During CES, Asus announced updates to a handful of new laptops within its ZenBook and Chromebook lineups, as well as a detachable Transformer and business-class AsusPro.
ZenBook 3 Deluxe
First in a number of ZenBook updates is the ZenBook 3 UX490UA, or ZenBook 3 Deluxe. The updated ZenBook 3 Deluxe features up to an Intel Core i7-7500U, up to 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The ZenBook 3 Deluxe also includes two Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C ports which can be used to for external graphics docks, UHD displays, and power delivery.
The ZenBook 3 Deluxe features a 13-inch-long, 0.5-inch-wide aluminum chassis. The cooling system consists of a single 0.3mm-wide liquid-crystal-polymer impeller and 0.1mm-thick copper alloy heat pipes. The Deluxe sports a 14-inch Full HD display with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 surface. The small laptop also packs a full-sized keyboard with a 1.2mm key travel and a glass trackpad with a fingerprint sensor.
The Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA with an i7-7500U and 16GB of memory will be available in May for $1,699.
|Header Cell - Column 0||ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA|
|Processor||-Intel Core i7-7500U-Intel Core i5-7200U|
|Operating System||-Windows 10 Home-Windows 10 Pro|
|Memory||-16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz Onboard memory-8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz Onboard memory|
|Display||14.0" (16:9) LED backlit FHD (1920x1080) 60Hz Glare Panel with 72% NTSC with 178˚ wide-viewing angle display|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Storage||-1TB PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD-512GB PCIe Gen3x4 SSD-256GB SATA3 SSD|
|Keyboard||Illuminated chiclet keyboard|
|Networking||-802.11 ac Wi-Fi-Bluetooth v4.1|
|Audio||-Quad-speaker array-High quality stereo speakers with Harmon Kardon tuning Asus SonicMaster Premium technology|
|Interface||-Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C x 2-USB Type-C Gen 1-Combination audio jack-Multi-format card reader|
|Battery||4-cell 46W lithium-polymer|
|Adapter||Output: 20V DC, 3.25A, 65WInput: 100 -240V AC, 50/60Hz universal|
|Dimensions||12.97 x 8.43 x 0.5 inches (WxDxH)|
|Weight||2.42lbs with battery|
Besides the Deluxe, Asus updated a handful of systems in their ZenBook lineup, specifically the UX330UA, UX310UA, UX510UW, and UX360UAK. The four laptops will feature Intel’s 7th generation Core i5 and i7 processors. The UX310 and UX510 will feature Nvidia’s GTX 940M and GTX 950, respectively, to run their high resolution QHD+ (3200x1800) and UHD (3840x2160) displays. The Flip UX360UA also features a 13.3-inch QHD+ display that has a full 360° of movement and touch capabilities, allowing UX360UA to be used as a laptop, tablet, and "tent." All of the updated ZenBooks will include Harman Kardon audio.
|Header Cell - Column 0||ZenBook UX330UA||ZenBook UX310UA||ZenBook UX510UW||ZenBook Flip UX360UA|
|Processor||-Intel Core i7 Processor-Intel Core i5 Processor||-Intel Core i7 Processor-Intel Core i5 Processor||-Intel Core i7 Processor-Intel Core i5 Processor||-Intel Core i7 Processor-Intel Core i5 Processor|
|Memory||Up to 8GB SDRAM||Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM||Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM||Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM|
|Display||Up to 13.3" QHD+ (3200x1800) Anti-glare Display||Up to 13.3” QHD+ (3200x1800) Wide Viewing Angle Anti-glare Display||Up to 15.6” 4K UHD (3840x2160) Display||Up to 13.3” Touchscreen QHD+ (3200x1800) Display|
|Graphics||N/A||Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX||Nvidia GeForce GTX 950||N/A|
|Audio||Harman Kardon Audio||Harman Kardon Audio||Harman Kardon Audio||Harman Kardon Audio|
|Availability||Available Now||Available Now||Available Now||May 2017|
Chromebook Flip C302
Asus also offers convertible Chromebooks such as the Flip C302. It packs up to 6th generation Core m3 and up to 8GB of memory inside of a 2.65lbs, 0.54-inch chassis. It too features a full 360° of movement and a multi-touch display. This, coupled with up to 10 hours of battery life, allows for easy portability, making it ideal for casual computing while on the go. Not to be compromised by its small size, it offers a full-sized keyboard with a 1.4mm key travel distance and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi. External devices can be connected through the 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Chromebook Flip C302|
|Processor||6th Generation Intel Core m3|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Memory||Up to 8GB Onboard Memory|
|Networking||-802.11ac Wi-Fi-Bluetooth v4|
|Keyboard||Full-sized chiclet keyboard|
|Interface||USB 3.1 Type-C x 2|
Transformer Pro T304
If convertible laptops such as the ZenBook or ZenBook Flip aren’t your cup of tea, you might want to consider a detachable laptop. The Asus Transformer Pro T304 features a detachable metal Transformer Cover Keyboard which allows users to prop the Transformer Pro via the adjustable stand. Users can also swap the metal keyboard for a lightweight keyboard with backlighting. Both keyboards feature 1.4mm of travel distance and glass touchpads with multi-touch gestures.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Transformer Pro T304|
|Processor||-Intel Core i7 Processor-Intel Core i5 Processor|
|Memory||Up to 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz Onboard memory|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD|
|Keyboard||-Metal Asus Transformer Cover Keyboard with 1.4mm travel-Ultra-light Asus Transformer Cover Keyboard with 1.4mm travel|
To appeal to enterprise customers, Asus is also offering the AsusPro B9440 business notebook, which will feature up to an Intel Core i7 U processor. The 14-inch B9440 is constructed out of a magnesium-alloy chassis, weighs 2.31lbs, and has been tested by Asus to withstand MIL-STG 810G tests for shocks, drops, vibrations, and extreme climates. The B9440 offers up to 10 hours of battery life.
The B9440’s 14-inch Full HD display will feature an anti-glare coating and 5.4mm thin bezel on the sides and top, which should make the already portable laptop comfortable to view. The laptop will feature a spill-resistant backlit keyboard with a 19.05 key pitch (the distance between the middle of the keys) and a 1.5mm key travel distance. Below the keyboard sits the multi-touch glass touchpad, and a fingerprint sensor sits above the input devices.
The AsusPro B9440 will include 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports for power delivery and data transfer. Asus recommends connecting the B9440 to its SimPro Dock station, which connects via USB Type-C. The SimPro Dock features two DisplayPorts, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, VGA, HDMI, LAN, and an SD Card reader.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AsusPro B9440|
|Processor||-Intel Core i7 U Processor-Intel Core i5 U Processor|
|Memory||Up to 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz Onboard memory|
|Networking||-802.11ac Wi-Fi-Bluetooth v4.1|
|Keyboard||Spill-resistant backlit keyboard|
|Audio||Asus SonicMaster Audio System|
|Interface||-USB 3.1 Type-C x 2With Asus SimPro Dock:-DisplayPort x 2-USB 3.1 Type-C-USB 3.1 Type-A-VGA-HDMI-LAN-SD Card Reader|
Just a heads up to buyers: With the 3200x1800 and 3840x2160, ASUS used RG/BW Pentile screens in these laptops last year, meaning not truly 3200x1800 or 3840x2160. Each RGB pixel is replaced with either only RG or only BW. It is unconfirmed but likely that they are doing the same thing this year.
They give you all the downsides of a high resolution display (potential scaling issues, potential worse battery life) without all the benefits (picture less sharp, details can appear fuzzy, diagonal screen door effect can be present).
My personal recommendation is to wait for Notebookcheck.net reviews of these before purchasing in order to confirm the subpixel matrix, and to consider purchasing different models from another manufacturer unless ASUS has started using true high-resolution displays this time. Many manufacturers/models have moved on to true high resolution displays.