- Crisp, accurate display
- Touchpad buttons
The Asus ZenBook UX410 is a surprisingly portable 14-inch mid-range laptop, offering strong visuals and a lightweight design. However, it’s not quite the ideal travel companion at this price point.
Asus has masses of experience when it comes to Windows laptops and its ZenBook UX410 is just one of the latest models to hit UK stores late in 2017. This £599 notebook serves up a spacious 14-inch Full HD display in a pleasingly light and slender chassis, which makes it seriously enticing for anyone after strong visuals in a portable form.
Here’s our full ZenBook UX410 review.
Asus ZenBook UX410 review: Design and features
Although the UX410 isn’t exactly ultrabook sized, it’s reasonably slim and light while also offering up some solid connectivity.
That metal chassis looks quite neat, with Asus’ traditional swirly circular pattern up top. It’s also pleasingly rugged, soaking up knocks and bangs without any complaints. At 1.4kg it’s quite light too, even when you’re lugging it around all day long.
Look to the sides and you’ll find a good selection of ports. As well as three full-sized USB connections, you get a single Type-C port for fast data transfer. There’s an HDMI port to hook up to a monitor or projector, plus an SD memory card slot to expand the 128GB of built-in SSD storage. Note that you can upgrade to 256GB of space when purchasing the UX410, at an extra cost.
Asus ZenBook UX410 review: Input
Asus has served up a keyboard that’s well-sized and comfortable enough for bashing out an essay or two on the move. The typing action gets a little spongy towards the centre, although the keys boast good travel, depressing around 2mm into the chassis when poked. As a result, this feels more like a proper desktop board than most other laptop keyboards.
All of the keys are a good size and we didn’t even struggle much with the dinky arrow keys, which are normally squashed on laptop keyboards. You get full backlighting as well, so you can happily work in the dark without disturbing others.
Unfortunately the ZenBook UX410’s compact touchpad, with its integrated left and right mouse buttons, is less than stellar. It’s not a bad size and responds well to swipes, but those mouse buttons are seriously unresponsive; you’ll often have to click a few times before your input is registered. Thankfully the pad does at least detect a finger tap anywhere on the surface, to work as a left click alternative.
Asus ZenBook UX410 review: Screen and media
This laptop offers a spacious 14-inch LED display and it’s one of the more impressive features of Asus’ device. For one, the bezels to the left, right and top of the screen are even more slender than the new Macbook Pro’s; Asus really has packed the panel in there, nice and tight.
Visuals are pleasingly crisp thanks to the Full HD 1920×1080 resolution. You’ll notice individual pixels if you get up close, yet high-def movies and games still look great and we had no problem editing photos. Colour reproduction is also pleasingly strong, with quite accurate hues that stand out nicely.
And while the UX410U’s panel isn’t among the brightest we’ve tested recently, the matte finish means that light doesn’t bounce back off the surface. Visibility is therefore acceptable in most conditions, even when the sun is shining (not much of a concern in the UK in November, admittedly).
Sadly the screen doesn’t tilt all of the way back, for ease of use when travelling, although the wide viewing angles mean that’s not much of an issue.
As for the audio, Asus has worked alongside Harman Kardon to deliver some quite crisp and accurate sound reproduction in the UX410U. We happily kicked back with some music while working, without resorting to plugging in headphones.
The only issue is, those speakers are positioned on the bottom lip of the laptop. That dampens the overall power as the sound isn’t directed at your face and proves particularly vexing if you have the device sat on your lap. In that case we found the speakers were often smothered, so sound was muffled.
Asus ZenBook UX410 review: Performance and battery life
Our ZenBook UX410 review model sported Intel’s Core i3-7100U processor, backed by 4GB of RAM. Note that you can choose to upgrade this to a Core i5-7200U chipset, for more money. In either case, you get integrated HD 620 graphics.
We did notice a few little stutters and stammers here and there, during everyday use. For instance, waking the laptop often took a few seconds, while the likes of Google’s Chrome browser often needed a few seconds more to kick into life following hibernation. Still, you can run office software no problem and we played some less demanding games with a solid frame rate. Just don’t try to run anything like a recent FPS, as the integrated GPU will fall on its face.
A single charge of the UX410’s battery typically gave us around five to six hours of general use. This includes web browsing, document editing, photo editing and the odd spot of gaming and video streaming on a break.
Asus ZenBook UX410 review: Verdict
This Asus laptop sits firmly in the mid-range laptop bracket, with its £599 asking price. For that cash, the ZenBook UX410 delivers a reasonably light and yet pleasingly rugged design, as well as an attractive screen and a comfortable typing experience.
That said, performance isn’t as strong as we’d have liked for the price point. You’re fine for web browsing, media streaming and photo editing, but gamers and anyone looking to play with video should look elsewhere.