The Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe is a gorgeous laptop. Seriously, it’s beautiful. But it’s not perfect. The $1,699 laptop is one of the strongest ultrabooks I’ve seen in awhile, but it has a few aspects that really bug us. For all the details and benchmarks, check out our full ZenBook 3 Deluxe review, but here’s a taste of our favorite and least favorite things about the notebook.
The ZenBook Deluxe comes in a gorgeous shade of navy blue with gold trimmings that scream “premium.” Even the letters on the keyboard are gold, as is the backlighting. And the aluminum feels great in your hands without a centimeter of give in the construction. When you pay this much, this is what you should be getting.
The 14-inch, 1080p display is nice and vivid. It covers 110 percent of the sRGB color gamut. Those colors are accurate, too, with an outstanding Delta-E color accuracy score of 0.2 (0 is ideal). It’s not as bright as some competitors, like the MacBook Pro and the Dell XPS 13, but it’s perfectly usable.
We’ve seen a fair number of low-travel keyboards in premium ultraportables lately (looking at you, Apple), but Asus’ is one of the best. Despite having just 1.3 millimeters of travel, the switches are responsive and comfortable. And you have to love the gold backlighting. It looks awesome.
Honestly, I rarely give the webcam much thought. But Asus cheaped out and put a 480p webcam in a $1,700 computer, while even most budget laptops go with a 720p camera. (One exception is the 12-inch MacBook, which is $1,299.) This means small, blurry photos with poor color reproduction, and anyone who uses it regularly will be disappointed.
You can only fit so big a battery in so small a space. For the ZenBook 3 Deluxe, that means lower-than-average battery life. It endured for just 6 hours and 62 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which continuously browses the web over Wi-Fi. The average ultraportable runs for 8:22, and some, like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (12:21) and the XPS 13 (13:49), run even longer in the right configurations.