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[Review] Asus ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77: MacBook Killer

Pros
  • High-end portable design (3.6 pounds)
  • Quad-core i7 Processor (up to 4.9 GHz)
  • 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage
  • ScreenPad 2.0
  • UHD 15.6-inch display with 96% screen-to-body ratio
Cons
  • No ethernet port
  • It's not a touchscreen display

Asus has done it again. The company has managed to take on Apple once again by presenting the most innovative and tech-boner-inducing Windows equivalent to the MacBook Pro - excuse my french -. We're talking, of course, about the Asus ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77, not exactly a name that simply rolls off your tongue but definitely one you'll remember once you're done with this review.

In a nutshell; we're in love. However, let's get on with this review in detail so that you may also get to know everything there is to know about Asus's latest high-end venture.

Index
  1. Design
  2. Performance
  3. Graphics & Battery life
  4. Connectivity options
  5. Verdict

Design

First off let's take a look at the design of the ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77, a classy, sturdy, and elegant metal chassis that feels simply amazing to the touch and was built to last with its military-grade testing.

The keyboard, a backlit chiclet-style keyboard with ergo-lift technology provides us with a slight tilt that makes typing for long hours on end far more tolerable. We're not saying it's revolutionary but it's definitely one of those little things you didn't think you'd miss when you switch over to another laptop that doesn't have it.

The display is beautiful and vibrant with a very accurate color reproduction that could easily rival Apple's MacBook Air retina display and an impressive UHD resolution which is "basically 4K". 

As you probably know, this display has a 15.6 inch diagonal. However, due to the nano-edge design which "eats up" 96% of the screen we end up with a laptop that has a footprint that has more in common with its 14-inch counterparts. In that regard, it's also a very lightweight device weighing just 3.6 pounds.

Let's talk about the trackpad or ScreenPad 2.0

We can't tackle this review of the ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77 and not talk about the ScreenPad 2.0. It's simply not possible. That said, while there are many people that don't care for it we actually quite like it.

 In case you're not familiar with it, basically, you get a secondary display on the trackpad. This secondary display may be used to enhance productivity by attributing productive apps to it or it may be used as a gimmick, that's going to come down to whoever uses it. We like using it to play YouTube videos or to have our chat open on a secondary display while working on the primary display.

In any case, it's the same as with the MacBook's touch bar, some people love it and use it constantly within their workflows and other people could truly care less that it's there or not. Here's a quick video that shows you some use cases.

Performance

While Asus certainly put a lot of effort into delivering a design that made the UX534FTC-AS77 standout, it wouldn't be much more than an appealing paperweight without the right set of specs under the hood. Asus is well aware of this and once again has managed to produce a laptop that caters to power-users and design aficionados alike.

Getting into details we've got an Intel Core i7-10510U CPU which works with 4 cores and manages to clock at an impressive 4.9 GHz when we are in need of more processing power. Add to this a massive 16 GB of DDR4 RAM - for intensive multitaskers - and a knockout 512 GB of SSD storage and it's pretty clear that this laptop will stop at nothing.

What this set of specs means in real life is that this laptop is beyond fast - as many clients have ready attested -. 

You can be playing a 4K video whilst editing a spreadsheet and rendering a video all at the same time and this laptop wouldn't as much as break a sweat. Sure, it would start to ventilate and TurboBoost would kick in but you wouldn't notice any lag in performance which is all we truly care about if we're being honest with ourselves.

Finally, a laptop you don't need to coddle and walk on eggshells when working because you're afraid it will break down if you open 10 or more tabs on Chrome. 

This laptop was engineered to be used by the most demanding of users so don't be afraid to throw everything and anything in its direction, you'll be surprised.

What about battery life? How's gaming?

It would be almost cruel for Asus to work so hard on developing such a powerful laptop if at the end of the day we needed to be chained to the wall in order to use it. It would be very cruel. 

Fortunately, that's not the case here and battery life on the Asus ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77 is pretty good, averaging between 7 and 9 hours depending on usage. 

That's pretty good for a laptop that boasts a powerful CPU and discrete Nvidia Graphics.

As far as gaming is concerned, while this laptop wasn't built with gaming in mind, it does come with a powerful Nvidia GeForce 1650 graphics card which allows for most current games to be played at low-to-medium settings - as several clients have pointed out -. However, don't expect to do some 4K gaming on this machine, it's simply not cut out for it.

It should also be pointed out that with this graphics card along with its i7 processor and SSD storage you can expect a laptop that's incredibly well suited for programmers, graphic designers, video editors, and people who work professionally with photoshop and other image editing software. 

As we've said previously, there's no need to be shy with the UX534FTC-AS77. We're not going to get into benchmarks and the sorts, suffice to say, it's a powerhouse laptop.

Connectivity options

For some reason, several laptop manufacturers seem to think that if you buy a high-end laptop you should be deprived of input/output ports and should be forced to carry a dongle instead. At least that's the reasoning in Apple which offers its newest MacBook Pro with two USB Type C ports and that's it. 

However, Asus hasn't gone that far and understands that many of us still use USB Type A devices as well as the HDMI output on a regular basis. With this in mind it has endowed the UX534FTC-AS77 with a balanced amount of ports. That comes out to a couple of USB type-A ports (3.0), a single Type C port (3.0), an HDMI output, and a microSD card reader as well as your typical audio jack.

Being a high-end device it also comes with WiFi 6 which delivers up to 40% higher internet speeds than WiFi 5 (previously known as WiFi 802.11 ac) and there's also Bluetooth support, duh! 

As expected, the laptop also comes with a high-resolution webcam which is slightly decent but that's about all the praise we're gonna throw in its direction since it's still a laptop webcam with the quality that's typically associated to it.

Verdict: Should you buy this laptop?

After reading our review of the Asus ZenBook 15 UX534FTC-AS77 the truth is that most people will be inclined to buy it. To be perfectly honest this laptop is suited for just about every kind of user there is with the exception of the hardcore gamer who would benefit more with a laptop that aimed exclusively at this segment.

The UX534FTC-AS77 delivers great performance, extensive SSD storage, an awesome display with UHD resolution, and a secondary display on the trackpad that has many uses. Ultimately we can't deny that this is the perfect laptop for 99% of the users and if you can afford it then you're not gonna regret it.

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