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Asus launches ZenBook 14 (UX431) with Whiskey Lake CPUs and upcoming GeForce MX150 configuration

The Asus ZenBook 14 has a Harman Kardon-certified audio system. (Source: Asus)
The Asus ZenBook 14 has a Harman Kardon-certified audio system. (Source: Asus)
Asus has announced the ZenBook 14 (UX431). Two configurations of the laptop are currently available, with a third higher-specced option coming in the second quarter of the year. The usual slim ZenBook aesthetic is present with the latest additions, which come with 8th Gen Intel Core processors and the option of a discrete graphics card.

We initially reported on the ZenBook 14 (UX431) laptops in January when Asus revealed the devices at the CES 2019 trade event. Most of the specifications from then are still apparently accurate, although some have been altered or refined: The weight now listed by Asus is slightly heavier at 3.2 pounds, and there are conflicting reports about a potential 1 TB internal storage option. Asus has also mentioned an i3-8145U variant on its website, but the latest press release from the company does not feature it.

Three SKUs have been planned for the series, with the UX431FA-ES74 and UX431FA-ES51 models already available from retailers such as Amazon and Newegg, while the ES51 can also be purchased directly from Asus. The main differences between the models are the CPU and storage. The pricier ES74 device (US$899) comes with an Intel i7-8565U and 512 GB PCIe SSD, while the slightly cheaper ES51 model features an i5-8265U processor and 256 GB PCIe SSD.

A third ZenBook 14 laptop, with the model number UX431FN-IH74, is expected to be made available in the second quarter of 2019. This top-end SKU also has the same CPU and storage option as the ES74 model, but it comes with twice as much RAM (16 GB) and is the only device out of the three to offer a discrete GPU: the GeForce MX150. This extra power and graphics-rendering ability comes at a total price of US$1,199. This most-expensive version of the Asus ZenBook 14 will be a Costco exclusive.

Each Asus ZenBook 14 (UX431) notebook comes with a host of features, such as the NanoEdge display, an ErgoLift hinge that raises the device and assists with cooling and with the soundscape of the quad-speaker audio system, a fingerprint scanner, and a new Utopia Blue finish. Connectivity is covered by Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), HDMI, audio combo jack, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, and 1x USB 2.0 Type-A. The 14-inch FHD IPS display has been crammed into a 13-inch case and offers an 86% screen-to-body ratio.

Configurations. (Source: Asus)
Configurations. (Source: Asus)



Fremont, California (March 12, 2019) — ASUS today announced ZenBook 14 (UX431). It balances value and performance to deliver a sleek, sophisticated ultraportable that doesn’t compromise on power. This premium laptop is packed full of the latest technology that includes 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 graphics, up to 16GB of RAM, ample SSD storage space and the latest connectivity options. The ZenBook 14 is available now, in two configurations, starting at $799.99.

Unleash your creative vision

ZenBook 14 exudes sophistication without screaming for attention. Its Utopia Blue color and spun-metal finish are decidedly chic while still being distinctly Zen. Lifting the lid reveals a 14-inch FHD (1920x1080) IPS NanoEdge display that offers great viewing angles and uniform color, whether the user is sitting square in front of it at work, or lounging to one side watching Netflix.

For a more immersive experience, the NanoEdge display technology shrinks the bezels on either side down to just 6.5mm while also cutting down on the laptop’s overall size. Thanks to the narrow bezels, ASUS engineers were able to squeeze the 14-inch screen into a compact 13-inch chassis. Portability is about size as much as weight, though, and ZenBook 14 weighs just under 3.2 pounds, making it easy for users to slip it into their bags or tuck under arm and carry anywhere.

Despite its good looks, ZenBook 14 prioritizes function alongside form, with some thoughtful tweaks to ensure the design serves more than just aesthetics. The ErgoLift hinge automatically tilts the keyboard up at an angle when the lid is opened, creating a more comfortable typing position while improving airflow under the chassis for better cooling.

Uncompromising performance

When taking notes in a meeting, tabbing over to check an email, and then switching over to edit a video presentation, capable hardware is what helps maintain smooth performance. Intel’s 8th Generation Core i5, and i7 CPU options offer up to four Hyper-Threaded cores that run at frequencies as high as 4.6GHz thanks to Turbo Boost technology. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 engine is ample for photo editing and video streaming, but upgrading to discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory makes light gaming an enjoyable option.

These days, 8GB of system memory is a common luxury for mobile multi-tasking, but ZenBook 14 is available with up to 16GB of RAM to ensure seamless switching between tasks. On top of that, up to a 512GB SSD provides a powerful combination of low latency and high capacity.

Quad-speaker audio system

Users will want to share the audio experience because ZenBook 14 boasts a total of four speakers. In addition to the pair of upward firing speakers flanking the keyboard, there are two more bass speakers on the underside of the laptop, and the extra space created by the ErgoLift hinge results in clearer bass.

The quad-speaker system provides truly immersive sound, with a 1.4X-higher frequency response compared to its predecessor, UX430. Powered by a smart amplifier, the Harmon Kardon-certified setup employs advanced signal processing to deliver a wider frequency response and powerful bass for especially crisp sound.

Mobility without bounds

ZenBook 14 features I/O ports befitting a flexible workhorse. There’s one USB 2.0 Type-A port for a mouse, and the USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C™ ports readily accommodate external storage, flash drives, printers, and other peripherals. Users can connect to a second monitor via HDMI, and the SD card slot accepts memory cards without the need for a USB adapter. There’s also a 1.8mm audio combo jack for headphones. ZenBook 14 features a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi configuration, so users can move huge files to and from the cloud in record time or stream video without a hitch.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > Asus launches ZenBook 14 (UX431) with Whiskey Lake CPUs and upcoming GeForce MX150 configuration
Daniel R Deakin, 2019-03-13 (Update: 2019-03-13)