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Asus’ new thin ZenBooks retain full sized I/O ports, but one crucial thing is missing

Asus has announced the ZenBook 13 (UX325) and ZenBook 14 (UX425), the latest additions to its thin and lightweight notebooks. The Taiwanese device maker claimed the new ZenBooks are the world’s lightest and thinnest laptops to feature full-sized Input/Output ports. 

The new Asus ZenBook 13 and 14 share many common features, they both measure 13.9mm thick, have common internal specs, ports and batteries. But they differ in terms of their screen sizes and weight. 

The ZenBook 13 has a 13.3” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel resolution) display and weighs 1.07kg, making it 12% lighter than the previous generation UX333 model. Meanwhile, the ZenBook 14 has a slightly larger 14” LED-backlit Full HD display and weighs heavier at 1.13kg. 

Despite their slim and lightweight build, Asus assures users that the notebooks are durable. They boast US Military Grade MIL-STD 810G certification after passing 29 tests that include shock tests, vibration tests and more. 

Another area the two laptops differ is the size of their slim bezels with the larger ZenBook 14 offering a 90% screen-to-body ratio while the ZenBook 13 offers an 88% screen-to-body ratio.

Both models can be configured up to a 10th generation Intel Core i7 1065G7 processor mated up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. For onboard storage, you can fit the laptops with up to 512GB PCIe 3.0 Solid State Drive (SSD). In terms of graphics, users have a choice between Intel Iris Plus Graphics or Intel UHD Graphics.

Refer to the image below for the ZenBook 13 and 14’s full specs.

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The laptops will feature full-size keyboards and Asus’ NumberPad 2.0, an LED-illuminated numeric keypad that is integrated with the touchpad.

You will find no shortage of ports on the new ZenBook 13 and 14 as they come with two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3. You also get a full-size HDMI port and a USB-A 3.2 port to connect your other accessories. There is also a microSD card reader.

There is however one port that Asus decided to omit from the new ZenBook series. The 3.5mm audio jack. The company justified the decision for the port’s removal by saying that many users utilise wireless earbuds and headphones to listen to music and other content.

Considering that other ultra thin laptops like Asus’ ExpertBook B9, LG Gram and MacBook Air still manage to fit in a headphone jack, this is a very odd decision.

Not to worry though, Asus said it will include a USB-C to audio jack dongle with the laptops if you want to use a pair of wired headphones.

The laptops will come with 4-cell 67Wh batteries that Asus claims can last up to 22 hours or the equivalent of 18 hours of playing back a Full HD video. Asus also said the battery can be fast-charged to 60% within 49 minutes.

The company claimed the two laptops’ USB-C Easy Charge feature enables the laptops to be charged using any phone charger via USB-C . It ensures 4.5-watt charging when connecting to non-Power Delivery chargers. Granted, this will result in a very slow charge but if at least you can still charge it in an emergency.

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This includes portable chargers or USB-A to USB-C chargers. When using a Power Delivery (PD) charger, the charging speed will match the connected adapter’s power output, up to a maximum of 65watts.

Connectivity-wise, the new ZenBooks come with Intel Wi-Fi 6, that is claimed to be 3x faster than Wi-Fi 5 while offering 75% lower latency. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. 

Both the ZenBook 13 and 14 will run on Windows 10, though Asus did not specify which version will be included. There is also Windows Hello support that allows users to sign in to their laptop by scanning their face using the built-in HD Infrared camera web camera. In terms of colours, users have a choice between in either Pine Grey or Lilac Mist (pink). 

Asus has not released the pricing but said the new ZenBook 13 and 14 will be coming to Malaysia by the end of July 2020.

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