- Contents of delivery
- TECH SPECS
- Appearance, ergonomics
- Screen, multimedia
- Keyboard, trackpad
- Performance, autonomy, cooling
Contents of delivery
- A laptop
- 120W power supply, cable
- Case (optional)
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10510U, 4 cores, 8 threads, 1.8 GHz (maximum frequency 4,9 GHz, 3 MB L8 cache), 14 nm process technology|
|Video card||Intel UHD Graphics 620
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 MAX-Q 4GB VRAM (GDDR5)
|Chipset||Intel Comet Lake|
|Screen||IPS, 15,6 ″ 4K UHD (3840 × 2160), 16: 9, glossy, anti-glare, 100% sRGB color gamut, 92% screen-to-body ratio
ScreenPad: Super IPS, 5.65 ”, FHD + (2160 × 1080), 60 Hz
|RAM||LPDDR3 16GB 2133MHz Dual Channel|
|Жесткий диск||512 GB SSD M.2 PCIE 3.0|
|Connectors||1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2
1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1
1x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.0, 1x SD, 3.55 mm combo jack
|Wireless Interfaces||Wi-Fi Intel 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (2 × 2), dual-band, gigabit, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Battery||Li-pol, 71 W / h|
|Additionally||Optional ScreenPad 2.0 (in trackpad), MIL-STD-810G certified housing, ErgoLift hinge, SonicMaster audio technology, keyboard backlight, 3D infrared camera (720p)|
|Dimensions and weight||354 x 220.4 x 18.9 mm, 1.55 kg|
|Price||139 990 rubles|
The ASUS ZenBook series is already familiar to readers of Mobile-Review, it contains compact and lightweight Ultrabooks for every occasion. Such laptops can be easily taken with you and not worry that certain tasks will become unavailable, be it work or entertainment scenarios. The version of the laptop that arrived for the review is the flagship in its line, the characteristics speak for themselves.
At the same time, we are not only talking about numbers and performance indicators: an additional ScreenPad display is installed in the laptop, it replaces and complements the trackpad in its usual sense, significantly expanding the possible ways of its use, which we will talk about in the corresponding section of the review.
When I took the box with the laptop in my hand, the thought arose that it was not there, the packaging seemed so light, especially if we compare it with the ASUS TUF Gaming A15, which came to the review almost simultaneously: it is heavier in itself, plus it adds weight to the impressive size of the power supply. It’s all about the 1550 grams of weight of the review hero, quite a bit for a laptop with such a diagonal. Yes, according to impressions, I would not call the ASUS ZenBook 15 an ultrabook, the dimensions are tangible, albeit compact compared to previous generations. Subjective point, but in my understanding, ultrabooks are a little more modest in size.
The laptop is made in a beautiful dark blue color, on the lid there are concentric circles, traditional for ASUS, applied to metal, and the manufacturer’s logo in rose-gold color, which is also used in the panel above the keyboard. The lid material is actively covered with prints, you can erase them, but the process is not quick, it can be accelerated by special napkins or cleaning agents. Some people will not like this, even though the use of real metal, and not its imitation. The lid is very durable, does not squeeze from the outside and does not give in to any twisting forces. At the same time, it can be easily opened with one finger, for which there is a cutout in the case under the trackpad.
In terms of strength, the case panel around the keyboard is also pleasing. To get any significant movement of the panel, you need to make a fair amount of effort, including on the area between the keyboard unit, this is often where the design is lame. But this is not the case with the ZenBook 15, everything is reliable in it. And if you take into account the military certification for durability, then it turns out not bad at all, there is a hope that such a laptop will last more than one year. In terms of design, everything is on a solid five, it feels like you are using a top-end device.
Briefly note the similar design features mentioned in the ASUS ZenBook 14 review:
- ErgoLift screen hinge, which slightly lifts the main body of the laptop above the table surface. This provides additional airflow from the chassis and gives the keyboard a more comfortable typing angle. Convenient and functional, the stiffness of the hinge is slightly higher than that of the ASUS TUF Gaming A15, it can be better, but that’s if you find fault.
- The panel adjoining the display and highlighted in contrasting gold has hidden cooling holes to help keep the processor at an adequate temperature.
The display in the test model is made using IPS technology and has a resolution of 3840×2160. According to the manufacturer, ASUS ZenBook 15 is the smallest 15.6 “laptop. At the same time, the dimensions of such devices in the ASUS family are decreasing from year to year. I fully support this trend, especially after I fit a 15.6 “laptop into a 14” backpack. Interestingly in terms of body geometry and ergonomics, the 16: 9 aspect ratio was not so obvious in the ZenBook 14, but here it is more pronounced. Let me explain a little: by the nature of my work, I often translate texts, and for this I need to keep two text documents open, the original and the translation. And if documents are “cropped” at 15.6 inches and you have to resort to scaling and strain your eyes, then at XNUMX inches you can already work. Let it not be as cool and convenient as on a widescreen monoblock monitor with full pages, but there are no restrictions imposed by displays with a smaller diagonal.
In terms of color rendition, everything is cool, but when testing the matrix on a black screen at full brightness, two point highlights were observed closer to the upper right corner. They are not visible in normal use. As for the rest, I personally did not have any complaints; while reading various reviews of such devices, I often met the opinion about the need to install matte screens in expensive laptops, there is such a request. The glossy laptop screen is covered with an anti-reflective coating, there are no problems with the readability of the image.
ASUS ZenBook 15 features proprietary SonicMaster audio technology developed in collaboration with Harman / Kardon. The speakers are located on the bevels of the lower edges of the case, and when the sound resonates from the surface on which the laptop stands, a voluminous and booming sound picture is obtained. Full volume with a margin is enough to block the noise of the fans, especially when playing games.
The island keyboard of the laptop is recessed into the body at the height of the keys, there is a backlight with three levels of brightness. The distance between the keys of the letter block is comfortable for blind typing, errors and typos are minimal, the sound of pressing is not loud, the key travel is average. The numeric block is also saved here, but its presence presupposes certain features of entering commands with the keys at the junction with the numeric block. The Backspace key has slightly decreased in size, so at first there is a risk of often pressing the “+” key, I also often pressed “E” instead of Enter (the key also became smaller), but literally one day was enough to rebuild the habit. Honestly, I would have survived the absence of a block with numbers, especially since there is already a replacement for it.
One of the significant “chips” of ASUS ZenBook 15 is the ScreenPad 2.0 display installed instead of the usual trackpad. Its 5.65-inch diagonal, combined with a glass coating and Full HD + resolution, gives the complete impression of a smartphone instead of a trackpad, and this is a kind of rethinking of the Padfone idea and ASUS’s answer to Razer’s Project Linda. The trackpad is rather big, which pleases, but otherwise it would be difficult to use: the interface resembles the shell of a smartphone, and individual icons are small. What can ScreenPad do?
In fact, this is a kind of continuation of the main display, an auxiliary, but at the same time an independent screen, on which you can display commands, applications, work and entertainment utilities. For example, the trackpad software (which is unusual in itself) comes with a calculator, number pad, clock and alarm, weather service, video player, Solitaire game, and voice recording. You can run any of these applications yourself. There are also helper utilities for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, which require running applications on the main screen and display shortcuts to the commands frequently used in them on the ScreenPad. For example, having selected a certain part of the text in Word, you can immediately format it with a command from the mini-screen without having to drag the cursor to the top of the screen. Turning on ScreenPad is possible with the Fn + F6 key combination (it also turns off the touch pad or switches it to classic mode. Switching to temporarily hidden mode is available by pressing the leftmost icon in the navigation bar, which, in turn, can be invoked by swiping from bottom to top from any tab interface.
In addition to the pre-installed programs, you can run a third-party application, for example, I tested this feature with Chrome, Spotify, Evernote, CandyCrush, Nvidia panel, CrystalDisk Mark, the list of supported programs is constantly expanding. To launch a third-party application, you need to drag its window down, two icons will appear on the display: when you click on the left application, it will launch on the trackpad display, the right icon will “fix” the application in the list of utilities in the ScreenPad interface. An interesting option for grouping applications: let’s say you use the same set of applications in your work. Run them on the same desktop side by side, press the corresponding key, and a group with these applications is created, provided they are supported, of course. It remains to save, and now it will be possible to launch all these applications (up to three in one group) on the main display when starting work. It seems to be a trifle, but it is convenient, like the view mode of applications already running on ScreenPad.
In the trackpad display settings, you can select its resolution, frequency, background, enable power saving mode. I am writing these lines, and I myself feel unusual, the feeling that here it is, the future is already here. Similar emotions arise in the process of working with text, in parallel with which a streaming 4K video is being played in the trackpad display. A couple of swipes, and you can already flip through your playlist on Spotify and turn on the song / album according to your mood. It would seem at first glance a technology for the sake of technology and a niche scenario, but ASUS has definitely succeeded in developing the concept of two screens to be digestible and suitable for everyday use. The feeling of using such a concept is very new and unusual, it gets used quickly, especially if the scenario invented suits frequently performed tasks. And not only in the ScreenPad format. Several materials about unusual ASUS solutions with additional displays in laptops have already been published on our website, you can find them on the links below.
Performance, autonomy, cooling
From a light and thin case, you definitely do not expect a completely productive video card, namely NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 in MAX-Q design with 4 GB of video memory. Of course, a full-fledged video card will not fit in such a case, and the thermal package in MAX-Q solutions is more suitable for a laptop of this format. The video adapter works in conjunction with the Intel Core i7-10510U processor from the Comet Lake family, as you remember, it was introduced in August last year. The processor runs on four cores and belongs to the energy-efficient solutions for laptops. In practice, such a bundle quite confidently manifests itself to the accompaniment of hard-working cooling system coolers: you can run AAA games at settings up to high, taking into account the Full HD resolution. Switching to 4K will bring the graphics down to medium settings at best, but the gameplay is unlikely to be any enjoyable. The overall gaming experience can be estimated at four, the small amount of video memory and albeit smart, but only a four-core processor, affect.
System ventilation in general copes: the maximum temperature when playing Doom Eternal was 87 degrees, and this was noticeable on the case, but there were no significant lags. Below are the results of the tests performed.
In-game testing (medium frame rate, Full HD, High graphics settings):
- Doom Eternal – 39 fps
- Shadow of The Tomb Raider – 38 fps
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood – 53 fps
- Fortnite – 51 fps
- Far Cry New Dawn – 41 fps
- Geekbench: single-core 5121 / multi-core 16258
- Cinebench R15
- Open GL – 101 fps, CPU – 571 cb, single-core mode – 171 cb
- PСMark 3867 (general 8057, productivity 6429, digital content creation 3030)
- 3DMark Fire Strike 6717 (Graphics 7597, Physics 10313, Combined Test 2809), Time Spy 2988 (Graphics 2955, Processor 3192), Night Raid 15047, Sky Diver 15
Autonomy, as is always the case with mobile solutions, depends on the conditions of use and operating modes. For example, in optimal performance mode with 4K resolution, trackpad off and the lowest backlight level, the laptop will work as a typewriter with periodic walks on the network for 9,5 hours. The included ScreenPad will shorten this time by four hours, this loss can be compensated by switching the screen to Full HD. It is better to run heavy games when powered from the mains, such a load will discharge the battery in literally an hour and a half.
The laptop left positive impressions in literally all aspects. It’s beautiful, lightweight, fast, versatile, and offers a curious ScreenPad experience that many may find far-fetched, but in fact, the technology is quite applicable even in the simplest scenarios. The laptop “knows how to play”, which is clearly not expected from a one and a half kilogram gadget.
From the point of view of competitive solutions, the situation is approximately the following: ultraportable models with comparable configurations on Windows are significantly more expensive, for example, Dell XPS 15 (203 rubles), Lenovo Yoga C000 transformer (940 rubles), second generation ThinkPad X175 Extreme (000 rubles ) against 1 for the hero of the review. A similar graphics card is installed in the HP Specter x190 000 transformer, it costs a couple thousand less than the ASUS ZenBook 139, the model is slightly heavier in weight, and has a Full HD display, not 000K. MacBook Pro 360 in the 15 ”diagonal starts at 15 rubles. It is clear that not every user needs a gaming component, for such users there are a lot of devices that can easily fulfill the role of a working machine for travel. But if we still talk about games, then the experience will be more pleasant on gaming laptops with more powerful video adapters, for example, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M.
What could make the ASUS ZenBook 15 the perfect device? A matte screen, Type-C charging and a fingerprint sensor, as well as the possibility of further upgrade (the memory is unsoldered, there is no space for an additional SSD). Someone will complain about the high cost and will be right in their own way, but it is worth remembering that the model is top-end, you can see the configurations with simpler processors. All this does not negate the fact that the manufacturer once again managed to please and surprise with its device, albeit not without subjective moments. Let’s see how the development of the concept of two (several?) Screens in laptops will go, and on the foreseeable horizon – a gaming model with such a display.
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