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Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H Ultrabook Review Update

Sascha Mölck (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 07/08/2014

Gaming-to-go - Part Two. Lots of power packed into an attractive case - that is one way to describe this Zenbook. An IPS panel and SSD complete the package. Even with its high-performance components, its battery life is good as well. Does the Zenbook have weaknesses too? Keep reading to find out.

For the original German review, see here.

Just a few weeks ago, we reviewed the Zenbook UX32LN-R4053H. Now we have another model from the same series in our laboratory -- the UX32LN-R4029H. While the first model was outfitted with a Core i5 processor, the second has a Core i7 at its command. Does the stronger i7 processor provide enough extra performance to justify the increase in price? Our review reveals the answer.

The Zenbook is currently available for about 1100 Euros (~$1500). The Acer Aspire S3-392G (Core i5-4200U, GeForce GT 735M) constitutes one of its competitors. The recently updated Apple MacBook Air 13 (Core i5-4260U, HD Graphics 5000) also counts among the Asus computer's rivals, though the Apple product comes without a dedicated GPU.

Because the two Zenbooks are structurally identical, we will not cover the connectivity, input devices, display or speakers in detail. Our review of the UX32LN-R4053H provides extensive information on these subjects.

Case & Connectivity

The adapters come with their own bags too.
The adapters come with their own bags too.

There is one small difference between the two Zenbooks under our scrutiny. The notebook that currently lies before us, the UX32LN-R4029H, comes with a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter and a USB-to-Fast Ethernet adapter. These items were not included in the UX32LN-R4053H's packaging. See our German forum page for this notebook for information on which models come with adapters (and a notebook bag).

Performance

Asus combines mobility, performance, elegance and gaming capabilities in a 13.3-inch notebook. The whole package is currently available for about 1100 Euros (~$1500). There are also versions with different components. The Zenbook UX32LN-R4028H, with its Core i5-4200U processor and 128 GB SSD, can be purchased for about 900 Euros (~$1225).

Processor

Our Zenbook is equipped with a Core i7-4500U dual-core processor. This Haswell generation chip runs at a base frequency of 1.8 GHz. Using turbo, the speed can be increased to up to 2.7 GHz (both cores) or 3 GHz (only one core). This is a ULV processor with a TDP of 15 Watts. The chip completed the Cinebench benchmark CPU tests at full speed in both AC power and battery mode, demonstrating that the processor's full performance is always available.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.11 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.91 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
37.42 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
117 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
272 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
47.59 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
1.11 Points ∼56%
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
1.11 Points ∼56% 0%
Asus UX32LN
GeForce 840M, 4200U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
1.1 Points ∼55% -1%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 900X3G-K01
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
1.13 Points ∼57% +2%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1.2 Points ∼60% +8%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
1.31 Points ∼66% +18%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2.91 Points ∼17%
Asus UX32LN
GeForce 840M, 4200U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2.47 Points ∼14% -15%
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
2.48 Points ∼14% -15%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 900X3G-K01
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
2.48 Points ∼14% -15%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
2.63 Points ∼15% -10%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
2.82 Points ∼16% -3%

System Performance

The system runs swiftly and fluidly. Windows starts quickly -- it would be quite the surprise if it did not, seeing as the device has a strong processor and fast SSD. Our subjective impression is further strengthened by the computer's excellent results in the PCMark benchmarks.

PC Mark
PCMark 8 Home v22973 points
PCMark 8 Creative v23177 points
PCMark 8 Work v23738 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2973 Points ∼60%
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
2345 Points ∼47% -21%
Asus UX32LN
GeForce 840M, 4200U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2833 Points ∼57% -5%

Storage Devices

It would be easy to switch out the SSD.
It would be easy to switch out the SSD.

The Zenbook is outfitted with the same Kingston SSD as its sister model, the UX32LN-R4053H. The SSD has a capacity of 256 GB. As is common for Asus notebooks, the SSD is split into an operating-system partition (95 GB) and a data partition (121 GB). The SSD's transfer rates are respectable, though they cannot keep up with the current top models. It is possible to switch out the Zenbook's SSD for a quicker model or a model with a greater storage capacity. The SSD installed in our review device is a customary 2.5-inch model.

Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Sequential Read: 214.5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 267.1 MB/s
512K Read: 201.7 MB/s
512K Write: 263.5 MB/s
4K Read: 30.64 MB/s
4K Write: 106.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 140.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 245.4 MB/s
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
Intel Core i7-4500U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
Intel Core i5-4260U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Apple SSD SD0256F
Asus UX32LN
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Bullman C-Klasse S i7 15FHD Dirtbook
Intel Core i7-4810MQ, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB
AS SSD
50%
7%
83%
Seq Read217.97641.76
194%
215.26
-1%
505.86
132%
Seq Write256515.77
101%
256.44
0%
496.61
94%
4K Read18.6114.34
-23%
20.25
9%
39.16
110%
4K Write86.7119.25
-78%
87.85
1%
120.03
38%
4K-64 Read146.17463.64
217%
158.64
9%
335.21
129%
4K-64 Write210.06201.44
-4%
224.72
7%
231.33
10%
Access Time Read *0.1610.237
-47%
0.15
7%
0.06
63%
Access Time Write *0.2930.184
37%
0.235
20%
0.029
90%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics Card

In terms of graphics components, the Zenbook contains an optimal combination formed of Intel's HD Graphics 4400 GPU and Nvidia's GeForce 840M graphics core. The chips have different responsibilities: While the Intel GPU takes care of everyday tasks and graphics rendering in battery mode, the GeForce core is in charge of running high-performance applications like computer games. Both cores support at least DirectX 11. Based on its performance, the GeForce core is a member of the upper-middle class. Its base speed is 1029 MHz. Using turbo, the clock speed can be increased to 1124 MHz.

The 3DMark benchmark results look just as we expected. The Zenbook does somewhat better than its sister model, the UX32LN-R4053H. We see two reasons for that: Firstly, our test device has a stronger processor, and secondly, it has a newer graphics driver.

3D Mark
3DMark 112378 points
3DMark Ice Storm42410 points
3DMark Cloud Gate5842 points
3DMark Fire Strike1361 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2378 Points ∼17%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 900X3G-K01
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
886 Points ∼6% -63%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
984 Points ∼7% -59%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1134 Points ∼8% -52%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
1134 Points ∼8% -52%
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
1804 Points ∼13% -24%
Asus UX32LN
GeForce 840M, 4200U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
2336 Points ∼16% -2%

Gaming Performance

Despite its thin build and therefore limited cooling capability, the hardware manages to give all it's got. The Zenbook is able to fluidly run almost every current game in HD resolution at medium to high quality settings. However, the screen's full resolution can only be used for a few games -- FIFA 14, for example.

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 126.559.329.415.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 85.347.83913.5fps
Thief (2014) 33.922.317.7fps
Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014) 32.131.115.4fps
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
Intel Core i7-4500U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
Intel Core i5-4260U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Apple SSD SD0256F
Acer Aspire S3-392G
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Asus UX32LN
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Tomb Raider
-50%
-27%
-1%
1024x768 Low Preset126.554.3
-57%
86.3
-32%
122.5
-3%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x59.328.3
-52%
42.9
-28%
58.5
-1%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x29.417.5
-40%
23.6
-20%
30
2%
BioShock Infinite
-24%
-0%
1280x720 Very Low Preset85.364.6
-24%
84.3
-1%
1366x768 Medium Preset47.835.6
-26%
48.2
1%
1366x768 High Preset3929.9
-23%
38.5
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-50% / -50%
-26% / -26%
-1% / -1%

Emissions

Even with two fans...
Even with two fans...
...the Zenbook does not produce too much noise.
...the Zenbook does not produce too much noise.

System Noise

In idle mode, the Zenbook does not make a peep. The two fans stand still almost all the time. Of course, as soon as some real power is demanded of the notebook the fans have to start turning. All told, the level of noise generated by the fans is very comfortable -- all that can be heard is a rustling sound. The fans do not produce any high-frequency tones. This picture is mirrored by our Zenbook's sister model, the UX32LN-R4053H.

Noise Level

Idle 29.3 / 29.3 / 29.3 dB(A)
Load 39.5 / 42.8 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-451 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Zenbook in the stress test.
The Zenbook in the stress test.

Even with its high-performance hardware, the notebook does not heat up excessively. Only during our stress test does the Zenbook's case temperature cross the 40 °C line (104 °F) in three spots. Again, our test device's sister model achieved similar results.

The GPU completed our stress test (Prime95 and Furmark running for at least an hour) in both AC power and battery mode at full speed (1124 MHz). After one hour in the stress test, the processor ran at about 2.1 GHz; its speed fluctuates around this number. At the beginning of the stress test, the processor also reaches higher speeds. In battery mode, the CPU operates at two speeds -- 2.7 GHz and 800 MHz -- and jumps around between these two speeds. The CPU temperature leveled off at about 89 °C (192.2 °F) in our stress test (AC power mode).

Max. Load
 30.9 °C48.2 °C32.5 °C 
 29.9 °C42.6 °C30.8 °C 
 29.3 °C29.2 °C30.6 °C 
Maximum: 48.2 °C
Average: 33.8 °C
36 °C41.6 °C37.3 °C
33.5 °C37.5 °C34.3 °C
32 °C32.6 °C31.9 °C
Maximum: 41.6 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  49.7 °C | Room Temperature 22.5 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Energy Management

Power Consumption

In idle mode, our test device's energy consumption proves to be just as low as its sister model's. Under medium load (3DMark06 running) and full load (stress test: Prime95 and Furmark running), the Zenbook consumes 39.7 and 59.6 Watts more than its sister model, respectively. During the stress test, with time our test device's energy consumption rate sinks to 50.7 Watts. This is the result of the CPU's sinking speed. All in all, the notebook's energy consumption levels are respectable.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 3.4 / 7.4 / 8.9 Watt
Load 39.7 / 59.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Extech Power Analyzer 380803
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
Intel Core i7-4500U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
Intel Core i5-4260U, Intel HD Graphics 5000, Apple SSD SD0256F
Acer Aspire S3-392G
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Asus UX32LN
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce 840M, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
Power Consumption
29%
-4%
8%
Idle Minimum *3.43.4
-0%
5.5
-62%
3.3
3%
Idle Average *7.44.0
46%
7.2
3%
7.2
3%
Idle Maximum *8.95.8
35%
7.4
17%
9.3
-4%
Load Average *39.732.4
18%
39
2%
33.6
15%
Load Maximum *59.632.2
46%
46.7
22%
47.2
21%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery offers a capacity of 50 Wh.
The battery offers a capacity of 50 Wh.

In our WLAN test, which is meant to simulate practical, everyday use, we used a script to automatically load websites at 40-second intervals. The energy-saving profile is active and the display brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². Our Zenbook reached a runtime of 6:11 h, putting it on par with its sister model.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
6h 11min
Battery Runtime - WiFi (sort by value)
Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
GeForce 840M, 4500U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
371 min ∼14%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 900X3G-K01
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung PM851 Series MZMTE256HMHP
343 min ∼13%
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
353 min ∼13%
Asus UX32LN
GeForce 840M, 4200U, Kingston SVP200S37A256G
374 min ∼14%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
401 min ∼15%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
515 min ∼19%

Verdict

The Asus Zenbook.
The Asus Zenbook.

We already said everything there is to say about the Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H in its sister model's verdict (the UX32LN-R4053H). Asus created a subnotebook/ultrabook with both gaming capabilities and a good battery life. The components are all packed into a stable and visually appealing aluminum case. The notebook does not warm up excessively, nor does it make too much noise. The device has a great IPS screen to boot. The Zenbook's only minor weakness is its SSD -- here Asus chose a comparatively slow model. However, should the SSD bother a user, it could be easily switched out for a faster model.

The Core i7 version of the Zenbook covered in this review does offer somewhat more performance than the Core i5 version and costs about 100 Euros (~$136) more. We only recommend giving out the extra cash for this version if every ounce of performance counts.

Comment this article:

In Review: Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.
In Review: Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H. Test model courtesy of Cyberport.

Specifications

Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
8192 MB, DDR3, Dual-Channel, One memory bank (occupied), 4 GB directly soldered to the motherboard
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 840M - 2048 MB, Core: 1029-1124 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, ForceWare 337.88, Optimus
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Chi Mei N133HSE-EA1, IPS, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Kingston SVP200S37A256G, 256 GB , 188 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
3 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: Audio combination, Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC, Sensors: Brightness sensor,
:: Networking
Asix AX88772B USB2.0 to Fast Ethernet Adapter (10/100MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 325 x 223
:: Weight
1.441 kg Power Supply: 0.214 kg
:: Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Polymer
:: Price
1099 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD webcam, Speakers: Stereo (Bang & Olufsen ICEpower), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Notebook bag, USB to Ethernet adapter, DisplayPort to VGA adapter, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet security (trial version), MS Office 365 (trial version), 24 Months Warranty

 

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Links

Price Comparison

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Pro

+Attractive and stable aluminum case
+Good variety of connections
+Quick WLAN adapter
+Very good microphone array
+Diverse maintenance and upgrade possibilities
+Respectable input devices
+Bright, high-resolution IPS display with stable viewing angles
+High application performance
+Gaming capability
+Does not produce much noise
+Long battery life
 

Cons

-Display only opens to a limited angle
-Poor quality webcam
-Below average SSD read speed

Shortcut

What we like

The device on the whole. The computer does well in almost every area and appears to be well thought-out. Asus' concept works.

What we'd like to see

In truth, we essentially have everything we would like to see. The notebook could have a faster SSD, and the webcam could deliver better results. But these are not serious defects.

What surprises us

This Zenbook is a flat, thin notebook that can run almost every game fluidly. Haswell and Maxwell make that possible.

The competition

Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06, Acer Aspire S3-392G, Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE, Fujitsu Lifebook E734, Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4053H, Samsung ATIV Book 9 900X3G-K01DE, HP Spectre 13-3010eg.

Rating

Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H
06/26/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
90 / 98 → 92%
Keyboard
84%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
73 / 95 → 77%
Weight
70 / 78 → 81%
Battery
89%
Display
89%
Games Performance
80.2 / 85 → 94%
Application Performance
78%
Temperature
87.4 / 91 → 96%
Noise
90%
Audio
79 / 91 → 87%
Camera
47 / 85 → 55%
Add Points
+2%
Average
75%
88%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus Zenbook UX32LN-R4029H Ultrabook Review Update
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-07- 8 (Update: 2014-07- 8)