Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Asus ZenBook 14 Laptop Review

The Asus Zenbook 14 that's running the amd ryzen 5 pair that with an mx350 gpu and on paper it sounds like a great combination you right might think well nice to have a dedicated gpu, it sounds good on paper but in reality it's a different story. The build quality is actually really good. it survived a lot of the tests under its mil standard 810g rating that means this can take a licking and keep on ticking. It's also light at 2.54 pounds or 1.15 kilograms easy to carry around with you when you're on the go now as far as the ports are concerned, on the left side is your power port, a usb-a port, an hdmi port to connect to a monitor and a usb-c port.

Now unfortunately that usb-c port doesn't support charging so you cannot charge this device with the usb-c charger which is of course a negative in my book. Moving over to the right side you get a 3.5 millimeter audio jack, another usb-a port and a micro sd card slot for storage expansion of note there's no thunderbolt 3 port here and as i mentioned earlier Asus makes it pretty easy to get inside this laptop remove the t5 torx screws, remove the two feet on the bottom there are two screws beneath that once you do that you can pop off the bottom plate. Those two feet have an adhesive that can be reused so you can put them back on when you're done. Inside you'll notice that it does have a single fan it does have a replaceable ssd so you can upgrade the ssd yourself unfortunately the ram is soldered into the motherboard you won't be able to upgrade that and as i mentioned my unit has 8 gigabytes of lp ddr4 x ram that's a little bit slower than of course ddr4 ram and that will affect the performance we'll get into that in just a little bit.

This also has dual band wi-fi it's wi-fi six with a bluetooth five combo and it's all working well no complaints on that front okay let's talk about that display what we're looking at here is a 14 inch full hd display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 that of course translates into a 16 to 9 aspect ratio now i did notice a little bit of screen bleed nothing too terrible nothing too out of the ordinary but something to keep in mind now it does have some really deep blacks good white points decent contrast really good delta e score so it's good for color accuracy and it does cover the color gamut pretty well at 92 percent srgb 71 adobe rgb 74 of the p3 white color gamut and 68 ntsc making this a decent choice for those creators that like to do lightroom photoshop and of course video editing and with its 92 screen to body ratio you're looking at some really slim bezels that give off a nice sleek and modern look and at 300 nits this is a good choice for both indoor and outdoor use because it does have a matte display.

There's no unnecessary reflections or glare that you would normally get with a glossy display so i like the choice that they went with that matte display really works well now it does have some screen bleed as i did mention so it is something to keep in mind but nothing too terrible nothing in terms of a deal breaker so this is the front-facing camera on the asus zenbook 14 with that ryzen 5 with that mx350 gpu uh this is actually uh pretty good i guess for doing skype for doing zoom calls during this pandemic it's a 720p 30 frames per second webcam it's also an infrared webcam that means you can log in with face recognition with windows hello and that's pretty good but i'm curious to know what you think let me know in the comment section below and for those wondering yes you can open the lid with one finger now as far as the keyboard is concerned it's actually pretty comfortable to type on for extended periods of time decent key travel decent tactile feedback and it does have a multi-stage backlight allowing you to get work done in a dark room or a dimly lit environment and it's working really well.

In that regard it also has a precision touch pad it works well two finger scrolling is pretty smooth and all the windows 10 gestures work as advertised and when it comes to battery life it has a 50 watt hour battery and it did seven hours and 45 minutes on my continuous web surfing test over wi-fi at 150 nits which i say is okay now of course you can do more battery saving techniques of course you can disable the mx350 you probably can get a little bit more battery life out of it but under normal use everyday use you're looking at anywhere from seven and a half to eight hours of course depending on what you're doing but please remember you cannot charge this laptop with a usbc charger you have to use the supply charger in the box now when it comes to performance for everyday use you'll be fine in terms of doing Microsoft office email web browsing consuming media watching Netflix YouTube and the like you'll be fine it should perform pretty well now when it comes to things that like video editing and more graphics intensive things well it gets pretty interesting.

The problem here is that it's running lp ddr4x ram rather than the faster ddr4 ram and when you do things like gaming it all plays a part in this now i compared it with the ryzen 5 paired with that mx 350 versus the ryzen 5 with its integrated graphics turning off that mx350 and as you can see from the results it's pretty interesting with the ryzen 5 paired with that mx350 bioshock infinite on low settings got 87 frames per second dota 2 with the dx11 on in the high settings you're looking at around 86 frames per second but if you look at the ryzen 5 with its integrated graphics on its own it actually did pretty well in its own right but it's clear you definitely do get a little bit of a boost with that mx350 so that's been pretty good this laptop runs pretty quiet not a lot of fan noise which is pretty good but i did notice that it does get a bit warm or bit hot by the exhaust fan which is located by the display which is not a good place of course for it to get hot now this laptop sports two downward facing speakers located towards the front of the laptop and i gotta say surprisingly good rich sound with some decent volume can fill up a medium-sized room pretty nicely.

They did a decent job with the sound okay let's bring it all home can i recommend the asus zenbook 14 q407 iq and the answer is it depends if depends if you can get this at 550 at that price i think it's a great deal because you're getting pretty good performance paired with that mx 350 gpu but at a full price at 699 dollars it's harder for me to recommend due to its thermal limitations and due to the slower ram that they're using they're using the lp ddr4 x ram not the faster ddr4 ram which we would have liked to have seen but with that being said it is a good value at 550 you're getting a nice bright vibrant display covers the color gamut really well pretty good color accuracy and it does have surprisingly good speakers a nice keyboard and a nice touchpad the ergolift hinge good for comfortable typing angle there are some negatives that we need to point out that there's no usbc charging no thunderbolt 3 and there's no 4k display option although the thermal constraints give me a little bit of a pause but at 550 dollars this is definitely a recommend so what do you think about this bad boy the asus zenbook 14 with that ryzen 5.

Now when i bought this it was five hundred and fifty dollars it went up to about seven hundred dollars over at best buy again keep checking the link below i'll have the latest pricing where you can get the best deal on this at 550 it's not a bad deal if you can live with some of the limitations that this brings of course those thermal limitations are going to be at the forefront as far as the issues with this device now as far as the ryzen 5 we all know how it performs the good thermals the good performance we've seen in other devices the problem here is the ram used by asus on this they wanted to save some money and some power so they went with the lp ddr4x which is about 15 percent less in terms of power than you'd get with something like the ddr4 ram we saw in some other variants and you definitely see the difference in terms of processing power now the thermal constraints on this also play a role on what kind of performance you can get out of this.

So for everyday tasks like Microsoft office email web browsing it all works fine when you try to do gaming on this with this cpu combination you're going to have some issues with thermal throttling you're going to have issues with the thermal displacement on this it gets rather hot not the best thermal solution employed here by asus battery life is pretty good of course you can get pretty much most of the day with this under your normal use so that's been pretty good build quality is great with that all metal design it actually is really nice and you can upgrade the ssd yourself as i demonstrated in this video it's actually been pretty easy for you to access the inside but at 550 and if that's the price you can get this at i really think it's a nice choice for those that are on a budget but want something a little bit better than a budget laptop this can bring something a little bit more to the table just not rising to the level of a more premium laptop.