ASUS have recently refreshed their ZenBook line-up with new models, among which is the powerful, yet sleek ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77. In my opinion, a laptop which features a 15.6-inch screen, runs fast enough for most users, and can also be carried around with ease is the perfect solution for both students and traveling professionals alike.
ZenBook 15 Review
I’m not saying the ZenBook 15 is the perfect laptop. As is the case with most products, you’ll have to take into account both its pros and cons. It’s a powerful device. It’s slim, lightweight, and compact. You should expect great battery life. And all things considered, it’s one of the most visually pleasing notebooks on the market today. However, all those pros come at a price (just under $1400 at the time of this review). Plus, even if they’ve fitted a dedicated graphics card, it seems a bit under powered, given how extremely well balanced everything else is.
Taking a look at the device as a whole, we don’t see many differences from the brand’s Zenbook 13 ultraportable model, apart for the keyboard size. They practically follow the same design lines, with its body painted in a deep blue color, with champagne gold colored accents (lid logo and speakers). The lid features the same famous machined circular pattern that feels nice to touch.
One great addition to the ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77 is the ScreenPad 2.0. It basically replaced the traditional touch pad with a more advanced and multi functional version of itself. Using this little screen, you can switch between different modes and improve your workflow productivity. You can quickly switch apps, use it as a quick key library, turn on a virtual number pad, access quick functions in Office programs, and much more.
Hardware: at a glance
ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77 Specs:
- Display: 15.6″ IPS FHD LED-Backlit
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3-2133 on-board RAM
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Battery life: Up to 17 hours
The ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77 is fitted with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor. A rather standard choice for most ultra books today, this CPU will be able to handle every job you’ll throw at it. More specifically, this unit has four cores, eight threads, a base frequency of 1.80 GHz that goes all the way to 4.6 GHz in turbo mode, 8 megabytes of cache size and a thermal design power of 15 Watts. It’s a processor that’s good at everything you’ll want to work on using a laptop. Photo editing, running scripts, designing, compiling code, streaming 4K content, you name it.
Standard memory is capped at 16 gigabytes of LPDDR3-2133 RAM, which is soldered to the main board. While not having any room left to further upgrade may leave some users feeling claustrophobic, I fully believe 16 GB are more than enough for whatever you may want to throw at it. The ZenBook 15 will handle serious multitasking with ease, and considering most modern games and software require 8 gigs of RAM, I’d say this model is pretty future proof.
Storage capacity is also adequate. The ASUS features a 1-terabyte (1024 GB) PCIe x4 Solid State Drive. You’re likely to never run out of space, unless you have a habit of hoarding large media collections. Otherwise, the 1-terabyte of storage space should suffice, without needing extra cloud storage or anything like that.
Graphics and display
Having a larger body than the 13.3-inch model means more space in which a discrete graphics card can fit. The ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77 comes equipped with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. And although it’s miles away from what really powerful dedicated video card have to offer these days, the 4-gigabyte GDDR5 GeForce 1650 is a decent, honest, mid-range card. It will noticeably improve performance when compared to models that are fitted with the integrated Intel UHD 620. Click here to see a comparison.
Furthermore, casual gaming is now a possibility using the ZenBook. Its performance is lacking when compared to budget gaming laptop that are more affordable (like the Dell G3 3590), yet this isn’t such a device either. So, here’s some expected frame rates you should be able to achieve with the ZenBook 15 while playing various games at very high settings:
- CS:GO: 60+ fps
- FIFA 20: 60 fps
- Minecraft: 60 fps
- GTA 5: 45 fps
- GRID (2019): 30 fps
- Battlefield 5: 25 fps
Display quality is simply great. The ZenBook 15 has a 15.6-inch IPS FHD LED-Backlit display with a slim bezel all around. It’s immersive, colors are rich and vivid (100% sRGB color gamut) and brightness is satisfactory, even in full sunshine conditions. Also, thanks to IPS technology, colors won’t be washed out when looking at the screen from different angles.
Interface and connectivity options
Interface options are modern and, in my opinion, sufficient. You’ll notice ASUS have decided to entirely scrap the old USB 2.0 interface in the favor of the more modern and fast USB 3.1. Using the current setup of ports, you can add a mouse, charge up your phone, add an external keyboard and connect one additional monitor or TV set via HDMI.
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x SD card reader
- 1 x Audio combo jack
Networking is standard for an ultrabook. It features a Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5 card, which improves signal strength and allows for Gigabit wireless data transfer speeds.
- Dual-Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0
Portability and battery life
Portability is a chapter where the ZenBook has shined through every iteration. The ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77 makes no exception from the rule. Compared to the previous models, the 2019 edition is more compact, lighter and thinner. It measures just 13.93″ x 8.66″ x 0.74″ mainly due to its nearly borderless display. It will easily fit inside your backpack or messenger bag with ease, being not that much bigger than an A4 or Letter sheet of paper.
Weight is also impressive for a 15.6-inch device. The ZenBook 15 weighs just 3.6 pounds (1.65 kg), making it one of the most lightweight full-sized laptops on sale today. It has everything you’d want from an ultra portable, versatile laptop in terms of how easy it is to carry around with you.
Battery life is exceptional. One full charge of its 71Whr, 8-cell Lithium-Polymer battery pack will last up to 17 hours when working on everyday tasks. This makes the ASUS ZenBook 15 the absolute champion of battery life at the present moment. No other ultra portable laptop has such a beefy battery, while managing to keep weight down at the same time. It’s simply astonishing that they’ve made a laptop that’s able to allow 2 (two) full day’s worth of work without the need to plug it in.
All in all, there aren’t many cons to the new ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FT-DB77. Even the price is justified when you take a good look at specs and battery life. In my opinion, this is a notebook that’s most suited for students and traveling professionals.
Why? Because a student needs a device that’s both powerful and comfortable enough to carry around campus. While professionals who often find themselves traveling long distances, especially by plane, need a laptop who won’t require a power outlet that often, that’s lightweight and doesn’t stutter under any circumstances.
And, quite frankly, the ZenBook does it all. You can casually game on it, work on documents, heavily multitask, render, design, and so on. What I find interesting is that ASUS have managed to make this laptop a reality with little compromise. This ZenBook 15 is one of the best 15.6″ do-it-all notebooks you can get right now.