The bottom line: Our quick verdict on the ASUS ZenBook 3

This ultraportable's fast performance is tempered by an uncomfortable keyboard and jumpy trackpad.

814 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

    Sponsored Links

    ASUS's latest ultraportable the ZenBook 3 is often compared to Apple's 12-inch MacBook. And can you blame people? The laptop is even thinner and lighter than Apple's two-pound wonder, but just as fast and with longer battery life. And it comes with a mini dock in the box, adding precisely the sort of ports you'd be missing on the MacBook (and would only have access to if you paid extra for an adapter). On paper, then, it's precisely the computer Windows-using travelers have been looking for.

    Depending on your needs, that may still be the case, but in practice we found the ZenBook 3 isn't everything we hoped it would be. In particular, we found the keyboard and trackpad uncomfortable to use, and we had some concerns about the build quality too. It's possible you'll disagree with us there, but you owe it to yourself to get some hands-on time with the machine at a local store before buying, if at all possible.

    Engadget Score
    Poor
    Uninspiring
    Good
    Excellent
    Key

    Pros
    • Thin and light design comparable to the MacBook
    • As fast as other high-end ultraportables
    • Vibrant screen
    • Comes with a mini-dock for extra ports
    Cons
    • Keyboard and trackpad are difficult to use
    • Fingerprint sensor placement makes no sense
    • Build quality is suspect

    Summary

    The ZenBook 3 does a decent job of mimicking the MacBook's design while also cramming in faster hardware. But the combination of a hard-to-use keyboard and trackpad, along with build quality concerns, make it difficult to recommend.

    Be the first to review the ZenBook 3?
    Your ratings help us make the buyer’s guide better for everyone.
    Write a review
    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
    Comment
    Comments
    Share
    814 Shares
    Share
    Tweet
    Share
    Save

    Popular on Engadget

    The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

    The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

    View
    Traeger WiFi grills monitor your wood pellet supply with an $80 sensor

    Traeger WiFi grills monitor your wood pellet supply with an $80 sensor

    View
    Intel unveils its first chips built for AI in the cloud

    Intel unveils its first chips built for AI in the cloud

    View
    Disney+ cuts off 'Simpsons' jokes with widescreen episodes

    Disney+ cuts off 'Simpsons' jokes with widescreen episodes

    View
    Apple may reveal its 16-inch MacBook Pro tomorrow

    Apple may reveal its 16-inch MacBook Pro tomorrow

    View

    From around the web

    Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr