The Asus ZenBook 14 ScreenPad turns the touchpad into a handy second screen. Asus has been refining this ScreenPad concept since its 2018 debut and the version on this ZenBook (UX435) is the best yet. Crisp text, vibrant colours and more importantly, the 5.65-inch ScreenPad is very responsive to my taps.
- 14-inch Full-HD touchscreen
- Asus ScreenPad 2.0 (Full-HD+, 5.65-inch)
- Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB system memory
As a second screen, I mainly use the ScreenPad to display the Spotify app or the numeric keypad. Switching from the ScreenPad to the standard touchpad function is easy — simply tap with three fingers. Apps on the ScreenPad, though, have small icons that require a bit more finesse to tap accurately.
My ZenBook review set comes with a lovely 14-inch touchscreen that adds a bit of weight. But don't worry, the laptop is still very portable at around 1.3kg. The screen is almost bezel-less, which makes watching videos much more immersive. Like most ultra-thin laptops, the bottom of the ZenBook gets warm when running more intensive apps. But because the lid (when opened) pushes up the rear of the laptop slightly, there isn't as much contact between your thighs and the warm base. This ErgoLift hinge design also tilts the keyboard for better typing.
Unlike some newer Asus laptops, the ZenBook still retains the headphone jack. It also has HDMI, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-size USB Type-A port and a microSD card reader. Throw in Wi-Fi 6 support and you're well covered in the connectivity department. As for biometric security, the ZenBook comes with a Windows Hello infrared camera that supports facial recognition. It works pretty well, but Asus should have added a privacy shutter to give users the option to physically block the camera.
Given its premium S$2,198 price tag, it is no surprise that the ZenBook has great build quality. It also boasts the latest hardware, including an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia's entry-level MX450 graphics. Battery life is not quite class-leading, though. The ZenBook managed only 6hr 28min in a video playback test compared to other ultrabooks that can last seven to eight hours. Overall, the ZenBook looks good and performs well. The ScreenPad is just the icing on the cake.
Note: Review unit provided by Asus.
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