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ASUS ZenBook 3 Review: A Strong MacBook Alternative

By Jonna Marcaida Calagui , Oct 06, 2016 12:33 PM EDT
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After its release in 2015, the 12-inch MacBook laptop took the market in storm with its minimalist design. Other laptop manufacturers followed through to try and make similar designs. The Samsung Ativ Book 9 came close but the new ASUS ZenBook 3 is another contender and looks like a clone, especially on the outside.

But that's where the similarities end for the ZenBook 3 and MacBook. While the MacBook uses Intel Core M processors, the Zenbook 3 takes advantage of the more powerful Intel Core i7 processor with a low-voltage rating. So how does the MacBook and ZenBook really compare?

Hardware

Side by side, the ZenBook 3 and MacBook looks very much the same size. However, ASUS have the advantage of a larger display at 12.5 inches compared to Mac's 12-inch. Resolutions are pretty high too with the ZenBook having it at 1080p but is still lower than the 2,304x1,440 resolution of the Mac. Another good point is that ASUS covered the ZenBook 3 with Gorilla Glass 4 so it gets a stronger and better screen. Included ports are a 3.5mm headphone jack and one USB-C socket. ASUS has a bundled mini-dock which has a conventional USB connection, USB-C socket and HDMI port.

Performance and internals

The ZenBook 3 packs some powerful internals with a Core i7-7500 processor clocked between speeds of 2.7GHz to 2.9GHz. On top of that, this ultraportable laptop comes with a whopping LPDDR3 RAM with 16GB of memory. It is the faster ultraportable to date in the market which is far better than the Core m3 and m5 processors and 8GB RAM of the MacBook. The sizable PCIe SSD storage with 512GB is a sweet deal too compared to Mac's 256GB SSD.

For a price of $1,599, the ZenBook is worth it with its sleek and stylish hardware and fast internals. Of course, the ZenBook 3 is not without flaws. ASUS is obviously inexperienced with creating high-end machines, for now. ASUS made the ZenBook really great looking outside and very powerful inside but the company still has a lot to learn in making ultra-portables sans any durability issues on the run.

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