The 14-inch Asus ZenBook 14 UX435EG incorporates the quirky ScreenPad — a tiny secondary screen embedded in the touchpad that supports a range of uses, which you won’t find on laptops from any other maker. The ZenBook range’s usual thin-and-light build is present and correct, and while the price of £1,399 (inc. VAT; £1,165.83 ex. VAT) might seem a little high you do get an 11th-generation Intel Core processor and discrete Nvidia graphics. This model updates the ZenBook 14 UX434FL, which I reviewed in August 2019.
At its launch Asus proclaimed the ZenBook 14 UX435EG to be “the world’s smallest 14-inch laptop with ScreenPad”, which is somewhat less impressive when you note that Asus is the only laptop manufacturer that does ScreenPads.
Still, the ZenBook 14 UX435EG is indeed small at 31.9cm wide and 19.9cm deep, and also thin at 1.59cm thick at the front, rising to 1.79cm at the back where it needs to accommodate various ports and connectors. The weight of 1.19kg makes it an ideal laptop for carrying around, and the build is impressively robust. The aluminium alloy chassis material means I couldn’t bend the lid in my hands, and it lends plenty of solidity to the base too. Asus says the ZenBook 14 UX435EG meets MIL-STD 810H, but if you don’t want to ding the etching on the outside of the lid, you might still want to use a protective sleeve when carrying or storing this laptop.
Asus can squeeze a 14-inch screen into a chassis that’s barely larger than the screen itself thanks to its minimal-bezel NanoEdge screen, which delivers a (claimed) 92% screen-to-body ratio. Asus gives us two separate measurements for the tiny short-side bezels: 2.6mm measured between the edge of the non-active screen display area and the inside edge of the case, and 4.1mm measured from the edge of the screen to the inside edge of the chassis. For the top and bottom bezels, which are thicker, we just get measurements to the edge of the non-active screen: 6.1mm for the top edge and 3.3mm for the bottom. The relatively deep top bezel accommodates the IR webcam with Windows Hello support.
The display itself is a 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED-backlit IPS touchscreen. It’s bright, clear and sharp with 400 nits maximum brightness, but rather reflective. The touch responsiveness on my review model was exemplary.
The excellent screen is complemented by a Harman Kardon-certified dual speaker setup that delivers good-quality sound, although top volume could be louder. If you use the integrated audio subsystem for voice or video calls, the AI-assisted noise-cancelling audio capability may come in useful. There are four modes to select from: Normal, Balance, Single Presenter and Multi-Presenter.