In a sector that has almost peaked in terms of format and form, the Asus ZenBook family does not intend to create a revolution. Although we have seen teams in which innovation is its flag, Asus ZenBook Pro 14, the rest of the members of this family arrive without much fanfare, other than offering a remarkable experience and performance.
With a compact and light format, the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) is the middle brother of the family. He comes to our analysis table to see if that "Zen" philosophy that he boasts of can be enough on a day-to-day basis. Share specifications with a multitude of teams, but the execution when creating a team is what makes the difference. We tell you our experience after a month of use.
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433 datasheet
|screen||14-inch Full HD LED (1920 x 1080) 16: 9, 100% sRGB, 178-degree Wide-View Technology, 92% front-end|
|Processor||Up to Intel Core i7-8567U (4 cores, 1.8GHz - 4GHz)|
|RAM||16GB LDDR3 soldered on board|
Intel UHD Graphics 620
|Audio||ASUS SonicMaster stereo with Harman Kardon certification|
|Internal memory||512 GB PCIe|
|Battery||3-cell polymer lithium, 50Wh|
|Operating system||Windows 10 home|
|Connections||WI-FI AC Dual Band, Bluetooth 5.0|
1 x USB 2.0 Gen. 1 Type C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A,
microSD card reader, HDMI, Headphone jack
|Colors||Blue with gold finishes|
|Dimensions||319 x 199 x 15.9 mm, 1.6 kilos|
|Featured Features||Face recognition with Windows Hello|
|Price||From 1,049 euros to 1,349 euros|
Compact, elegant and resistant
In the design section, we realize that Asus has found a formula that works, sober but striking colors and aluminum construction is what predominates in this family of laptops. The Asus ZenBook 14 arrives in a metallic chassis with a polished finish, the color of our review unit is dark blue with gold accents. Despite having this color combination, it does not clash or detract from the elegance of the whole. If this dark blue color is boring, there is also a silver version that maintains the accents in gold.
It feels solid and robust in hand, it does not seem fragile despite being small. This resistance is certified thanks to having passed the military standard STD-810G, being able to withstand drops, bumps, splashes and dust. This leaves us calmer when it comes to carrying it in the backpack, we will not have to worry too much about the small blows it receives. Of course, it does not stop having some flexibility in certain points such as in the center of the keyboard. It is nothing worrisome, but they are present. This does not mean that it is a remarkable construction, with a precise hinge and that it does not require the user to hold the bottom when opening the lid to reveal the screen.
As soon as you lift this lid - without much effort - we find a 14-inch screen framed in reduced bezels. These are especially small on the top and on the sides. The lower bezel is deceiving, it is thicker than the rest. But the play of the screen with the hinge manages to make it look much thinner. Still with this trick, the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) has a screen that takes advantage of 92% of the front surface. Just below this screen we have a backlit keyboard and a trackpad that will also act as a numeric keypad.
The interior of the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) maintains the same design lines as its exterior, we find the golden accent right in the frame closer to the screen. Where the brand's logo is also present as the name of the laptop family. This gold grille is not intended for speakers, but is dedicated to ventilation. Just below is the fan's air outlet. So where are the speakers? Well, right under the computer. There are two of them, they are located on each side of the clamping legs and they are of considerable size. But we will talk about its quality later.
The various connectivity ports are grouped on the sides. On the right, starting with the one closest to us we have: headphone jack, USB-A with USB 2.0 interface and the microSD card reader. Moving to the left side and in almost the same arrangement we have a USB-C port with USB 3.1 interface, USB-A with USB 3.1 interface, HDMI and the power socket. Overall the Asus ZenBook has an elegant design, but resistant and without forgetting a weight more than content. Being technical, our unit weighs 1.19kg because it has an anti-reflective screen. If we opted for a screen without this coating, the weight would be 10 grams less. The dimensions are contained, 19.9 cm deep, 31.9 cm wide and 1.59 cm thick.
Performance to specification with an emphasis on safety
At the beginning we anticipated the purpose of the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433). According to this, we have more than solvent specifications in most situations, but not all . Inside the metal chassis we find an eighth generation Intel Core i7 processor, the i7-8565U. Accompanying it with 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM at 2133MHz soldered on the board, so it will be impossible to expand this capacity. For storage we have a 512GB PCle SSD. The NVIDIA sticker appears on my test unit, but it does not include a dedicated graphic, the GPU we have is the integrated one from Intel.
All these facts and figures translate into remarkable performance. The processor meets without too much trouble in tasks such as navigation, office automation or use of messaging applications such as Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp. In fact, thanks to this processor that can reach 4.6GHz in some moments of stress, we can have a large number of tabs open in Chrome and also not run out of RAM because at least in our test unit it comes with a more than considerable figure . Taking this data and my experience of use, we have a laptop more than enough to work on the move.
Yes, it is also possible to use Adobe programs. But in this case the experience is somewhat bittersweet, the integrated Intel graphics fail to keep up with the processor or RAM. Projects in Adobe Premiere Pro have a multimedia reproduction with a lot of delay, we have to lower the quality to a quarter so that it is comfortable to use, when exporting the times they also lengthen. Other programs like Photoshop or Lightroom work fine. As long as we don't create sizable projects, then we'll start to notice the lack of a dedicated graphics card.
In those cases, the Asus team will turn on your fan. That despite being announced as silent, its presence is noticeable. More than anything, this happens due to the thickness of the laptop. It is a fine piece of equipment and therefore the fan has less space to actuate, in addition the vibrations or the rattle is transmitted without much problem to the laptop's chassis. It is a price to pay for having a compact and slim laptop.
But of course, the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) is not intended for these demanding tasks. Designed to offer solvent performance and be able to maintain a fluid workspace , demanding good behavior with programs of this nature is something unfair. So, let's get back to its kindness. One of them is its storage, and not so much because of its capacity but because of its technology. It is a PCle solid state disk, for those who do not know what this last word refers to. It is a type of connection found in computers, and it is much faster as well as reliable. In daily use it is appreciated, we can turn on the laptop in just ten seconds.
The Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) dispenses with the fingerprint reader , instead it integrates a 3D camera with infrared . This camera is housed in the upper part of the display frame. This will act as a biometric scanner once we register our face through Windows Hello. It is a system that works well and is reliable, the unlocking is fast but the best of all is the ease with which it is performed. Lift the lid of the equipment, turn it on and in a few seconds it is unlocked and ready to be used.
In the software section, it comes with Windows 10 Home and with a string of programs signed by Asus. Most of them are unnecessary on a day-to-day basis, but as usual companies continue to strive to include them. If you are users who value having a system that is as clean as possible, the safest thing is that you uninstall them without any kind of consideration. Before doing this, I will recommend you stick with Asus Keyboard Hotkeys. This program or utility allows you to configure keyboard shortcuts almost at will.
Screen to enjoy multimedia content
The screen of our laptop is the window to the digital world, in the Asu ZenBook 14 (UX433) this window has a size of 14 inches and a Full HD resolution. With LED backlit technology and 16: 9 aspect ratio, it remains within a typical standard. Its strong points are the sharpness and the rendering of colors. The first of these points is thanks to its size and resolution. At 14 inches a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution is more than enough to not see pixels at first glance. If we get too close - too close - we will see them, but of course, it is not normal.
With 100% rendering in the sRGB color gamut, content viewing is outstanding . Colors are true to life and tinted, the screen brightness is 309 nits. A more than enough figure to be able to see the screen without having direct light affecting it, but here the difference is marked by the finish of the panel, being anti-reflective or not will do a lot when it comes to viewing content or working under intense light. The viewing angles are correct, not much information is lost if we view the screen from the sides. But the usual happens, the colors change and darken along with a drop in definition.
All that said, it is a screen that we will enjoy consuming content with. His speakers accompany this experience, signed by Harman Kardon and located at the bottom. They have a good sound and power, although the position does not please us too much, since the sound bounces off the surface on which the equipment is supported. It does not cloud the experience, the sound remains clear with nuances and good records. Despite having enough power, if we find ourselves in situations where the ambient noise is high, we may be a little short. In such cases, it is advisable to connect headphones via the headphone jack. Unlike other equipment, this sound input has a more than acceptable quality, we do not notice a continuous hum when we connect our headphones.
Complete connectivity for a small team
Windows laptops are characterized by having a large number of ports. It is rare to see a computer, however light it may be, without USB ports or card readers. In the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) the trend continues, despite its size content, it comes with enough ports for a professional. Together we have two USB ports, one 2.0 and the other 3.1, a USB type C 3.1 port, HDMI, 3.5 millimeter jack and a microSD card reader . Despite being complete, it can be improved, at this point it is illogical to have a USB 2.0 port, both of which can be 3.
The USB type C port is not Thunderbolt, we will not be able to send image and video signal while charging the equipment. It would have been an interesting addition for those people who use their laptop connected to a screen when they get home. Even so, in those cases we will use HDMI. With all this, the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) has concessions, the card reader is microSD and not SD , a standard used by most cameras, we can understand it from a physical point of view. In that compact chassis there is no more space to include a reader of that size, so it is better to include something than not include anything.
The wireless connectivity is also remarkable, we have Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac gigabit dual-band (compatible with 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks) This component arrives soldered to the motherboard just like the RAM, so if at some point we think we will not be able to change the network card. At first this is not a problem, but if we like to expand or improve our team in this case we will not be able to do it. Throughout the month of use, I have not had any connection problems. Copying files from USB type C or USB A 3.1 has been a pleasure, the speeds they reach are remarkable.
Another highlight is the stability of the Wi-Fi and the upload and download speeds. I have not had cuts when it comes to consuming streaming content from any platform, nor when it comes to downloading large files. Without a doubt, in this section unless you are too demanding. The Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) complies perfectly, you could ask for the Thunderbolt port, that all USB are 3.1 but at the same time it is still a compact device with a remarkable battery of ports.
Autonomy for almost a day
A laptop intended for mobile work must be kept away from the socket for as long as possible. The Asu ZenBook 14 (UX433) fulfills this feature perfectly. Although we did not reach the 13 hours of continuous use that Asus announces on its website, we stayed in about 5-6 hours with use based on navigation and office automation. During the month that I have tried this equipment, I have not felt that it was going to leave me lying on the subject of autonomy. Inside the 3 cells with 50Wh are able to withstand my use without too much problem.
But of course, when using heavier programs and demanding a greater load from the processor, autonomy decreases . The specific occasions in which I have seen myself away from home, but I have needed to retouch a video or a photograph have been few. Even so, enough to realize that in those situations the autonomy drops to 3 hours. It is nothing dramatic, it is not a team designed to carry out this type of task. In addition, the charger that Asus includes has a reduced size, very much in line with the laptop.
It is not a charger via USB type C, but we find the classic plug of laptops from a few years ago. Well, with a much smaller diameter in comparison, but following the same aesthetics and functionality. I would have liked the charger to come with the new connection standard , but I suppose this would have increased the price of the equipment a bit more. The loading speed is somewhat slow or at least in my experience that is what I found. Being a 65W charger I expected lower charging times, but from 0% to 100% it is around 2 hours .
Keyboard and trackpad
There is nothing like typing on a mechanical keyboard, anyone who has tried typing on a mechanical keyboard knows what I mean. That's why laptop keyboards don't usually convince me, or at least not too much. With the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433), on the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised. Both the size and layout of the keys are adequate. We have space between the keys and the width of the keys makes it easier for us to get used to typing on such a compact computer.
The travel of each key is surprising, it is not much compared to that of a mechanical keyboard. But the sensations they transmit when pressing are good , it has enough travel for the pulsation to be satisfactory. Also, after spending long sessions writing on this computer (including this review) I have realized how much laptops have improved in this section. Like many other computers, this keyboard has white illumination. We can control the intensity of this lighting, make it brighter or dimmer as the situation requires.
It is not a full keyboard, the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) is a compact computer and this affects its keyboard. We don't have number keys, or not at a glance. As strange as it sounds, Asus has included these keys on the touchpad. To activate them we have to press and hold on the icon in the upper corner of it. Once this is done, the lights that serve as a guide and indicate the numbers will come on. The touchpad for as long as we need it will become a haptic keyboard.
This touchpad-keyboard has many more benefits, including its glass coating. With it, it manages to have a smooth surface where our fingertips slide, it is also able to detect the palm of our hand so as not to make accidental touches. Although the most important thing is its compatibility with Windows Precision Drivers so we can navigate through gestures without any problem. Overall, both keyboard and touchpad are of quality and serve their function perfectly. You can see the effort that Asus has put into the productivity section.
Conclusions and price
Asus puts a remarkable team on the table, it does not get - at least this model - to revolutionize the market with additions and differential features. On the contrary, it presents a refined laptop that has learned from the past generation and has not rested on its laurels . A set of compact, light and powerful enough for most tasks, this is the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) The design may not convince all users, the golden touch is not for everyone, but not you can negate the design exercise by getting 14 inches into the chassis of a 13-inch laptop.
The specifications are not extraordinary, we do not have dedicated graphics (in our test unit) but this does not detract from a constant performance in the tasks that are put before it. The word that defines this team is "solvent", it is not the best in any of its sections, but it is good in all. You could ask for more, of course, but we would get other prices. And that the Asus ZenBook 14 (UX433) is not economical, starts at 1049 euros in its most basic configuration and reaches 1349 euros in the most complete.
In summary, Asus offers us a portable computer, with enough autonomy and power to withstand work days or events. Your Asus ZenBook 14 (UX4333) is clearly aimed at that sector, those who decide to get one will not be disappointed in general. But they have to take into account other options on the market, such as LG's Gram family equipment.