Taking a Break from Gaming Notebooks
While John is putting the extremely powerful (and expensive) ASUS ROG GX800 for a go, we also received another notebook from the Taiwanese company before the start of the Holy Week break and it’s a welcome change from the last laptop I personally reviewed — the ASUS ROG Strix VL753VE. Today, we’re going to be unboxing and having a look at the ASUS ZenBook UX430UA; a notebook that has the form factor of a 13-inch laptop that’s hiding a 14-inch display. Let’s have a look at its spec sheet before jumping into our initial impressions.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UA Specifications
- 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
- 8GB of DDR 4 Memory
- Intel HD Graphics 420
- 14-inch Full HD LED Anti-Glare Display
- 512GB of SSD Storage
- 1x USB Type-C, 1x Micro HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 1x SD Card Reader
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- Windows 10
What’s In the Box?
The ASUS ZenBook UX430UA comes in the usual packaging we’ve come to expect from the Taiwanese brand, which has a beauty shot of the notebook in front and a little sticker on the back that outlines its specs beside huge warning labels. Pop the box open and you’ll see the notebook itself and partition for all its accessories, which include: its charger, an adapter for the micro HDMI port, and a USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter in case you want to tether the notebook straight to your network.
Initial Impressions: Stylish and a Joy to Bring Around
You may recall that we did a review for the ASUS Zenbook 3 awhile back. We said that it was one of the prettiest laptops we’ve seen from ASUS, but it certainly did not come cheap. The Zenbook UX430UA follows along the design aspects of the company with an aluminum lid that sports ASUS’ signature concentric circles; the bottom of the device is made of aluminum as well. You won’t find any flashy RGB LEDs here, because this laptop is classy AF.
The UX430 slightly larger, thicker, and heavier by the ZenBook 3, with its dimensions of 324 x 225 x 15.9 mm and its weight of 1.25KG, but not by very much; as we said earlier, its a very welcome change from the bulkier and heavier notebooks we usually have with us.
Let’s take a tour around the device to see its port placements. On the left side of the device are the port for charging the laptop, followed by the: USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI port, combo audio jack, and the USB Type-C port.
On the right of the Zenbook, you’ll find another USB 3.0 port and the SD Card reader. It doesn’t have much options for connectivity, but it’s still slightly better than living the dongle life with Apple’s current crop of MacBook releases.
Open up the lid and you’ll be greeted by the 14-inch Full HD display of the Zenbook. ASUS has minimized the bezels on the top and sides of the display to be able to cram a slightly larger display in a 13-inch notebook’s form factor and we really appreciate that. Despite the shrunken bezels, we like that they’ve kept the camera placement on top; no shots of inside your nostrils with this notebook.
The Zenbook UX430 also has speakers from Harman Kardon that give off a decent amount of output without being obnoxious and as expected from the audio brand, they sound pretty awesome!
The keyboard on the UX430UA have great travel on them and are backlit, which makes it perfect for nightowls like us. I personally glaze over the touchpad of most of the notebook that come my way for reviews, simply because I prefer using a mouse, but there’s something special about the one on this Zenbook.
Aside from the fact that it has an embedded fingerprint scanner, so you can unlock the notebook more conveniently, there’s a certain coating that ASUS has used to make your finger glide a little more smoothly. We’re still on the fence whether we like it or not, so you’ll have to wait for the full review for our verdict.
The ASUS UX430UA has a 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor that is helped along by 8GB of DDR4 memory and 512GB of SSD storage. No NVIDIA GPU for gaming here, but this notebook wasn’t built for that purpose anyhow. It was meant to be taken around the metro for meetings at coffee shops, for presenting client briefs and making an impression with your fancy piece of tech that doesn’t way a ton.
Speaking of moving around the metro, you’ll need a fair amount of juice and powering the device is a 50 Whrs battery that the company says will last for up to 9 hours, but we’ll see how it actually does in real world use.
That’s pretty much it for this unboxing and initial review for the ASUS Zenbook UX430UA, which is priced at Php 54,984. We’ll be taking this lightweight laptop with us for its full review, so expect to see that in a couple of days.