Reviews

ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – A slim machine powered by Intel’s i7 1065G7 to assist you in daily tasks with a longer battery life

ASUS Zenbook 14 (UX425J)

$899.99 (RM4,699.00)
8.5

Built Quality

9.0/10

Design

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

User Experience

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Advantages

  • 14-inch form factor
  • Modern design
  • Decent processing power
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Wi-Fi 6 enabled
  • ASUS NumberPad

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
Figure 1: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Introduction
Figure 1: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Introduction

ASUS recently launched their new ZenBook series lineup to the Malaysian market. Similar to other laptops from ASUS, the ZenBook series features a 13.3-inch and 14-inch display screen. By keeping in mind, ASUS engineers actually revamped the entire chassis design to make the ZenBook 14 to be portable than ever.

Figure 2: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Accessories
Figure 2: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Accessories

The packaging of ZenBook 14 (UX425) includes a unit of ZenBook 14, power adaptor with power cord rated 65W, protective sleeve which is optional, a USB-C to audio jack dongle and a USB-A to LAN dongle which is optional as well.

Figure 3: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Front View
Figure 3: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Front View

The ZenBook 14 (UX425J) features a 14-inch FHD 1920by1080 LED display capable of delivering up to 400 nits of brightness. The UX425J further enclosed in a metal chassis, a concentric circle design near the ASUS logo, indicating that, their engineers focuses on the improving the critics given by the buyers previously and its feature offering to the potential buyers. The webcam is located on the center of the lid and this you may have to cover the camera for privacy concerns. The laptop comes with 319 x 208 x 13.9 mm dimensions resulting in weighting roughly around 1.13kg, approximately.

Figure 3A: ASUS Zenbook 14 (UX425J) Review - I/O Ports Overview
Figure 3A: ASUS Zenbook 14 (UX425J) Review – I/O Ports Overview

What’s next? Of course going through the I/O offerings. The ZenBook 14 (UX425J) holds the title as world’s thinnest laptop with a complete I/O ports. Beginning with the right-hand side, an LED indicator, a microSD card reader and USB 3.0 capable of delivering up to 5Gb/s. If you’re a hardcore power productivity user that relies on USB ports, you may have to find a USB hub to maximize USB functionality, especially if you’re using a wired mouse or wireless mouse. On the left-hand side, a single HDMI 2.0 port, a pair of Thunderbolt ports with ASUS USB-C charging and LED indicator for laptop status of charging.

Figure 5: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Bottom View
Figure 5: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Bottom View

The bottom view of the laptop is pretty standard, as how you would expect from a non-gaming laptop. A pair of harmon/kardon powered speaker located at the right and left hand side. Since the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) advertised as a laptop with the complete set of I/O ports, where is the 3.5mm audio jack? Unless you have your own wireless headset such as ROG Strix Go 2.4 or TUF Gaming H7. But how many afford to buy these audio peripherals?

Specification

The specification of ZenBook 14 (UX425J) are as follows:

ModelASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425)
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1065G7
Display14” LED-backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) 400 nits
Slim 2.5 mm bezels with 90% screen-to-body ratio
Operating SytemWindows 10
Preloaded SoftwaresOffice Home & Student 2019
McAfee Life Essentials
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Plus Graphics
Main Memory8GB 3200 MHz LPDDR4x onboard
Storage512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
ConnectivityWiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth® 5.0
CameraHD infrared (IR) webcam (supports Windows Hello)
I/O Ports2 x Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C® with ASUS USB-C® Easy Charge
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A; 1 x Standard HDMI 2.0; 1 x MicroSD card reader
TouchpadASUS NumberPad 2.0
AudioCertified by Harman Kardon
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound; smart amplifier for maximum audio performance
Array microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
Battery67 Wh lithium-polymer battery up to 22 hr battery life
AC Adapter65-watt power adapter
Output: 20 V DC, 3.42 A; Input: 100-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
Dimensions319 x 208 x 13.9 mm
WeightApprox. 1.13 kg
Color VariantsPine Grey, Lilac Mist
PriceRM 4,699
Table 1: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Specification

The ZenBook 14 (UX425J) offered in three different processor variants. The unit given to me is powered by Intel Core i7-1065G7. The laptop utilizes a 10nm CPU class with core count up to 4 and supports hyper-threading (two logical processors per core) technology.

User Experience

Moving into sharing my experience using the ZenBook 14 for about a week, I find it quite handy to use. All the pre-loaded softwares were updated to its latest signature, this includes the operating system itself. For benchmark purpose, I don’t uninstall any drivers or the antivirus, though in some cases, too much of bloatware present in a system and antivirus tend to hog the CPU resource even more than usual.

The first benchmark I’ve run through is the CPU’s processing power. For this particular test, I’ve used a free benchmark tool to carry out the test. Figure 6 below shows the output of the test conducted. Surprisingly, the processing power of the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) is pretty decent. In addition, during the test conducted, I didn’t disable or uninstall the McAfee Live Essentials software.

Figure 6: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Cinebench R20 Analysis
Figure 6: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Cinebench R20 Analysis

So based on the benchmark result on the Figure 6 above, I’ve played a 4K60fps video quality to have a look on how well the processor performs. Although the CPU graph shows uneven results, the laptop still performs best, thanks to Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics.

Figure 7: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Video Quality Test
Figure 7: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Video Quality Test

Next benchmark involves disk performance. When it comes to productivity, a laptop should have a decent read and write speed to assist in minimizing the file transfer period as time is gold, right? The first benchmark tool I’ve used is CrystalDiskMark Standard Edition. Table 2 below shows the test condition before the test was carried out.

Test Count:5Test Size:1 GiBTest Drive:C:/Test Units:MB/s
Table 2: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – CrystalDiskMark Standard Edition Test Condition

Table 3 below shows the outcome of the benchmark process carried out.

Test-TypeRead [MB/s]Write [MB/s]
SEQ1M
Q8T1
1736.68966.42
SEQ1M
Q1T1
1227.83889.60
RND4K
Q32T16
350.69308.39
RND4K
Q1T1
53.50117.67
Table 3: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – CrystalDiskMark Standard Edition Benchmark

Based on the storage performance conducted, it is safe to assume that, the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) probably has one of the best storage performances, yet.

Figure 8: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Keyboard Performance
Figure 8: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Keyboard Performance

The keyboards are pretty standard when it comes to ZenBook laptop series. Each keys located in an accessible position and each key doesn’t feel cheap and easy to type with. If you used to key in fast, the keyboard’s precision to accept each keys pressed, won’t really disappoint you. I personally liked these type of keyboard layout since it is easier to use and you can fully utilize the chassis surface area, talking about keyboard mapping.

Figure 9: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - ASUS NumberPad 2.0
Figure 9: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – ASUS NumberPad 2.0

The ZenBook 14 (UX425J) features ASUS’s NumberPad 2.0. Almost 99% of users don’t really prefer to use touchpad due to its limited capability, unlike the performance you would expect from a budget wired mouse. However, the NumberPad utilizes Microsoft Precision Touchpad drivers built for Windows machine. The settings can be found under Start > Settings > Devices > Touchpad and a detailed guide were made publicly accessible for those who wish to use the trackpad. Based on my experience using the trackpad, I find its easy to use and easily manageable.

Audio quality as expected from premium audio provider, harmon/kardon. Living up to their reputation as one of the premium audio manufacturers, is pretty good. I actually did enjoy my movie session and music session through the laptop speaker. It definitely sounds better than ASUS’s SonicMaster stock laptop speakers.

Figure 10: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - PCMark10 Score
Figure 10: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – PCMark10 Score

ASUS claims the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) offers up to 22 hours of battery life with 67Wh of battery capacity and fast charging to 60% in just 49 minutes. As I mention earlier, the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) is not a performance laptop or gaming laptop, resulting in higher battery life. With a standard Windows 10 environment setup, I able to get up to 7.5 hours solid. Now, I’ve taken an extra step by heavily customizing the Windows 10 environment and, the result really surprised me. I able to get more than 10 hours of battery life, this includes turning off unwanted features and uninstalling bloatware that may hog the processor power that makes the battery to supply more demanding power to the processor. The total time taken to charge the battery from 1% to 100 is roughly 1.5 hours with 60% of battery status in just 50 minutes.

Conclusions

To conclude the review, the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) is a good choice for young entrepreneurs who looking for a powerful laptop for productivity and has a longer battery life. Another advantage of ZenBook series is, it comes with two different display sizes which are convenient for buyers to chose the best display class that fit to their daily chores.

Figure 11: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review - Conclusion
Figure 11: ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425J) Review – Conclusion

The only downside of the laptop is its graphics. I mean it has pretty decent graphics, so if you’re more into content creation or gaming then the ZenBook 14 UX425J may not built for you. However, I find the price is quite expensive since the laptop has a better potential buyer to utilize its power. Overall, the ZenBook 14 (UX425J) is a good chunk in exchange of cash of productivity laptop.

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