Asus ZenBook 14 UX425 review (UX425EA – i5 & i7 Tiger Lake models)

37 Comments

  1. Mihael Alexandru

    October 26, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Is the Zenbook 14" UX425EA a good choice over Lenovo Yoga Slim 7? And will Lenovo launch a Yoga Slim with Intels 11th gen?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 26, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      Depends on what you need it for. Gaming performance should be a step-up on this ZenBooks, which also looks nicer, offers a better keyboard/clickpad, better screen and is more compact/lighter. The Slim is more affordable though, and much more competent in multithreaded applications with the Ryzen hardware.

      There should be an Intel update of the Slim 7 at some point.

      • Mihael Alexandru

        October 26, 2020 at 7:57 pm

        Ty for your quick response. I'm looking for a slim reliable good-looking laptop mainly for online courses, projects at University, and internet surfing. But at the same time, I would like to play occasionally some light games like Dota 2 or CS:GO (but not on the very best-looking preset) without damaging the unit in the long run. Will the 11th gen Asus model do the job or should I look toward other models?

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 26, 2020 at 8:25 pm

        It's a good contender, but so is the Slim 7, especially given that's also more affordable. Up to you if you're willing to pay extra for the form-factor and other small advantages

  2. xpclient

    October 28, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    By "electronics noises", do you mean coil whine?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      not necessarily. I rather mean some creaking noises, and not the continuous noise that I associate with coil whine.

  3. Fil

    October 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Andrei, would you know anything about the coming UX435 (especially UX435EG with MX450)? THis seems to me to be a quite a bit more interesting package, with the new MX450 dgpu, a touchscreen (and a headphone jack ;)
    In Germany, the first retailers are listing them as available tomorrow (https://www.alternate.de/ASUS/ZenBook-14-(UX435EG-AI039T)-Notebook/html/product/1652071)
    It would be great to see a review by you!

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      I've had an early engineering sample for a week now, but it's not working properly and I've decided to wait for a more mature product before publishing a review. Cannot comment on the performance, because neither the CPU or the GPU work properly on mine. I can say that it is slightly smaller and lighter than the UX425 series, and I'm not sure how Asus will be able to cool both an MX450 and and i7 Tiger lake within this chassis. Haven't yet opened up my sample to peak and the thermal module, but seems to be a single fan much like on the UX425, which barely copes with 15+W combined.

  4. Fil

    October 29, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    OK, thanks for that! A single fan seems a bit puny indeed.
    On a general note, I am very curious about the MX450. As a casual gamer, I was hoping to ditch the dgpus now that AMD and Intel supposedly have proper igpus, but I must admit I am a bit disappointed with their performance. Maybe I am expecting to much, but it is not enticing to make the switch to a dgpu when you had a MX250 earlier. So I can hardly wait to see more models with Tiger Lake / Ryzen + dgpu.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2020 at 6:05 pm

      I'm curious about it too, and I think this would work well in something like an IdeaPad Slim 7 with the dual-fan thermal module. Even with the lower-power 10W MX450, you'd still need a cooling module that can properly handle 20+W of combined power, and I'm not sure this can do it. We'll see, should have a review up in a few weeks.

  5. Sanjeev Siva

    November 18, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Hello,
    In the specs you mentioned the laptop supports thunderbolt 3, but I think all 11th gen intel processors support thunderbolt 4.

    Is that a typo?

  6. Sanjeev Siva

    November 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you, Andrei.

    I purchased the same laptop after reading your review. More than happy with this laptop (sufficient for my needs).

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 18, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Glad this helped and thanks for the feedback

  7. Hanik

    November 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

    So, if yoy could only choose one – would you recommend this model, with the 11th gen i7, over the Ryzen 7 counterpart?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Depends on what you want. Ryzen is more powerful in multi-threaded loads, but Tiger Lake is more capable in games and some GPU loads. Both are snappy with daily use. Also, consider pricing and the screen options, the Ryzen model might not be available with the 400-nits 1 W panel everywhere

  8. Bassem Kassem

    November 24, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Hello, I need multitasking laptop for gaming and for personal use what do you recommend for me from Asus or hp or dell or lenovo ( which model)
    Thanks alot

  9. Luis

    December 7, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Andrei. Great review.
    You talked about squeaking when picking the laptop. I've got an older model (UM431DA). I was used to a Satellite R630 which had classical inges (on top of the base) and I used to pick my laptop one-anded, for example to drop it at the table when I needed to leave the sofa for some reason. No problem with the R630. But this one, as I picked it only from the left side while open, I think my right inge bent a bit and now it clicks when I close the screen. Ofc I already stoped doing it but hope it doesn't break in the future. Just a heads-up for other readers. For that reason I don't like those ergo-lift inges, as Asus calls them.

    Besides that, I see Asus brought in the right function keys column which my late R630 also had but my 431 doesn't (F9 to F12 emulate those). And in the 435 they'll bring back the headphone jack. So the 435 is the model to get. :)

    Keep up the great work. :)

  10. Mahesh

    February 2, 2021 at 11:05 am

    Hi Andrei. Great detailed review.

    You mentioned in specs,
    Ports : HDMI 1.4b
    ASUS official site specs didn't mention HDMI verion but amazon site says HDMI 2.0b
    What is the actual HDMI verion in 11th generation models?

    You mentioned in specs,
    storage : 1x M.2 PCIe x4 SSD (Intel, Sk Hynix, Kingston), Intel Optane H10 variants also available

    How speedy are they in terms of MBps (Read/Write)

    Are they plain M.2 SSD or NVMe M.2 SSD

    What PCIe version?

    Is there any updation in 11th generation models about the storage.

    Best regards.

    Mahesh

  11. Anon

    February 21, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    There's one important feature this has over it's ryzen competitors – USB4/TB4. This adds a significant future proofing that ryzen laptops don't have. You never know if you will need 2 monitors or egpu after 1-2 years.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 22, 2021 at 10:52 am

      But you do get video over USB-C on many AMD models as well. you don't need TB4 /USB4 for that

  12. Andrew Hall

    February 27, 2021 at 4:50 am

    I've just about given up waiting around for the UX435EA to show up anywhere, but I did find an i7 UX425EA online here in the US at Sam's Club so considering going for it. No indication of which display it comes with other than one image that advertises "400nits", so I'm hoping it has the 1W display. I've narrowed the available competition down to the Acer Swift 3x, which has pretty comparable specs and is available from what I think is a more reputable seller (B&H), but the Asus wins out if it does actually have the better display. I'd be primarily using it for photo editing and occasional video editing. Your site has been the most helpful resource I've found for sorting through all these options, so thanks a bunch for all your detailed reports, and please let me know if you have any thoughts about these options.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 27, 2021 at 12:20 pm

      that should be the 1W panel, the 2.5W is around ~300 nits

      I haven't touched the Swift 3X, idk about that. Should similar to the regular Swift 3, though, and you'll find the reviews here on the site. I'd go with the Asus if similar specs

  13. Andrew Hall

    March 9, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Update: I bought the Zenbook and it turns out it came with the 300 nit screen (CMN14D5). Frustrated but considering keeping it anyway because I haven't been able to find another reputable place that has this or the 435EA in stock. Biggest concern about this display is that on Lagom LCD Gamma Calibration it's hitting under 1.3 (48%). If I adjust gamma using Windows Display Color Calibration, I can't push it beyond 1.4 (pushing the color balance sliders all the way down gets it up above 1.8, but at far too high a cost to brightness). I was starting to wonder if this was more an issue with my visual perception, but I checked the MacBook Air I use for work and it's hitting very close to 2.2.

    I was thinking about investing in a colorimeter, but it seems like this particular display might be beyond calibration. Could it really be that far off or am I overlooking something?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 9, 2021 at 10:42 am

      I hate it when shops false advertise.

      I've tested that panel on the older UX425 model here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/40388-asus-zenbook-14-ux425ja/#a4 , for a reference on specs, color accuracy, etc. I'm not familiar with Lagom, and as far as I know, the software settings in WIndows can't help much. I can send you the calibrated .icc profile via email if you want, let me know.

  14. Andrew Hall

    March 10, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Looks like your tests on that older model turned out roughly equivalent to what you got on this EA model, so thanks for the confirmation that those are the numbers I should expect from this display. A chat with Asus tech support led to some display driver updates. That alone didn't make much of a difference, but then I tried plugging in the charging cord (I'd been working off the nearly fully charged battery up 'til then) and the gamma jumped right up to 2.2. I haven't been able to find any explanation for why having it plugged in changes this particular spec so dramatically. Do you know if this is normal? I'd certainly prefer that the display functions as advertised when unplugged too.

    Regardless, would gladly accept your calibrated .icc profile.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 10, 2021 at 11:38 am

      Hmmm, there might be some setting in the Intel panel that affects that. Check here: Intel HD Graphics Control Panel > Power > On Battery > Display Power Saving Technology.

  15. Andrew Hall

    March 10, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    You're right. Display Power Savings was the culprit. Now I know where to toggle that on/off as needed. Thanks again Andrei!

  16. Mahesh

    March 12, 2021 at 10:18 am

    Which HDMI version it's HDMI port has? (for example 2.0, 2.0a, or 2.0b)

  17. saad

    April 9, 2021 at 9:13 am

    does it support egpu ?

  18. Bryant

    May 16, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Any updates on the availability of the UX425 with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Is that configuration only available outside the United States? Or is it just sold out right now?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 17, 2021 at 10:39 am

      Sry, I can't keep up with all the worldwide configurations. It might not be available over there, and I'd suggest contacting Asus on social media and ask them about it

  19. Anon

    June 28, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Is it expected for the laptop speakers to distort when the volume is really high and loud? There is a slight distortion on the left speaker but with DTS on pretty much most of the time the speakers sound normal apart from some rare cases where it may distort a little bit when it’s super loud. However, with DTS on and clicking the volume 100 in Windows volume bar you can very well hear the distortion of the volume system sound (it doesn’t happen doing the same thing with DTS off but volume is lower)

  20. Anon

    July 22, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you for the excellent review Andrei! After many years of using HP laptops I decided to make the switch to ASUS and my first impressions are very positive. Can I please ask how can I find whether the model that I bought has the 1w 400 nits panel? One of stickers on the laptop is says 'up to 21 hours of battery life'. Does this mean then that my laptop has the 1w display?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 23, 2021 at 8:53 am

      you can use the software HWinfo, it shows the panel name and ID, and compare to the ones mentioned here.

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