Home Computers Laptops Asus Zenbook 14 Review (UM431): Decent performance in a great shell

Asus Zenbook 14 Review (UM431): Decent performance in a great shell

Asus has launched quite a few laptops this year and adding to its arsenal of great laptops is Asus Zenbook 14 UM431, which is powered by AMD CPU and onboard graphics unit. It is one of the finest looking machines that has come to us in the recent past aimed at casual and power users. This is our review of the Asus Zenbook 14 UM431.

Design

The Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 is an exquisite laptop to look at right off the bat. It quickly asks you to fall for it head over heels. Dressed in spun aluminium with a hint of blue, the sides of the top lid and bottom façade has shiny chrome etched lines. The top lid also has the Asus branding again in chrome. Lift the lid and one can see a beautiful keyboard with raised chicklet type keys. A lot is happening here, you will find the Asus Zenbook branding on top of the keyboard, which also has a dull silver mesh above it.asus Zenbook 14 keyboard

The large trackpad comes with a fingerprint reader and one can also see twin speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. Oh, before we forget, the keyboard is backlit as well. Three brightness levels of LED is what this keyboard comes with. The function keys double up as the multimedia keys as well and one can find the power button on the top right side of the keyboard as well. Over that, the function key is a toggle button for F1-F11. This means you do not have to press FN + the top function key for a command to emulate. The keyboard is comfortable to work with since the Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 also comes with an ergo lift hinge that lifts the bottom part of the laptop by 4.5 degrees.Ergonomic Hinge

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The Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 comes with a charging, HDMI, USB 3.1 and USB Type C ports located on the left side of the machine. On the right, Asus has placed another USB port along with an SD card reader slot and audio cum MIC port. Underneath there are two additional speaker grilles and air vents. An HD camera and a couple of onboard MICs are also part of the package. These are located above the screen. Talking about which the screen to side bezel ratio is great. Asus has done a mighty fine job keeping the bezels around the display low.

Asus Zenbook 14 Performance

Asus has tried to put in the absolute latest inside the Zenbook 14 UM431 laptop. It comes with a 14-inch LED-backlit FHD 1080P display with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The insides hold an AMD Ryzen R5-3500U CPU, 8GB RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD storage. Graphics are powered by AMD RADEON Vega 8 GPU. Together they give you one of the best performance values we have seen in the recent 14-inch form laptops with onboard graphics. We ran 3D Mark GPU benchmark on the laptop and it scored 1,783 points.Amd

The laptop is great for professional users who want to work on spreadsheets or want to do light video or picture editing. With that, the Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 gives exceptional multimedia experience too. Thanks to the quad-speaker system, watching movies and YouTube videos is a great experience on this notebook. The loud bassy sound is powered by Harman Kardon that takes the resonance to another level. This is one aspect of the device we absolutely loved.Harman Kardon

The Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 comes with Windows 10 Home on board that boots in no time thanks to a super quick SSD. Also, there is minimal bloatware on the device, you get stock Windows 10 experience. The ergonomic Hinge does a fabulous job at lifting the keyboard and like we said it helps in comfortable typing.

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Driven by a 65W charger, the battery life is powered by 47Wh 2-cell lithium-polymer battery that can give you up to 12 hours of work time, as claimed by the company. However, we got a little over 6 hours of battery life with 60% screen brightness. This is not bad considering how slim Asus has made this laptop. How slim you ask? Weighing under 1.4KG the Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 is 15.9 mm slim with the lid closed.

Verdict and Final Words

The Asus Zenbook 14 UM431 comes with military-grade standards of MIL-STD-810G. To break this jargon for you, it means that the laptop will work fine in extreme temperatures (hot or cold), high altitude as well as humidity. The fingerprint scanner is a good addition to the trackpad and we have seen it one other Asus notebooks this year. Only nag here is that it comes in the way at times.

But what worries us a bit more is its price tag. At Rs 59,990, the asking price is on the higher side, especially when it has just 8 GB RAM. It has tough competition from its own brand that has Intel inside. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a great looking machine for the exceptional multimedia experience or light photo/video editing then you might want to look at this laptop as it has a super large 512GB SSD storage.

Pros

Excellent design

Superb Sound

Great display

Cons

Slightly Expensive

Just 8 GB RAM

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