Laptops

ASUS ZenBook 15 review: Everything you need in a laptop?

With great power, comes all the caveats in between

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Very few laptops have everything a person would ever need out of it. Whether it’s just for typing Word documents or playing all the latest games, only a handful of laptops fit the bill. ASUS has one laptop to offer, which was announced back in IFA 2018.

The ASUS ZenBook 15 has almost every piece of hardware for everyone. But is a device powered by a powerful Intel processor and a gaming-ready graphics card really worth it? Let’s find out.

Same premium design through the years

ASUS dubs their ZenBook lineup as its top-of-the-line Ultrabook. Through the years, ZenBooks have retained their premium design and feel. So when I got the chance to try the new ZenBook 15 (UX533) out, I expected nothing less — and I was impressed. The build quality of the device is great, with a sturdy metal-plastic chassis that shows little to no flex. It even feels light to bring around, at only 1.59kg.

My unit has the Icicle Silver finish that shows off the elegance of the laptop. There is an option to get it in the bolder Royal Blue color, but it will definitely feel like you own a premium device the moment you set your eyes on it.

The only real change the company implemented was the addition of the ErgoLift. Essentially, it frees up space for the laptop to release hot air instead of blasting them on the table or your lap. It’s also supposed to make the bottom-facing speakers sound better, although this really wasn’t the case when I used it.

It almost has everything for everyone

The ZenBook 15 is one powerful machine, from the inside out. My unit comes with an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 16GB of RAM. This configuration alone guarantees superb performance, and the ZenBook 15 did not disappoint. Typing Word documents, surfing the web, even photo and video editing felt like a breeze with this machine. You can play games here too, but let’s save that discussion for later.

On the outside, you have a 15-inch Full HD anti-glare NanoEdge display — perfect for outdoor use at full brightness. It comes in a resolution of 1920 by 1080, a full 16:9 display with tiny bezels on the side.

It’s also equipped with a full-size backlit keyboard, with the number pad separated from the trackpad — unlike its 13-inch and 14-inch variants.

The ZenBook 15 does come with three USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port that supports external displays; however, it would have been better to make it as Thunderbolt port to fully maximize the potential. The laptop also comes with a dual-band Wi-Fi card, although an additional Ethernet port would have been nice, as well.

It’s got game, but it really destroys your battery life

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the ZenBook 15 is the fact that it comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q. With this graphics chip, gaming on this laptop actually feels pretty damn good. It managed to get competitive frame rates for fast-paced games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Rocket League, all with high settings. But, don’t expect the same from AAA titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Also, there is a significant increase in the laptop’s overall temperature with longer than 30 minutes of play time. The left side of the laptop felt so hot, it’s almost like you could fry an egg on it. Of course, playing for long hours on this device drains the 73Wh battery significantly faster. I got about nine to ten hours on regular use, and only two to three hours on full game mode.

The camera is honestly only good for Windows Hello

The ZenBook 15 comes with an 3D infrared HD camera that supports Windows Hello. The infrared sensors were great at facial recognition, and Windows Hello felt really easy to set up and use. But, the camera was lackluster when taking photos and videos. It only seems passable to use for video calls, but the overall image quality just doesn’t equate to HD.

The bottom-facing speakers could be better

The two Harman/Kardon speakers on the ZenBook 15 are placed on the bottom side, facing the table or your lap. Sound quality is impressive until you turn it to maximum. Apart from that, I was expecting that they would sound better because of what ErgoLift supposedly does for them.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 89,995 (US$ 1,720), the ASUS ZenBook 15 jams almost everything you need in a premium device. And for that price you get the highest, most powerful configuration possible. Anyone can do pretty much anything with the hardware that comes with it. Apart from that, its elegant design and lightweight body make it a perfect on-the-go device. 

If you’re low on cash, you can also get the 14-inch ZenBook 14 for PhP 77,995. It only has 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card that offers similar, but less powerful overall performance. But, you do get the illuminated number pad on the touchpad.

Of course, that is if you don’t mind the otherwise average camera and fryer-like temperatures with heavy gaming. However, if you’re looking for a laptop that can handle anything, the ZenBook 15 is for you!

Features

What can you do with a big screen that folds?

Featuring the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

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Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

You’ve likely seen videos and articles here and there about this COLOSSAL foldable. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is, as of writing, a one of a kind device. But what’s it like to actually use one? And what can you really do with a screen this big that folds? 

We vibed with this device months ago but that was with an engineering unit. And THE Michael Josh showed us the many useful things you can actually do with it. 

You can watch this video for the full rundown: 

In case you couldn’t be bothered to watch the video, here’s a quick summary: 

Laptop Mode 

  • Can be used with or without the included bluetooth keyboard. 
  • Great for working in tight spaces. 
  • Keyboard is great. It’s clickety and has great travel. 

Extended Mode

  • One long vertical slate.
  • Unli-scroll on websites like GadgetMatch.
  • Good for video calls with split screen function. 

Desktop Mode

  • Yours truly’s favorite mode. 
  • Huge 17.3-inch display even while on the go. 
  • Great for work. 
  • Fantastic for media consumption. 

Tablet Mode

  • Use it like a really big book. Works even when semi-folded.
  • Works as a large chess board. 

At home daily usage 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

I’m mostly working from home these days and I didn’t know I needed a big screen until I started using the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. Everything felt closer and larger without feeling overwhelming. It’s a stark contrast to the 13-inch screen that I use more regularly. 

I don’t typically push my machine to the limit on the daily. My days regularly consist of writing, copy editing, some light photo editing, and jumping between one chat app to another. 

Being an Intel EVO laptop, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is certified to last for long work sessions. The device is optimized for all these tasks making it perform much more efficiently. 

I was also most pleasantly surprised with the bluetooth keyboard included in the package. My expectations for inclusions like this are usually low. To my delight, the keyboard felt really nice to type on. Parts of this article were written using that keyboard specifically. 

For the next iteration, though, it would be nice if the keyboard had some backlighting to make it easily usable even in darker setups. 

Working at a café 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, the laptop mode turns the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED into a discreet notebook. As already mentioned, the keyboard feels nice and will keep you typing as long as your brain can keep churning out words. 

It is chunkier when in this mode. That means the keyboard has a higher elevation from the desk which is something I personally prefer. 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

If you don’t mind eyes glancing over to where you are, you can totally prop it up in Desktop Mode or Extended Mode. I’ve only really used it outside twice and in both situations, I didn’t feel the need to look for a power outlet. 

That said, I only typically work outside for about 3-4 hours. Any longer rapidly depletes my social battery. Thankfully, the same isn’t true for the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED’s battery. 

Indoctrinating friends to the church of Chaewon 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

LE SSERAFIM Chaewon is EVERYTHING.

This is a joke, in case that wasn’t clear. That said, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is perfect for showing off your current K-Pop obsession to friends, family, and what-have-you. 

The large screen makes it easy to showcase photos and other media. Say, you prepared some sort of presentation, you can easily face the screen to the person you’re speaking with and still control it using the keyboard. 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

It’s top-notch for consuming media too. That huge display is perfect for watching (and sharing) fancams or whatever shows or movies you’re currently into. The Harman Kardon speakers are okay, but if you want a more immersive experience, I suggest you use earphones – wired or otherwise. 

Bottomline is, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a great screen for presentation and media consumption. And the fact that you can fold it makes it easier to bring around wherever. 

Featuring the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Oh and much like ASUS’ other laptops, at least in the Philippines, the package comes with a nice carrying pouch to keep the thing protected.

Big (screen) things coming 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

ASUS wasn’t coy in saying that this 17-inch foldable display is a sign of bigger things to come in 2023. If you’re into big screens, you can expect ASUS to deliver more of it soon. 

Personally, using the 17-inch screen was such a revelation for me. I’m lowkey hoping we get a similar implementation for a ZenScreen – ASUS’ own mobile external display. 

Is this your GadgetMatch? 

Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

At PhP 219,995, the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED isn’t for everyone. And only 100 units will be sold in the Philippines. If you want to be on the cutting edge of tech and are inclined to have the notoriety of owning a truly one-of-a-kind device, this is certainly for you. 

Naysayers will say it isn’t a practical purchase. That’s true. But practicality isn’t the point. The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a showcase of ASUS’ commitment to experiment and push the limits of hybrid laptop form factors. What you have here is a first generation device that feels a lot more polished than it has every right to be.


The Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is also available for purchase at 0% interest with up to 12 months of installment over at Home Credit.

Every unit comes with ASUS Platinum Warranty. Any physical damage within the first year, ASUS will cover 100% of the labor cost and 80% of the parts replacement cost of the repair.

More information
Where to buy


This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

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Deals

MSI holiday promo: Up to 28K in discounts, giveaways

‘Tis the season

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MSI is entering the holiday season by offering customers up to PhP 28,500 in total discounts and giveaways through its MSI Joy-Full Christmas Sale happening until December 31.

The brand’s high-end gaming laptop options MSI Vector GP, Katana GF, Stealth 15M, Crosshair 15, and GF63 Thin, and the productivity tools MSI Modern 14 and 15 are all part of the holiday promotion.

Participating laptops will get up to PhP 22,000 in price cuts, while buyers can also score included bundles worth up to PhP 6,500.

For the discounted price tags and corresponding bundles, check the list below.

Bundle A

Free MSI H991 gaming headset, thermos bottle, and thumb drive USB

  • Vector GP66 – PhP 145,995 (from 167,995)
  • Crosshair 15 – PhP 117,995 (from 135,995)
  • Stealth 15M – PhP 102,995 (from 114,995)
  • Katana GF66 – PhP 59,995 (from 69,995)

Bundle B

Free MSI M88 gaming mouse and mousepad

  • GF63 Thin (11UD-016PH/022PH) – PhP 61,995 (from 69,995)
  • GF63 Thin (11UD-243PH/418PH) – PhP 57,995 (from 63,995)
  • GF63 Thin (11UC-018PH/029PH) – PhP 55,995 (from 64,995)
  • GF63 Thin (11SC-031PH) – PhP 44,995 (from 49,995)

Bundle C

Free MSI Prestige wireless mouse and mousepad

  • Modern 15 (A5M-200PH) – PhP 42,995 (from 47,995)
  • Modern 14 (B5M-206PH) – PhP 40,995 (from 45,995)
  • Modern 15 (A5M-232PH/249PH) – PhP 37,995 (from 41,995)
  • Modern 15 (A5M-088PH) – PhP 37,995 (from 41,995)
  • Modern 14 (B5M-084PH/096PH) – PhP 35,995 (from 38,995)
  • Modern 14 (B11MOU-1004PH) – PhP 29,995 (from 33,995)
  • Modern 14 (B11MO-1078PH) – PhP 29,995 (from 33,995)
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Deals

ASUS and ROG’s Share 2022 Christmas promo is here

Bundles worth up to PhP 23,000

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ASUS

Christmas season has officially started for ASUS and ROG! The electronics brands are offering bundles of up to PhP 23,000 in savings from November 15 to December 31 as part of their Share 2022 promo.

Selected computers, smartphones, and peripherals from the ASUS, TUF, and ROG lines will all get corresponding exclusive bundle packages worth up to PhP 23,000.

ASUS and ROG laptops are also made more affordable with Home Credit’s up to 12 months installment at 0% interest, making this season truly the perfect time to score on one’s dream device.

Here are a few of the premium items getting their unique bundles:

Zenbook, Vivobook get free JBL speakers

ROG, TUF laptops get free accessories

  • ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 2022: Free ROG Chakram X gaming mouse and ROG Claymore II aura RGB gaming keyboard bundle (worth PhP 23,000)
  • ROG Zephyrus G14 2022: Free JBL Pulse 4 portable Bluetooth speaker (worth PhP 11,999)
  • ASUS TUF Dash F15 2022: Free JBL Flip 5 portable Bluetooth speaker (worth PhP 6,999) 
  • ASUS TUF Dash F15 2021: PhP 2,000 worth of Steam credits

ROG Phone 6 gets discount

  • PhP 3,500 discount on both 12GB+256GB and 16GB+512GB variants

Additionally, a PhP 10,000 purchase of any of ASUS and ROG’s products entitle customers to free exclusive merchandise.

For the full list of participating products and more information on ASUS and ROG’s Share 2022, click here.

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