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There’s just something about the Asus ZenBook 13. In addition to being gadgets of beauty, they tend to be incredibly slim and lightweight, and Asus just keeps acing their digital sleeves. With the ZenBook 13 UX325EA-AH77, the secret trickles down to Intel’s new Tiger Lake chip.
Under the hood, the ZenBook 13 UX325EA features a modest spec sheet. The four-core 11th generation Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage in such a tiny package, is nothing short of excellent. These features mean that everyday activities like web browsing or media consumption work without hassle on the crisp 13-inch FHD screen.
ASUS ZenBook 13 design
Like all other Asus ZenBooks, the ZenBook UX325EA-AH77 is quite a looker. The chassis is made of Pine Gray aluminum alloy, and except for the shiny Chrome Asus logo embedded on the lid, the rest of the laptop is plain. While the lid isn’t a fingerprint magnate, like its convertible sibling, the Asus ZenBook Flip S, it still collects its fair share.
The Pine Gray theme spills into the interior of the laptop sans the concentric circles. You’ll find the matte surface cool to the touch. The lower part of the deck has a slightly raised palm rest with a big touchpad, and it gives way to a recessed full-size keyboard. The laptop opens to reveal Asus’ ErgoLift hinge which raises the keyboard 3-degress, for comfortable typing.
At 2.45 pounds and 0.5 inches thin, the Asus ZenBook 13 is a serious lightweight device. The Acer Swift 3 is slightly heavier at 2.7 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the HP Envy (2.8 pounds, 0.6 inches) and MacBook Air (2.8 pounds, 0.6 inches) are the possible lightweights here as well.
The ZenBook 13 has very useful ports and slots. For a start, you have a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port on the right, next to a microSD card slot. The left panel holds a full HDMI 2.0 port and a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports – making the UX325EA-AH77 one of the first laptops to support next-gen charging standard.
Even with the exciting port options, it lacks a headset jack, ushering in the controversial trend of a disappearing headphone port. Wireless connectivity come in way of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
The ZenBook 13’s display delivers a punch, with clean detail when watching movies and running productivity apps. This panel measures 76.2% on the DCI-P3 color gamut which is slightly below the 83.4% premium laptop average, but above the Acer Swift 3’s 44.3% coverage. However, it’s not enough to surpass the HP Envy’s 81.9% or the MacBook Air’s 81%.
As for brightness, the ZenBook 13 isn’t the brightest around at only 371 nits, but its way better than the Swift’s 253 nits. Both are dimmer than the 382-nit average, while the MacBook Air tops out at 387 nits, and the Envy notches 401 nits.
Keyboard & NumberPad 2.0
No doubt, Asus offers the best keyboards on ZenBook laptops. The keyboard here is springy and comfortable with plenty of space on the large, slightly concave keys. Also, the keys have generous spacing to keep you going on a long college paper or office report. The LED backlighting is nice and bright for our liking, as it makes it easy to read the lettering in a darkened room. To make it even better, you have the option to adjust the backlighting to brighter or dimmer.
The Asus UX325EA-AH77 has an enormous touchpad. It measures 5.1 x 2.6 inches, and the ZenBook 13’s glass acts as a traditional touchpad. That means you don’t have any problems performing the usual multitouch Windows 10 gestures, including pinch-zoom, two-finger scrolling and three-finger taps.
For those who need to crunch lots of numbers, the touchpad can transform into a calculator with the touch of an icon. All that is thanks to Asus’ NumberPad 2.0 technology, tapping the icon in the top-right corner turns the touchpad into a calculator, with complete mathematical symbols.
ASUS UX325EA-AH77 performance
The ZenBook 13 is the first production laptops we’re reviewing with Intel’s Tiger Lake CPU. The Core i7-1165G7 is a quad-core chip, eight threads, with a base frequency of 2.8Ghz. It also rocks Intel’s latest Iris Xe Graphics processor. This new integrated graphics engine offers performance that almost matches an entry-level gaming laptop with a discrete GPU, and is a boon to people who need an ultraportable laptop, with the occasional need to play games.
To the newer CPU, Asus offers 16GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD storage. With these features, the ZenBook 13 demonstrates excellent graphics and computing performance, which is ultimately expected given its cutting-edge processor. It’s a perfect match for office-centric tasks such as word processing, huge spreadsheets, web browsing, and videoconferencing.
The Iris Xe Graphics processor offers plenty of graphics muscle for light gaming, averaging 44 frames per second (fps) on modern titles at high settings. In fact, it’s better than the AMD Radeon Graphics in the Envy x360, and that suggest that for people who are willing to compromise detail and resolution can comfortably use the ZenBook 13 as an alternative entry-level gaming laptop.
Intel’s 11th Gen processor also bring on board Intel Evo, which is the second stage in the company’s Project Athena initiative. Evo ushers in a number of requirements for laptops to receive Intel’s certification. Top in the list is at least 9 hours of battery life for all 1080p systems.
The Asus ZenBook 13 easily exceeds those requirements, lasting 13 hours 48 minutes on a single charge. That’s more than three hours longer than the 10:02 premium laptop average. Compared: the MacBook Air lasts 9:32 minutes, while the Swift 3 lasts 11:09 hours on a single charge.
The Asus ZenBook 13 easily straddles the distinct line between business and premium laptops. For the price, you’re getting a system rocking the looks of Asus’ top-tier laptops with the same durability and security features of the ExpertBook, the company’s latest business line. Plus, you get the additional muscle of Intel’s new 11th Gen processors, and all the features Intel’s Evo initiative brings, including more than 13 hours of battery life.
If that’s not enough reason to buy this system, a pinch of gaming is more reason to grab it. However, if you’re looking for a laptop with a brighter, more vivid display, the HP Envy 13 is an excellent choice. Otherwise, if all you need is a durable, yet lightweight laptop with a stylish design and great performance, the ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-AH77 is certainly the way to go.