Asus is pushing the limit with their new line of Zenbooks. The Zenbook 13, 14, and 15 are Asus’ new Zenbooks that really push the boundaries of what it means to be a Notebook, almost coming close to being a full-on Ultrabook in a smaller package.
The Zenbook 14 is the middle ground between the 13 and 15 models, but is in fact the cheapest among the three. The Zenbook 14 comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM and 512GB storage. It also shares a lot with it’s 13-inch counterpart, both of them share the same graphics card,with that being the Nvidia GeForce MX150, and they both have a touchpad that also doubles as a number pad.
The number pad works well enough, though it could take a while to get used to, and it doesn’t beat the tactile feel of a regular number pad. The Zenbook 14 also borrows an element from the Asus Vivobook, that being the Ergolift hinge that helps with the cooling of the laptop. This honestly helps out a lot, and you can barely get the laptop to really heat up.
The laptop is also fully equipped with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a micro SD card slot, a 3.5mm audio port, as well as the charging port. Speaking of charging, the battery life of the Zenbook 14 can last for almost an entire work day without charging.
The best part of this laptop is that it has enough power to act as an ultra-portable gaming machine, with the laptop’s light weight, cooling efficiency, and graphical capabilities all working in tandem to make gaming a smooth experience on the Zenbook 14. While it can definitely run the likes of Overwatch, beautiful pixel-art graphics from indie titles like The Messenger or Hyper Light Drifter really pop with the Zenbook’s near bezel-less display known as the Nano Edge, which offers a border that allows for a 95% screen-to-body ratio.
The major issue with the Zenbook is the speakers themselves, while they are tuned by Harman Kardon, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with issues. Right out of the box, certain media can make the volume crack and make audio really unclear. Fiddling around with the bit depth of the laptop does help, but only provides a temporary fix. We’re not sure if it’s a problem with the unit we received or a problem with all units of the Zenbook 14.
All in all, the Zenbook 14 is a perfect little work machines, while also packing enough power for play. It can definitely rival the Macbook Air, though admittedly it can do just a bit more. So if you’re looking for an all-in-one laptop that is as small as an A4 size of paper, then the Zenbook 14 is definitely for you.