Of late, I found an increasing interest towards sleek and portable laptops which is the reason why I called dibs on the newly launched Asus ZenBook UX430 as soon as it arrived in India. There was a time when all I wanted was a powerful laptop that could satiate the hunger for games in me. That phase was followed by the hunt for a laptop that was easier to carry around and could help me throughout the day without a hitch.
This is when I got fascinated with ultrabooks and laptops with a smaller footprint that didn't compromise on performance. Now, the ZenBook UX430 is a laptop that offers portability with panache but at the end of the day, isn’t a gaming notebook. That is because when a company goes with such a form factor, it has to compromise on various different levels which ends up as a disadvantage for the said product.
The UX430 isn’t a perfect notebook and leaves much to be desired for but it is a great experience just using it for your day’s work and consuming content on that gorgeous display to end your day.
Here is the Asus ZenBook UX430UQ configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U (2.7GHz dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3)
RAM: 8GB (DDR4, 2,133MHz)
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080, LED backlit, anti-glare matte finish)
Storage: 512GB SSD (SATA3 M.2)
Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Micro HDMI, 1 x audio jack combo, 1 x SD card reader
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
Camera: HD (720p) webcam
Battery: 50Wh 3-cell Li-Po
Weight: 1.25 kg (2.76 pounds)
Size: 12.76 x 8.86 x 0.63 inches (32.4 x 22.5 x 1.59 cm; W x D x H)
Price and availability
So, the Asus ZenBook UX430 is available in India and its price starts from Rs 74,990 for the base variant. The ZenBook UX430UA which is the base model has been outfitted with an integrated Intel HD graphics chip and is the only differentiating factor.
The UX430UQ, on the other hand, is the high-end variant of this ZenBook starting at Rs 93,990 bringing in a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 940MX to the table whereas the UX430UN variant comes with NVIDIA GeForce MX150, starting from Rs 95,990.
We got our hands on the ZenBook UX430UQ which I have reviewed here.
Right after I unpacked the laptop and picked it up in my hands, most of us were wowed by the fact that how light and sleek this ZenBook was. Just then I knew that it would be perfect for the kind of work I did, which is typing endlessly and binge-watching occasionally. The laptop weighs just 1.25kg and is on par with its sleek design which measures 15.9mm thin, something along the lines of Dell’s XPS 13 or even Apple’s MacBook Air. But that wasn’t the only reason I went gaga over it.
The Asus ZenBook UX430 is crafted out of aluminium, the finish of which is so exquisite that I felt amazing holding this laptop in my hand. The aluminium lid features an engraved Asus logo with a concentric-circle design which gives the laptop its premium feel. If you get your hands on the Royal Blue or Rose Gold color variants, they come with a special nano-imprint lithography coating which essentially looks like glass but is glossy in look and feel. It is also a fingerprint and smudge magnet so you might want to keep that cleaning cloth with you at all times, in case your OCD kicks in.
The base of the laptop has a brushed finish which along with some information, two speaker grills (something, I'm not a fan of) and four rubber feet that help it maintain the grip on the table. The ZenBook has a clean and minimalistic design which makes it elegant and captivating to look at.
The IO ports on the ZenBook UX430 are fairly normal but one will have to endure the dongle life if they want to use HDMI and Ethernet. Thankfully, Asus provides both of them in-the-box, so brownie points for that. The left edge of the laptop has a power-in port followed by a USB 3.1, Micro HDMI, headphone jack and USB-C while the right edge houses a USB 2.0 and an SD card slot.
Asus ZenBook UX430 has a chassis size of 13-inches but the company has managed to outfit it with a larger, 14-inch Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) panel. The result is that the display holds a whopping 80 percent screen-to-body ratio and just 7.18mm bezels on the sides.
It is a treat to watch the display in action as the anti-glare coating on the display with matte finish dismisses the reflections entirely making it worthwhile. Watching content such as movies and shows on this laptop is a really amazing experience.
The display panel on the ZenBook has an ultra-wide sRGB color gamut of a full 100 percent making the color representation on it pretty accurate. With this, the display is capable of reproducing a high range of vivid colors along with a more sharper, brighter, punchier and life-like pictures. Also, because of the matte coating on the display, viewing angles on the laptop are more than decent enough but not what the company claims (178 degrees).
Asus has also built in an Eye Care technology which reduces blue-light by up to 30 percent.
I would like to give it up for Asus for their choice to fit in this display. It is the perfect display to consume data on. The panel just adds to an already carefully crafted laptop and ensures it of the premium status.