Hands-On With The ASUS ZenBook 3 And ZenWatch 3, A Dynamic Duo
The ZenBook 3 is now decked out with Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors; in this case, the Core i7-7500U and i5-7200U. Weighing in at just 2 pounds with a thin 11.9mm profile, this is ASUS’s most svelte ZenBook to date. To cool these new Kaby Lake gems, ASUS has developed a new cooling system complete with a 3mm thick fan (with liquid-crystal polymer blades) and an ultra-thin heat pipe design.
The ZenBook 3’s 12.5-inch 1080p display is covered in Gorilla Glass 4, and up to 16GB of LPDDR3 can be added. Storage options include a 256GB SATA SSD or a 512GB PCIe SSD. Other features include a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, quad speakers with Harman Kardon tuning, Touchpad-mounted fingerprint sensor and a 40Wh lithium-polymer battery.
ASUS has delivered two generations of Android Wear-based smartwatches, and let’s just say they weren’t exactly lookers. From their rectangular designs and unsightly bezels, they left much to be desired compared to well-rounded competition like the Motorola Moto 360 and even the Samsung Gear S2 Classic.
All three colors of the ZenWatch 3
ASUS has heard the cries of the smartwatch faithful and has gone for a classier look with the ZenWatch 3, and we’re thankful for the design shift. This time around, ASUS has employed a circular, 316L stainless steel body that is available in Gunmetal, Silver, and Rose Gold. The case is just 9.95mm thick and the 1.39-inch AMOLED 400x400 display is covered in curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. The bezels, thankfully, have been kept to a minimum.
Complementing the cold-forged steel body is your choice of exercise-friendly rubber or Italian leather for the wrist strap (both are available in either beige or dark brown).
The ZenWatch 3 doesn’t stray too far from the Android Wear pack when it comes to hardware, so you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC and the usual IP67 water and dust resistance. However, ASUS has a few tricks up its sleeve including HyperCharge functionality, which allows you to charge the ZenWatch 3 from 0% to 60% capacity in just 15 minutes. The smartwatch also incorporates the ZenFit app, which ASUS says is able to track your daily steps with 95% accuracy (a claimed industry-best rating).
- The ASUS ZenBook 3 has an MSRP of $1599 for UX390UA-XH74- BL and $1099 for UX390UA-DH51-GR. Both models are available now at the ASUS Store and leading retailers.
- The ASUS ZenWatch 3 has an MSRP of $229 USD and is available early November at the ASUS Store and leading retailers.