ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN review: ultraportable laptop with touchscreen instead of touchpad


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We first met ASUS ZenBook new laptops at Computex 2019 in early summer. Some new products are already

presented in Ukraine. Although they still did not have time to go on sale, one of the new products - ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN - has already arrived at our office. Compared to its predecessor, there are not so many differences: a recognizable design, relevant, but quite familiar filling, but there are a couple of small, interesting innovations. Today we will tell you what the new ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN can do and how it differs from the already available models.

  1. What is it?
  2. What about positioning and what are the differences from the previous model?
  3. What is included?
  4. How does it look and qualitatively assembled?
  5. How convenient is it to use a laptop?
  6. What is ScreenPad 2.0 capable of?
  7. How good is the screen?
  8. What about performance, autonomy and sound?
  9. In the dry residue

What is it?

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN - flagshipultra-compact metal laptop with a 14-inch IPS-display, 8th generation Intel processors, up to 16 GB of RAM, a fast SSD-drive, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card and an additional ScreenPad 2.0 screen combined with the touchpad.

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What about positioning and what are the differences from the previous model?


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To begin with, positioning and place in the line: ASUS ZenBook UX433FN, which visited our review in February, is being sold and will be sold in several configurations (as well as 13- and 15-inch variants). ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN is not an update, but rather an extension of the line: models will be sold in parallel. If briefly about the differences: UX433FN - with NumberPad (touchpad with a digital touch panel), UX434FN - with an updated ScreenPad 2.0 (additional touch screen that is combined with the touchpad), the second difference, the discrete graphics card is less dramatic: GeForce MX150 on the UX433FN versus MX250 on the MX250 UX434FN. The MX250 is a slightly overclocked version of the MX150, so you shouldn't expect a huge performance boost. For the rest, everything is very familiar: a recognizable metal case in blue with golden accents and concentric polishing on the top cover, a 14-inch 1920x1080 IPS touch screen with thin frames, inside - Core i5 or i7 processors of the Whiskey Lake family, 8-16 GB of RAM, fast PCIe NVMe SSDs, full-sized USB and HDMI ports, a microSD card reader and an infrared camera to recognize the owner by the face.

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What is included?


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The delivery set remained unchanged. The laptop is packed in a relatively small box of gray with the name of the model. Inside - a laptop, a compact power supply, an envelope case, a USB-Ethernet adapter (in its mini-case) and documentation /

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How does it look and qualitatively assembled?


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The laptop case is already familiar to us: metal, a concentric pattern on the lid, the logo in the same place, the main blue color, which has already become a corporate name for the line and accents of golden color. When you open and turn on the laptop, really very thin frames around the display and, of course, ScreenPad 2.0, which has slightly increased in size, are striking. We will talk about it in more detail a little later.


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The set of ports and their location remained the same. This is both good and not very: full-sized ports have not gone away, but charging is still only through a proprietary connector, Type-C has not received support from either Power Delivery or Thunderbolt. On the left is full-size HDMI, 1xUSB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 and 1xUSB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2 and a socket for the power supply:


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On the right are LED indicators, a combined 3.5 mm audio jack, a full-sized USB 2.0 and a microSD card slot:


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At the rear end there are ventilationholes, the logo of the line and two familiar rubber feet on which the laptop stands in the open state. They appeared on ASUS laptops along with the ErgoLift design. Front - only cutout:


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The design of the bottom cover also remainedalmost unchanged. Round rubberized legs, stereo speaker grids and perforation of the cooling system. The latter has changed a bit, but for the user it does not play exactly any role:


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ASUS claims that the screen occupies 92% of the totalthe surface of the cover, the frames around the perimeter are really very thin. At the same time, the camera is in the “right” place and there are infrared sensors on the sides to determine the owner by face:


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The linear dimensions remained the same: 319x199 mm. Slightly smaller in width, but slightly longer than a sheet of A4 paper. But the thickness and weight increased a little: 16.9 mm and 1.26 kg compared to 1.59 mm and 1.19 kg, respectively. This is due to the use of ScreenPad 2.0. But in reality, these differences are not felt at all. The laptop is comfortable, compact and portable. There are no problems with the assembly either.

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How convenient is it to use a laptop?


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ASUS continues to use ErgoLift designin their laptops, the solution turned out to be really successful. For those who are not in the know: when you open the laptop, the back of the work surface rises. As a result, the keyboard is positioned at an angle of 3 °, and a gap appears between the table and the bottom of the laptop for better air circulation. And the speakers are less covered, which is also good for volume. At the same time, the maximum opening angle of the laptop is 145 °. The keyboard layout has remained the same: the smaller top row F, Home, End, PgUp and PgDown are combined with the F9-F12, separate Print Screen, Insert, Delete and the power button at the end of the row. The combination Fn + Esc switches the operating mode of the functional row of buttons. Both Shift are long, single-story Enter. Arrow block of reduced height.


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Button travel 1.4 mm, standard size and distance between them. There is a white backlight with three brightness levels. It is convenient to use:


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ScreenPad 2.0 can work in normal touchpad mode. And he copes with this role perfectly: large (5.65 inches), with very high sensitivity and a good coating, on which the finger glides well:


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What is ScreenPad 2.0 capable of?


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Second-generation ScreenPad increased in size: from 5.5 to 5.65 inches. Now the aspect ratio is not 16: 9, but 18: 9, the resolution is 2160x1080. But its software is more radically redesigned. ScreenPad 2.0 is recognized by the system as an additional display with all the usual features.


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At the same time, he is solely responsible for his workintegrated video accelerator. For convenient work, the ScreenXpert software add-on is used with a kind of “desktop” with icons of necessary applications and basic tools. The main idea is to expand the workspace with ScreenPad and / or place secondary applications on it. There are already a number of adapted applications, including MS Office or Adobe Premiere, in which a number of necessary tools are displayed on an additional screen. For example, timeline in Premiere or font settings and everything else in Office. But this does not mean that other applications will not work. For example, the necessary tool windows are easily transferred and used on ScreenPad. There you can open the necessary instant messengers, email client or music player. Plus there are built-in things like a numeric keypad or handwriting:


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For more convenient use when movingwindows with any application on the big screen there are two icons that are responsible for transferring the application to the bottom screen or fixing it to ScreenXpert:


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This is what ScreenXpert and basic pieces look like,which he can, including tools for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. An interesting thing is the Quick Key. This is a set of buttons for quick access to functions for which combinations are used. Copy, cut, paste and so on. In addition, ScreenXpert has its own manager of running applications. At the bottom of the screen there are buttons for quickly switching to the home page, calling the application manager, throwing the application to the main display and touchpad mode. The latter is very useful: you do not need to switch the ScreenPad operating mode. When the button is pressed, the ScreenPad temporarily switches to touchpad mode and switches back if you do not use it for a couple of seconds.


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In the settings you can adjust the brightness,resolution of two options (reduced will be more appropriate for energy saving), refresh rate, energy conservation mode and see manuals how to use it all.


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ScreenPad 2.0 turned out to be much more thoughtful and convenient compared to the first version. The software works adequately and smartly. In general, it looks viable and promising in theory, if software developers podssuetsya with convenient adaptation. But a little niche: after all, using ScreenPad on an ongoing basis requires some getting used to. Plus, however, two monitors are nearby - this is somewhat more convenient than moving your eyes from the main display to the touchpad.

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How good is the screen?

The laptop uses a 14-inch touchscreenIPS-display with a resolution of 1920 × 1080. Of course, the touch panel made use of a protective glass that can glare in the sun. ASUS promise high-quality color reproduction and brightness of 300 cd / m2. Visually, the screen really makes a very good impression.


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According to the results of measurements, the maximum brightnessThe display was 298.912 cd / m2. The brightness of the black field is 0.29 cd / m2, and the static contrast is 1031: 1. The color gamut of the display is close to the sRGB color space, and the calibration is very good:


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What about performance, autonomy and sound?


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ASUS ZenBook hardware test configuration14 UX434FN is almost identical to the UX433FN that arrived in February. Accordingly, inside there is a 14-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor with support for 8 HyperThreading threads, 8 MB SmartCache. The clock frequency is 1.8 GHz (up to 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost). For the graphics, the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip with a frequency of up to 1150 MHz and the discrete GeForce MX250 with 2 GB of GDDR5 video memory are responsible. Formally, the 250th differs from the 150th only in higher frequencies. In our case, a slightly truncated version is used (apparently): the video core frequencies are absolutely identical to those that we saw with the predecessor: 937 MHz and 1038 MHz - boost, only the memory frequency increased from 1253 to 1502 MHz, so wait for a noticeable performance increase not worth it. The amount of RAM is 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz. Wireless interfaces: Wi-Fi 802.11 AC (2 × 2) and Bluetooth 5.0.


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But the results in performance tests are a bithigher than its predecessor. Both processor and graphics. But in general, everything is at the expected level: for office work, basic photo and video editing, the laptop has enough power. As for not the most demanding games:


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The laptop has an SSD manufactured by Samsung NVMe PCIe3 x4 at 1 TB. This is the top version. The basic configuration uses a slower 256 GB NVMe PCIe3 x2 SSD:


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The drive works very fast: the maximum read speed is about 3350 MB / s, and the write speed is about 2400 MB / s:


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At "office" loading the cooling systemthe laptop is not audible. In more demanding tasks, the work of the CO is audible, but it works quietly. At the beginning of the stress test, the temperature rose briefly to about 80 °, then the CO “accelerated” and the temperature was kept at 75 °, while the laptop works stably without throttling. The case is not particularly heated: the area above the keyboard becomes noticeably warm, no more:


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You can also drive games if you want ApexLegends or Destiny 2 at low settings in native resolution produce a little more than 30 frames per second, as well as the turn-based strategy of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. And here's an old, but nice third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line produces a cozy 60 FPS:


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From the standpoint of autonomy, nothing has changed: the laptop is powered by a 3-cell battery at 50 Wh; full charge takes just over 2 hours. In the “office” mode using a browser, mail, instant messengers with Wi-Fi connection, low brightness and ScreenPad 2.0 in the touchpad mode, about 8 hours of work are obtained. ScreenPad 2.0, by itself, will reduce this figure in active mode.

Pre-installed software on a laptop minimum: general MyASUS utility to configure everything. Display settings, CO operating modes, operation of the upper row of the upper buttons, checking for updates, system diagnostics, and so on. To adjust the sound, there is already the AudioWizard application familiar from previous models:


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In the dry residue

ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN - an interesting addition toa successful line of ultraportable laptops. He retained all the advantages of current models already on the market, while he got an extremely interesting bonus in the form of an updated ScreenPad 2.0. This is still a very compact and stylish laptop, with an excellent screen, up-to-date hardware stuffing, a set of full-sized ports and a long battery life. But a couple of controversial points, too, moved into a novelty: the laptop still does not know how to charge on Type-C, and support for Thunderbolt was never delivered. ScreenPad 2.0 is an interesting, but so far specific thing: it can really be useful in many use cases, there is already adapted software, and other applications work adequately with it. But obviously not every user will use ScreenPad 2.0, and its use will not be the best for the battery life. There is no exact cost yet: the laptop will be available only in 2 weeks, the younger model with i5 and 256 GB SSD will cost about 30 000 UAH.

6 reasons to buy ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN:

  • compact, lightweight and stylish metal case;
  • excellent display;
  • high performance;
  • the presence of full-sized ports;
  • long battery life;
  • Are you sure you need ScreenPad 2.0.

3 reasons not to buy the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN:

  • no USB Type-C charging;
  • lack of Thunderbolt;
  • You are sure that you do not need ScreenPad 2.0 and do not want to overpay for it.

Technical specifications ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434FN

Display
14 inches, 1920x1080, IPS

Dimensions
319x199x16.9 mm

Weight
1.26 kg

operating system
64-bit Microsoft Windows 10

CPU
Intel Core i7-8565U, 4 cores, 1.8-4.6 GHz (Kaby Lake R, 14 nm)

Ram
16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz

Graphics
nVidia GeForce MX250, 2 GB GDDR5, Intel UHD Graphics 620

Storage device
SSD NVMe PCIe3x 4 1 TB

Communications
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0

Connectors

Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 2, Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB 2.0, HDMI, MicroSD card reader, combo audio jack

Camera
Camera with infrared sensor

Battery
Lithium Polymer, 50 WHr, 3 cells

Additionally
ScreenPad 2.0

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