At Computex 2016, ASUS announced the third generation of its ZenBook ultrabooks. The ZenBook 3 is a sleek, lightweight laptop that's a competitor to Apple's MacBook. The laptop is quite powerful, equipped with the latest-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a fingerprint sensor too. We had a chance to spend some time with the ZenBook 3, and here's a quick look in pictures.
ASUS ZenBook 3 in pictures
Fingerprint sensor and trackpad
Performance and battery
ASUS universal dock
Pricing and availability
The ASUS ZenBook 3 is the latest ultrabook from the Taiwanese brand, and is a true competitor to the 12-inch Apple MacBook in more ways than one. The laptop is incredibly thin and lightweight, and features a single USB Type-C port for connectivity. The ZenBook 3 was unveiled at Computex 2016 where we had a chance to go hands on with the device. Here's a quick look in pictures.
The ZenBook 3 is a stunning laptop, with a sleek 11.9mm frame and a unibody design that's made of aerospace grade aluminium. It comes in three colours – Rose Gold, Quartz Gray and Royal Blue, and features gold chamfered edges and highlights. The lid gets the traditional ASUS concentric circle design along with a bold ASUS logo. The laptop is also very light, tipping the scales at just 910g.
The ZenBook 3 features a 12.5-inch display which is covered with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass 4 for protection. The display features a 16:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The screen is quite sharp with good viewing angles, although it did seem a bit reflective to us.
One of the highlights of the ZenBook 3 is the fact that it sports a fingerprint sensor with Windows Hello integration. In this case, the sensor is conveniently integrated into the trackpad, so it's easy to access. The trackpad itself is roomy and responsive, and comes with palm-rejection tech and support for smart gestures.
Even though the ZenBook 3 is a compact notebook, it incorporates a full-size chiclet keyboard. The keys are backlit, with the letters and numbers outlined in a gold finish to match the highlights on the ZenBook 3. The keyboard features well-spaced keys which offer decent travel, although we'll need to spend more time with the device before we can confirm the accuracy.
The ZenBook 3 comes in a choice of Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors. It offers up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. The ultrabook runs Windows 10 Pro out-of-the-box. The battery on board is a 6-cell 40Wh unit, which promises up to nine hours of battery life. ASUS claims the battery can charge from 0 to 60 percent in 50 minutes.
One of the highlights of the ZenBook 3 is its quad-speaker setup, which is powered by Harman Kardon. We experienced a short demo of the speakers, and the sound is loud and clear enough to fill a small room, great for watching videos or listening to music.
The ZenBook 3, just like the MacBook, offers only a single USB Type-C port, which functions both as a connectivity port and a charging port. The only other port on offer is a 3.5mm audio jack located on the left edge. The remaining connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.1, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Intel WiDi tech to stream content to a compatible TV.
To make up for the ZenBook 3's lack of ports, ASUS also announced a USB Type-C universal dock, that integrates a Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, RJ45 LAN, 3-in-1 SD card reader and 3.5mm headphone jack and mic inputs. There's also a smaller dock which offers a USB Type-C port, a full-size USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. The docks need to be purchased separately.
The ASUS ZenBook 3 is priced at $999 (~Rs 67,200) for the base variant with an Intel Core i5 SoC, 4GB RAM and 256GB of storage. The Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage option costs $1,499 (~Rs 1,00,850). The top-end model with a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage will cost $1,999 (~ Rs 1,34,500). The ZenBook 3 is expected to be launched in India in the coming months.