Asus Zenbook 3 - any opinions?

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Unrealmac1988

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Original poster
Aug 2, 2015
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I think we all read that Asus announced the Zenbook 3. A very much Macbook looking windows device which is more powerful than the Macbook + thinner + a lot less expensive..

IMO the design of the device is beautiful, the glossy material disgusting and the color a bit weird but it is a clear indicator for me that says: Apple is losing its protrusion and the competition is very much capable of building just as thin devices, if not better than Apple.

When the Macbook Air came out it was just jawdropping and until today everyone was trying to build something close but nobody could. A Macbook Air was a save buy and you kinda knew "I have the best package for some time now".

Sure: the Zenbook is running windows and the battery won't be nearly as good as the Macbooks but isn't it weird how close the competition gets now a days?

If I knew that this Laptop would last as long as an Apple product I might consider buying it..

I would like to hear your opinion about this device now!

Thanks :)
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
There`s no reason to suspect the Asus will not have an equal life span to an equivalent Mac. There was a time when Mac`s represented better value than their PC equivalents, not so much these days. Mostly it boils down to which OS you prefer.

In Many respects Apple is pricing itself out the market, so much talk why Mac sales are dropping, simple answer Mac`s simply don't represent good value in the face of strong competition, declining economies, and a strengthening Dollar.

Q-6
 
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izzyfanto

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2011
233
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I would be concerned about heat since it's not a Core M. Sure, they have a thin fan designed for it, but I wouldn't trust long term performance. Just too thin for that many watts, at least for this point in technology.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
I would be concerned about heat since it's not a Core M. Sure, they have a thin fan designed for it, but I wouldn't trust long term performance. Just too thin for that many watts, at least for this point in technology.
As long as the cooling is adequate there will be no more issue than any another notebook, even if it runs hot most that will happen is the CPU will throttle down, Once we start seeing reviews the operating temperatures will be clear.

Q-6
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
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Finland
The good is that it offers 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD, and the touchpad-integrated fingerprint sensor is also cool and useful. However, I don't like the fact that it uses 15W CPUs. I would much rather take the performance tradeoff for Core M, which offers a fan-less design and longer battery life. ASUS claims 9 hours of battery life, but in reality I'm expecting it to do 6-7 since PC manufacturers' stated battery lives are never realistic. 1080p screen in 12.5" is fine in my opinion as uses less power compared to higher resolution panels like the one in MacBook.

ASUS' product positioning doesn't make any sense, though. The $999 is otherwise perfect but it's severely crippled by 4GB of RAM. The lack of an SKU with 8GB of RAM is just dumb if you ask me - ASUS should do a $1199 SKU with i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD. I don't want to pay $1499 for 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage when I know that 8GB and 256GB are just fine for my usage.

As for the keyboard, the ASUS has twice the key travel (0.8mm vs 0.4mm). To me that doesn't matter because I've actually learned to like the rMB keyboard a lot as typing on it is so effortless. Typing on my sister's MacBook Air feels super odd now and the keys seem to be so far apart.

As long as the cooling is adequate there will be no more issue than any another notebook, even if it runs hot most that will happen is the CPU will throttle down, Once we start seeing reviews the operating temperatures will be clear.

Q-6
The bigger issue I see is constant fan noise. One of the main reasons I opted for the rMB is because it's totally fan-less
 
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Algus

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2014
222
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Arizona
Yes I am wondering about the fan noise on the new Zenbook. They say they have developed one of the smallest fans in the world but that is not necessarily a good thing if it is still noisy or does not provide adequate cooling.

I have long admired the Zenbook line as the nearest Windows equivalent to a Mac. Of course, Asus CS is not quite as good as Apple's and service/support is one reason I've been an Apple loyalist for many years now.
 

ShionoyaTamaki

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2011
403
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Macbook 12 (10hrs battery)
1299 Core m3, 8GB ram, 256GB SSD, Retina, fanless
1599 Core m5, 8GB ram, 512GB SSD, Retina, fanless

Zenbook 3 (9hrs battery, prob less ~7)
999 Core i5, 4GB ram, 256GB SSD, 1080p, 3mm fan
1999 Core i7, 16GB ram, 1TB SSD, 1080p, 3mm fan

Zenbook 3 uses the new more efficient kaby lake cpu. Lower 1080p resolution saves some battery. Essentially, you trade 3hr battery life & lower resolution screen for a faster CPU. Don't think the price is much cheaper considering 4GB starting ram,which isn't much and probably not upgradable. Is there a 8GB model? Feels like asus intentionally did different configuration/price just to not be directly compared.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
The bigger issue I see is constant fan noise. One of the main reasons I opted for the rMB is because it's totally fan-less
Highly valid point, have seen from video & DB measurement that HP`s Spectre is not overly noisy, however it has two fans to maintain the operating temperature, ZenBook 3 remains to be seen One of the rMB`s selling points for me was being fan-less, although for my usage/workflow I need approximately 20% more performance before I can consider dripping the likes of the 13" rMBP or Windows equivalent.

Q-6
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
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What's there to think? It's a direct knock-off of Apple's design with some changes made to please the spec-whores. I don't have any problem with companies building something new even if it's crummy or ugly (see HP Spectre), but direct knock-offs irk me greatly. Think for yourself Asus.
 
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aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,266
1,357
Sure: the Zenbook is running windows and the battery won't be nearly as good as the Macbooks but isn't it weird how close the competition gets now a days?
IIRC, manufacturers have been making notebooks lighter/faster/cheaper than Apple pretty much since ... forever.

So in that sense, it's doesn't seem weird to me.

Here's an article from back in 2011 that has competition from Asus and Acer, both with better specs and lower price-points than Apple.
MacBook Air vs. Ultrabooks: specs showdown

Here's an article from back in 2008, less than a few months after the Air launched.
Lenovo X300 vs. Apple MacBook Air... Fight!
 

Dubadai

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2015
155
106
Stockholm, Sweden.
Competition is always good, but there is one thing that bothers me...

The need to compare every aspect of their laptop to the new Macbook.

Why do they do this...? Of course it's easy to take a product that was released a year ago, make it better by shaving off a millimeter and looking for all the small faults such as Apple's choice of Core M, and then releasing it and making it sound like they have created something that beats the new Macbook outta the water.

If anything, it only makes Apple look like the winner, because they were the driving force for Asus newest most "advanced" laptop.

Sure, they might have made a fine choice to include the iSeries processors from Intel, but seriously, don't come over a year later with an EXACT COPY of what Apple released last year, and make it sound like it was a genuine effort on their part...

Same goes with their iMac rip off.

Also, it still runs Windows. While Windows 10 is great, its nowhere near OSX when it comes to the whole ecosystem integration, which is one of the largest reason to why I only use Apple products.

On a positive note, might eventually drive down the prices for the new Macbook since there is proper competition now!
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
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Zenbook 3 uses the new more efficient kaby lake cpu. Lower 1080p resolution saves some battery. Essentially, you trade 3hr battery life & lower resolution screen for a faster CPU. Don't think the price is much cheaper considering 4GB starting ram,which isn't much and probably not upgradable. Is there a 8GB model? Feels like asus intentionally did different configuration/price just to not be directly compared.
Is it using the Kaby Lake? The Transformer 3 (aka Surface Pro clone) is using the Kaby Lake Core M, but I thought the Zenbook 3 is using the Skylake-U chip. The $999 model is kind of odd. Why bother with the Core i5 if if is going to be limited to 4GB RAM? Perhaps they were worried that an 8GB model might steal sales from the $1499 model. 16GB is overkill for a lot of people, but the model I'd recommend is the $1499 Core i7 model. The 1TB model just offers another 500GB for $500 more.

What's there to think? It's a direct knock-off of Apple's design with some changes made to please the spec-whores. I don't have any problem with companies building something new even if it's crummy or ugly (see HP Spectre), but direct knock-offs irk me greatly. Think for yourself Asus.
Asus did the same thing with the Transformer 3. They took the Surface Pro, copied the design, and upped the specs in a few areas (e.g. Thunderbolt 3).
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,418
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The good is that it offers 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD, and the touchpad-integrated fingerprint sensor is also cool and useful. However, I don't like the fact that it uses 15W CPUs. I would much rather take the performance tradeoff for Core M, which offers a fan-less design and longer battery life. ASUS claims 9 hours of battery life, but in reality I'm expecting it to do 6-7 since PC manufacturers' stated battery lives are never realistic. 1080p screen in 12.5" is fine in my opinion as uses less power compared to higher resolution panels like the one in MacBook.
Yes, I don't understand why the Core M isn't used more. HP, Samsung, and now ASUS have gone to great lengths to cram in the 15W Skylake Core i5/i7, making other compromises such as using fans or a lower quality display. It sounds like a focus on the wrong specs.

Regarding the screen, I prefer the flexibility of a higher resolution, but agree that the PPI is fine given the size. I'd prefer a 16:10 format, though. The 12.5" screen is only 3% larger than the MacBook's because it is 16:9 (it would be 8% larger than the MacBook if it used a 16:10 format).
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
What's there to think? It's a direct knock-off of Apple's design with some changes made to please the spec-whores. I don't have any problem with companies building something new even if it's crummy or ugly (see HP Spectre), but direct knock-offs irk me greatly. Think for yourself Asus.
Zenbook UX305 line predates the Retina MacBook, so exactly who is copying who? More realistically once your down to this level physical size the options become evermore limited. Asus should be commended as long as the new UX305 delivers.

Q-6
 

zhenya

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Jan 6, 2005
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Zenbook UX305 line predates the Retina MacBook, so exactly who is copying who? More realistically once your down to this level physical size the options become evermore limited. Asus should be commended as long as the new UX305 delivers.

Q-6
The UX305 is almost an identical copy of the MacBook Air but made thinner! Changing the processor is not innovation!

 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
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Zenbook UX305 line predates the Retina MacBook, so exactly who is copying who? More realistically once your down to this level physical size the options become evermore limited. Asus should be commended as long as the new UX305 delivers.

Q-6
Except the UX 305 was larger and heavier than the MacBook and didn't have similar design cues. ASUS is the one who specifically compared this to the MacBook and is even using a similar looking website to promote it. The main visual differences are that it is shiny vs matte and that the USB-C and audio jacks are on the reverse sides of where they are on the MacBook. They also did the same with the Transformer 3 (comparing it to the Surface Pro 4).
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
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ASUS is the one who specifically compared this to the MacBook and is even using a similar looking website to promote it.
What ever do you mean?? How many ways do you think there are to take a picture??



:D
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,418
3,858
What ever do you mean?? How many ways do you think there are to take a picture??



:D
Hilarious. Even the image on the screen is virtually the same. It's like the Lenovo "iPhone 6" that mimicked every aspect of the design, right down to the ad.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
The UX305 is almost an identical copy of the MacBook Air but made thinner! Changing the processor is not innovation!

Except the UX 305 was larger and heavier than the MacBook and didn't have similar design cues. ASUS is the one who specifically compared this to the MacBook and is even using a similar looking website to promote it. The main visual differences are that it is shiny vs matte and that the USB-C and audio jacks are on the reverse sides of where they are on the MacBook. They also did the same with the Transformer 3 (comparing it to the Surface Pro 4).
What do you expect, all companies look at the competition, as does Apple, Sony and the VAIO X line was producing extremely minimalistic notebooks several years before the rMB was even designed. I am in no means suggesting that one is better than the other, equally I am willing to view the "other" with an open mind.

The bigger picture is without significant completion Apple has absolutely no incentive to push the Mac forward, which is exactly what we can see today in some lines. Or look at it this way; aggressive competition will only result in Apple producing a better Mac`s, which obviously benefits us the end user.

As for Apple and innovation, sadly thats been replaced with one word "profit"


Q-6
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,418
3,858
What do you expect, all companies look at the competition, as does Apple, Sony and the VAIO X line was producing extremely minimalistic notebooks several years before the rMB was even designed. I am in no means suggesting that one is better than the other, equally I am willing to view the "other" with an open mind.

The bigger picture is without significant completion Apple has absolutely no incentive to push the Mac forward, which is exactly what we can see today in some lines. Or look at it this way; aggressive competition will only result in Apple producing a better Mac`s, which obviously benefits us the end user.

As for Apple and innovation, sadly thats been replaced with one word "profit"
I'm happy for the competition, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Zenbook UX305 looks nothing like the MacBook and the Zenbook 3 looks almost exactly like it, right down to the website. There's no way around it. ASUS doesn't even pretend they are original. All they did was take the MacBook's basic design and boost the specs. Apple was the one who innovated. The butterfly keyboard mechanism is brand new. You can look at the Transformer 3 and see that ASUS did the same to Microsoft (who innovated with the Surface).

As for the pricing of the Zenbook 3, it seems that ASUS is looking for profit, as well. Skimping on the RAM on the $999 model pushes people to the $1499 model when a $1299 model with 8GB would probably be just fine.
 
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