Review: ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434F

The ASUS ZenBook UX434F is the latest ZenBook 14 laptop to come with ASUS’s revamped ScreenPad. Which is a trackpad that’s also a touchscreen. Here’s a look at the latest effort from ASUS:

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Here’s the specs that matter:

  • 14″ UHD screen
  • 1.8 Ghz Intel I7 Whiskey Lake processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Nvidia GeForce MX250 with 2GB VRAM
  • 802.11 ac WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Windows 10
  • 3D camera that supports Windows Hello

As for ports:

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Here you see a power port, HDMI port, USB 3.0 port, and a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port

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And on the other side you see a headphone jack, USB 3.0 port, and microSD card reader.

Weighing just 1.3kg and measuring 7.83mm deep when closed, the ZenBook 14 is both light and slim. That makes it easy to tote around. The screen is bright, sharp, and easy to read. It is a bit glare prone though. It has a 92% screen to body ratio and has a resolution of 1920×1080 resolution. The keyboard has great feel and is great for touch typists like me. Apple could take a few lessons on how to make a great feeling keyboard from this ZenBook 14. The keyboard is backlit to allow you to work at night. The build quality is excellent. But I’ve come to expect that from ASUS as the build quality of their products is always on point. The speakers are made by Harmon/Kardon and are a bit of a mixed bag. Music sounds okay. But I wouldn’t be using it to throw a party or anything. Watching YouTube or Netflix is just fine however.

The ScreenPad 2.0 (5.6-inch ScreenPad 2.0 gives you 2160 x 1080 with a 18:9 ratio) is the ZenBook’s main talking point.

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It is a very cool and attention-grabbing feature that’s a little tricky to get to grips with at first. But once you get used to it, it works fine as both a trackpad and as a second screen. Fortunately there’s a tutorial that pops up when you first set up the ZenBook 14 can help you to get to grips with it though. You can toggle between the ScreenPad being on and off with a tap of the F6 button. One cool trick is that you can do handwriting on the ScreenPad and it even comes with a few apps that leverage it. Other apps that support the ScreenPad are of the your mileage may vary variety. Battery life was decent at 9 hours of browsing the web and using office. It takes two hours to charge in case you need to top it up during the day. I can live with that battery life and I am sure that the target audience of any person who require a ultra portable notebook can live with.

What does all this ASUS goodness go for? About $1500 on Amazon. But you can find it for less if you hunt around. If you’re a student, or someone who needs a small light laptop that has the party trick of a touchpad that doubles as a second screen, you should take a look at the ASUS ZenBook 14.

 

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