Asus announces new laptops

Asus introduced their new range of premium laptops at the IFA technology fair, including various ZenBooks. The laptops are thinner, lighter and more powerful than their predecessors. Two of the six new laptops are available with an OLED screen.

Asus announced no fewer than six different laptops that differ in terms of target group. We will discuss the most striking features separately. There are also similarities. For example, all announced laptops with the exception of the ZenBook Pro 15 are equipped with Thunderbolt 4 and are also charged via those USB-c ports. Due to the higher energy consumption, the ZenBook Pro 15 has a separate charging connection and is optionally equipped with Thunderbolt 3. Furthermore, we see Wifi 6 on all laptops and Asus has equipped all announced laptops with an Infrared camera with facial recognition for Windows Hello.

Most of the laptops announced will feature the Tiger Lake 11th-generation Core mobile processors that Intel unveiled this evening.

Super light: ExpertBook B9400

If you travel a lot, laptops can't be light enough. Asus comes with the ExpertBook B9400 for that target group. This 14-inch laptop is intended for business users and is compared to other Asus laptops with 880 grams extra light and, according to Asus, extra strong. To make this possible, Asus has used a new magnesium-lithium alloy. The advertised weight of 880 grams is only achieved in combination with a 33 Wh battery. The variant with a 66 Wh battery twice as large seems more interesting to us and it weighs 1005 grams. The ExpertBook also stands out with a microphone that filters out disturbing background noise

The ExpertBook B9400 measures 32 x 20.3 x 1.49 cm and weighs 880 or 1005 grams. The laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7 of the Tiger Lake generation, a maximum of 32 GB of RAM, an NVME SSD and is equipped with Thunderbolt 4 ports. The 14-inch screen is based on a Full HD IPS panel. It is striking that an Ethernet connection via the micro HDMI connection is supported.

OLED: ZenBook Flip S (UX371) and ZenBook Pro 15 (UX535)

The most striking laptops that Asus announces are perhaps the ZenBook Flip S (UX371) and the ZenBook Pro 15 (UX535), which are equipped with an OLED screen in the more expensive versions. Asus already had a laptop with an OLED screen in the form of the ZenBook Pro Duo, but that is a laptop with two screens that is intended for a very specific target group. The ZenBook Flip S and the ZenBook Pro 15 are Asus' first 'normal' laptops that are equipped with an OLED screen. According to Asus, the ZenBook Flip S is the world's thinnest OLED convertible, while the ZenBook Pro 15 is the smallest 15-inch OLED laptop.

The OLED panel used in both cases is a 4K UHD screen with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels that supports the extra wide DCI-P3 color gamut and 133% of sRGB. The ZenBook Flip S has a 13.3 inch screen while the ZenBook Pro 15 has a 15.6 inch screen. Incidentally, there will also be versions of the laptops on the market that will be equipped with a Full HD IPS panel. In the case of the ZenBook Flip S, it is a touchscreen and you can flip the screen to use the laptop as a tablet. The touchscreen also supports the Asus Pen, a touch-sensitive stylus with 4096 pressure levels.

OLED is of course a fantastic screen technology with excellent colors and high contrast. For example, the ZenBook Flip S offers a brightness of 500 nits and a contrast of 1,000,000:1. On the other hand, the disadvantage may be that OLED is sensitive to image burn-in. According to Asus, users don't have to worry about that and burn-in is prevented, for example, by pixel shift, where the image shifts slightly during use. In addition, according to Asus, heat is an important cause of OLED burn-in. Asus has therefore provided the screen panel on the back with a layer of graphite, a material that can conduct heat quickly and presumably sheds on the metal back.

With dimensions of 30.5 x 21.1 x 1.39 cm and a weight of 1.2 kilograms, the ZenBook Flip S is a compact laptop equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or Intel Core i7-1165G7, up to 16 GB RAM and a maximum of 1 TB NVME SSD. Asus has paid extra attention to the battery and claims that the 67 Wh battery provides a working time of 15 hours. The laptop is equipped with Thunder bolt 4 and is charged via USB-C.

With a size of 35.4 x 23.3 x 1.78 cm and a weight of 1.8 kilograms, the ZenBook Pro 15 is the largest of the laptops announced by Asus. You not only get a larger screen in return, but also a separate GPU in the form of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or 1650Ti. The laptop contains an Intel Core i5-10300H or Core i7-10750H, up to 16 GB of RAM and an NVME SSD of up to 1 TB.

3:2 screen: ZenBook S (UX393)

ZenBook S stands out with a screen in the odd 3:2 aspect ratio, a ratio mainly used by Microsoft on Surface devices. The 13.9-inch screen has a resolution of 3300 x 2200 pixels and is also a touch screen. The laptops are equipped with a metal unibody, weigh 1.35 kilograms and have a size of 30.6 x 22.4 x 1.57 cm. The laptop is available with a Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7, a maximum of 16 GB of RAM and a maximum of a 1 TB NVME SSD.

ScreenPad or extra light: ZenBook 14 (UX435)

Asus also announced the ZenBook 14 in two variants. The 'normal' ZenBook 14 stands out because of the new variant of Asus' ScreenPad, a touchpad that features a 5.65-inch screen. The new ScreenXpert2.0 software has more features and support for more applications than previous variants. The laptops have a size of 31.9 x 19.9 x 1.79 cm and weigh 1.29 kilograms. A variant without ScreenPad is a millimeter thinner and weighs 1.19 kilograms.

However, an extra thin and light version of the ZenBook 14 without the ScreenPad is also available under the name ZenBook 14 Ultralight (UX435EAL/EGL) with a size of 31.9 x 20.1 x 1.49 cm and a weight of 980 or 995 grams depending on the presence of an additional Nvidia GeForce MX450. This is the lightest ZenBook in Asus' product range.

Both variants of the ZenBook 14 are available with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 Core i7-1165G7, up to 16 GB of RAM and an NVME SSD of up to 1 TB. Graphically, you can opt for the processor-integrated Intel X graphics or an optional Nvidia GeForce MX450. The screen of the laptops is a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which in the case of the normal ZenBook 4 is also available as a touch screen.

Start of end of the headphone jack?

What is striking about the specifications of both the ZenBook Flip S (UX371) and the ZenBook S (UX393) is that these laptops do not have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. These are not the first Asus laptop without a 3.5mm connection, for example, on the recently tested ZenBook 13 this is also missing. We will probably see that more often. Asus has researched the connections that users want on their laptop. According to Asus, this shows that users give a low priority to a 3.5 mm sound connection, for example because they use a bluetooth headset. Due to lack of space, the 3.5mm connection is therefore the first port to be dropped and priority will be given to an HDMI connection.

Prices and availability

Unfortunately, Asus could not tell us at the time of writing which versions will appear on the market in the Netherlands and what the prices are.

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