ASUS ZenBook 3 rivals Apple’s Macbook in speed, lighter and slim, starts at $999

If there is one company which could take on the might of Apple’s Macbook, its Asus. And Asus has done exactly date by unveiling the next-generation ZenBook 3 notebook, which the company calls as “the world’s most prestigious laptop” at the on-going Computex 2016 in Taiwan. The ZenBook 3 is arguably slimmer, thinner and faster than Apple’s Macbook, also it is cheaper.

Weighing just 910 grams, the hardware is packed in an 11.9mm aerospace-grade aluminium alloy chassis. ASUS mentions that the ZenBook 3 is 40% stronger than traditional notebooks. It sports 12.5-inch HD display and has a wide 72% NTSC color gamut with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on top. It features slim bezel design that provides an 82% screen-to-body ratio for the maximum display size. The ZenBook is made with special 2-phase anodizing process that helps in creating the golden highlights on the diamond-cut edges.

The ZenBook 3 is thinner, lighter and more powerful than the MacBook Air and the MacBook ranges. It comes with a Core i7 CPU, 1TB PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, and 16GB of 2133MHz RAM. The battery is 40Wh Li-polymer and can last up to 9 hours of moderate usage. It comes with fast-charge technology that brings ZenBook 3’s battery up to 60% capacity in just 49 minutes.

The ZenBook 3 also features a Thunderbolt 3 connector, a USB Type-C port for charging, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, an HDMI, VGA, RJ45 and a 3-in-1 SD card reader as an option. Also, the ZenBook 3 features a full-size backlit keyboard. Thanks to its quad-speaker audio Harman Kardon setup, the laptop should offer exceptional audio quality.

There’s also a built-in fingerprint sensor with Windows Hello support that offers one-touch access, allowing the user to sign in and unlock without having to type their password or PIN. Additionally, it comes with a glass-covered precision touchpad for smooth input that incorporates palm-rejection technology. It even supports Smart Gestures and handwriting support for enhanced usability.

The ASUS ZenBook 3 will be available in three color variants, Royal Blue, Rose Gold and Quartz Grey. The ZenBook 3 with a Core i7 CPU, 1TB PCIe SSD, and 16GB of RAM will be available for $1,999. The Core i5 model with 512GB SSD variant will retail for $1,499 later this year, while the entry-level model will cost $999 and offer a Core i5 CPU, 256GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM.