The Asus ZenBook UX410UA is a Windows alternative to the Apple Macbook Air. It has a fairly rich and practical display, a deep-action keyboard and a glass trackpad, a rarity at the price.
Build quality could be slightly better, as a few parts flex a little. However, the Asus ZenBook UX410UA is still a good all-purpose laptop if you need a laptop that is portable but still has enough power to run serious applications.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Price and Availability
Be careful when buying an Asus ZenBook UX410UA. At the time of writing you’ll find as many last-gen models as current ones.
For £549 you can buy the laptop with a Core i3-7100U CPU, 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM. It is a solid computer for those who don’t run anything too taxing.
Our review model has a 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and the newer, more powerful Core i5-8250U CPU. It costs £799/$899, a big leap in price to match the difference in performance. You can buy it from retailers such as Amazon and John Lewis.
The model to avoid is the one with an Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, unless it’s sold at a good price. That’s the last-generation model.
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA comes with a 1-year warranty in the UK. Check out the best budget laptops if you have a little less to spend.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Design and Build
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA is a laptop with an all-aluminium shell, aside from parts of its hinge and the screen surround. Both are plastic.
Metal is there to tell us this is a “premium” laptop, but there’s a much greater variance in finish here than in a MacBook. The lid has a very fine, smooth finish of concentric circles that fan out from its centre. This is a mainstay of the ZenBook series, and looks good.
Inside, the Asus ZenBook UX410UA has a much simpler anodised aluminium keyboard surround. It feels smooth and looks good. The underside is the main sign this is not a £1000-plus laptop. It’s a little rougher than the aluminium of the inside. This may even increase friction, though, helping it stay on your knees if you’re using it out of the home.
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA is also significantly chunkier than a top-end stylish alternative. It’s 18.95mm thick, and doesn’t taper as much as some towards the end.
Among ultra-slim laptops the Asus ZenBook UX410UA doesn’t immediately seem that skinny. However, let’s get real. A sub-20mm, 1.4kg (1.345kg according to our scales) laptop like this is still a superb solution if you want a computer you can take wherever you go. It is just not quite as flashy as some more expensive laptops.
There’s also a tiny bit more flex to the panels than ideal. The keyboard dips under finger pressure around the right-side keys and the screen part is not entirely rigid. There’s an obvious reason why it doesn’t need to be: the display is not covered by a big sheet of glass.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Keyboard and Trackpad
For the most part the Asus ZenBook UX410UA is a solid, somewhat predictable mid-range laptop. However, you do get one very tasty surprise.
It has a textured glass trackpad, which is significantly nicer than the plastic impersonation pads you usually get in a sub-£1000 laptop. The difference is hard to appreciate until you use it, as they look identical, but it’s real.
Textured glass feels smoother, less tacky when you change the direction of a swipe. This is perhaps the highest-end part of the entire machine. Its click response is solid too.
The keyboard is like the connections: pleasantly old-fashioned. Key action is deeper than most new slim laptops, for a much meatier feel.
The bottom of the key’s movement is slightly less well-defined than a world-class keyboard, which initially makes it feel slightly less crisp. However, this one is at least reasonable.
It’s backlit too. All the features we’re after are here, although there’s no fingerprint scanner.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Screen
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA’s 14in display positions this as a good laptop for working in all conditions: in the office, out in the park, or on the train. This is a non-touch, anti-glare display, making it able to deal with ambient light better than most.
It only diffuses reflections rather than evaporating them completely, but does mean you don’t end up looking at a mirror image of yourself on a sunny day. Max brightness of 320cd/m2 is respectable too, although you will probably notice that a matt screen like this doesn’t tend to look at bright as a glossy one when indoors.
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA’s colour performance is respectable for a laptop at the price, if not a standard-setter. It covers 80.8 percent of sRGB. This is enough to make the display look well-saturated to the naked eye, but doesn’t provide the ultra-rich colour of a laptop with a true high-end display.
Will you find such a display at the price in a laptop with a full 8th Gen Core-series processor? No.
Similarly, 1080p resolution across a 14in screen does result in fairly clear pixellation. But while Asus used to make laptops at this price with higher-than-1080p screens, this is no longer the case.
The Lenovo Ideapad 320s and Acer Swift 3 both have 1080p displays too.
There are no viewing angle or contrast shift concerns either, as the Asus ZenBook UX410UA has an IPS panel.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Specs, Performance and Benchmarks
Our review Asus ZenBook UX410UA has an Intel Core i5-8520U CPU with 8GB RAM. This is precisely the spec we’d recommend for anyone looking for a sensibly priced laptop that can handle more or less any application.
Intel doubled the number of cores in its power-efficient laptop processors with this generation. The Intel Core i5-8520U has four cores, clocked at 1.6GHz with a 3.4GHz Turbo mode.
Windows 10 runs very well, and there’s enough power and memory for more demanding tasks like video editing.
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA scores 3,456 in PC Mark 10, more than you’d see from a laptop with a last-generation Core i7 CPU. Intel’s 8th-generation performance increases are substantial, and very welcome.
It also scores 12,347 in Geekbench 4, similar to the results of an older desktop-replacement laptop.
Gaming has not improved, though. The ZenBook UX410UA can only run games about as well as a laptop with integrated graphics from the last couple of years: not that well.
It earns 4281 in 3DMark’s Skydiver test. A laptop like this can play games released five years or so ago if you drop down the graphics settings, but simply is not meant primarily for gaming.
You do have some other choices at the price. HP’s Pavilion Pro 14 has Nvidia 940MX graphics and Acer sells a version of the Swift 3 with a more powerful Nvidia MX150 chipset. Neither turns a laptop into a true gaming computer, but you will get far better results than from the integrated graphics used here.
You get a 256GB SSD with this higher-end spec of the Asus ZenBook UX410UA, which lets you comfortably store a good amount of data before needing to tidy up your files.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Connectivity and Audio
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA tries to cover all the usual bases with its connections. Unlike a lot of top-end laptops, it has not switched to using miniature connectors.
There are three full-size USBs, although only one is a higher-speed USB 3.0. The others are USB 2.0, which seems a budget cut too far at this point.
However, the most obvious use for USB 3.0 is copying or accessing files from an external hard drive, and you probably only need to connect one of those at a time. A mouse won’t mind whether it’s plugged into a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port.
The USB-C connector can also act as another high-speed connector, although again it’s not as fast as the sockets on a more expensive laptop. This is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, not a Thunderbolt 3 compatible one.
There’s also a full-size HDMI and a full-size SD card slot. You don’t get super-speedy connectors, but many of you will make more use of these extras anyway, which some laptops have dumped as “legacy” sockets.
We wouldn’t class this as a big hit as a portable movie player. There are Harman/Kardon speakers to each end of the Asus ZenBook UX410UA’s underside, but they simply aren’t that loud.
They sound relatively small and polite. Their tone is perfectly fine, but won’t stand up to much ambient noise or do justice to much more than a podcast.
Asus ZenBook UX410UA: Battery Life
The Asus ZenBook UX410UA’s battery life is also great. This, alongside the nice glass trackpad, is one of the top reasons to pick the laptop.
It has a 48Wh battery, which is solid rather than eye-opening capacity. However, when playing a looped movie at 120cd/m brightness it still lasts 11 hours 25 minutes.
You’ll see similar, or slightly shorter, results if you just write documents or perform other low-strain productivity jobs.
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