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Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 review (UX425JA – with Intel i7-1065G7 & Iris Pro)

24 Comments

  1. Teebs

    July 11, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for this very insightful review. Had been waiting for this one to pop up ever since seeing a picture of it in your matebook x pro review. I feel like asus is taking a step in the right direction in terms of IO and brighter screens… although the lack of a 3.5mm jack is a major set back!

    I'm currently in the market for a new machine, primarily for media consumption and web browsing. What do you reckon would be the better buy between this model, the ux434 16gb i7 at 1159€ and the new matebook x pro 16gb i5 variant at 1299€?…neither of them with a dedicated GPU.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 12, 2020 at 11:13 am

      That excellent 3:2 touchscreen on the MateBook X would make it a very compelling option for me. This would probably come 2nd thanks to its large battery, excellent keyboard and that 1W screen option, and the UX434 third.

      • Rubber

        July 29, 2020 at 10:42 pm

        @Andrei Gibea any idea when this will be available? NewEgg says 31 August, 2020 but that's a long time to wait

  2. PS

    July 12, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for the review!

    I'm new to the website, so I wonder how to best compare different reviews. For example, the summary here says "snappy with everyday use and multitasking, quiet fan, silent with daily use, 67 Wh battery and good battery life, competitively priced for what it is", which is pretty much exactly the same as "snappy and quiet with daily activities and demanding tasks or games, long battery life on a charge, good value, especially when on sale" for the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 14ARE which is $300 cheaper.

    I know the screens are different, but are the scores and descriptions relative to the price, to the purpose, or something else?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 12, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Hi, that's a very good question.

      Pricing is factored into the score, however, I encourage everyone to look past the summary, scores and pros/cons and go through the article. I try to go in-depth on every little detail, and cannot include all those aspects in a 100 word summary.

      As for those two, well, both are fine ultraportables with their own quirks. For me, a good screen is a must, that's why I returned the Ideapad 5. If that's not an issue for you and you actually plan to run more demanding loads that would benefit from that AMD platform, then the IdeaPad 5 (or other AMD Ryzen laptops) would be the ones I'd look into. That's why I rated the Ideapad at 4.25, even if it's not something I'd buy with that kind of screen. There's also an 100% sRGB screen option, though, and that would bump it to a 4.5

      As a whole, though, this ZenBook is a nicer product. Better inputs, better IO, better screen, nicer build quality, longer battery life. Hence the rating, even if it's not as competent in demanding tasks and more expensive.

      Bottom point, I try to keep the score as objective as possible and factor in all the important aspects for each laptop, but it's not perfect and I'd recommend not deciding based on it alone. Hope this makes sense.

  3. PS

    July 12, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks a lot for the quick reply! I do tend to read the reviews in detail; things like input or IO are hard to quantify, so that's really the only option. For example, you say the ZenBook has a nicer build quality; but in the review, you find a lot to criticize, while you generally praise the IdeaPad's build; without your reply, I'd have assumed the latter was better. That's why I'm trying to understand whether "I’m not awed with the build quality of these units" is compared to other $1200 laptops, or compared to other laptopsin general.

    Another example: battery life is pretty easy to quantify, and you state really *exactly* the same numbers for the two units in the reviews – so why does the ZenBook have longer battery life?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 12, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      1. The IdeaPad is very well built for the 600 EUR that I paid for it, but it's still a mostly plastic laptop. Good plastic, but still plastic, and that metal on the lid dented easily.
      2. On this, I'm complaining about the slight flex and those creaking sounds in comparison to other premium laptops, as well as the slightly sharp front lip. But at the same time, this is entirely metal, slimmer and just feels nicer to the touch. it's also not as expensive as some of the other premium ultrabooks. I always compare a product to others in its size and price class, that's just the fair way to do it imo. Comparing this to the IdeaPad 5 doesn't make much sense imo.
      3. For that battery life, I haven't tested here that 1W screen that's going to be available on most retails units, which should allow this ZenBook to run for longer than the IdeaPad. Plus, these units are pre-release, and future software updates might also improve runtimes. at the end of the day, this gets a larger battery.

      • PS

        July 12, 2020 at 12:27 pm

        OK, I think I got it now. Thanks again for the quick replies.

  4. Reuben

    July 12, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Just wondering if you had any issues with HDMI audio through a USB-C to HDMI adapter?

    I had a UX425JA and, when using a USB-C to HDMI adapter to connect to my 4K TV, I noticed audio is often cut off for the first 1-2 seconds. Using the built-in HDMI port is better (though there is still like 0.25s of audio cutoff whenever I play a YouTube video or something) but I cannot get it to output at 4K 60Hz properly.

    So, was just wondering if you experienced the same issue too.

    Also, I find the touchpad a tad too long. Given that the keyboard keys are a little biased to the left (due to the additional keys at the side), my right palm often clicks on the touchpad by accident, which is really annoying.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 13, 2020 at 10:27 am

      HI, the HDMI port doesn't do 4K at 60 Hz, because it's the older 1.4b kind. 30 Hz should still be fine for most Youtube clips or Netflix, though. I haven't noticed any sound issues, but I'll further look into it today and update if I notice anything wrong. Might be some sort of Thunderbolt drivers issues on your laptop, but not sure what can be done about it if you already have the latest drivers from the site. Would be interesting if you could test with: 1) another TV/monitor or 2) another cable.

      • Reuben chew

        July 19, 2020 at 4:39 am

        I tried with both my 4k TV and my 1440p monitor (with built in speakers) and both had the same issues. Also tried reinstalling Windows, updating to the latest drivers, etc. Even tried on a Ubuntu live disc with same issues.

        Just wondering if you had a USB-C to HDMI adapter lying around (the built in HDMI port shows the same issue too, but less severe)? If so, can you try plugging it to a monitor or TV with built in speakers? Then, with sound set to output from the monitor speakers (via HDMI audio), try to play a YouTube video. Do you notice the first 0.5 to 1s (sometimes up to 2s, depending on adapter) appears to cut off? It's like the HDMI audio goes to "sleep" after a few seconds of no audio, and then takes like 0.5s to 1s to wake up.

        I don't think the HDMI port is 1.4, given I was able to reach 120Hz on my 1440p monitor. It's not fully 2.0 either, since it refused to work on my 4k TV at 60Hz and at 144Hz on my 1440p monitor. I had similar issues with the LG gram too, though it was able to output at full 60Hz, RGB on a LG monitor (didn't manage to test that on the Asus though, but judging from similar symptoms, I figure it's an Ice Lake issue)

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm

          I did gave that a try, and I didn't notice any obvious issues. I haven't specifically listened for them, though, and right now I no longer have any of these units around. Might be a defect with your unit.

          Interesting. I was only able to run my 1440p 21:9 monitor at 50 Hz via HDMI, that's why I assumed it's 1.4b.

  5. Reuben

    July 12, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Just to add that I had no issues on other laptops with regard to HDMI audio using the same adapter…

  6. Trisha

    July 14, 2020 at 12:03 am

    How far is the plug supposed to go in, ours is sticking out by at least half and if you move it it comes up on battery???
    Then move it again and it says plugged in, but am worried to force it in any further.
    Thank you Trisha

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 14, 2020 at 10:31 am

      It should go in all the way, until the black plastic outershell touches the laptop.

  7. Dawn

    July 14, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Any idea why Asus chose to drop the 3.5 mm audio jack?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 14, 2020 at 10:32 am

      They said there was no space for it inside, with this new design and most of the interior reserved for the battery.

  8. Nuno

    July 27, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    When is the analysis of this PC with Ryzen?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 29, 2020 at 10:45 pm

      I'd say in about 2 weeks

      • Bubba Gump

        July 30, 2020 at 1:35 am

        from Amazon?

      • Brick

        July 30, 2020 at 8:40 pm

        When will this be available for purchase in the United States Andrei?

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 4, 2020 at 5:19 pm

          It's listed on Amazon

        • Mike Zuckerberg

          August 5, 2020 at 10:16 pm

          NAW on Amazon it says "shipping in 1 or 2 months" so the question Andrei is when is it actually available from NewEgg, Asus, or Amazon.. 1 or 2 months is a long time to wait

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 6, 2020 at 11:39 am

          Idk, I don't have any insiders with Asus North America. You should try to contact them via social media/support and get more details on availability.

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