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ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 (UX334F) Review




The ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 (UX334F) was made to commemorate ASUS’ 30 years in the tech industry. Made with genuine leather and 18-karat rose gold accents, the limited edition ZenBook Edition 30 is a luxurious laptop.

ASUS has made some interesting design choices with its Edition 30 ultrabook. Instead of focusing on hardware, ASUS opted to create something stunning and genuinely premium.

Design and Construction

The ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 is a beautiful ultrabook. The leather that covers the top is genuine and feels great to the touch. The ASUS logo that seems similar to Star Trek’s Federation emblem is made of 18-karat rose gold, and accompanied by gold and white stitching. The sides of the lid are made of 18k rose gold, as well.

The keyboard is the standard scissor-switch chiclet-style keyboard. For some reason, the keyboard feels mushy to type on, unlike other laptops. The keycaps are also wobbly and aren’t as stable as I’d like. Pressing the keys on the side of the keycap is different compared to pressing it in the middle, giving this laptop a poor typing experience. The keyboard does not support anti-ghosting and N key rollover. There’s white backlight underneath the keys to help you type in the dark. However, the keys themselves aren’t lit individually, which results in light spillage and uneven lighting across the keyboard.

The ASUS’ ScreenPad 2.0 feels exceptionally smooth. It doesn’t attract oil like other touchpads I’ve used, and it’s very responsive, making it a pleasure to use. When using the included wireless mouse, this could act as a secondary screen. Although, due to the small size, I only found it useful for media applications like Spotify. You can assign shortcuts so you can launch your applications quicker, too. However, launching apps do have some delay. The left and right clicks are very tactile also. The addition of rose gold accents on the border looks exceptionally classy.

On the left, you have the DC-in, HDMI, USB 3.1 Type-A, and USB 3.1 Type-C.

On the right, you can see the 3.5mm audio jack, USB 2.0, and microSD card reader.

The four rubber feet underneath help keep the laptop stable. You can also find two exhaust grills and the Harman Kardon speakers here. Two hinges hold the lid open, up to around 135°. There is little to no wobble, and you can open the device with just one hand.

Visually, everything about this ultrabook seems intentional. Nothing about the ZenBook Edition 30 is misplaced. From the stitching, choice of leather, the rose gold accents, and the box that houses the laptop and accessories, everything was well thought of. It’s a shame that the keyboard wasn’t as impressive, though, as it takes away a lot of enjoyment when using this device.

Display & Multimedia

The screen itself is excellent for media consumption and everyday tasks. The bezels are extremely thin at 4mm on the sides and 7mm on top where the webcam is. It’s rated to have 100% sRGB color gamut so content creators and avid media consumers would love to work with and look at the display. It’s bright enough to battle glare. And since this is an IPS panel, the viewing angles are excellent.

In terms of audio, you get rich sound from the Harman Kardon speakers. The bass quality does degrade quickly the further away you are, but the highs are maintained. It can get loud when placed on a hard surface, though due to its location, watching movies while in bed would muffle the sound.

Performance & Benchmarks

The ZenBook Edition 30 is powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U processor paired with NVIDIA’s MX 250 graphics chip. The laptop is also equipped with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSD. After formatting, Windows only reads 952 GB instead of 1TB, with only 904GB useable, which is plenty of space for all the software you may need and your files. If you ever run out of space, you can always get an external drive, though I doubt users would need it anytime soon. Aside from the usual apps included in Windows 10, you also get a trial version of both McAffee and Office 365, Evernote, and Spotify preinstalled.

Let’s take a look at synthetic benchmark scores of the ZenBook Edition 30. All tests were done in a ~28°C ambient temperature room, plugged into the socket. No OS optimizations were done to skew the results.

Starting with Cinebench R15 and R20, we get results similar to the Intel i7-3770, an ivy bridge processor. Given the power consumption of this chip, it’s a pretty decent score.


Next, we have Unigine’s GPU benchmarks. NVIDIA’s MX 250 wasn’t meant to be a powerhouse, so I didn’t expect good results.


Lastly, we have 3D Mark Time Spy and Fire Strike. While ultrabooks weren’t meant for gaming, you could play casual and easy to run games if you want to kill some time.

Lastly, we have the CrystalDiskMark 6 scores:

 Read (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
Seq Q32T13504.42387.4
4KiB Q8T8916.8364.4
4KiB Q32T1375.1343.8
4KiB Q1T146.07121.2

The ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 fared well, scoring faster than other PCIe NVME SSDs.

Battery Life

Doing our standard battery test of 1080p video loop with 50% brightness, 50% volume, headphones plugged in, and airplane mode, a full charge on the ZenBook Edition 30 lasted for 9 hours and 52 minutes. People on the go who need to get things done can do their work without reaching for a socket any time soon. Charging the laptop from 0-100% was also quick, taking only 1 hour and 13 minutes. These results are what you need from an ultrabook: long battery life, fast charging, and a portable charger.

Conclusion

The ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 as an ultrabook has everything you’d want: long battery life, fast storage, and a snappy system in a very portable device. The only problem is the price. One of these would set you back PHP 95,995. If you want an ultrabook, then other options would cost you less.

The ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 (UX334F) is impractical. It doesn’t have Intel’s 9th generation mobile processors with six cores and twelve threads. The display, while pretty, is only 1080p. And the discrete graphics chip included is weak. So, is it worth the price tag? No, and that’s precisely the point. The ZenBook Edition 30 wasn’t created to blow you away with amazing performance. It’s a statement, a display piece that could handle your everyday computing needs. It’s ASUS’s display of craftsmanship in celebration of its long years in the industry.

ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 (UX334F) specs:
13.3” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 slim-bezel NanoEdge display
100% sRGB color gamut
178° wide-view technology
Intel Core i7-8565U processor
1.8GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.6GHz) and 8MB cache
NVIDIA GeForce MX250 2GB GDDR5 VRAM
Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
1TB PCIe Gen3x4 SSD
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (up to 10Gbps)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A (up to 10 Gbps)
1 x USB 2.0
1 x Standard HDMI
1 x MicroSD card reader
1 x Audio combo jack
1 x DC-in
Full-size backlit keyboard, with 1.4mm key travel
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system
Array microphone with Cortana voice-recognition
HD IR camera
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
65W power adapter
Windows 10 Pro/Home

ScreenPad:
5.65” FHD+ (2160 x 1080) Super IPS display
178? wide-view technology
Glass-covered for fingerprint and smudge resistance
Precision touchpad (PTP) technology supports up to four-finger smart gestures

What we liked:

  • Overall design and construction of the laptop
  • 18-karat rose gold accents
  • Bright, and vivid display
  • Screenpad for mouse tracking and multitasking
  • Fast storage 
  • Long battery life

What we didn’t:

  • The keyboard
  • High price premium

 



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