ASUS has been knocking it out of the part for commercial notebooks these past few years. I’ve been consistenly impressed by their offerings month after month. Hell, I’m still in love with the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo, nearly a year on! That’s why I wasn’t about to say no when the company offered the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA for review.
I’ve since put the machine through its paces and here’s what I found out.
Hint: ASUS’ still got it.
What is the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA?
The Asus ZenBook 14 UM433DA is a 14-inch 1080p notebook meant for daily work. It’s packing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processor, a Radeon RX Vega GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD.
For ports, the machine has one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 port, a HDMI port, a microSD card reader and an audio jack. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2
Made with portability in mind, the machine is incredibly lightweight and thin, measuring only 31.9 x 19.9 x 1.69 cm. It only weighs a measly 1.15KG.
If you’re thinking of the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA as a beefier (in terms of computing power) and sleeker version of the ASUS ExpertBook B9 and you’re not that far off.
It’s even got the same hinge style (ASUS calls it the ErgoLift hinge) that lifts up the back end slightly, giving you a more comfortable typing and viewing experience. At the same time, the raised back also allows air to flow better. Win all around.
It’s also packing the two-in-one trackpad that converts into a numpad with a simple button tap. Needless to say, like I mentioned in the ASUS ExpertBook B9 review, these are both features that I enjoy every much and I’m really glad that the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA has them too. It’ll give more people a chance to really fall in love with them.
Speaking of love, I’m definitely smitten with the display too. It’s only 1080p but the ultraslim bezels (which are only 2.9mm wide) at the edges make the display pop, especially with its 178-degree viewing angle. Sharing a display in meetings (or watching movies) won’t be an issue for those sitting at the sides.
Unfortunately, sharing so much in common with the ExpertBook B9 also means it shares some of that machine’s flaws.
Primary among them is the keyboard.
With the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA being so thin, there’s really no room for a keyboard with keys that can travel. Typing isn’t as tactile as I’d like and the lack of a physical numpad will undoubtedly irk some people too.
Still, the thing that impresses me the most is that ASUS packed in a discreet GPU, in the form of the AMD Radeon Vega, into such as slim notebook. While the GPU isn’t a powerhouse (it’s not even a match for the NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030), it’s still leagues better than most integrated chipsets.
Just take a look at how it handled PCmark 10.
That’s on par with ASUS’ own ExpertBook B9! With the added GPU though, I wanted to see how it did on other tests. So I fired up 3Dmark and the Final Fantasy XV benchmark to see how it performed.
It’s not particularly good if you’re just looking at raw numbers, considering that this is a test for gaming notebooks. Still, it’s a decent score for a GPU that came out in Q1 2018, which is a lifetime in computing hardware time.
First the bad news.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to want to run FFXV (or any recent game for that matter) on the machine. You’re not going to have a fun time…at all.
The good news?
With basic work related tasks (such as spreadsheets and word processing), added oomph of the GPU should definitely help.
It’ll even do wonders for other duties like watching videos or streaming content. Even the occasional bouts of Candy Crush or FTL (or any other casual, non-hardware intensive game) will perform well on the machine.
Don’t think you’re given a license to game just because the notebooks packs Radeon GPU. The ASUS ZenBook 14 UM344DA is not a gaming machine. Instead, think of the GPU as an assistant that makes other work-related and multimedia tasks better.
One word of warning…the machine does get a little heated even after minimal use, so you’re going to want to keep the sides clear at all time to make sure the airflow is always optimal.
The Bottom Line.
If you want your business notebook to look nice, be light as a feather and have some muscle to it, then the ASUS ZenBook 14 UM433DA checks off all the boxes.
ASUS has somehow managed to cram in an impressive amount of hardware into a teeny little shell.
Of course, it’s not perfect by all means (the keyboard’s keys could be better and cooling could be better) but this is probably one of the best 14-inch notebooks you can buy right now.
A sleek beauty with some muscle backing it up.
- Premium looks, with nearly bezel-less display.
- Great two-in-one trackpad.
- ErgoLift hinge.
- Radeon Vega 10 GPU gives it some muscle.
- Gets hot quick.
- Keyboard could be better.