ASUS is one of the most active laptop manufacturers in terms of innovation. They have developed some new technologies that are starting to get to the market even more often than before. And the ZenBook lineup? Well, it may be considered as its testing bench. Not a long while ago we saw the ErgoLift hinge – it lifts the back part of the bottom panel above the ground so you higher air intake. Then, last year, we saw the ScreenPad, which introduced a digital version of the NumPad beneath the surface of the touchpad. It was a great idea, but it had a huge input lag. This year, however, you are going to see the revised version of this ScreenPad. It is now an actual screen and has a multi-purpose within this device.
In addition to that, the hardware consists of a Whiskey Lake processor, a dedicated GPU option in the face of GeForce MX250 and a 1080p IPS display. Since it is a pretty minor upgrade on top of the ZenBook 14 UX433, we have some pretty high expectations that should be met.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14-ux434/
Asus ZenBook 14 UX434 - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you will find the laptop itself, partnered by some paper manuals and guides and a 65Wh charging brick. Optionally, you can receive a gift in the form of a protective sleeve for your laptop.
Design and construction
ASUS has done a very good job of designing and building their latest ZenBook machines. While the difference between the UX433 and the UX434 is only evolutionary, they are both structurally sound and very comfortable for use. The ZenBook 14 UX434 weighs 1.26 kg and has a profile of 16.9mm.
Once again, the ZenBook is equipped with the ErgoLift hinge mechanism. It uses the backside of the lid as a lever, to lift up the bottom plate and give the fans enough clearance to breathe. Interestingly, you are still able to open up the lid with a single hand, although closing it will definitely need a second one. This type of design gives a couple more advantages to this device. First, it is somewhat more comfortable for use and second, the display looks stunning – it has nearly no bezels all around it. Despite that ASUS has managed to put an IR face recognition system around the camera.
Next, there is the keyboard, which has a decent key travel and nice clicky feedback, upon pressing the key itself. Moreover, it is backlit and copes really well with the… well, with the ScreenPad.
Yes, this is the second iteration of the ScreenPad of ASUS (you might have already seen it on the VivoBook S15 S532). It is a huge step over the last-years one, as it offers a lot more than just a digitalized version of the NumberPad. Now, you can use it as a second monitor or use it with its dedicated apps that let you draw shapes, use the calculator or text via writing. We found the ScreenPad to be super accurate and very responsive to touches.
Unlike devices like the Lenovo Ideapad S940, which has its speakers surrounding the keyboard, the ZenBook 14 UX434 ones sit beneath the bottom plate.
Indeed, the port selection for this device is not bad. However, we have two concerns about it. Let’s start by the power plug on the left side – it is the ordinary barrel-style, rather than a USB Type-C one. Accompanying it on that side of the device is an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) and a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) – here is the second setbacks in our view – the lack of Thunderbolt connection. On the other side, you’ll see a MicroSD card slot, a USB Type-A 2.0 and an audio jack.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
At first, it looks extremely easy to get inside of this device – there are only 8 T5-head screws that you need to remove… however, ASUS is using their good old sneaky trick of hiding two further screws beneath the back rubber legs. On the other side, they pop of really easily with a plastic tool and after you’ve removed them, you can unscrew the aforementioned two Phillips-head screws. By the way, it is weird that they used another type of screws there but, we guess it doesn’t really matter since everyone owns such a tool.
ZenBook 14 UX434’s cooling comprises only a single heat pipe. It is pretty fat, though, and connects both the CPU and the GPU (if your laptop comes with a dedicated one). However, the strongest aspect, concerning the cooling solution of this laptop is the fact that it has enough breathing room, because of the lifted backplate.
In terms of upgradability – this device is not one of the greatest. All of its memory is soldered – something that prompts a very careful buying process. On the bright side, it has one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, so you can at least put bigger and faster storage inside of it.
Battery-wise, the laptop comes with a 50Wh unit.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 has a Full HD display, model number AUO B140HAN03.2 (AUO0323D). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Its viewing angles are excellent. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 350 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 325 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 13%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7200K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 7100K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1320:1 (1240:1 after profiling).
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 90% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display can reproduce dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 24 ms
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434’s display backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. This makes it comfortable for long periods of usage, without harming excessively your eyes in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, decent maximum brightness, and comfortable viewing angles. Additionally, it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness level and has a wide color coverage. In fact, when our Gaming and Web design profile is applied, the colors become enough color accurate for Web design use.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 configurations with 14.0″ AUO B140HAN03.2 (AUO323D) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Even though the frequencies are clear of deviation, and the sound is tuned by Harman Kardon, the speakers are not very loud and punchy. Despite that, the quality of the sound is not bad.
All drivers and utilities are available for download here: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-14-UX434FL/HelpDesk_Download/
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. ASUS has equipped its ZenBook 14 UX434 with a 50Wh battery pack.
We were able to get around 9 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing and 8 hours and 45 minutes.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
There are two processor options for you – the Core i5-8265U and the Core i7-8565U – both similarly performing and very energy efficient CPUs.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
As of the graphics cards – the obvious one is the integrated Intel UHD graphics 620, while the other is the GeForce MX250. Sadly (or not) it is the 10W, less potent version.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Despite the aforementioned lower potency of the 10W MX250, we were pretty satisfied with how it performed in some low to medium graphically intensive games, with frame rates between 50-70 in the highest settings at 1080p resolution.
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||113 fps||96 fps||71 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||127 fps||87 fps||53 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434||3.03 GHz (B+68%) @ 75°C||2.89 GHz (B+61%) @ 92°C||2.49 GHz (B+38%) @ 92°C|
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433||2.69 GHz (B+49%) @ 65°C||2.64 GHz (B+47%) @ 77°C||1.87 GHz (B+4%) @ 76°C|
|Acer Swift 5 (SF515-51T)||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 61°C||1.98 GHz (B+10%)@ 71°C||1.68 GHz @ 77°C|
|ASUS ZenBook Pro 14 UX480||3.13 GHz (B+74%)@ 95°C||2.91 GHz (B+56%)@ 95°C||2.47 GHz (B+37%)@ 87°C|
|HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)||3.10 GHz (B+72%) @ 69°C||1.92 GHz (B+7%) @ 61°C||1.88 GHz (B+4%) @ 64°C|
Since we’ve tested the older version of the laptop – the ZenBook 14 UX433, you can get a pretty clear idea of the difference between aggressive and conservative approaches. The newer laptop is providing a lot higher frequencies but at the cost of higher CPU package temperatures. Keep in mind that this happens in a very extreme condition of 100% CPU load, which is rarely going to occur.
|NVIDIA GeForce MX250||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 (10W version)||1132 MHz @ 66°C||1129 MHz @ 71°C|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S532||1708 MHz @ 77°C||1480 MHz @ 67°C|
|NVIDIA GeForce MX150||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||1591 MHz @ 74°C||1475 MHz @ 74°C|
Expectedly, the clock speeds of this GPU is a lot slower than the one on the VivoBook S15 S532, which as two times and a half of its TDP. However, in real-life gaming performance, as you have probably seen two sections ago, the laptop performs on a level with its larger sibling.
Comfort during full load
While the laptop didn’t heat up that much on the outside after both the CPU and the GPU stress tests, we can clearly see that there is something wrong with this design – the hot air is blowing directly towards the bottom right side of the display, which may compromise this part of the display in the years to follow.
As did the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433, the ZenBook 14 UX434 is also going to get our Editor’s choice award. It is because of the great build quality, fast hardware, and brilliant screen. However, the largest contributor to that is the innovations ASUS put into this laptop. We are super excited to test unique laptops that are on the bleeding edge of technology. We hope that this is going to encourage more and more manufacturers to start putting more effort into the diversification of the industry.
This is not to say that the ScreenPad itself is super useful and you should totally ditch your current laptop to get one of these. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend upgrading to this device if you already own the ZenBook 14 UX433, as the ScreenPad is not going to make that much of a difference in your day-to-day life. We find it to be extremely potent when you are multitasking or even working. You can have a seminar on your main screen and do some finishing touches to your presentation at the same time – on your 14-inch laptop.
On the other hand, we have to put some setbacks here – first, we would have loved to see Thunderbolt connection and perhaps USB Type-C charging. What bugged us most, however, was the design of the exhaust vents. When you are playing games or rendering a video, all of the heat of the internals goes towards the display of this laptop. It is a particular area of the screen that is being directly blown at and with the time passing by, the chances of failure increase drastically. Additionally, make sure you pick your RAM configuration carefully, as there is no room for upgrades.
Otherwise, we were very impressed with this laptop’s display, itself. It is an IPS panel with a Full HD resolution decent maximum brightness, of above 350 nits – perfect for indoors and outdoors. Additionally, it has a good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, wide color coverage (94% of sRGB) and it doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels. If you happen to be a Web designer, the ZenBook 14 UX434 can do the job for you when you apply our Gaming and Web design profile, which drops the Average dE below the 2.0 mark.
- Its keyboard is backlit and great for typing
- Edges innovation with its ScreenPad and ErgoLift hinge
- Its display has decent maximum brightness and doesn’t use PWM to adjust the brightness, whatsoever
- Wide color coverage and accurate color representation (when our Gaming and Web design profile is applied)
- Lack of Type-C charging and Thunderbolt connectivity
- No RAM upgradability post-purchase
- Hot air is blown directly at the screen
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14-ux434/