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ASUS ZenBook 14 Review: The Perfect AMD Laptop That Looks Awesome & Gets The Job Done

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ASUS is one of the only PC hardware companies that have been doing everything right. They've been killing in the gaming laptop space, networking devices and even gaming motherboards. And now, the Taiwanese company is looking to capture the market that targets working professionals with a laptop that does not cost a bomb and offers great performance at the same time. The company launched the AMD-powered ZenBook 14 this week and we've been using the laptop for a while for this review. It isn't as expensive as its Intel counterpart and doesn't come with the company's ScreenPad 2.0 feature. However, it is still a worthy laptop for daily users who want a light and good looking laptop that gets the job done. Here's what we think about the new ZenBook 14:

Performance 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

The most important thing in a laptop today is the performance and the ZenBook 14 does not disappoint. Considering the price, the AMD-powered laptop can deliver great performance when compared to other laptops in the same price segment. It is powered by AMD's Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor that is cooled with a Radeon Vega 8 GPU. The processor has a clock speed of 210 MHz and can be overclocked to 3698 MHz if needed. When it comes to the RAM, the ZenBook 14 comes with 8GB RAM that can be upgraded to 16GB if needed. In terms of storage, it comes with a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD which is more than enough for office professionals. 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

We performed a simple PCMark 10 test and it managed to rake in a score of 3630. While it may not surpass its Intel counterpart or even other expensive laptops that are available, it is still good enough for using as a daily laptop. The ZenBook 14 is not really a gaming laptop and doesn't come with a powerful GPU, so we kind of expected average performance. In 3DMark's Fire Strike and Cloud Gate benchmark tests, the laptop scored 1797 and 10209 points respectively. 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

In everyday use, the RAM management on this thing was quite impressive as we were able to run multiple applications with ease without facing any lag or throttling issues. Since we work at a publication, we have to edit documents, images, respond to emails, research topics and use it for communication throughout the day. We are happy to say that even when we put the laptop's performance to an excruciating stress test, we were still able to multitask without any major issue. The case remained the same for transferring large files thanks to the SSD. 

Design and Display

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

The display on the Asus ZenBook 14 is one of the marquee features on the laptop as it has a 14-inch FullHD LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The quality on the display is quite impressive as the colours were at par with other flagship models. There was no sign of over-saturation and the colours looked vivid while watching movies on Netflix. The display also comes with a matte type finish so that it is easier to read documents under bright light. It is perfect for use in an office space where you are generally surrounded by bright white light. The matte finish on the screen prevents glare that is a major complaint on both flagship and entry-level laptop. The display has a 78-degree maximum viewing angle, making it flexible enough to look at content at different comfortable viewing angles. ASUS also claims that the ZenBook 14 delivers 100 percent sRGB range which is an added benefit for people who like edit images on the go.

The ZenBook 14 also comes with an added feature for people who are always typing and is engrained in the design of the laptop. The ZenBook 14 uses the “ErgoLift” hinge that basically lifts the keyboard by 4.5 degrees. This lift makes it easier and more comfortable to type on the keyboard. This lift also helps in the airflow to keep the laptop cool and deliver a better audio experience. The laptop comes with two top firing stereo speakers giving you one of the best audio experiences on a laptop. These speakers are tuned by Harmon Kardon to deliver a balanced audio experience. 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

In terms of the overall look of the laptop, the Utopia Blue variant looks very sexy and elegant at the same time. It isn't gaudy in any way while being a head-turner at the same time. It weighs only 1.39kg and has an all-metal design to give it a premium appeal. The palm rest, the keyboard and the top cover all feel excellent and are in line with the high design standards we expect from ASUS. 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

Lastly, in terms of ports, the laptop comes with an HDMI port, a USB-A 3.1 port, and a USB-C 3.1 port on the left side of the body. We were quite disappointed to see that the laptop uses a round pin power port instead of the USB-C standard. The port makes it easier to fast charge the laptop as the Type-C port is now becoming the standard for faster-charging speeds. In addition, the laptop also has a single USB-A 2.0 port, an SD Card slot and a headphone jack on the right side of the port. If you want more security, ASUS has also provided a fingerprint scanner on the top right corner of the touchpad.

Keyboard and Touchpad

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

The final piece of the puzzle is the touchpad and the keyboard. These two features can either make it or kill the overall experience on a laptop. You can have a great display, an ample number of ports and an awesome design, however, if the keyboard or the trackpad is not up to the mark, it can really affect your overall experience. It's a recurring problem with MacBooks which has made it hard to use the laptop in the long run. The ASUS ZenBook 14 does not have that problem. It uses scissor-switch keys and has a travel of 1.4 millimetres. It is backlit with warm lights so that it doesn't strain your eyes and is very responsive especially when typing fast. The only confusing thing about the keyboard is the placement of the power button. It is too similar to the rest of the keys and sometimes you can mistake it for the delete button. 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Review© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

The touchpad accuracy, responsiveness and smoothness are also at par with what we expect on modern MacBook Pros. You can also customise certain functions and gestures from the Windows settings according to your liking. Overall, the touchpad is very responsive and gets the job done for fast navigation and doing daily tasks. 

The Final Say 

If you've been looking for an affordable yet powerful Windows laptop, the ASUS ZenBook 14 fits the bill. It starts at Rs 59,990 and has all the essential ports, features and functionality you need to carry out daily tasks. It looks beautiful and is a definite head-turner whether you are in a cafe or at work. It is a great alternative to Intel-powered laptops that cost more and don't offer any extra performance. If you are looking for a beautiful laptop that can also be used for minor image editing, fast typing, and viewing video content with great audio, you can't go wrong with this one. 


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