IT WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY that 2018 was the year laptop makers killed the bulky display bezel, and Asus has become the latest to rid of surrounds on its refreshed ZenBooks.
The entire range of mid-range laptops and convertible machines that make up the ZenBook lineup have seen the bezels of the so-called NanoEdge displays neatly trimmed down.
The result is the new ZenBook range looks a lot more modern and '2018' than the rather ageing look of previous ZenBooks.
Both the ZenBook Flip 13 and Flip 15 models have been given a bezel-stripping makeover, while also having the latest eighth-generation Intel laptop processors slipped under their bonnets and the larger 15in model getting access to a Nvidia graphics card.
OK, the pedants amongst you will still moan there's a bezel around the displays of the 2-in-1 laptops, but the so-called NanoEdge screen has been significantly trimmed-back compared to previous ZenBook models, and now offer a 90 per cent scree-to-body ratio.
But these devices should provide more screen for the money and an improved performance and battery life; all good attributes in our opinion.
However, the bezel prejudice is best seen on the standard ZenBook notebook range, with the 13in, 14in and 15in models all getting quite a makeover.
By stripping down the screen bezels, Asus has managed to cram the laptops' displays into smaller frames; for example, the 14in ZenBook now fits into a chassis one would expect to see the 13in model sport.
While not the slimmest laptops around, the new ZenBooks come with a nice selection of ports, though one of the USB-A ports has been removed, along with the SD card reader. The new ZenBooks also come with latest Intel processors and for the higher-end models, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card is available in Team Green's Max-Q laptop-friendly configuration.
Sadly, only the 15in ZenBook comes with the option to upgrade to a 4K resolution panel, while the other models are stuck with 1080p displays on a 16:9 aspect ratio. But the 13in and 14in models do get a touchpad that can transform into a form of a virtual number pad, which gives them a feature to tout even if it's arguably a bit gimmicky.
The neat exterior design really represents a shift up for the ZenBook range, but the pricing looks to remain reasonable, with the standard ZenBooks starting at $899 and the Flip starting at $1,637.
We'll have to see is the new ZenBooks live up to Asus' normal standards of delivering decent quality laptops at wallet-friendly prices. µ
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