity. It can be transformed into NumberPad – additional touch-sensitive numeric keypad. Symbols are highlighted, while in this mode the touchpad can also be used for standard purposes.

 

What is the quality of the screen?

The laptop uses a 14 inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 × 1080, it is covered with a protective glass that dazzles. There are configurations with matte screens, so this is not a problem. The screen itself is nice, with a good margin of brightness and maximum viewing angles.

According to the measurement results, the maximum screen brightness was 305.834 cd / m2. The brightness of the black field is 0.332 cd / m2 and the static contrast ratio is 921. 1. The color gamut of the screen is close to the sRGB color space, the calibration is not bad, but it is there is a slight “overkill” of blue, as a result of which the image becomes a little blue. But this can be easily changed in the settings.

 

What about performance, autonomy and sound?

The laptop comes in configurations with the new Intel Core i5-8265U and i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processors. They replaced the Core i5-8250U and Core i7-8550U from the Kaby Lake Refresh family and you shouldn’t expect any drastic changes from their predecessors. In fact, the main difference is in the increase in frequencies.

We reviewed the high-end Intel Core i7-8565U processor. This is a 14nm quad-core processor with 8-thread HyperThreading, 8MB SmartCache support. Clock speed – 1.8 GHz (up to 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost). The graphics is an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip with a frequency of up to 1150 MHz and a discrete GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of GDDR5 video memory.

This is’ a modest solution, but of course more productive than integrated graphics. The amount of RAM is 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz. Wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11 AC (2×2) and Bluetooth 5.0.

The laptop is showing very reasonable results in benchmarks (considering category, of course), although you shouldn’t expect a dramatic increase in performance over Core i7-based laptops- 8550U.

ASUS ZenBook 14 comes with 256, 512 GB or 1 TB SSDs, in all cases these are PCIe models, not SATA. The difference is that the top 1TB version (as we have in the review) uses 4 PCIe lanes, the more affordable versions only use two. But in any case, the operating speed will be significantly higher than that of SATA models.

In our configuration, the maximum read speed reached an impressive 3350MB / s, and in writing – about 2400MB / s.

The cooling system has proven to be very efficient. Without load (in everyday office mode) the CO is silent, with extended maximum load the fan is audible, but not annoying. In an office environment, you don’t pay attention to CO noise. At the same time, the temperature does not exceed 75 °, and the laptop works stably without throttling. The only downside is that the case heats up very significantly, and this doesn’t just apply to the area above the keyboard.

The ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is definitely not a gaming laptop, but that doesn’t mean gaming is bad. Older / simpler games, he shoots with enough confidence. More relevant, for example, Apex Legends or Destiny 2 with low native resolution settings do not drop below 25 fps.

The laptop has a 3-cell 50Wh battery and is expected to last 14 hours. A full charge takes a little over 2 hours. Under real conditions, Bettery Eater, with peak performance and screen brightness, “drained” the battery in about 3.5 hours. In “desktop” mode (browser, messaging, instant messaging, and constant Wi-Fi) at 50% brightness, it turned out about 8 hours, which is fine.

The audio system is represented by harman / kardon brand stereo speakers. They sound quite loud and of good quality. Enough for watching movies and YouTube videos. There is not so much proprietary software: among the most useful there is Ice Power for setting up an audio system with equalizer and presets, utilities for installing applications, drivers and changing the Fn mode.

 

In the dry residue

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is a highly balanced and capable ultra-compact laptop that is perfect for travel and everyday use at work with round-trip transportation. Small dimensions and weight contribute to this. The case is made of high-quality materials and looks great, while the not-the-record thickness allowed for all the necessary full-size ports to be fitted. While charging is proprietary, the lack of Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 support is a bit confusing. The screen offers good brightness and pleasant color reproduction.

In terms of performance, the laptop is more than good. It is not inferior and often even outperforms competitors in its class. At the same time, in economical office mode, It can go through a working day without recharging. Efficient cooling system allows the laptop to work stably even under maximum loads and does not make much noise.

Although at the same time, the case of the laptop heats up very significantly. Perhaps, among the controversial points of the new ASUS ZenBook 14, only the aforementioned heating of the case, lack of Thunderbolt support and proprietary charging can be distinguished. Although, given the merit, these nuances seem very insignificant.

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is not yet on sale, but during the presentation they promised a price of $ 1200, which is approximately ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN is not yet on sale, but during the presentation,33 000 UAH.

 

6 reasons to buy ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN:

Excellent construction, materials and design;

  • haute performance;
  • high quality display;
  • the presence of full-size ports;
  • long battery life;
  • system stability even at prolonged maximum loads.

3 reasons not to buy ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN:

lack of Thunderbolt support;

  • no support for type C charging;
  • heating the housing to extreme long-term loads.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433FN specifications
Display 14 inches, 1920 x 1080, IPS
Dimensions 319x199x15,9 mm
Weight 1,19 kg
operating system Microsoft Windows 10 64 bits
CPU Intel Core i7-8565U, 4 cœurs, 1,8-4,6 GHz (Kaby Lake R, 14 nm)
RAM 16 Go LPDDR3 2133 MHz
Graphic arts nVidia GeForce MX150, 2 GB GDDR5, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage device Disque SSD NVMe PCIe3х 4 1 To
The communications Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, 2,4 et 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0
Connectors USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, USB 2.0, HDMI, MicroSD Card Reader, Combo Audio Jack

 

Camera Camera with infrared sensor
Drums Lithium Polymer, 50 Wh, 3 cells

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