Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 Review
After using an Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 for a few weeks, it significantly improved over the versions we examined earlier this year and is a well-rounded choice for everyday usage. Among their many appealing features are high-quality metal construction, a small and lightweight design, a lengthy battery life, various high-quality displays, high-quality inputs, and cutting-edge hardware. While not perfect and possibly not the best option for those seeking the most powerful laptop in this sector, both ZenBooks should nevertheless be on the radar of most potential purchasers in 2016.
Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 Specifications
|14.0 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS
|Intel Tiger Lake, up to Core i7-1165G7, 4C/8T
|Intel Iris Xe
|up to 32 GB LPDDR4x 4266 MHz
|1x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 2x USB-C 3.2 with Thunderbolt 4
|High-definition, infrared-capable camera that works with Windows Hello
- Small, light, and luxurious with high-quality inputs and outputs (I particularly like the 1W edition)
- A well-balanced Tiger Lake Implementation, a quiet fan.
- Good thermals
- A long-lasting 67 Wh battery and rapid USB-C charging
- Reasonably inexpensive considering its nature
- The laptop makes squeaking noises when picked up
- It has flimsy hinges and lacks a 3.5 mm port
- A finger sensor and a touchscreen
Asus has spent the better part of two years refining laptop design to produce devices with narrow bezels and, thus, smaller chassis. The Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 achieves a 90% screen-to-body ratio while being smaller than its predecessor, the UX434, in practically all dimensions. The depth has decreased by a small amount, going from 0.67 to 0.54 inches, but the width has remained the same.
Weight-wise, it’s 2.58 lb. versus 2.98 lb. The UX425 prioritizes portability and slimness over the more powerful features of the UX434, such as a low-end discrete GPU. The ZenBook 14’s downsizing puts it in good company; for example, it weighs close to the 2.2 pounds of the LG Gram 14, a laptop designed to be as light as possible.
KEYBOARD & TOUCHPAD
After spending more time with these ZenBooks, I stand by my previous statement that their keyboard is my favourite I’ve used on an Asus laptop to date and one of the finest in the sector. The 2019 ZenBooks from Asus include a revised layout that extends around the entire chassis, resulting in larger primary keys, arrows, and an extra column of Function keys to the right, in addition to the standard Home, Page Up, Page Down, and End keys.
Although the power button is more robust than the other keys, it should be deactivated in Windows to prevent accidental sleep mode activation. The overall feedback is what makes this a nicer typer than what Asus put on their earlier ZenBooks and all their other 2020 alternatives reviewed in recent months, with somewhat more excellent resistance and improved accuracy over most other ultrabooks while still being a rapid and quiet implementation (except for the Space key).
The Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 series from Asus comes with three different displays. There are three different matte non-touch IPS panels available, all 300 nits bright at most, but one is a conventional Full HD panel, and the other is a newer generation, more efficient Full HD 1W panel with 400+ nits brightness.
We’ve used both the standard i5 configuration’s base panel (on the left in the images below) and the i7 model’s upgraded panel (on the right), both of which are FHD (on the right). Chi Mei’s standard base-panel design can be found on several other mid-range 14-inch laptops due to its almost full sRGB colour coverage, high contrast levels, and wide viewing angles.
If not for one major flaw, connectivity would be perfect. On the laptop’s left side, beside the two USB-C connections that enable Thunderbolt 3, you’ll discover a full-size HDMI 2.0 port. That’s big because the lack of Thunderbolt 3 on earlier ZenBooks was a huge letdown compared to competing high-end notebooks. Even for $800, the quality is remarkable. A USB-A 3.2 connector and a microSD card reader (unfortunately, not a full-size one) are located on the right side. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless networking technologies are installed.
If not for one major flaw, connectivity would be perfect. A full-sized HDMI 2.0 port and two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3 can be found on the laptop’s left side. This is a tremendous improvement, as prior ZenBooks omitted Thunderbolt 3, a significant shortcoming compared to other high-end laptops. Even for $800, the quality is remarkable. A USB-A 3.2 connector and a microSD card reader (unfortunately, not a full-size one) are located on the right side. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless networking technologies are installed.
Audio And Ports
For an $800 laptop, the build quality and functionality have been excellent so far. The screen is up next, one area where manufacturers frequently cut corners to meet a target price point. Asus did not take this approach with the ZenBook 14. Its screen is worthy of a high-end laptop, and much exceeds expectations for the price.
Only one aspect is average (for high-end laptops): The colours cover 72% of Adobe RGB and 94% of sRGB. Only very artistic professionals are likely to be dissatisfied with the colour range provided; for most other purposes, it is more than adequate.
After that, the screen quality is well above par for a premium product. The 352 nits of brightness are far more than the recommended minimum of 300 nits. The contrast ratio of 1,060:1 is higher than the industry standard of 1,000:1 and far higher than the 800:1 found on most high-end work computers. The gamma of 2.2 is right on, and the colour accuracy is quite good at 1.42 (1.0 or less is ideal).
The Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 is a premium, thin, and light laptop that, for $1,200, offers excellent value. $800 is a steal for what you get.
With its durable all-metal construction, refined thin and light design, excellent keyboard and handy touchpad, and exceptional battery life, the Asus ZenBook 14 is a beautiful notebook at any price. Considering the $800 price tag, you’ll see it’s a steal.