The scarcely believable Asus ZenBook 3 is the undeniable highlight of an action-packed press conference from Asus today. This new laptop measures only 11.9mm in thickness and challenges Apple’s MacBook for the title of best ultra-portable computer. Not only is the ZenBook 3 thinner, it is also lighter — by 10 grams, weighing in at 910g — and more powerful than its better-known rival.
A fully maxed-out ZenBook 3 gets you a Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM and no less than four PCIe solid state disk drives for a total of 1TB of storage. That costs a mighty $1,999, but it’s still one hell of an achievement just to cram all of that power inside the chassis of a super-slim laptop with a 12.5-inch display and almost no bezels. But Asus is famous for its breakthrough pricing, and so its most affordable ZenBook 3 model undercuts Apple’s MacBook nicely with a $999 starting price. Importantly, it still has a Core i5 processor, which should easily outperform the MacBook’s Core M.
Asus’ new ZenBook is a studied exercise in taking Apple’s marquee product and beating it in every measurable way. The ZenBook 3 has a higher screen-to-body ratio at 82 percent, it has twice the key travel, and it boasts faster recharge times with Asus’ proprietary fast-charging tech. It even has a built-in fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello authentication. The only thing this Windows 10 laptop doesn’t improve from the MacBook’s spec sheet? The number of USB-C ports, which sadly remains at just one.
Though Asus hasn’t yet disclosed firm release dates for any of its new products announced at Computex today, Microsoft’s Windows Blog says that the ZenBook 3 will be available to buy “in Q3 this summer.”