Since the introduction of Apple MacBook Air, no other company has managed to pull out a laptop that comes to mind as readily when you try to think of ultraportable laptops. Dell did with XPS 13 but was too expensive for most buyers. Same goes with HP Envy and Lenovo Yoga series.
ASUS did manage to grab the attention with its ZenBook UX305F two years ago, but the company never refreshed it. Well, ASUS is back with a new ZenBook model i.e ASUS ZenBook UX430UN which is ultraportable, has an excellent specification and most importantly it doesn’t break your bank.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Design
The ASUS ZenBook UX430UA looks premium, especially with its glossy Royal Blue-aluminum chassis (Nano Imprint Lithography). Much like any other ZenBook, even UX430UN has a metallic, concentric circle design on the lid created using an electroplating process to adhere crystals of color to a finely etched surface, with a UV coating on top to give it a super-smooth finish.
Do note; the lid is prone to scratches and scuffs and is definitely a huge fingerprint magnet. Weighing just 1.3kg and measuring a modest 12.8 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches, the ZenBook UX430UA is really light and easy to carry for a 14-inch laptop, which is actually slightly smaller than that of the 13-inch MacBook Air.
This ZenBook has a decent selection of ports. On its right side, there’s a USB 3 port and an SD card reader; the left side has a micro HDMI port, a second USB 3 port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB Type-C connector.
Unfortunately, the Type-C port cannot charge the laptop, a Thunderbolt 3 connection would have been appreciated, as it allows you to connect to a variety of high-speed peripherals, including external GPUs and powerful docking stations.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Display
The ZenBook UX430UN’s 14-inch, a 1080p non-reflective display which looks good. Colours were always bright, vibrant, the text was crisp and readable and we had no trouble whatsoever when watching movies, playing games, or just working on documents. There is also an auto-brightness sensor in it, which you can disable whenever you want.
The 286 nits ZenBook display can reproduce an impressive sRGB color gamut, which is 30 percent better than the 14-inch laptop category and around 15 to 20 percent above Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo’s IdeaPad 720S.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Keyboard And Touchpad
Well, not only the lid there’s more dark blue plastic on the keyboard deck, while the keys are black. The keyboard on UX430UN provides a mixed experience, with a decent travel of 1.5mm and mostly snappy keys and requires a strong 79 grams of force to actuate. The layout of the keyboard is quite good, although I missed few keys.
The power button is integrated into the keyboard cluster, and just like on the UX305, which is prone to accidental presses. The trackpad is also large and comfortable, and even though there’s a fingerprint reader embedded into it, we never found ourselves hitting it at the wrong time.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Performance
With an Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD, the ZenBook UX430UA is well equipped to handle plenty, from all the basic daily chores to serious multitasking, heavy browsing and even more demanding programs like Photoshop, Eclipse or Premiere. Whether I was watching a video, surfing the web or running office apps on it, the ZenBook UX430UN handled every task I threw at it.
The ZenBook UX430U comes with Windows 10 Home preloaded. There is also WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, a 720p webcam, a pair of 1.5W stereo speakers certified by Harman Kardon, and a 50Wh battery that ASUS claims will run for nine hours, but we got it around 6.5 hours. It also handles casual gaming, thanks to the discrete GPU.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Sound And Webcam
The sound is also fairly impressive for a laptop. The two stereo speakers are placed at the bottom, so you’ll need the laptop to be on a flat surface to get the most out of them. We found the audio to be loud and clear, with minimal distortion.
While no internal laptop webcam is as good as a decent external unit, the ZenBook UX430UN’s 720p sensor is quite good. When I shot a selfie under a good light condition, the image turned out to be pretty good. However, there was still a fair amount of visual noise in the background in poor or low lighting condition.
ASUS Zenbook UX430UN: Pricing
ASUS is selling three different versions of the ZenBook UX430U in India. The entry-level option priced at Rs. 72,990 has an 8th Gen Core i5-8250U CPU and a 256GB SSD. The next step up gets you a 512GB SSD and will cost Rs. 79,990. The top-end variant has an 8th Gen Core i7-8550U CPU, 512GB SSD, and also a discrete GeForce MX150 GPU but costs a lot more at Rs. 93,990.
If you’re looking for an ultraportable laptop, the Zenbook UX430 series should be on your list. Personally, I would happily pay a little extra for the larger screen tucked inside the body of a 13-inch laptop, with a metallic build, slim profile and lightweight. Especially when that screen gets an excellent panel. On top of these, don’t forget this laptop performs well, offers good battery life and packs a great keyboard and trackpad.