Robin Sinha | TOI Tech | Aug 18, 2016, 01.39 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Asus at its Zenvolution event in India earlier this week not only launched a slew of new smartphones in the market but also
two premium laptops
— Asus Transformer Pro 3 and the Asus ZenBook 3. Both the laptops were unveiled in May this year during Computex 2016 conference in Taiwan. Of these, the Asus ZenBook 3 is claimed to be Apple MacBook rival. Priced at Rs 1,47,990, the laptop is said to be thinner than Apple’s thinnest laptop. It will be available starting October.

We spent some time with the newly-launched laptop at the Asus India’s event and here are our first impressions of the device.


Design and display



For those who have been following the Asus’ line of laptops, they should already know that the Taiwanese tech giant’s product lineup has always been compared to the Apple’s MacBook series. At the time of the launch also Asus compared the ZenBook 3 with Apple’s Macbook Air and claims that it is slimmer at 11.9mm.

Thickness aside, the laptop surely looks impressive, especially the Rose Gold colour model. A mirror-finish Asus logo at the back with the iconic ‘Spun-metal’ finish, shining rim running on the edges and a metal unibody design add to the premium design. In theory it is 10 gram lighter than MacBook, but for end users this might not be something worth considering.

Also, the 11.9mm thickness has its own drawbacks. Since it is extremely thin, it only has a USB Type-C port on one side and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the other side. No other output/input ports. We also tried the backlit keyboard for sometime and found it just about fine. The keys have enough travel time to make you feel like you have actually pressed a button. On the underside, the laptop has speakers as well.

Coming to the display, the Asus ZenBook 3 sports a 12.5-inch Full HD display with deep blacks. The screen is bright and vibrant with good viewing angles. Asus claims its ZenBook 3 display has 178-degree wide viewing angle.

Although it is likely to go unnoticed, Asus ZenBook 3 actually has thinner screen bezels on all the sides as compared to a MacBook. This adds to the immersiveness and the compact form factor of the laptop. We are yet to test the display and its modes, so stay tuned for our complete review.



Performance



Asus at the time of the launch not only compared its ZenBook 3 with MacBook in terms of design but also in terms of performance. While it’s too early to jump to any conclusions, one can expect a lag-free swift performance by the laptop as it is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and packs 16GB RAM. The graphics is handled by Intel HD GPU.

Since its a high-end laptop with powerful specs on paper, it is likely to handle most of the basic gaming needs of users too.

On the software side, running Windows 10, the laptop features all the new changes Microsoft made in its latest OS. As one would expect, the OS comes with its own share of goodies such as the new ‘start button’, Cortana virtual reality assistant, Microsoft Edge, new Photos app and more.

We are yet to test the battery of the ZenBook 3. According to Asus, the laptop should run for 9 hours on a single charge. It also supports fast-charging technology that can charge up to 60% in 49 minutes.

Verdict

Asus seems to be heavily banking on the laptop’s design and build, much like it does with each of its device. It is too early to comment anything on the performance of the Zenbook 3 but it is sure to grab a few eyeballs. The device is not for regular users and might prove to be a worthy competitor to the recently-launched HP Spectre laptop.

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