Among the many ZenBook models that Asus has in its range, the UX430UA is the most attractive variant. It is not the thinnest version, but that leaves more room for connections and the cooling is in order. The laptop offers great value for money; it performs well, even with long-term loads. A downside is the slow SSD and the calibration of the screen could have been better, but the matte finish of the screen is an advantage. Whether you like the UX430UA with its shiny blue casing is a matter of taste.
Asus’ ZenBook series thin laptops is very extensive. Even if we do not count the convertible models, there are no less than four different ZenBook types with a 13.3 “or 14” screen. It is quite a challenge to see the forest with all the different type numbers through the trees, because what exactly is the difference between the UX331, UX410, UX430, and UX490? Before we start the review of the UX430, we explain that.
The most powerful and most expensive model is the UX490, the ZenBook 3 Deluxe. This 14 “version weighs about 1.1kg and is 13mm thin Last year Asus also sells the UX490 with Kaby Lake-R quad-cores Later on, Asus announced the UX331, or the ZenBook 13. This 13.3 “model is slightly thicker at 13.9mm, but the weight is almost as low as that of the ZenBook 3 Deluxe.
Asus also sells variants of the UX410. That was the 14 “mainstream model last year, with a housing that is much thicker, the thickness of almost 19mm is pretty strong for laptops in this class and with 1.4kg it is also not a lightweight. Asus UX430, which we are reviewing in this review, is the new mainstream model. Also, this laptop has a 14 “screen, but with 16mm it is a bit thinner and also the weight is lower; our scale reaches 1262 grams.
The first thing you notice about the UX430 is the glossy top and the blue color scheme. Asus also makes other color variants, but they are currently not for sale in combination with quad-core processors. Whether you like the glossy layer on top is a matter of taste; the fact is that the finish is very sensitive to fingerprints.
The rest of the design is made of aluminum. The laptop feels well finished and solid; only when you press the part above the keyboard does he bounce considerably. In practice, however, that is not something you will do and with the palm rest springs the design just barely if you put pressure on it. However, you also see the keyboard indentation when you tap with a firm touch.
With its thickness of 16mm, there is enough space for connections and there are also quite a few available. A full HDMI port would not have been out of place in our opinion, but Asus opted for a not so common micro-HDMI version. It is on the left side, along with the power connector, a USB 3.1 port with type-a-connector, a 3.5mm jack and a USB-c socket.
The USB-c port offers USB 3.1 speeds and can be used to connect a screen. Using a hub we were able to connect a monitor via HDMI 2.0 in this way. Charging via the USB port is not supported, however.
On the right, Asus has placed a USB connection, but that is a 2.0 variant and we think it is scanty for a laptop in this price range. The presence of an SD card reader is an advantage because more and more manufacturers are leaving it.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard of the UX430 has quite large keys and offers a nice amount of travel. That makes the tapping of texts comfortable, but the touches feel a bit spongy and also gives the housing a bit if you press hard on the keys. However, the keyboard is certainly not bad for a thin laptop.
The touchpad has a large and smooth surface and is pleasant to operate. Clicks also provide clear feedback. It is a so-called precision touchpad, for which Microsoft provides the drivers. The swipe gestures in Windows 10 work flawlessly. Asus has processed a fingerprint scanner in the touchpad. It is a copy of Synaptics and it works smoothly, but the placement is inconvenient because it can get in the way while using the touchpad.
As mentioned, Asus makes many different ZenBook models and there are also many variants of the UX430 when you look at the Pricewatch. At the time of writing, there are three models that can be purchased at various stores and equipped with a Kaby Lake-R quad-core processor. In this review, we discuss the cheapest variant, which costs less than 900 euros. For a surcharge of 100 euros you get a CPU that is faster on paper. There is also a version of 1300 euro, with more ram and a large SSD.
|Cpu||Core i5-8250U||Core i7-8550U||Core i7-8550U|
|SSD||256GB||256GB||512GB  Price||€ 898.15||€ 999, –||€ 1,302.15|