The obsession with shedding weight has reached a new benchmark, thanks to the Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe.
Asus have somehow managed to pack in the kind of hardware you’d expect from heavy laptops that give you a backache into a slight 1.1kg, 12.9mm-thin package. And just take a look at it: notebooks have never looked better.
For a laptop so slim, it takes very few shortcuts too. This is an ultra-book of an exceptionally high order - and of course, price.
Throwback to the MacBook Air
There’s no hiding where the ZenBook 3 got its looks from. A lovechild of a MacBook Air and MacBook (2015), its hot bod isn't completely original but hey, who's arguing? We’ll say it, the ZenBook 3 looks better than the latest MacBook Pro.
Let's begin with the aluminium chassis that’s sure to turn heads. The build has clearly taken cues from Apple’s unibody approach, but the eye-catching spun-metal finish gives it an additional touch of class. The ZenBook 3 is properly built too; opening it feels sturdy and tight as it should, with minimal wobble – nothing feels like it’s going to fall apart. The same high level of quality continues on the inside as well, with a sleek navy blue matte finish on the interior.
It feels great in the hand too and even shuts with the same satisfying thud of the MacBook.
Can't stop typing
As much as we like the body, what we're really in love with is the keyboard. This marries the tactility of the MacBook Air with the low-profile build of the latest MacBook Pro. Whichever you prefer, you’ll like what the ZenBook 3 has here. It’s brilliant to type on, with satisfying clicks and snappy response – the best keyboard Asus has bestowed a laptop with by far.
That said, we wish they'd done without the gold/yellow-ish accents on the keyboard. While the gold chamfered edges look great on the exterior, they don't translate as well to the keys, making them look like they've been used by one too many grubby fingers.
The touchpad is smooth and responsive, and comes with a handy fingerprint scanner that’s fast and so convenient we've since forgotten our password. It certainly feels far more solid than the flimsy touchpad on the ZenBook UX430 series and while it's got more give than a Macbook's, it's all redeemed by that brilliant keyboard.