REVIEWS

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover

2016 Ford Flex Limited

Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda MX-5

Sennheiser PXC-550 Bluetooth headphones

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan

Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

Apple AirPods

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

808

Game of Thrones Season Six Blu-Ray

Michelin Premier all-season tires

Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio +

Google Daydream View VR headset

ASUS ZenBook 3

Jaybird X3

JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

Moto Insta-Share Projector for Moto Z

Google Pixel XL

Apalon's My Alarm Clock app

Lenovo Moto Z

Apple Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3

iOS 10

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless vacuum

Tablo by Nuvyyo

Samsung Gear Fit 2 fitness wearable

Ulysses for macOS and iOS

Epson SureColor P600 Wide Format inkjet printer

HBO's Vinyl Season 1

Apple MacBook (2016)

Papago! GoSafe 268 mirror mounted dash-cam

Piper all-in-one security

JayBird Freedom headphones

SF MoMA app

Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker

UA HealthBox

Dyson Pure Cool Link

Lola by Blue

HTC 10

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

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Wednesday
Nov022016

Review: ASUS ZenBook 3

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

What we have here is an outlier, a sub portable notebook designed for optimal portability and long battery life but which can also handle some top-level performance thanks to the fact that it has the latest processors and bumped up specs.

ASUS ZenBook 3 is the company’s answer two Apple notebooks. It has the 12-inch form-factor of the ultra-portable Retina MacBook, but boasts processor and specs that can go head-to-head with even the latest MacBook Pro. Here are my impressions of the remarkable new ASUS ZenBook 3.

In case you haven’t noticed, ultra-thin, ultra light notebooks are a definite thing. Apple defined the space with the MacBook Air, Intel’s OEMs followed suit with the Ultrabook class of devices. Apple went insanely portable with the 12-inch Retina MacBook, a true wonder of engineering mired by a low-performance (although fanless and power efficient mobile processor), a single USB-Type C port and innovations like the butterfly keyboard mechanism and solid-state trackpad. Hit jump for the full review.

Design

 

The slightly roomier ASUS ZenBook 3 could pass for the MacBook’s doppelgangner, it has very similar tapered wedge design. It also flaunts a single USB Type-C port, which makes the use of third-party dongles, for an added expense, an inescapable reality. ASUS does bundle a mini-dock in the box, which takes away some of the pain of the single port fixation but also makes the ZenBook 3 more useful out of the gate.

My blue ASUS ZenBook 3 review unit has a nice metallic look, complete with gold highlights on the border of the lid as well as the ASUS logo and the backlight on the keys. The design is very refined and the build quality is very high. ASUS has put some surprises in this tiny notebook that aren’t even present on larger laptops. It has a built-in fingerprint scanner for quick sign-in access and potentially another way to authenticate identity or mobile payments.

It is one thing to emulate a design and another to add your own flourishes. ASUS does have its own trademark design touches and these are quite evident in the ZenBook 3. 

Performance

 

Running Windows 10 like a champ, the ASUS ZenBook 3, which is powered  by the  7th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 Kaby Lake processors, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. Battery life is rated at up to 9 hours.

Note that the recently launched MacBook Pros and even the Surface Book i7 don’t even use Intel’s latest processors (they’re running on last year’s Skylake processors), which makes the ZenBook 3 more cutting edge in terms of raw performance. 

This is remarkable if you consider that the ZenBook 3’s main competitor, the Apple MacBook Retina, doesn’t even run on Core i5 or i7 processors, Apple decided to go with the low power and lower performance Core m processors which are more geared towards battery life. MacBooks are famously fanless machines and are whisper quiet, not so for the Core i7 powered ZenBook 3 which has a fan that spins quite loudly when you are tasking the processor.

What we have here is an outlier, a sub portable notebook designed for optimal portability and long battery life but which can also handle some top-level performance thanks to the fact that it has the latest processors and bumped up specs.

 

Hits: 

-Precision design

-Great keyboard, built-in fingerprint sensor

-Powerful seventh-gem Core i7 processor

-Pro notebook performance in subportable enclosure 

Misses:

-Fan can get loud

-Battery life is just okay at 5.5 hours

-It only has one port, so dongles are a necessity

 

Verdict:

The ASUS ZenBook 3 is a new breed notebook that blends optimal portability with pro-class processing power at a price that’s more affordable than weaker competing notebooks. There are a lot of delightful design features as well as resonant touches plus impressive build and engineering in this one machine.

Windows 10 users who have MacBook envy can now quell that green monster with a similarly portable but seriously more powerful notebook that features even newer processors than what’s on the new MacBook Pros. Pricing of the ASUS ZenBook 3 ranges depending on the specs. The Core i7 model we reviewed (with 512MB SSD and 8GB of RAM) costs CAD $1999.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

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