Tech

ZenBook 3 vs 2016 MacBook: ASUS Unveils Promising Challenger To Apple

By Jiran , Oct 07, 2016 04:16 AM EDT
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Asus had previously unveiled its ZenBook 3 in August. Now, the tech company has just revealed the release dates of their new ZenBook 3. Asus has described it as a thinner and lighter version of Apple's MacBook. The design can challenge that of the 2016 MacBook. However, is it really any better than Apple's laptop?

Asus ZenBook 3 Specs

The new Asus ZenBook 3 comes in two configurations. According to The Verge, they are both available now. The cheaper laptop is powered with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. It can be bought at only $1,099.

It can also be configured to a Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM and 512 SSD. This will cost you $1,599. In comparison, the Apple MacBook's less expensive model costs $1,299. It is powered by Core M3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256 SSD.

The $1,599 model is powered with Core M5 and the same 8GB of RAM. Specs-wise, the Asus ZenBook 3 is faster than the Apple MacBook.

Hardware

The design of the ZenBook 3 is nothing new. It is definitely inspired by the MacBook. The case is made of aluminum alloy and it's at most 11.9mm thick. The durability of the case is questionable, according to Engadget. It may not be able to stand heavier force applied on it.

Apparently, there were noises created with only a bit of pressure. The ZenBook 3 has a bigger screen than the MacBook at 12.5-inch display. However, it has a lesser resolution at only 1080p. Perhaps, the biggest flaws of Asus new laptop is its keyboard and trackpad.

The keyboard actually has more travel than that of MacBook. However, the ZenBook 3 is not for those who type a lot. Engadget reports that it doesn't have a good feedback when the keys are pressed. Furthermore, the trackpad can be a bit unresponsive.

Though the fingerprint sensor is decent, the problem lies on where it is at. The said sensor is found on the top-right portion of the trackpad. There is also an issue in the sensor's function with the Windows Hello. Apparently, it still works even if the laptop's lid is closed.

Another disadvantage is the ZenBook 3's limited ports, as while it has the usual 3.5mm headphone jack, there is only one USB-C port. This means that it cannot be used simultaneously for charging and connecting other external devices.

Though Asus has provided a USB-C mini-dock that has an HDMI port, a traditional USB connector and another USB-C socket.

Battery Life and Conclusion

Based on Engadget's battery test, the ZenBook 3's battery can last around nine hours and 45 minutes. This is when an HD video was being played. It's better than the Huawei MateBook and the Lenovo X1 Yoga with OLED. For the Apple's 2016 MacBook, the battery life is an hour less than the ZenBook 3.

The Asus ZenBook 3 is more affordable, powerful and thinner. But it may not be reliable to use considering the keyboard and trackpad issues.

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