Hands-on: Asus ZenBook 15 Review

Published on November 19, 2019
Hands-on: Asus ZenBook 15 Review

Asus ZenBook 15: Image Source

Asus has won the game in smaller laptops as we see more and more small size laptops in 2019. The XPS 13, which tore off smaller bezels, launched by Dell, however, Asus did it over twice. Almost each ZenBook user is can put as many devices as possible in the smallest possible container, and it is no exception to the ZenBook 15 UX534 priced at $1,399.

The ZenBook 15 definitely is a little laptop with a 15.6″ screen. The casing is as small as possible, but the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and Intel Whiskey Lake i7-8565U are still assembled within it with an 8th-Gen Whiskey Core i8-8565U.

Zenbook has over time become as powerful in its esthetics as the ThinkPad of Lenovo. The ZenBook 15 has a condensed classic Asus swirl on its cover, it is blue with gold trim, so it would be impossible for you to tell the difference between that version and the ones before it.


The ZenBook 15 is smaller than the XPS 15 and the other popular laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme, but can it keep up with its performance?

Sorry, it’s not true. The ZenBook 15 is fitted with a quad-core Core i7-8565U which is unable to compare with the six-core Core i7-9750H in the XPS 15.

Asus finishes in around three and a half minutes our Handbrake video transcoding check. Far quicker than other 15-watt quad-core laptops, which typically require a minute longer.

For instance, the ZenBook line will get 10th-gen CPUs in Q1 2020 on the other hand, the Dell XPS 132-in-1 uses a Core i7-1065G7, and 15-watt quad-core portion of Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake, and it came in almost exactly four and a half minutes.

Nonetheless, in a blistering 80 seconds, the Core i9-9980HK, Dell XPS 15 completed the same test.

It is right too, though to a lesser degree, when it comes to the GPU performance of the ZenBook 15. It performed well in the simulated comparisons of 3DMark, but on the Time Spy chart, 20% behind the XPS 15. The ZenBook 15 again performed well in our actual gaming benchmarks for a thin and light laptop, but not as fast as the XPS 15. In Civilization VI, the ZenBook 15 managed 89 frames per second (FPS) compared to the 1080p and medium settings of the XPS 15’s 82 FPS, which surprised me.

The ZenBook 15’s hinge positions the keyboard from a table (or a lap) as with the 13.3-inch and 14-inch versions. It facilitates greater flow of air and a more comfortable experience. The fans spin up, but they are not too noisy and they do their work properly.

Battery Life

Asus succeeded in providing battery life of 71 watt-hours into the ZenBook 15, which is a reasonable total for this physical size laptop. The XPS 15 have a gigantic 97-watt-hour battery, while the 82-watt-hour in HP Spectre x360. Which keep the ZenBook 15 right out of the competition in battery life, no matter how powerful the laptop was built by Asus.

The ZenBook 15 is a good to decent runner in our battery trials. The ZenBook 15 lasted just under eight hours in the all-important internet test scrolling. It means that the ZenBook 15 brings the average consumer near to a full-day job if the workload is low. The Spectre x360 15 AMOLED, suffering from a very power-hungry screen, lasted nearly 8.5 hours, which is a huge knock on the ZenBook 15 with its Full HD monitor, and most luxury notebooks that lasted about eight hours.

No 4K Display

The ZenBook Pro in the U.S. has the Full HD display, the only option, and is below average. Colors were similar to average at 93% of sRGB and 72% of Adobe RGB, and color fidelity at 1.68 (less than 1.0 is excellent) is good but not great. Brightness at 289 nits is below our 300 nit standard, and contrast at 700:1 is below normal.

In the end, the screen is not sufficiently good that it can be used for clear visibility. The bad contrast will disturb people who like to put out their black script on white backgrounds. Creative professionals will look elsewhere, including the XPS 15 with its stunning, large and accurate color display choices.  Asus has in the past offered 4K screens on its high-end laptops but not this time.

Screen Pad of ZenBook 15

The ZenBook 15 has a great keyboard. It has a brilliant 3-degree backlight and descriptive yellow letter on blue keys. The design is pleasant with a good tap, offering a precise feeling which touch typists would enjoy using a convenient bottom movement. It’s not as nice as my personal keyboard the one on the spectrum side from HP, but it’s near enough for most people not to understand the differences.

Final Verdict

At its most clear goal, the ZenBook 15 excels to pack a ton of laptop into a smaller frame.

Sadly, the ZenBook 15 isn’t so much larger than its rivals, which could make it stand out from this specific feature. You can get a slightly larger, cheaper and long-lasting laptop, putting the ZenBook 15 aside. Because to convince many users with the ScreenPad 2.0 isn’t enough.

Is there an option that is better?

The Dell XPS 15 is most noticeable rival to the ZenBook 15. You can get an XPS 15 for as little as $1,030 with an 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, quad-core i5-9300H, and a superior Full HD screen. You can get longer battery life and faster speed at almost the same cost with the Dell (a six-core i7-9750H) laptop.

One other alternative that you can look at is the latest 15-inch surface laptop 3 from Microsoft that you can pick up for $1,500 with an 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and AMD Ryzen 5 Processor.

Read Next: MacBook Pro 16 inch: Apple Changed the Butterfly-style Keyboard for All Good Reasons

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Hands-on: Asus ZenBook 15 Review
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