ASUS ZenBook 3 review



I’ve used lots of laptops in the past year — from the pleasant $150 Starmobile Engage Aura to the monstrous $9,000 Acer Predator 21 X — but none have impressed me as much as the ASUS ZenBook 3. Let me explain why.

It’s unbelievably thin and light!

Weighs only 910g and has a thickness of just 11.9mm — more portable than the new MacBook!

And it comes with a sleek travel case

Made of soft, cushy leather

The keyboard is really shallow, but fun to type with

Comes with backlighting, too!

Its trackpad is one of the most accurate in its class

No more accidental clicks and annoying gesture control here

There’s also a lightning-fast fingerprint scanner for instant logins

Supports Windows Hello for logging in to other apps, as well

Charging and data transfers share one USB Type-C port, but…

On the bright side, charging from zero to full completes within two hours

… ASUS adds a bundled dongle to ease the pain

Provides another USB Type-C port, plus full-sized HDMI and USB ports

Don’t worry, the 3.5mm audio jack is still present

No need for wireless headphones just yet

Speaking of audio, the four-channel speakers are surprisingly loud!

The punchy sounds are courtesy of Harman Kardon. Thank you, Mr. Harman and Mr. Kardon!

Hold on, does it actually perform well?

When you see a laptop this portable, you’d normally expect a slow processor and laggy performance; that’s absolutely not the case here.

The ZenBook 3 feels like it’s on steroids thanks to its seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which you’d normally find on laptops much bigger than this, as well as 16GB of memory and 512GB of fast SSD storage. There’s no separate graphics card for gaming, but all these components put together make for smooth multitasking and quick boot-ups.

My only gripe is how hot it gets while under full load. It gets so warm, I have to take it off my lap and find a table to place it on — so much for the “lap” in laptop.

People might also complain about the run-of-the-mill Full HD 1080p resolution on the 12.5-inch display. It’s not as pretty to look at as the ASUS Transformer 3 Pro’s high-resolution screen, for example, and there’s also no touchscreen to speak of. It’s otherwise good enough for watching movies and getting work done.

Can it last a whole afternoon of work and play?

Another worry I had when first using the ZenBook 3 was the possibly poor battery life. My concerns were justified by the results, but I was still satisfied by what I got.

Because of the efficiency of the processor and not-so-dense pixel resolution of the display, I managed a little over four straight hours of mixed usage, involving image editing on Photoshop, writing articles on Google Docs, and playing YouTube videos in the background.

Even though that amount of battery life is nothing to brag about, it’s just right for one long work session, and it’s far better than the measly endurance of the Transformer 3 Pro convertible. I also shouldn’t complain much; I can get so much work done in that span of time on the ZenBook 3’s speed.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The look and feel of the ZenBook 3 are enough to justify a purchase. Our unit’s royal blue color together with the spun-metal finish make this such an eye-catching notebook. Add the consistent overall performance, and you have the best Windows alternative to the new MacBook yet.

Its only serious drawbacks are potential overheating and the port limitation. Oh, and let’s not forget the price. With a starting price of $1,000 for the weaker Intel Core i5 version, and PhP 79,995 ($1,600) for the Core i7-equipped variant we have here, this isn’t an affordable notebook.

For that price, you can get yourself the fancier Transformer 3 Pro convertible we mentioned earlier, which has a higher-resolution display, detachable keyboard, and bundled stylus pen. You can also afford one of ASUS’ midrange gaming laptops at this point and do more, but that would mean sacrificing more bag and desk space.

In addition, ASUS will be rolling out a more high-end ZenBook 3 Deluxe soon. It’ll have a larger 14-inch screen, more USB Type-C ports, and a webcam supporting Windows Hello. Of course, it’s going to cost more, but you should definitely consider it before committing to the regular ZenBook 3 right away.

SEE ALSO: ASUS Transformer 3 Pro review

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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio 2 is good enough for gaming

Starts at $1,999



The Microsoft Surface series isn’t a usual go-to destination for gaming. However, if you have the cash, the series, especially the new Surface Laptop Studio 2, can be your friend if you’re a gamer or a creator. Launched today, the new laptop features a ton of improvements for all your needs.

As you might expect from the series, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 offers the same form factor as other devices in the lineup. But don’t let the foldable design fool you. It is more than capable.

The screen contains a 14.4-inch touchscreen display capable of putting out images in 2400 x 1600 resolution. The laptop touts an Intel 13th-generation i7-13700H processor. Alongside the processor, the laptop will also have an Intel Gen3 Movidius 3700VC VPU AI accelerator.

It will start with 16GB of RAM but can go up to 64GB. Plus, if you have the cash to splurge, you can outfit the Surface Laptop Studio 2 with up to a GeForce RTX 4060. It will also have up to 2TB of internal storage.

Thankfully, the world is adopting more accessibility features. The new laptop is no different. Its new trackpad allows for more customization. Users can adjust the trackpad’s sensitivity and feedback. They can also turn the pad into a two-button device for those with limited hands.

Though USB-C is the main connectivity port on the device, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 will have a USB-A 3.1 port, a microSD card, and a slot for the Surface Slim Pen 2. Users will still get the same USB-C slots and headphone ports.

Preorders are already available. The Surface Laptop Studio 2 will start at US$ 1,999.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft reportedly cancels Surface Duo 3

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ExpertBook B9 OLED is ASUS’ lightest OLED laptop

Crafted from premium magnesium-lithium alloy



ASUS Expertbook B9 OLED

ASUS has unveiled its lightest 14-inch OLED laptop yet. Crafted from premium magnesium-lithium alloy, the new ExpertBook B9 OLED weighs only 990 grams. It’s also a durable, flexible, and environment-friendly business solution.

The Intel Evo-verified laptop is powered by up to the latest 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processors. It also has 64GB of DDR5 memory, and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.

It delivers up to 11 hours of use on a single charge. Meanwhile its 14-inch 16:10 OLED display provides vivid pictures with enhanced eye care.

For video conferencing, the laptop features an AI-powered two-way noise cancelling technology. It’s also equipped with an AiSense webcam for crystal clear communication.

Compared to its previous generations, the latest ExpertBook B9 has a better smart-cooling system. It reduces temperature by up to 27% and helps decrease the overall power consumption.

For easy connectivity, there is an assortment of ports. These are a pair of Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, a USB 3.2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1, and a 3.5mm combo jack.

Enterprise-grade security

As the ExpertBook B9 is a premium choice for the business setting, it comes with a multitude of enterprise-grade security features.

Aside from having a US military-grade standard body and biometric security features like its webcam shield and a fingerprint sensor, the laptop comes ready for Intel vPro configuration.

This ensures that data is kept secured from end-to-end. There’s also a hardware-level protection against malware and cyberattacks, thanks to an optional TPM 2.0 chip.

For elite executives, the device also has an NFC reader and NumberPad 2.0 so logging in to the ExpertBook B9 can be done with a swipe of an authorized card.

Price, availability

The new ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED is now available in Star Black for PhP 113,649 via the ASUS official online store.

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The Legion 9i is an AI tuned 16-inch gaming machine

With bags to choose from



Lenovo Legion 9i

They keep getting bigger. The Lenovo Legion 9i is a 16-inch gaming laptop. It’s the first one in Legion’s lineup that’s this big. But there’s more to it than size. It also promises top-notch performance.

Just take a look at these internals:

13th Gen Intel Core i9 13980HX
Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 laptop GPU
Two RAM options:
64GB Overclocked 5600Mhz Dual Channel DDR5
32GB Overclocked 6400Mhz Dual Channel DDR5 Up to 2TB of PCIe (Gen 4) SSD Storage)

These internals look to push the machine to its brink. To keep things cool, the Legion 9i has the Legion Coldfront integrated cooling system. This keeps things cool while still letting the machine put out a maximum of 230W TDP. But that’s not all. It also has an AI-tuned, triple-fan air-cooling system with 6,333 individual intake vents. Lenovo took extra care to make sure this gaming beast performs at its finest.

But AI isn’t just for cooling. The Lenovo LA-2 AI chip also syncs the Legion Spectrum RGB present in strips around the keyboard and bottom covers, on the top cover’s Legion wordmark , and in the per – key RGB Lenovo TrueStrike keyboard with visuals on the screen. It doesn’t get any more gamer aesthetic than this. There’s also Tobii Horizon software provides gearless head tracking that gives players an extra level of immersion when playing.

How long can you play? The Legion 9i has a 99.99Whr battery that can be charged in two ways. First is via the included 330W Slim Adapter. Second is the 140W Type-C Power adapter. Both are included in the box .

For connectivity you have Wi-fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 both provided by MediaTek ’s Filogic 380 Wi-Fi card with up to 6.5Gbps of wireless speed.

Each Legion 9i is also one-of-a-kind. The cover is made of forged carbon and each one has its unique forged chip carbon on the the A-cover.

Back to that 16-inch display. It’s a Lenovo PureSight 3.2K Mini-LED 16:10 display with 165Hz variable refresh rate. That’ll keep your eyes glued when you play but still keep colors accurate when you’re working thanks to the pre-installed X-Rite software.

Software and bundles

Prospected members of the Legion will also gain access to some software features and freebies. The Legion 9i comes with Windows 11 as well as a 3-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. There’s also Nahimic by SteelSeries for 3D audio immersion.

The Lenovo Vantage software application offers an additional all-in-one suite of tools. This includes real-time performance dashboards, overclocking controls, as well as intelligent fan controls.

Also bundled with every Lenovo Legion device is Legion Arena. It consolidates owned games from multiple platforms for gamers to search their entire library from one place to quickly find the game they want to play. Optional Lenovo Premium Care support is also available for people who want access to advanced technical support with at-your -doorstep support and preventative PC health check.

Carry the Legion 9i with style

The Legion 9i is huge and thus requires a certain kind of bag to lug around. Lenovo thought of that too so they made the Legion 16” Gaming Backpack GB700 and Legion 16” Gaming Backpack GB400.

The 20L GB700 is equipped with four bumper protectors in the PC compartment and a PU-coated exterior for protection. The main compartment is fully customizable for a great fit. There are also 12 pockets: three of them hidden for added security — to hold gear, accessories, chargers, and anything else. The X-shaped luggage straps on the back and reflective trim on the shoulder straps add comfort, convenience, and safety.

The 18L GB400, meanwhile, is geared for gamers who travel light. It has an anti-theft magnetic lock , X-shaped luggage straps, and a compartment that fully unzips. It has easy access to the dedicated 16-inch laptop sleeve, as well as a pocket for tablets or handheld mobile gaming devices like the newly announced Lenovo Legion Go. There is also a zippered pocket to store a power adapter as well as two pockets for extra gaming peripherals.

Price and availability

The Lenovo Legion 9i with Intel processor is expected to be available starting October 2023 starting at US$4,399.

Both the Legion 16” Gaming Backpack GB700 and GB400 are also coming on October 2023 priced at US$79.99 and US$ 49.99, respectively.

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