Last week, ASUS launched two laptops under ZenBook series, and among them was ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FL, which the company has sent us to review. We have tested it for over well over a week now, so, here’s our comprehensive review of ZenBook 14 UX434.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: The Introduction
The main attraction of ZenBook 14 UX434FL is its revamped ScreenPad – a trackpad that also acts as a touchscreen. The first version of ScreenPad (we reviewed ASUS ZenBook 15 Pro UX580) was eye-grabbingly impressive, however, it lacked app support, which questioned the legitimacy of the ScreenPad.
Coming to UX434, there are two variants of ZenBook 14 UX434 i.e with a Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD; and with a Core i7-8565U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. We got to review the Core i5 processor.
- 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) NanoEdge ErgoLift IPS display
- Intel Core-i5 8265U CPU @ 1.6GHz
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 + NVIDIA GeForce MX250 (2GB GDDR5)
- 8GB RAM
- Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, 3D IR HD, microSD
- Windows 10 Home
- 3-cell 50Wh battery
- Dimensions: 319 x 199 x 16.9 mm; Weight: 1.26 kg
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: Build And Design
The ZenBook UX434 comes with the spun-metal finish on the lid and the prestigious Royal Blue finishes, making it look and feel premium. ASUS has kept ZenBook series (same goes with this one) chiseled with the most area covering with the display in the least physical space available, apparently making the laptop smaller than an A4 size paper marking a weight of just 1.26kg.
THE CHISLED BUILD OF ZENBOOK 14 UX434 MAKES UP MOST AREA COVERING WITH THE DISPLAY GIVING OUT AN IMMERSIVE VIEWING EXPERIENCE.
The frameless four-sided NanoEdge design makes the visuals more immersive and less distractive, and the best part is that it accommodates an advanced infrared (IR) camera that enables fast, reliable hands-free login with Windows Hello. Much like the recent ZenBooks, this one too comes with ErgoLift hinge, that provides you with comfortable typing, improves cooling and audio performance.
THE ERGOLIFT HINGE NOT ONLY ENHANCES THE OVERALL TYPING EXPERIENCE BUT ALSO HELPS BUILD UP A PREIMIUM ASTHETICS.
The build is robust, and the company claimed that the laptop has undergone drop, vibration, altitude and temperature tests and meets MIL-STD-810G. Moreover, the laptop is so compact that it fits nicely into my 15-liter backpack, so portability is never a problem.
The slim-trim ZenBook 14 comes with enough ports to get your daily task done: a Type-C USB 3.1 port, Type-A USB 3.1, and another Type-A USB port, along with an HDMI port and a microSD card reader. ASUS has also included standard 3.5mm headphone jack and the mains port.
However, the company resisted adding a full-sized SD card for ease of workflow. In addition to that, ASUS went with USB-C port (data transfer rate up to 5Gbps) and didn’t add Thunderbolt 3 (data transfer rate up to 40Gbps), especially when the system runs on Intel’s Whiskey Lake chips.
THE ASUS ZENBOOK 14 UX434 HAVE ENOUGH PORTS TO GET YOUR DAILY TASK DONE WITHOUT YOU GETTING INTO DONGLE LIFE.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: Display
The ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 packs in a 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) NanoEdge IPS display with 72% of the NTSC color gamut. The display of UX434 has a good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, wide color coverage (94% of sRGB), which roughly translates a maximum measured brightness of 325 nits which is perfect for indoors and outdoors.
Apart from that, the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 comes with 92-percent screen-to-body-ratio and overall, the display on UX434 is amazing, no complaints from this department. There’s is also an optional touchscreen variant, just in case if you are into it.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: Keyboard, Audio & Webcam
The keyboard on ZenBook 14 UX434 is well-spaced giving out a sweet typing experience with a key travel of around 1.4 millimeters. In no time I got used to the layout (maybe because I have been using Vivobook S15 for a while). The keycaps aren’t transparent, however, the board is backlit.
Although the dual side-firing speaker placement is not in an ideal position, however, it was surprisingly loud and clear, props to the fine-tuning by Harmon Kardon. We didn’t face any distortion in the sound quality, but a slightly less treble would have been good.
If you want to listen to your playlists at high volume and consecutively work on a document, expect a slight vibration. Well, the laptop comes with an HD webcam that gives out a realistic experience with colors, and unlike other ZenBooks, it brings out great quality.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: ScreenPad 2.0
The ZenBook 14 UX434 comes with a revamped ScreenPad 2.0, a mousepad-cum-secondary display is not new, we have earlier reviewed ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX580G, which was probably the first iteration of ScreenPad on ASUS laptops. Before we talk about ScreenPad, let us acknowledge the fact that the trackpad is super-responsive, sensitive and excellent, props to Precision touchpad (PTP) technology that supports up to four-finger smart gestures
Coming to the much highlighted ScreenPad 2.0, which is the wow factor of the laptop. Right out of the box, it is cool, attention-grabbing and the smartphone-like interface is more intuitive for improved ease of use. After a short demo video, which helps you to kick things on ScreenPad, you will be greeted with mobile app-style icons to get you started.
Going deep, the ScreenPad on ZenBook 14 UX434 is 5.6-inch (resolution: 1000 x 500, and 2160 x 1080, refresh rate: 50Hz, 60Hz) 18:9 aspect ratio display with a 178-degree wide-view technology. ScreenPad 2.0 is glass covered for fingerprint and smudge resistance. There are pre-installed apps like Handwriting, QuickKey, and docXpert to get you started. You can turn ScreenPad on and off with a tap of the F6 button (you would lose at least a few seconds on this).
With ScreenPad 2.0, ASUS has added handy utilities like;
- Quick Key, enables one-tap automation of complex keyboard sequences
- Handwriting, for natural input
- Number Key, for rapid and quick data entry
- Smarter Control, with built-in ScreenPad functions, and much more
The pre-installed tools have been huge time savers. Like for example, formatting text files was easy with docXpert app, quick were commands using QuickKey and so on. Bottom line is ScreenPad can either be a time saver or a gimmick, it all depends on how you use it.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: Performance
Now, to something which defines the overall use of this laptop. The machine we received for review was powered by Intel’s Core-i5 8265U clocked at 1.60GHz, coupled with 8GB LPDDR3 onboard RAM (upgradable), paired with 500GB SSD and runs on Windows 10 Home.
In addition to that, the ZenBook 14 UX434 is coupled with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 with 2GB of graphics memory. I have used this machine to type a lot, minor photo editing, and YouTube/movies. And I faced no performance lag and in fact, it was excellent with zero hiccups.
If you’re into the creative field, you will be able to run Adobe’s editing applications like Lightroom and Photoshop. Even Adobe Premiere worked, but the machine slightly shivers if you are working on a heavier file, but again, MX250 GPU has taken care of it well. We played Fortnite in FullHD with 30-40fps, but with occasional frame drop about 20fps.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434: Battery And Heat
The ZenBook 14 UX434 runs on a 3-cell 50 watt-hour battery and running PCMark 8 with brightness set to 150 nits, we got around 8 hours 40 minutes battery life with ScreenPad turned off and around 4 hours with ScreenPad turned on.
This wasn’t the case with ScreenPad v1.0 on ZenBook 15 Pro UX580 because it drew power from laptop’s dedicated GPU, however, v2.0 ScreenPad on ZenBook 14 lean on the CPU’s integrated graphic which in this case is Intel UHD Graphics 620, which is much less battery hungry.
The ZenBook 14 UX434 uses a liquid-crystal-polymer fan impeller with 84 blades coupled with an advanced 3D-curved aerodynamic shroud that according to the company, generate 15% more airflow than before. However, under heavy load, the laptop did feel warmer and even heard a heavy fan noise, sometimes even while browsing.
- Beautiful and accurate display
- The keyboard is great for typing
- Innovative ScreenPad 2.0
- Lack of Type-C charging and Thunderbolt connectivity
- No RAM upgradability (post-purchase)
- Improper heat management
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 is a robust looking compact lightweight 14-inch laptop with unparallel performance. If you are looking for a laptop great build quality, fast hardware, brilliant screen and a feature that pops your laptop different like in this case a ScreenPad (which may or may not appeal) then no look further, this is the machine you are looking for. Just in case, you already own the ZenBook 14 UX433, as the ScreenPad is not going to make that much of a difference in your day-to-day life.
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