Earlier this year we’ve reviewed the redesigned 2020
ZenBook 14 UX425JA series, a brand-new product at the time and a step-up from the previous Asus ZenBook 14 generations.
Several months later in late-2020, Asus now offer the ZenBook 14 UX425EA models in their line-up, as hardware updates of the earlier UX425 iterations, now with
Intel Tiger Lake hardware and Iris Xe graphics, faster memory, and a few different screen choices, as well as slightly improved power profiles over the UX425JA variants we’ve tested.
We’ve spent time with two different ZenBook 14 UX425EA configurations, a lower-level model based on the Intel i5-1135G7 platform, and the higher-tier version running on the i7-1165G7. Down below we’ve gathered all our thoughts and impressions on these ultrabooks, with their solid traits and their quirks that you should be aware of when deciding if these are the right buy for you or not.
Specs as reviewed – Asus ZenBook 14 UX425EA
Asus ZenBook 14 UX425EA
Screen 14.0 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, matte, non-touch
2.5W 300-nits (Chi Mei N140HCE-EN2) or 1W 400-nits (AU Optronics B140HAN06.8) panel options
Processor Intel Tiger Lake, up to Core i7-1165G7, 4C/8T
Video Intel Iris Xe
Memory up to 32 GB LPDDR4x 4266 MHz (soldered)
Storage 1x M.2 PCIe x4 SSD (Intel, Sk Hynix, Kingston), Intel Optane H10 variants also available
Connectivity Wireless 6 (Intel AX201), Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet with adapter
Ports 1x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 2x USB-C 3.2 with Thunderbolt 4( data, video, and power), HDMI 1.4b, microSD card reader, 3.5 mm jack with USB-C adapter
Battery 67 Wh, 65W USB-C charger with quick-charging
Size 319 mm or 12.5” (w) x 208 mm or 8.18” (d) x 13.9 mm or 0.54” (h)
Weight 2.62 lbs (1.19 kg)+ .45 lbs (.21 kg) charger, US version
Extras white backlit keyboard, glass NumberPad, HD+IR webcam with Hello, stereo bottom speakers, sleeve, available in Pine Grey and Lilac Mist
Asus offer the late-2020 UX425EA series in a couple of configurations, with various amount of RAM (8-32 GB) and storage options (up to 2 TB and Intel Optane), three types of Intel Tiger Lake processors (i3-1115G4, i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7), but also two screen variants, with either a standard 300-nits IPS panel or a more efficient 1W 400-nits option.
If you’re interested in our
other reviews of Asus ZenBook lineups, you can find them listed here, while our extended coverage of the best ultraportable laptops of the moment is available here. And here’s our review of the updated Tiger Lake ZenBook 14X model.
Update: Our reviews of the latest-generation
ZenBook 14X UX5401 and ZenBook 14 UX3402 models are available via these links. And here’s our coverage of the 2023 Asus ZenBook 14 and Flip 14 updates.
Design and construction
In many ways, this ZenBook is one of the most attractive mid-range 14-inch ultrabooks available right now.
Asus went with a
compact and lightweight design, and metal is used all-around to give it a premium feel. The surfaces feel nice to the touch and are fairly resistant to smudges and fingerprints in this dark-gray color scheme, and Asus also offers this series in a lighter variant, called Lilac Mist. If you opt for that one, keep in mind that it also comes with a silver keyboard, and white backlit silver keys are difficult to read and a no-no in my book, yet you might feel differently.
My knit with this series is still the fact that it doesn’t feel as sturdy and solid as some of the higher-tier products out there, including Asus’s own ZenBook S or ExpertBook lineups. The main chassis and screen are fairly well made and don’t bulge much even when pressed harder, but when grabbing and picking up the laptop, the back part squeaks, and the hinges are a little bit weaker than I’d want and don’t steadily keep the screen in place.
Speaking of, these ZenBooks implement the same Ergolift hinge design as the entire modern lineup of Asus ultraportables. That means that the screen raises on these small rubber feet placed on its bottom part, and lifts the laptop’s main body from the desk, allowing for extra airflow underneath and a slightly inclined typing position.
However, this design translates into the hot air being blown out through this grill placed just under the screen, and that causes the area around the exhaust to heat-up with more demanding loads. Compared to the older models, this ZenBook UX425 gets a slightly thicker plastic chin underneath the display, which soaks up most of the expelled heat and that’s why the panel itself only hit temperatures in the high-30s and low-40s, while the bezel hits temperatures in the 50s. This might seem like a tiny detail, but it’s something that will improve the product’s reliability, and a welcomed update in my book.
Moving on, this ZenBook is mostly a practical everyday companion. Asus put grippy rubber feet on the bottom, even with these tiny rear pieces at the back of the screen, implemented a spacious arm-rest, a large clickpad, and a full-size keyboard, and pushed the IO and the status LEDs to the sides, towards the back. Furthermore, the screen can be easily picked-up and adjusted single-handedly, but as I already mentioned, the hinges could have been firmer. I’m also not entirely happy with the fairly aggressive metallic edges around the interior, which look great but aren’t the friendliest on the wrists.
Back to that IO, the ZenBook UX425EA gets 2x USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support this time around, a full-size HDMI port and USB-A slot, plus a microSD card reader. There’s still no 3.5 mm jack, and that’s because Asus claim people use wireless headphones these days so they decided on leaving that out, something I don’t approve.
They did include a USB-C to 3.5 mm jack in the pack, alongside a USB-A to LAN adapter and protective sleeve. For what is worth, looks like Asus are backing-down on their decision about the 3.5 mm jack, as that’s now back on their latest ZenBook 14 update,
the UX435 series, which we’ll discuss in a future article.
Keyboard and trackpad
I’ve said it before and I’ve been further convinced after spending more time with these ZenBooks, this here is my favorite keyboard that I’ve come upon on an Asus laptop so far, and one of the best in the segment.
Compared to their 2019 ZenBooks, Asus updated the layout, stretching it across the entire chassis, and that translates in a wider set of main keys, wider arrows, and an extra column of Function keys at the right, with dedicated Home, PgUp, PgDn, and End. The power-button remains the top-right key, and while it’s stiffer than the regular keys, you should still disable it in Windows to prevent the laptop from going to sleep by mistake.
The overall feedback is what makes this a nicer typer than what Asus put on their previous ZenBooks and all of their other 2020 options tested in recent months, with slightly increased resistance and improved accuracy over most other ultrabooks, but while remaining a quick and quiet implementation (except for the Space key). Good job.
I also noticed that these keys have a slightly concave shape and are not completely flat, which might also help with the overall typing experience. They also feel nice to the touch, with a soft rubberized surface.
This keyboard is also backlit, with white LEDs and three levels of intensity to choose from, plus dedicated indicators for CapsLock and Fn+Esc. Some light still creeps out from beneath the keycaps, but the keys are overall well lit and fairly uniform.
Down beneath, centered on the chassis, Asus implement a spacious glass clickpad with Precision drivers and secondary NumberPad functionality, the same they include on most of their other 2020 ZenBooks. It’s a smooth, reliable, and sturdy surface, with good gesture support and palm-rejection, and I have nothing to complain about it. This here is also one of the best clickpads you can get on a Windows laptop these days.
As a side note, there’s no ScreenPad offered for this series, which remains an exclusive of the 2019 ZenBook 14 UX434 line, as well as the
updated 2020 ZenBook 14 UX435 series, that we’ll discuss shortly.
Finally, when it comes to biometrics, there’s no finger-sensor on the Zenbook UX425, but you do get an arguably more seamless method of singing into Windows with that IR camera at the top of the screen.
Asus offers three screen options for the ZenBook 14 UX425 series. They’re all matte non-touch IPS panels, but one is a standard FHD option with 300-nits of max brightness, the other is this newer generation and more efficient FHD 1W panel with 400+ nits of brightness, while the third option is a sharper WQHD (2560 x 1440 px) panel with 300-nits of brightness.
We’ve tested both the FHD options, the base-panel on the i5 configuration (on the left in the following pictures), and the upgraded panel on the i7 model (on the right).
The base-panel is a standard model from Chi Mei, implemented on quite a few other mid-range 14-inch laptops, with almost 100% sRGB color coverage, good contrast, and wide viewing angles.
Here’s what we got in our tests,
with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:
Panel HardwareID: Chi Mei CMN14D5 (N140HCE-EN2);
Coverage: 97.1% sRGB, 67.0% AdobeRGB, 69.4% DCI-P3;
Measured gamma: 2.07;
Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 297.64 cd/m2 on power;
Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 17.92 cd/m2 on power;
Contrast at max brightness: 1107:1;
White point: 7800 K;
Black on max brightness: 0.27 cd/m2;
This panel came poorly calibrated out the box, with a skewed White Point and Gamma point. Calibration drops the maximum brightness even more, so you’ll struggle with this option in bright environments.
The upgrade 1 W panel made by AU Optronics is not just more efficient, but also offers higher maximum brightness, deeper blacks, improved contrast, and minimally wider color-gamut coverage.
Here’s what we got in our tests,
with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:
Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics AUOA48F (B140HAN06.8);
Coverage: 98.9% sRGB, 70.1% AdobeRGB, 72.8% DCI-P3;
Measured gamma: 2.40;
Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 418.92 cd/m2 on power;
Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 22.49 cd/m2 on power;
Contrast at max brightness: 1759:1;
White point: 6600 K;
Black on max brightness: 0.23 cd/m2;
This panel also came better calibrated out of the box, but the skewed gamma still required a recalibration.
As for the WQHD model, we’ll update this article once we get to test that as well, but I wouldn’t bother with it. FHD resolution is sharp enough in my opinion for a 14-inch screen, and sacrificing the improved efficiency and higher-specs of the 1W FHD panel just for an increase in resolution makes no sense to me, especially when you’ll most likely have to pay extra for it.
Hardware and performance
We’ve tested two versions of the ZenBook 14 UX425EA a mid-specced configuration based on an
Intel Tiger Lake Core i5-1135G7 processor and 8 GB of RAM, and a top-model with the i7-1165G7 and 16 GB of RAM.
Both are pre-production samples provided by Asus for the purpose of this review, and tested with the same software available as of mid-October 2020 (BIOS 300, MyAsus 22.214.171.124 app).
Spec-wise, the UX435EA series is based on the late-2020 Intel Tiger Lake platform:
the i7-1165G7 includes a 4C/8T processor with Max Turbo Speeds of 4.8 GHz and 12 MB of cache, plus Intel Iris Xe graphics with 96 EUs and up to 1.3 GHz clock speeds.
the i5-1135G7 includes a 4C/8T processor with Max Turbo Speeds of 4.2 GHz and 8 GB of cache, plus Intel Iris Xe graphics with 80 EUs and up to 1.3 GHz clock speeds.
Both variants are paired with up to 32 GB of LPDDR4x memory soldered on the motherboard, and PCIe x4 storage (just a single slot). Our test units get a 256 GB SSD and a 512 GB SSD, respectively, both mid-tier and not impressively fast, but fine for daily use. The storage is upgradeable, but everything else is soldered. Getting inside is a simple task, it just requires poping up the back panel hold in place by a couple of Torx screws, all visible around the sides.
As far as the software goes, these ZenBooks get the standard MyAsus app which allows control over the power profiles, battery and screen settings, updates, etc, while the Audio is controlled in AudioWizard.
There are three performance/thermal profiles to choose from:
Performance – allows the CPU to run at 18+W in sustained loads, with fans ramping up to 37-38 dB;
Standard – allows the CPU to run at 16+W in sustained loads, with fans ramping up to 37-38 dB;
Whisper – limits the CPU at 5+W to favor lower fan-noise of sub 33 dB.
The Standard profile is well-balanced and keeps the fan mostly idle with light use, and quiet with heavier loads. Both configurations feel snappy with daily multitasking, video streaming, text-editing, and the likes.
On to more demanding tasks, we start by testing the CPU’s performance by running the Cinebench R15 benchmark for 15+ times in a loop, with 2-3 seconds delay between each run, on the Performance mode.
Both the i5 and the i7 run at high power and clocks for a few runs, and then stabilize at around 18-19W of power, clock speeds of ~2.6 GHz, and temperatures in the 85-90 degrees Celsius. The fan ramps to about 37-38 dB at head-level in this test, and the laptops return scores of around 660 points on the i5 model, and around 700 points on the i7. Not bad, considering both are mid-level implementations of this Intel Tiger Lake hardware and power-limited to a mid-level TDP.
Undervolting is not an option for Tiger Lake
with the latest variants of Throttlestop, so we could not tweak the settings in any way.
We did retest the laptop on the Standard and Whisper modes. Standard limits the i5 CPU at around 16+ W, but allows doesn’t have a noticeable impact on the i7 configuration, while Whisper lowers the limit to 5+ W on both, with quieter fans. Finally, the laptops stabilize at around 13-15 W when unplugged, on the Performance mode. All these findings are detailed in the chart below.
To put these results in perspective, here’s how a couple of other AMD and Intel ultraportable notebooks score in this same test.
Compared to higher-power i7 Tiger Lake tested in the ZenBook S UX393 or the i5 in the Acer Swift 3 14, this series limits the processor more aggressively, which has a positive impact on the temperatures, and a negative impact on the performance. Future BIOS updates might change this behavior. At the same time, these 14-inch ZenBook UX425EA models run at higher-power than the ZenBook Flip 13 we’ve also reviewed just a few days ago. At the same time, the 6Core Ryzen 4000 platform is still a clear step-up in performance over the Intel options.
We further verified our finding by running the longer and more challenging Cinebench R20 test, and the gruesome Prime 95 test, in which the CPUs stabilize at around 15-19 W after a short initial boost.
We also ran our combined CPU+GPU stress tests on this notebook, on the same Performance profile.
3DMark stress runs the same test for 20 times in a loop and looks for performance variation and degradation over time, and both configurations failed to pass it, but by a low margin. This suggests that the performance degrades somewhat once the heat builds-up, and makes perfect sense, given how the platform runs at higher-power for the minutes of intensive activity and then is limited towards 19W. Luxmark 3.1 fully loads both the CPU and GPU at the same time, but it doesn’t properly support the Tiger Lake at this time, so is not relevant here.
Next, here are some benchmark results. We ran the entire suite of tests and benchmarks on the standard Performance profiles on both the i7 and the i7 models. Here’s what we got.
UX425 – Intel i7 1165G7
UX425 – Intel i5 1135G7
3DMark 13 – Fire Strike 4445 (Graphics – 5107, Physics – 10201, Combined – 1578)
3966 (Graphics – 4431, Physics – 11601, Combined – 1430)
3DMark 13 – Night Raid 13877 (Graphics – 17755, CPU – 6202)
13627 (Graphics – 16491, CPU – 6869)
3DMark 13 – Time Spy 1596 (Graphics – 1455, CPU – 3560)
1444 (Graphics – 1302, CPU – 3798)
3DMark 13 – Wild Life 11480
Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium 2787
Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme 960
Handbrake 1.3.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 20.31 average fps
21.64 average fps
PassMark 5478 (CPU: 12421, 3D Graphics: 3377, Disk: 11914)
5275 (CPU: 12597, 3D Graphics: 3316, Disk: 10215)
PCMark 10 4670 (E – 9612, P – 6576, DCC – 4373)
4522 (E – 9296, P – 6152, DCC – 4391)
GeekBench 4.4.2 64-bit Single-Core: 6523, Multi-core: 21033
Single-Core: 6150, Multi-core: 20794
GeekBench 5.0.1 64-bit Single-Core: 1489, Multi-core: 5288
Single-Core: 1404, Multi-core: 5248
CineBench R15 (best run) CPU 838 cb, CPU Single Core 213 cb
CPU 820 cb, CPU Single Core 204 cb
CineBench R20 (best run) CPU 1789 cb, CPU Single Core 515 cb
CPU 1711 cb, CPU Single Core 495 cb
x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 32-bit Pass 1 – 192.32 fps, Pass 2 – 43.22 fps
Pass 1 – 186.62 fps, Pass 2 – 42.78 fps
x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit 84.04 fps
We also ran some Workstation related loads, on the same Performance profiles:
UX425 – Intel i7 1165G7
UX425 – Intel i5 1135G7
Blender 2.90 – BMW Car scene- CPU Compute 9m 50s
Blender 2.90 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute 27m 33s
As expected, the i7 marginally wins on the CPU tests, both in single and multi-core scores, but the i5 ends-up within 10% in most cases, and even surprisingly outscores the i7 in 3DMark, Handbrake, or Blender. I’d reckon the system limits the CPU a bit more aggressively on the i7 configuration in these tests, which suggests a slight difference in thermal quality between the two.
The i7 also wins the GPU tests, and by a greater margin of 10-15%, again not a surprise given that the Iris Xe G7 in the i7 processor gets 96 EUs, while the chip in the i5 is a snipped version with 80 EUs. Otherwise, the two stabilize at similar frequencies, as you’ll see below, when we test the gaming performance of these platforms.
We ran a couple of DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the Performance profile, FHD resolution and Low/Lowest graphics settings. Here’s what we got:
UX425 – i7 1165G7 19W
UX425 – i5 1135G7 19W
UX393 – i7 1165G7 26W
UX425 – i7 1065G7 15W
Swift 3 – i5 1135G7 28W
IdeaPad 7 – AMD R7 + Vega 8 26W
UM425 – AMD R7 + Vega 7 13W
Bioshock Infinite (DX 11, Low Preset) 70 fps (40 fps – 1% low)
69 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
83 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
40 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
88 fps (52 fps – 1% low)
81 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
66 fps (50 fps – 1% low)
Dota 2 (DX 11, Best Looking Preset) 56 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
52 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
63 fps (39 fps – 1% low)
34 fps (20 fps – 1% low)
73 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
53 fps (40 fps – 1% low)
39 fps (28 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Low Preset, no AA) 26 fps (18 fps – 1% low)
21 fps (13 fps – 1% low)
29 fps (19 fps – 1% low)
12 fps (10 fps – 1% low)
31 fps (19 fps – 1% low)
28 fps (24 fps – 1% low)
21 fps (17 fps – 1% low)
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 65 fps (47 fps – 1% low)
62 fps (43 fps – 1% low)
68 fps (53 fps – 1% low)
32 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
77 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
33 fps (24 fps – 1% low)
45 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
NFS: Most Wanted (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 60 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
57 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
60 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
42 fps (25 fps – 1% low)
60 fps (53 fps – 1% low)
60 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
56 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX 12, Lowest Preset, no AA) 29 fps (14 fps – 1% low)
27 fps (12 fps – 1% low)
46 fps (12 fps – 1% low)
16 fps (3 fps – 1% low)
46 fps (31 fps – 1% low)
41 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
28 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider (Vulkan, Lowest Preset, no AA) 28 fps (16 fps – 1% low)
26 fps (15 fps – 1% low)
34 fps (18 fps – 1% low)
17 fps (12 fps – 1% low)
41 fps (23 fps – 1% low)
38 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
27 fps (16 fps – 1% low)
Strange Brigade (Vulkan, Low Preset) 44 fps (28 fps – 1% low)
41 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
54 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
21 fps (7 fps – 1% low)
56 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
41 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
37 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Low Preset, Hairworks Off) –
28 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
21 fps (14 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher 3, Dota 2, NFS – recorded with MSI Afterburner in game mode;
Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Strange Brigade, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
I’ve added a couple of other configurations for comparison, all of them ultraportables available within the same segment and price-range.
First off, with a roughly 19W power-cap, bot the i5 and the i7 configurations cannot run at the best of the platform’s abilities in this ZenBook UX425EA implementation. As illustrated in the logs below, both the CPU and the GPU are capped by the power-limitation here.
Here’s the i5 configuration.
And here’s the i7.
For comparison, I’ve included the higher-power i7 in the UX393 and the i5 on the Swift 3, which both end-up outmatching the i5/i7 tested here as they run at 25-28 W of power (but with higher temperatures and increased fan-noise). That’s just something you can either accept here or not, Asus tried to balance-put these ZenBooks UX425EA and ended up sacrificing the sustained performance to some degree, but while keeping thermal and noise-levels at bay, as you’ll see in the next section.
Now, as far as the gaming experience goes, the i5 ends-up at within 5-10% of the i7 in actual games, and both can handle simpler and older titles just fine, bur barely cope with AAA titles released in the last years. At the same time, though, both the i5 and i7 are a clear step-up from the IceLake hardware in the earlier-2020 ZenBook 14, and close to the AMD Ryzen alternatives, although the differences in power-envelope play a big role with those as well.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
Asus went with a basic thermal module here, with a single heatpipe and single fan, the same kind we’ve seen implemented on most of their past ZenBook, VivoBook, and ExpertBook lineups. That’s supplemented by an open-back design and the Ergolift hinge system, yet the exhaust is placed just under the screen and still blows hot air into it, which we’ll discuss in a bit.
Furthermore, the software is also designed to minimize fan-noise. The fan rests idle most of the time with daily use on the Standard profile, but is, at the same time, mostly active on the Performance mode with the laptop plugged-in, in which case it ramps up to about 35 dB at head-level, something the speakers can still easily cover up.
However, even with the idle fan, none of our test models is completely silent, as they both experienced some degree of electronic noises noticeable in a quiet room. This is a random issue with modern computers, and there’s no way to tell whether yours will be plagued by this kind of noise or not: make sure to listen for them carefully once you get your unit, and just return it if not satisfied.
With games, the fan ramps up to 37-38 dB at head level on both configurations, which is quieter than most other modern ultrabooks with this kind of specs.
Now, thermally the laptop runs merely warm with daily use, which is fine considering the mostly passive cooling, and averagely hot with demanding loads and games. We’ve measured temperatures in the high-40s C at the top of the keyboard and on the back panel, as well as mid-50s C on the interior, just around the exhaust, and on the back, just on top of the CPU heatpipe. The Arrows and WASD regions run at comfortable levels, in the 30s.
As mentioned already, the hot air is pushed out into the screen’s bottom bezel, which soaks up most of the heat. The panel itself hits temperatures of around 43-45 degrees C in its hottest part right next to the exhaust, but most of it runs in the 30s.
*Daily Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Whisper Mode, fans at 0-35 dB
*Gaming – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Performance Mode, fans at 37-38 dB
For connectivity, there’s the latest-gen WiFi 6 with an Intel AX201 module on this laptop. It performed well with our setup and the signal and performance remained strong at 30-feet, with obstacles in between.
Audio is handled by a set of stereo speakers that fire through those grills on the underside. The angled shape of the D-Panel allows the sound to bounce off the table, but I’ve noticed vibrations and distortions at higher volumes.
Compared to other ZenBook 14s tested recently, the speakers on these models are a lot louder, at 85-88 dB at head-level. Looks like Asus are processing and amplifying the sound, which leads to the increase in volume and vibrations, as well as a weird unnatural quality at those higher volumes. Switching this off in the DTS Audio Processing limits the volume, but also normalizes the quality.
Now, these speakers still lack plenty in the lower-end and Asus are over trying to compensate it with their processing, but they end-up sounding weird and unnatural once pumped above 50% of their volume. At lower-levels, though, these are fine for movies and music playing in the background, with or without the DTS mode. I found these best at about 30% volume at DTS on Music, which allows them to sound cleaner and still loud enough, in the 74-76 dB.
However, these don’t get very loud, we only measured volumes of 70-72 dB at head-level in our tests, and the audio quality is about the average you should expect from this class, fine for movies and music, but not impressive by any means. All these on the Music profile in Audio Wizzard. For what is worth, the same speakers turned out to be
much louder in the ZenBook 14 UM425IA that we’ve tested, but without the installed Audio Wizard app.
Finally, I should mention there’s an HD camera placed at the top of the screen, fine for occasional calls, but still not much in terms of quality.
There’s a 67 Wh battery inside the ZenBook UX425, which is larger than what you’d normally get on a 14-inch notebook. Combined with the efficient Intel hardware implementation and screen, this notebook should last for a fair while on a charge.
Here’s what we got on the i5 model with the standard 2.5W 300-nits panel, with the screen set at around 120-nits (70% brightness).
8.4 W (~7+ h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Standard + Better Battery Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
5.6 W (~10 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
5.4 W (~10+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
12-14 W (~4-5 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Standard + Better Performance Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON.
And here’s the i7 Configuration with the upgraded and more efficient 1W 400-nits panel, also set at around 120 nits (60% brightness).
7 W (~8+ h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Standard + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
5.2 W (~11 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
4.8 W (~12+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
10-12 W (~5-6 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Standard + Better Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.
Both configurations ship with a compact 65W charger that plugs-in via USB-C. It’s a single-piece design with a compact brick and a long and thick cable, and a full charge takes about 2 hours. However, quick-charging allows to fill-up to 60% in less than an hour.
Price and availability- ZenBook 14 UX425 with Intel
The ZenBook 14 UX425EA is hardly available in stores at the time of this post.
From the little we know right now, we’re looking at around $900 to $1000 in the US and around 1100 EUR here in Europe for the base configuration with the i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and the 300-nits FHD screen. The higher-tier i7 model with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and the 1W 400-nits screen should go for around $1200 in the US and 1300+ EUR in Europe, while the WQHD configurations would go for a little extra.
We’ll update when we know more, and in the meantime,
follow this link for updated prices and configurations in your region.
Final thoughts- Asus ZenBook 14 UX425EA review
Having used these ZenBooks for the last weeks, I feel that they’re quite a step-up from the models tested earlier in the year and well-balanced everyday ultrabooks.
Sure, you’re paying a slight premium for the metallic construction and the
compact/lightweight ultrabook form-factor, but these remain highly competitive in both the i5 and the i7 configurations. The Tiger Lake hardware allows them to handle everyday chores smoothly while running quietly and cooly. Unfortunately, both our units were plagued by electronic noises, but hopefully, you’ll get luckier and end-up without that. Make sure to test and carefully listen for such imperfections if you decide on one of these ZenBooks.
And then, these ZenBooks can also handle
demanding loads and light gaming fairly well. They’re not the most powerful ultrabooks on the market or even the most powerful Tiger Lake implementations, instead, they balance performance, thermals, and noise levels surprisingly well, and that might just be enough for the average user. The long battery life, the solid screen choices, the excellent inputs, and even the IO further enhance these ZenBooks in their niches.
Sure, there are still quirks to accept. There’s room to improve the build-quality and those rather weak hinges, the lack of a dedicated 3.5 mm jack isn’t my favorite decision, and the speakers are still not great, especially with the aggressive processing applied by default. But as a whole, and especially when considering the price, I’m impressed and recommend these within their class.
Of course, these UX425s are not without competition, both in Asus’s camp (such as the AMD-based ZenBook
UM425 and UM433 models, or the Intel-based ZenBook UX435 with Nvidia graphics), but also from the other OEMs, with more powerful devices such as the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 or the Acer Swift 3 14 selling for less, and plenty of options such as the Lenovo Yoga C940 or the LG Gram 14 selling for about the same price. Each have their own strong-suits and flaws though, so make sure to properly research your options. Aside from the ones mentioned here, this article on the best ultrabooks of the moment is a great place to start your search.
Anyway, this wraps up our review of the Asus ZenBook 14 UX425EA series, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, so please get in touch in the comments section down below.
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Navigation: Ultrabookreview.com » 14 inch
Andrei Girbea Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief
. I've a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering and I've been covering mobile technology since the 2000s. You'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site, as well as some occasional first-impression articles.
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?
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.
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?
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
October 28, 2020 at 4:32 pm
By "electronics noises", do you mean coil whine?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
November 18, 2020 at 1:40 pm
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?
November 18, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Yes, TB4. updated
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).
November 18, 2020 at 6:31 pm
Glad this helped and thanks for the feedback
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?
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
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)
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. :)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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.
October 27, 2021 at 5:52 pm
Unfortunately, I have the same situation, but I’m gonna stay with this 300 nits, because it’s not look bad for me as I’m the average user. I would like to ask you for calibration specs via mail if it’s possible
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.
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.
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!
March 12, 2021 at 10:18 am
Which HDMI version it's HDMI port has? (for example 2.0, 2.0a, or 2.0b)
March 13, 2021 at 11:13 am
April 9, 2021 at 9:13 am
does it support egpu ?
April 9, 2021 at 10:23 am
Yep, all Thunderbolt laptops do
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?
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
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)
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?
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.
November 28, 2021 at 6:51 pm
Que gran reseña!!!. Fabulosa.
He estado buscando esta laptop (ux425 i7) por todos los locales, incluyendo los vendedores oficiales que publican en la web de Asus.
Al ser una gran inversión de mi parte, tengo la duda de los cambios con respecto de la ux435 que aún no entra y no se sabe si entrara en fechas próximas.
No me quiero arrepentir de haber adquirido un producto muy diferente al otro.
Valdrá la pena esperar?.
November 28, 2021 at 6:54 pm
Juan, English please.
November 28, 2021 at 7:14 pm
Could you send me the calibrated .icc profile via email as I saw in the comment below. Because I got 300 IPS display panel unfortunately. Of course shop lied me about it :( Kind regards!
December 23, 2021 at 12:35 am
I purchase a Zen with I5 config and till now no suspect noises from electronics and the hinges are very silent. I will still keep an eye, because your review opened that eye. Anyway, it lookks really good, slim and light weight, and more important is doing the jop perfectly. Thanks for your well documented review!
January 18, 2022 at 11:42 pm
Hi Andrei, I'm trying to make a purchase decision between either the Zenbook 14 UX425JA or UX425EA. You note that the newer model with the Tiger Lake has some improvements – notably I assume for gaming. Would it be correct to say that, without using the laptop for gaming, the improvements are not so notable? The price difference in my country between both models is €160, which while not a huge amount is also not nothing. I am wondering whether I will experience mugh benefit from spending this extra amount, for example on battery life? Thank you in advance.
January 25, 2022 at 10:31 am
for regular use, the hardware in the JA should be fine. Just make sure the screens are the same between the two configurations.
January 25, 2022 at 2:48 pm
Do you think the 400 nits (which I assume is always the 1w version but I don't always find it clearly specified in the product pages sadly) is a significant enough upgrade and worth the extra money?
January 25, 2022 at 3:11 pm
the 300-nits option should be fine for normal indoor use. The 400-nits would make sense if you'll use the laptop in brighter environments. Up to you.
March 16, 2022 at 6:51 pm
Hello, thank you for the review, quite informative. Is it easy for someone to replace the battery by himself?
Do you know what type of battery 425ea gets? Thank you in advance for your help!
March 16, 2022 at 7:36 pm
Seems doable, if you know what you're doing and can find the right part. What do you mean by "what type of battery it gets" ?
March 16, 2022 at 7:52 pm
i mean which is the exact authentic battery for this 425EA model…