If one has to describe a Zenbook in just a single word I think it should be ‘quality’. Well, there is no wonder that Zenbook is one of the most well-known laptop series by Asus. The model we are gonna look at today, Asus Zenbook UX430UA-DH74, features a 14-inch FHD display and an SSD. Surprisingly enough it doesn’t feature a touchscreen. So let’s see then how it competes against its contenders.
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Dual-Core (8th Gen), 1.8 GHz
- GPU – Intel HD Graphics 620
- Memory – 16 GB DDR3
- Screen – 14-inch Full HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080)
- Storage – 512 GB SSD
- OS – Windows 10 edition
- Performance – Provided its configuration (8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigs of RAM and 512 GB of M.2 SSD), you can expect it to be able to handle almost any rigorous task like heavy internet browsing or running programs like Photoshop. If one field where it lags is at delivering the stunning visuals as it lacks a dedicated GPU. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is powerful enough, though, to handle your everyday tasks such as running HD videos and media and also some low-end games. So it is efficient at running your day-to-day errands and casual gaming.
- Display – The bright and crystal clear FHD display is another one of the greatest things about this laptop. It’s pretty bright with an average brightness of 300 nits. The matte finished display and the relatively higher brightness makes it efficient even for working in the sunlit environment. The max contrast ratio is around 815:1 which is pretty average; the bigger the value the better the difference between the lit and shadowy area of the picture. Also, the screen is quite colour accurate with a dE (delta E) value of 1 (uncalibrated 1.2 and calibrated 0.9).
- No Thunderbolt 3 – Yet being a 1000 dollar notebook it doesn’t come with the latest Thunderbolt 3 technology. It provides a gen-1 USB 3.1 type-C port, a USB 3.1 type-A port and a USB 2.0 port. While the transfer rate could have been much higher with the Thunderbolt you have to make do with just 1st generation ports with a much lesser transfer rate of 5 Gbps (in theory only; in reality, it’s even less than that). On top of that it provides a micro HDMI port instead of a full blown HDMI port; means you have to attach a micro-HDMI to HDMI dongle to connect the HDMI cable.
- Cooling – It seems there is still some space left for working on the cooling system of the Zenbook UX430UA-DH74. It usually remains nice and cool under normal workload (like internet surfing or video streaming). Both the top and the bottom temperature barely ever exceed 30°C. But under load conditions, it starts to overheat very quickly as the maximum temperature can easily surpass the comfort threshold of 37°C (97°F).
Okay, let’s be honest. While it’s a bit pricey for what it’s giving it also is a great all-round performer. Although, it does lag in some sections. If Asus manages to fix those pitfalls somehow in the future, it’s bound to be a great success. Even keeping in mind all the negatives I would say that it can be a choice worthy of being in your shortlist.