The Asus ZenBook 14 UX433F is a solid lightweight machine that boasts that it’s the world’s smallest 14-inch laptop. You can’t argue with that either, straight out of the box you wonder if they could fit any actual computer parts in the casing. Turns out they fit a fair bit of grunt under the hood perfect for a graphic designer on the go.
The Zenbook series come in many sizes and the stand out for this device you will notice as soon as you push back the lid to reveal the keyboard layout underneath. The touchpad is a “NumberPad” which is a clever high-bred design of touchpad meets numeric keyboard. Switching between the two is really simple and a stand out feature for a machine of this size.
The backlit keyboard ads to the look of the machine and helps you find those keys in the dark. Let’s face it that’s when most of us are doing any typing, sitting back on the couch bingeing Netflix and letting the laptop live up to its name. It’s actually one of the things I loved about this machine, it’s so light you barely notice it and there’s virtually no heat produced from it unlike some of the bigger machines that can work up a bit of “leg sweat”.
I’d like to apologise for that visual.
Speaking of visuals the FHD display is really nice, it’s vivid, clear and has multiple viewing angles so you don’t need to be front on all the time.
The audio is a Harmon Kardon system so you don’t get any distortion when you crank it up to show off a youtube video to your mates.
One of the features that really surprised me was the Cortana login, I didn’t have to type in a password at all. When I opened the lid the machine would use facial recognition to recognise me and be set ready to work on at an unbelievable speed. A great feature for rushing into meetings at work or if you really need to jot something down quickly so you don’t forget it.
I’ve seen this new Ergolift on a couple of the ASUS ROG systems recently and now it’s on the ZenBook as well. What it does is when you lift the lid the monitor pushes out at the base and lifts the keyboard up. This creates airflow for cooling, improves the tilt for a better typing experience and opens up the audio for performance. Seems like a pretty simple thing but it’s just one of those things that makes the experience so much better.
The Li-polymer battery will give you around 13 hours of battery life if you are doing simple tasks. If you are really pushing it though it will drop pretty significantly, like any laptop if you are doing high powered work, plug it in. No problem.
If you were desperate to play a game there are probably some you could run on it but I wouldn’t be pushing any high end graphic titles on it. I’ve been getting back into “StarCraft II” lately and it’s a great system for that or maybe something like DOTA.
Running some of the Adobe suite on it was very nice. Basic photoshop and audio editing it ran extremely well but I didn’t have an opportunity to push it with Adobe Premiere or After Effects.
If you travel for work this is the machine for you. Powerful but slim, so you’ll be able to slide it in and out of your bag without hurting yourself, some of the laptops on the market now are more like an extensive weight workout at the gym than an elegant machine designed for portability like this. It’s a surprise that they fit so much power into such a small device and certainly worth the money you pay for it.