Asus’s ZenBook ultraportable laptops are already known for their thin aesthetics and top-of-the-line specifications. However today, at their Computex event, the Taiwanese manufacturer has unveiled the ZenBook 3 which measuring at merely 11.9mm in thickness is surprisingly thinner than Apple’s MacBook but also packs impressive hardware. Additionally, despite having a larger 12.5-inches panel, it weighs only 2 pounds.
Asus credits the use of a new material titled “aerospace-grade aluminum alloy” that is significantly stronger than what other laptops generally utilize. The overall design policies have been unmodified, however, it flaunts the signature “spun metal” style with concentric metallic rings. What’s interesting here is that unlike other laptops that focus on thin builds, the ZenBook 3 is not underpowered in any way. The flagship variant will be running on an Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB of RAM with 1TB of SSD. There’s a USB Type-C port for charging that Asus claims can charge up the device up to 60% in around 49 minutes. Battery life has been rated at 9 hours and to reduce control heating levels, Asus has provided apparently the “world’s thinnest fan” estimated at 3mm. Obviously, the laptop will be running on the latest Windows and to enhance the Hello functionality, Asus has added a fingerprint reader this time. There are a couple of fancy color options available including “Quartz Grey,”Royal Blue,” and “Rose Gold” (*cough* pink *cough*).
The ZenBook 3 will retail at $999 for the i5 variant that comes with 4GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. In case you need 512GB of space, it will cost an additional $500. Lastly, the higher end model is priced at a hefty $1999. There’s no word on availability yet.
Apart from the ZenBook 3, Asus also unveiled two convertibles, Transformer 3 and 3 Pro that in a lot of ways function and look like Microsoft’s Surface lineup. Both the new products sport a 12.6-inch display on the front with a commendable resolution of 2880 x 1920 resulting in a pixel density of 275ppi. Both of them feature USB Type-C ports, Thunderbolt 3, native fingerprint sensors, Harmon Kardon branded speakers, HDMI and also, USB 3.0. As you might have expected already, Asus is selling their own stylus or the “Pen”.
The Transformer 3 Pro is a bit heavier and thicker, it rocks a kickstand that has a “stepless hinge” which can bend the device up to 170 degrees. There’s a detachable backlit keyboard with a key travel of 1.4mm which Asus claims should suffice for users who are switching from a regular laptop. On the specifications front, it is powered by Intel’s Core i7 SoC, a maximum of 1TB PCIe x4 SSD and 16GB of 2133MHz RAM. For your documentation and video calling needs, two cameras on the front and back are also fitted.
The cheaper Transformer 3, on the other hand, is thinner and lighter weighing at 695 grams and 6.99mm in thickness. It features a 7th generation Intel Core processor, 512GB SSD and up to 8GB of RAM. The display, unfortunately, isn’t as flexible as the Pro variant capable of transforming itself with only two positions. It ships with a similar keyboard available in four colors – Stone, Charcoal, Taupe, and Amber. If both of the devices seem to be on the heavier and larger side, Asus has also launched a third option called the Transformer Mini. With a display of 10-inches, it weighs only 530 grams, comes with an integrated Kickstand with stepless hinge design. The keyboard offered with the Mini version is a bit smaller having a key travel of 1.5mm. There’s a new ZenSync introduced with these laptops that lets you sync text messages and notifications. Although with Windows 10 getting native Android notifications support, I don’t think this was really necessary.
The Transformer 3 and 3 Pro are priced at $799 and $999 respectively with no word on availability.