TAIWANESE HARDWARE MAKER Asus has announced the ZenBook 3, a lightweight laptop designed to offer a Windows 10 take on Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Air.
The ZenBook 3 has had a severe nip and tuck, adding a bevy of features that should get ultraportable fans salivating. Here are the key specs.
The Asus ZenBook 3 comes with low energy dual-core chips form Intel, starting from Core i5 and running up to Core i7. This should give the device enough grunt to be a solid workhorse.
RAM starts at 4GB and goes up to a hefty 16GB running at 2133MHz. But all this power comes at a cost, as prices start at £799.
The ZenBook 3 offers plenty of space for work documents, cat gifs and salacious videos recorded with the built-in webcam. Storage starts at 256GB and runs up to a decent 1TB.
Asus has opted for a proper redesign, rather than a simple tweak, making use of an aerospace-grade aluminium alloy in the 11.9mm chassis that comes in Quartz Grey, Royal Blue and Rose Gold.
The ZenBook 3 weighs 910g, yet still manages to fit in a battery expected to last a good nine hours depending on use. Connectivity is a tad limited by the slimness of the machine, offering the now standard USB Type-C connections found on nearly all laptops revealed this year.
A good screen can make or break a laptop, and Asus has equipped the ZenBook 3 with a 12.5 full HD display with a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 coating.
Audio is provided by speaker specialist Harmon Kardon. The four-speaker configuration should avoid the tinny audio found in many ultraportables.
The full-sized backlit keyboard has a 19.8mm key pitch with 0.8mm of travel, and should offer a nice typing feel.
The trackpad is claimed to offer precise, smooth and accurate inputs, and supports gesture recognition, handwriting and palm rejection technology to prevent speedy keyboard warriors accidently stroking the glass-covered trackpad.
A finger print scanner works with Windows Hello to allow access to the machine with just a swipe.
The ZenBook 3 looks like a serious contender for the ultraportables market in 2016. But it's up against some stiff competition from budget laptops such as the Acer Aspire S 13 and even hybrids like the Huawei MateBook, which offers decent processors, screens and specs options.
We’ll have a proper review once the ZenBook 3 is released. Asus has yet to reveal a date. µ
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