The ZenBook 14 UM425 series has been one of the most popular ZenBook series available in stores in the last year or so, as ultrabooks that marry premium design lines and features with the power and versatility of the AMD Ryzen U hardware platforms.
Quick forward to 2021, Asus have very quietly updated the UM425 series with more recent AMD Ryzen H specs, a more complex thermal design to match those, and an audio jack, all available in the ZenBook 14 UM425QA lineup. We got one of these, a retail unit available locally in stores, and put it through our tests so we can share our findings with you down below.
Our configuration is the Ryzen 7 5800H processor with 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, and the 1W 400+ nits IPS panel, available here in Europe for 1000 EUR at the time of this article, with Ryzen 5 configurations starting at around 700 EUR. Both are excellently priced for what these laptops are.
In just a few words, these UM425QA models are marginally thicker and heavier than the previous UM425IA/UA generation, much more competent in demanding loads, and run somewhat warmer, even with the updated cooling design. These aside, Asus seems to no longer have skimped on the panel quality, keyboard, and wifi connection, at least on our configuration, although that might differ between regions. We’ll get in-depth on all these down below.
Specs as reviewed- Asus ZenBook 14 UM425QA
||Asus ZenBook 14 UM425QA
||14.0 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, matte, non-touch, 1W 400+ nits Chi Mei N140HCE-EN2 panel
||AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8C/16T, up to Ryzen 9 5900HX
||AMD Radeon Vega 8, 8 CUs, up to 2 GHz
||up to 16 GB LPDDR4x-4266(soldered)
||1x M.2 PCIe x4 SSD (SK Hynix BC711), single M.2 2230 slot
||Wireless 6 (Intel AX200), Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet with adapter
||1x USB-A 3.2 gen1, 2x USB-C 3.2 gen2 with data, video, and power, HDMI 2.0, microSD card reader, audio jack
||63 Wh, 100W USB-C charger with quick-charging
||319 mm or 12.5” (w) x 210 mm or 8.27” (d) x 16.8 mm or 0.66” (h)
||2.73 lbs (1.24 kg)+ .88 lbs (.4 kg) charger + cables, EU version
||white backlit keyboard, glass NumberPad, HD+IR webcam with Hello, stereo bottom speakers, sleeve
Asus offer the UM425QA series in a couple of different variants, with a choice of Ryzen 5 5600H, 7 5800H or 9 5900HX processors, 8 or 16 GB of memory, 512 or 1 TB of storage, and either a 2.5W 250-nits or a 1W 400+ nits panel, both matte and non-touch. The base models might get that dimmer and somewhat lower-quality panel, and might also ship with WiFi 5 AC instead of WiFi 6 AX, so make sure to carefully check the specs.
Design and construction
As mentioned earlier, this UM425QA sub-series is a bit thicker and heavier than the other ZenBook 14 variants available out there, but still highly portable for the 14-inch class. Our configuration is ~3mm thicker than the other models, and tips the scales at 2.75 lbs (1.25 kg), plus .9 lbs (.4 kg) for the charger, while the variants based on Intel/AMD U-class hardware are about 1.2 kilos and come with a more compact and lighter charger, at around .2 kilos.
These aside, all these ZenBooks are identical in design and craftsmanship. Aluminum is used for the entire exterior chassis, with a plastic inner frame, so these are not unibody builds, but they do feel nice and premium to the touch.
However, much like on all the ZenBook 14s tested before, I also noticed the same creaky/squeaky noises in the chassis. They’re mostly coming from the bottom D-panel, and you’ll hear them when grabbing the laptop, picking it up from a corner or when opening the screen.
That last part is caused by this whole design which lifts up the laptop’s main body on small rubber feet placed at the bottom of the screen part. This way, the laptop offers a slightly inclined typing position and allows for better airflow into the fan, through the unobstructed air-intakes on the bottom. However, this design also places the outputs just under the screen, which means that most of the hot air blows straight into the panel. That’s one of my common complaints with most of the ultrabooks sold by Asus these days, and as you’ll see in the Performance and Emissions sections, it’s still something to be aware of and consider in your decision here.
All in all, though, this ZenBook is a practical and ergonomic laptop. I like the clean design and the fairly subtle branding, and I like how the smooth metal used for the interior feels to the touch. Both the arm-rest and the lid-cover smudge very easily, though, and you’ll constantly have to rub them clean. I also appreciate the full-size inputs and the spacious arm-rest on this laptop, the fair-sized bezels with still room for a camera at the top of the screen, and the laptop’s good grip on a flat surface, despite it resting on those tiny back feet.
On the other hand, this series still integrates a light into the power button/key, and it’s not the newer design available on the late-2021 ZenBook generation, the one without a light and a finger-sensor baked into it. That light is dim, but still annoying when using the laptop at night. At least the status LEDs are on the sides, and not under the screen.
I also find the front lip and corners of this design too sharp for my liking and bitty on the wrists, even more on this model that sits a little bit higher off the desk than the other ZenBooks.
Finally, the IO is lined around the edges and pretty good here. This is an AMD laptop, so there’s no Thunderbolt, but the two USB-C ports are gen2 and both support data, video, and charging. There’s also a full-size HDMI port on the left side, and a full-size USB-A gen1 on the right, where you’ll also find an OK micro SD card reader.
Oh yeah, and the 3.5 mm audio jack is back on this generation, on the right side, after Asus decided to skip on it on some of their 2020 models. That made no sense and I’m glad they brought it back.
Keyboard and trackpad
I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: these 14-inch ZenBooks offer some of the best inputs you can find on any ultrabook these days.
However, I still think that Asus might source their keyboards from a few different places, as this keyboard on the UM425QA still feels a bit different to me, a bit softer and mushier than what’s available on the UX425 models. I remember the strokes being firmer on the UX425s, and I also have one of the newer ZenBook 14X here for a side-by-side comparison, and that keyboard also feels a bit firmer to me. Here’s a detailed comparison of the ZenBook 14 and 14X lineups, if interested.
At the same time, I must add that I got along much better typing on this UM425QA than on the older UM425IA/UA models, and I think most of you should not have a problem using this keyboard everyday, or even type for a living on it.
The keys are also dark-gray, so offer good readability and contrast with the white illumination. You can set the LEDs on three brightness levels; these don’t get very bright on even the top setting, but they’re fine to use in the dark. I also found the uniformity to be quite good here, and little light creeping from underneath the keycaps. Furthermore, Asus implemented LED indicators for Caps Lock or Fn+Esc here, as well as implemented the ability to reactivate the lighting with a gentle swipe over the clickpad once it times out.
For the mouse, this ZenBook offers the now-standard NumerPad, a spacious and smooth feeling glass surface that acts as an excellent clickpad with daily use, or as a potential NumerPad with the press of the dedicated touch are in the top-right corner.
As for biometrics, there’s no finger-sensor on the Zenbook UM425, but you do get an IR camera at the top of the screen, with Windows Hello support.
Based on the specs-sheet on Asus’s website, they still offer two screen options for the ZenBook 14 UM425QA series. Both are matte non-touch 14-inch IPS panels with FHD resolution, but one is a dimmer option with roughly 250-nits of max brightness, and the other is this newer generation and more efficient 1W panel with 400+ nits of maximum brightness.
We have the better panel on our review unit, but if you’re interested in what to expect from the base panel, we’ve tested it in the previous-gen UM425 here.
Back to our review unit, we measured 500+ nits of brightness at the maximum setting, with good contrast and fair-blacks, wide viewing angles, and alright color coverage at 100% sRGB.
Here’s what we got in our tests, with an X-Rite i1 Display Pro sensor:
- Panel HardwareID: Chi Mei CMN14D5 (N140HCE-EN2);
- Coverage: 96.7% sRGB, 67.0% Adobe RGB, 69.0% DCI-P3;
- Measured gamma: 2.19;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 518.53 cd/m2 on power;
- Min brightness in the middle of the screen: 30.23 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 1185:1;
- White point: 6700 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.43 cd/m2;
- PWM: possible 25K Hz and <30% brightness (to be updated).
This also came very well calibrated out of the box and tuned out to be uniform in luminosity and color, plus with little to no light bleeding around the edge.
If we’re to nitpick, I will add that this doesn’t get very dim at the lower setting, which might matter to some of you, and it might also use PWM at low brightness levels. I don’t have the proper tools to test for PWM, so I’m basing this on reports of the same panel used on a couple of other laptops. Nonetheless, at this sort of high 25K Hz frequency, the human eye cannot detect flickering, so this should not be a concern to any of you with real use.
Hardware and performance
Our test model is a top-specced configuration of the Asus ZenBook 14 UM425QA, with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics, 16 GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory, and a fast 1 TB PCIe x4 SSD.
I should also add that this is a retail unit available locally in stores, provided by Asus for this review, and running on the software available as of early October 2021 (BIOS 206, MyAsus 188.8.131.52 app).
Spec-wise, this is based on the 2021 AMD Cezanne Ryzen H hardware platform. Out configuration gets the main-stream Ryzen 7 5800H processor, with 8Cores and 16 Threads, snappy in single-core tasks, and very competent in multitasking. It runs at 15-35W of sustained power in this implementation, between the various power profiles, which allows for faster CPU performance than on any other ZenBook 14 model.
Graphics are handled by the integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 chip, with 8 Compute Units and frequencies of up to 2.0 GHz, and the higher sustained power settings allow this to run at maximum potential in GPU loads and games. Our configuration also comes with 16 GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory, in dual-channel, the newer SR kind, but with OK timings and latencies.
For storage, Asus opted for a surprisingly fast SK Hynix drive here, just keep in mind that the readings above are with the laptop plugged in, and the drive is slightly limited in speeds when using the laptop on battery.
The SSD and wifi chips are the only upgradeable components here. To get to them you need to remove the back panel, hold in place by a couple of Torx screws, and two more extra screws hidden behind the rear-rubber feet. For some reason, Asus implemented an M.2 2230 SSD format on this unit, right next to another M.2 slot for the wireless. That’s going to make SSD upgrades rather difficult.
Inside you’ll also notice that this UM425QA series is different than all the other ZenBook 14s, with extra space allocated to the dual-fan cooling module and a longer heatpipe.
The SSD has also been moved farther away from the CPU, and gets both a metal heatsink and a thermal pad that links the heatsink to the metal back panel, in order to better dissipate the heat. This works and I haven’t noticed any performance issues with the SSD during my time with this laptop. I did notice some sort of spill/oily liquid over the SSD on my unit, and it seems to have originated from that thermal pad. It’s the first time I’m seeing this, but I must remind you that this review unit is retail, so if I were you I’d open this laptop up just to make sure there’s no spill inside.
As far as the software goes, this ZenBook gets the standard MyAsus app which allows control over the power profiles, battery and screen settings, updates, etc.
There are three performance/thermal profiles to choose from:
- Performance – allows the CPU to run at 35+W in sustained loads, with fans ramping up to 40-41 dB;
- Standard – allows the CPU to run at 25+W in sustained loads, with fans ramping up to 37-38 dB;
- Whisper – limits the CPU at 15+W to favor lower fan-noise of sub 35 dB.
Whisper mode is perfectly capable for daily use, and Standard is what I’d mostly recommend for demanding combined loads, and that’s because the Performance profile offers marginal gains with an increase in noise and temperatures, as you’ll see down below.
But first, here’s what to expect in terms of speeds and temperatures with daily use, with the laptop resting mostly silent and the fans only occasionally kicking on with multitasking.
OK, so 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.
The Ryzen 7 5800H processor peaks at 60W of power and then quickly drops and stabilizes around 35+ W of power, with clock speeds of 3.2 GHz, temperatures of 95+ degrees Celsius, and fan-noise levels of around 40-41 dB. This results in very high scores for an ultrabook, but at the same time, the CPU is thermally throttled in comparison to beefier full-size implementations. For that reason, opting for a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU would make little sense here, as that too would be thermally limited in multithreaded loads.
On standard, the system limits the fans to 37-38 dB at head-level, which is a noticeable difference. The CPU also ends up running at lower power and clocks as a result, but still within less than 105 of what it delivers on the Performance mode, while also running cooler, in the high-80s. These findings are one of the reasons why I consider this Standard profile to be the best-balanced option for this ZenBook UM425QA chassis.
Finally, you can also opt for the Whisper mode, with limits the CPU at 15W with now barely audible fans and good temperatures, in the mid-70s. The laptop still performs well even at these limited settings, at ~30% under the results on the Performance profile.
Finally, this ZenBook runs at 30W on the Performance mode when unplugged, which once more is excellent performance for a portable design such as this one. All these findings are detailed in the chart below.
To put these findings in perspective, here’s how the 27+W Ryzen 7 5800H (on the Standard profile) fares in this test against a couple of other portable laptops based on either AMD Ryzen 6/8 Core processors, or against some of the Intel-based models.
I also tested the Ryzen 7 5800H CPU in the 3Dmark CPU test, on Performance. We’re looking at 80-95% of the performance of the same 5800H processor in the full-size Lenovo Legion 5 laptop, with the difference being larger in the 8 and 16 Threads tests, where the power limitation kicks in here.
We then went ahead and further verified our findings by running the longer and more challenging Cinebench R23 and Prime95 tests, which both resulted in ~35W of sustained CPU power.
Finally, the 3DMark stress benchmark runs the same test 20 times in a loop and looks for performance variation and degradation over time in combined CPU+GPU loads, and this laptop flawlesly passed it. This suggests a good thermal profile and no performance losses as the heat builds up.
Next, here are some benchmark results. We ran the entire suite of tests and benchmarks on the Performance profile on this Ryzen 7 5800H configuration. Here’s what we got.
- 3DMark 13 – Fire Strike: 3783 (Graphics – 4177, Physics – 22851, Combined – 1279);
- 3DMark 13 – Nigh Raid: 16381 (Graphics – 17752, CPU – 11395);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1447 (Graphics – 1269, CPU – 7191);
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 2524;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Extreme: 811;
- Handbrake 1.3.3 (4K to 1080p encode): 40.57 average fps;
- PassMark10: Rating: 5580 (CPU: 21558, 3D Graphics: 2792, Disk: 25076);
- PCMark 10: 6308 (E – 10509, P – 9606, DCC – 6748);
- GeekBench 5.3.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1417, Multi-core: 7915;
- CineBench R15 (best run): CPU 1924 cb, CPU Single Core 225 cb;
- CineBench R20 (best run): CPU4229 cb, CPU Single Core 541 cb;
- CineBench R23 (best run): CPU 10863 cb, CPU Single Core 1386 cb;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 33.44 fps;
- Blender 2.90 – BMW Car scene- CPU Compute: 3m 55s;
- Blender 2.90 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 10m 13s;
- PugetBench – Davinci Resolve: 390.
Once more, these are good results for a Ryzen 7 5800H implementation, nearly on-par with the beefier laptops in low-thread tests and roughly 10-205 lower in the all-thread benchmarks.
At the same time, this full-power Ryzen 7 performs excellently in multi-threaded loads in comparison to most other portable designs. The few AMD Ryzen 7 4800U/5800U models are the only ones to come close, and even most of those are not able to run at 35+W of sustained power that’s possible here. Of course, the AMD Ryzen hardware in performance 14-inchers such as the Asus Zephyrus G14 or the Razer Blade 14 clearly outmatch this ZenBook UX425QA, but those are also significantly thicker and heavier devices. Still, Ryzen H hardware seems to make it into more and more portable and mid-sized 14-inch designs now, so I’d expect this ZenBook UM425QA to get some matching competition in the near future.
CPU aside, this configuration is rather unbalanced, as the Vega iGPUs bundled with this generation of AMD hardware are still not the greatest performers. In fact, even the lower power chips in the Intel Tiger Lake ZenBooks outscore it by a fair margin (10-25% between tests) and that’s despite the fact that the Vega 8 chip runs at full potential in this laptop. It’s just not competitive enough for now, but that will most likely change next year with the Ryzen 6000 hardware platform and the RDNA2 based Vega graphics.
For now, though, the GPU performance of this ZenBook UM425QA configuration is not amazing by today’s standards, and if that’s important to you, I’d advise either going with a Tiger Lake options, or better yet with something that integrates some sort of dedicated graphics. Even an MX350 chip would be a solid update, and from there on you can go up to 1650, 3050, 3050Ti ultraportable and onwards to higher-tier models, if within your budget.
Nonetheless, we also ran a couple of DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the Best Performance profile of this Ryzen 7 + vega 8 configuration, at FHD resolution and Low/Lowest graphics settings, and we’ve thrown in a few other similar platforms tested recently for comparison. Here’s what we got:
|Ryzen 7 5800H + Vega 7
Ryzen 7 5800H 35W,
|ZenBook 13 UM325,
Ryzen 7 5800U 15W,
|IdeaPad Flex 5,
Ryzen 7 5700U 24W,
|ZenBook 14 UM425,
R7 4700U 15W,
|ZenBook DUO 14,
Core i7-1165G7 25W,
|ZenBook 14 UX425,
Core i7-1165G7 19W,
|Bioshock Infinite (DX 11, Low Preset)
||91 fps (71 fps – 1% low)
||78 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||75 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||66 fps (50 fps – 1% low)
||83 fps (58 fps – 1% low)
||70 fps (40 fps – 1% low)
|Dota 2 (DX 11, Best Looking Preset)
||64 fps (42 fps – 1% low)
||54 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
||53 fps (41 fps – 1% low)
||39 fps (28 fps – 1% low)
||64 fps (54 fps – 1% low)
||56 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Low Preset, no AA)
||30 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
||26 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
||24 fps (21 fps – 1% low)
||21 fps (17 fps – 1% low)
||32 fps (20 fps – 1% low)
||26 fps (18 fps – 1% low)
|Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Lowest Preset)
||55 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
||51 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
||47 fps (38 fps – 1% low)
||45 fps (36 fps – 1% low)
||83 fps (59 fps – 1% low)
||65 fps (47 fps – 1% low)
|NFS: Most Wanted (DX 11, Lowest Preset)
||60 fps (55 fps – 1% low)
||60 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||60 fps (52 fps – 1% low)
||56 fps (34 fps – 1% low)
||60 fps (56 fps – 1% low)
||60 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX12, Lowest Preset, no AA)
||41 fps (26 fps – 1% low)
||33 fps (18 fps – 1% low)
||28 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
||27 fps (16 fps – 1% low)
||35 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
||28 fps (16 fps – 1% low)
|Strange Brigade (Vulkan, Low Preset)
||44 fps (37 fps – 1% low)
||39 fps (33 fps – 1% low)
||36 fps (31 fps – 1% low)
||37 fps (32 fps – 1% low)
||56 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
||44 fps (28 fps – 1% low)
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Low Preset, Hairworks Off)
||27 fps (22 fps – 1% low)
||21 fps (17 fps – 1% low)
||24 fps (18 fps – 1% low)
||21 fps (14 fps – 1% low)
||31 fps (21 fps – 1% low)
- Dota 2, NFS, Witcher 3 – recorded with MSI Afterburner in game mode;
- Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Middle Earth, Strange Brigade, Tomb Raider games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
We’re still looking at 60+ framerates in the older titles, but 25-40 fps in the more demanding AAA games launched in recent years. Not bad, not great.
The performance logs down below show the CPU/GPU clocks and temperatures in a couple of games. The Ryzen hardware runs somewhere in the 25-30W of power between the tested titles, with the GPU averaging very close to its maximum speeds of 2.0 GHz. This, however, results in fairly high temperatures, somewhere in the 83-90 degrees Celsius and 72-75 C on the GPU.
Lifting up the laptop from the desk is going to improve the airflow into the fans and help shed roughly 3-7 degrees out of those temperatures. Using a cooling pad underneath your laptop should further make an even bigger difference on these temperatures, but none of these tricks help improve the gaming performance, as that’s already pretty much the maximum you can get with this platform by default.
On the other hand, the Standard profile might make sense here. You’ll sacrifice on framerates by 10-15%, but you’ll end with quieter fans and CPU temps in the 80-85 C, with the GPU in the 70-75 C. That’s with the laptop sitting on the desk, so they would drop more of you lift it up or put it on that cooling pad.
Finally, here’s how well this laptop performs when unplugged, on the Standard mode.
Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers, and others
Asus went with a more advanced thermal module here than they put on most of their ultrabooks, with two thick heatpipes and two fans grouped together on a single radiator.
I do prefer a design with separated fans and the components placed in between, the kind available in portables laptops like the new Asus ZenBook 14X or Lenovo IdeaPad 7 Slim. Nonetheless, even this design is more competent than what you will normally find in sub-1000 USD/EUR ultrabooks, and it does allow the AMD hardware to run well.
However, the components end up running at high temperatures at max load, but my major pea is with the hot air being pushed into the screen with this design. The plastic bezel soaks up some of the heat, but even so, the actual panel averages temperatures in the high-40s Celsius right near the radiator, on the Performance mode.
It doesn’t heat up as much on the Standard mode, as in this case, the internal components run a bit cooler and the fans spin slower, so don’t push out the hot air as aggressively into the screen. This is the final reason I suggest considering the Standard profile over Performance on this laptop, even if it comes with a slight decrease in capabilities.
As far as the noise goes, the fans spin at 40-41 dB at head-level on Performance and 37-38 dB on Standard, which is a noticeable difference with real use.
On the other hand, with daily use, this ZenBook runs completely silent on Whisper mode, with the fans resting idly most of time, and only occasionally kicking in with multitasking. I haven’t noticed any coil whine or electronic noises on this unit.
*Daily Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Whisper Mode, fans at 0-35 dB
*Gaming – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Standard Mode, fans at 37-38 dB
*Gaming – playing Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Performance Mode, fans at 40-41 dB
For connectivity, there’s the latest-gen WiFi 6 with an Intel AX200 module on this laptop. It performed well with our setup and the signal and performance remained strong at 30-feet, with obstacles in between. However, careful that some UM425 configurations shipped with WiFi 5 AC chips in the past, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that also happens on the lower-tier configuration of this UM425QA series, especially with the current chip shortage.
Audio is handled by a set of stereo speakers that fire through those grills on the underside, with the angled shape of the D-Panel allowing the sound to bounce off the table and preventing you from easily muffling these when using the computer on the lap.
I didn’t get Audio Wizard installed on my unit, and out of the box, these speakers were fairly loud and 78-80 dB at head-level, with average sound quality and not much on the lower end. These also distort to some degree at maximum volume and push vibrations into the frame, so you shouldn’t really expect to use them at higher than 60% volumes, where they should be just fine for videos, movies, and music playing in the background.
Finally, I should mention there’s an HD camera placed at the top of the screen, OK for occasional calls, but still washed out and not much in terms of quality.
There’s a 63 Wh battery inside the ZenBook UM425QA series, a bit smaller than what Asus put on the previous Um425 generation, but still larger than what you’d normally get on a 14-inch notebook. Combined with the efficient AMD hardware and screen, this notebook will last for a fair while on a charge.
Here’s what we got on this review unit, with the screen set at around 120-nits (60% brightness).
- 7.5 W (~8+ h of use) – text editing in Google Drive, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 6.2 W (10+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5.5 W (12+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Whisper + Better Battery Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 9 W (~6-8 h of use) – browsing in Edge, Standard + Better Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.
Somehow continuously using the keyboard seems to affect the battery life here, which impacted our Text Editing scenario.
The laptop ships with a 100W charger that plugs in via USB-C. It’s a dual-piece design with a fairly compact brick, but long and thick cables that add up to a fair bit of bulk at .4 kilos in weight. A full charge takes about 2 hours, with quick-charging.
Price and availability- ZenBook 14 UM425QA
The ZenBook 14 UX425QA is available in stores at the time of this post.
Over here in Europe the Ryzen 7 + 16 GB RAM + 1 TB SSD configuration goes for 999 EUR, and that includes the brighter and more efficient screen option. Ryzen 5 models with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSDs are also available, from 699 EUR.
You’ll also find this in the UK starting at 899 GBP for the Ryzen 7 model, while in Canada the base Ryzen 5 configuration starts at 999 CAD.
However, finding this in the US seems difficult at this point. It was available at BestBuy and Amazon for $999 for the Ryzen 9 5900HX + 16 GB RAM + 1 TB SSD configuration, but it seems to be out of stock right now. Hopefully it will be available again in the near future.
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 UM425QA review
All in all, this ZenBook 14 UM425QA is a good-value performance ultrabook. It’s significantly more powerful than the average portable laptop that you can get for under 1000 USD/EUR these days, especially in demanding loads that require a fast CPU. It also offers a more advanced internal cooling module, while not sacrificing on portability, style, practicality, or battery life. At the same time, this Ryzen H configuration is somewhat unbalanced with only Vega iGPU graphics, not really the right match for what this can do on the CPU side. I’m also not a fan of this sort of design that blows the hot air straight into the screen, which is still implemented on this series.
But if you do need that fast CPU in this sort of portable chassis and you’re OK with the quirks mentioned throughout this article, you’ll not go wrong with the ZenBook 14 UM425QA.
On the other hand, if you don’t plan on running demanding CPU-heavy workloads on your laptop, such as perhaps programming or engineering or even video editing software, this sort of Ryzen H configuration might not even be for you. Furthermore, your money would be better spent elsewhere if gaming sits high on your list of priorities, where an option with some sort of dGPU would make more sense.
Finally, if you’re not in hurry to get a new computer right now, I’d also remind you of the ZenBook 14X models recently unveiled, with an updated thermal design that blows the hot air onto the sides and some extra screen options (OLED, higher-resolution, and touch) that are not available on the UX425QA series. Those should be available in stores later this year, and most likely get a bump to the Ryzen 6000 hardware with RDNA2 Vega graphics at some point in 2022. We’ll have a follow-up article comparing the regular ZenBook 14 designs with the updated ZenBook 14X models in the near future.
Anyway, this wraps up my time with the Asus ZenBook 14 UM425QA, and I’d love to hear what you think about it, som get in touch in the comments section down below.
Asus ZenBook 14 UM425QA review
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