Thin and (incredibly) light.
We’ve been playing with Asus’ new ZenBook 14 (UX425J) for the past week and I must say we were impressed as to how they managed to fit features and performance in a notebook that weighs just a kilogram. It’s a feat of engineering that’s for sure, and instantly makes the UX425J one of our favorite ultraportables.
At just 13.9 mm, the UX425J is incredibly thin and weighs just 1.13 kilograms – a hardbound book I was reading weighs more than that. The design is typical of any Asus laptop: an aluminum chassis with brushed metal on the cover, highlighted by the Asus logo. The thin profile makes this easy to carry with your hands even without a bag.
The screen is the first thing you’ll see when you open the UX425J. It’s a 14-inch screen with a 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution. The same Asus-made NanoEdge technology is present here, which offers a crazy 90 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The screen is bright and with 100 percent sRGB color gamut support, you’re getting brilliant colors and amazing image quality on a screen that’s perfectly viewable even outside under sunlight. Like other Asus notebooks, the ErgoLift hinge raises the keyboard a comfortable typing angle when the screen is opened.
The top of the screen houses the 3D IR camera, which offers an added layer of security since it can be used with Windows Hello when logging into the notebook. It’s fast and instantly logs you in once it detects your face, though the webcam image quality could be better.
Right down below is where you’ll find the keyboard. The spaced-out keys are comfortable to type and are backlit so it’s easy to type even when you are in dark surroundings. There is no separate numeric keypad, but the Asus NumberPad 2.0 (the official name of the trackpad) can be changed into an illuminated keypad with just one touch of the sensor located on the top-right corner.
Despite the thin profile of the UX425J, there’s still a plethora of I/O ports available. This includes USB. USB-C, HDMI, and microSD card reader. I would have preferred a standard-sized SD reader on the notebook, but it is not really a deal-breaker. There’s also no 3.5 mm audio jack – but worry not, the UX425J includes a USB-C to 3.5 mm dongle so you can still connect your favorite headphones. There are also built-in speakers, but we wished the sound output could have been better.
Asus also loaded the UX425J with decent hardware that allowed it to handle a variety of tasks. It’s powered by an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU and partnered with a super-fast 16GB of 3200MHz LPDDR4X RAM. There’s also 1TB NVMe SSD for storage, along with Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 support.
The spec sheet is enough for the UX425J to handle a typical workload, it even was sufficient enough to play some games. I used this for a couple of weeks as my primary work laptop, and it didn’t even show an indication that it was struggling considering the number of tabs I’ve opened on Chrome along with the constant reminder of Outlook that I have a new email.
Another thing I want to highlight is the UX425J’s incredible battery life. I wasn’t exactly on board with Asus saying that it can support up to 22 hours of battery life, but on real-world usage, I got around 6-7 hours before it started asking me to plug it in. Using the notebook simply or watching content on Netflix or YouTube yielded more hours out of it, easily allowing me to ditch the charger and just the notebook when I head outside. Just in case you do need to charge it, the included USB-C fast charger can easily juice up the 67 Wh lithium-polymer battery from 1 to 40 percent in just half an hour.
Available for 3,699 AED, the Asus ZenBook 14 UX425J blends the right amount of features, performance, and value that makes it one of our favorite ultraportables.
+ Lightweight and thin profile
+ Great display and build quality
+ Above average performance
We Didn’t Really Like:
– Speaker’s sound quality could be better
Final Rating: 4/5