While laptops are an essential tool for most of us, there are those who also need to flaunt it as a status symbol. This is where the Asus ZenBook Edition 30 fits in, a limited edition notebook clad in white Italian leather and with an 18-karat rose gold logo on its lid.
Although Asus is not selling the limited-edition ZenBook Edition 30 in India, we managed to review the extravagant Windows 10 notebook.
Design and ports
The ZenBook Edition 30 is a laptop that looks good. The lightweight notebook has a white anodised aluminum chassis featuring a lid covered with a handcrafted pearl white leather and an 18-karat rose gold logo that seems to be inspired by the Starfleet insignia in Star Trek. The diamond-cut edges are coloured rose for aesthetics. The Starfleet-inspired Edition 30 logo is seen on the palm rest.
The build of the laptop is premium and to add to it, Asus is even packing a pearl white mouse and a protective genuine leather sleeve. The laptop weighs 1.29kg, which is pretty neat for any 13-inch device. It fits nicely in my backpack, so carrying this notebook around should not be an issue.
The ports remain the same as any other Asus premium ZenBook. On the right, there is a full-sized HDMI port, one USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A and one USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-C connector. You will find the microSD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left.
Screen and audio
The ZenBook Edition 30’s 13.3-inch FHD non-touch display, which has a ‘frameless NanoEdge’ design for which Asus claims a 92 per cent screen-to-body ratio. Though not entirely bezel-less, the bezels are certainly small. The top bezel also houses the IR camera that supports Windows Hello biometric facial recognition.
Because of thinner bezels, images seem to pop more and videos look noticeably better. The viewing angles are superb too.
I had a good time with the ZenBook Edition 30’s Harmon Kardon speakers which deliver audio that is loud. French Montana’s “Unforgettable” boomed sound in my tiny room.
Keyboard and ScreenPad
The keyboard feels comfortable to type on, maybe a bit quieter than usual. That said, the keyboard isn’t perfect. The big issue is Asus somehow decided to cram full-sized arrow keys into the lower right corner. That means the Shift and Control keys on the right-side are much smaller. The keyboard features single-colour white backlighting.
Beneath the keyboard, instead of a regular touchpad, you will notice the ScreenPad. Similar to a smartphone screen, the ScreenPad measures 5.65-inches (2160x1080p IPS) diagonal. It comes with standard touchpad features and can easily handle four-finger smart gestures.
The ScreenPad is running on version 2.0, which means it has been updated with new offerings and updates. There are a number of apps that provide input and control for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Third-party apps are also included, prominently Spotify.
The ScreenPad has its own settings area where you can control brightness, set a background image, switch between resolutions (2160 x 1,080 and 1000 x 500 pixels), and even change the refresh rate (50Hz or 60Hz).
The basic idea of the ScreenPad is to increase productivity. You can drag apps onto the small area or from the ScreenPad launcher onto the desktop. So basically, the ScreenPad can be used as a secondary display. For example, you could keep editing a word doc on the main screen while enjoying Spotify on the secondary display.
After using the ScreenPad, I found that it is useful but only in some situations. I don’t think a regular customer will be using the ScreenPad as often as Asus thinks.
Performance and battery
The performance is solid. Asus packs the machine with Intel’s quad-core Core i7-8565U processor, Nvidia’s GeForce MX 250 discrete GPU, a 16 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB PCIe SSD. Sadly, the laptop still comes Intel’s integrated UHD 620, which means the ZenBook Edition 30 is not a gaming laptop. For light gaming, the laptop may be a good choice. We haven’t tested it yet, but it has an Nvidia MX 250 GPU.
In my battery testing, the ZenBook Edition 13 got about eight hours on a charge. That’s good enough for all-day use or a long flight.
Asus’ ZenBook Edition 30 is by no means the most superior laptop in the market. But it is one of the most attractive and elegant looking notebooks. And for many, that is enough. The company isn’t inventing anything new with the ZenBook Edition 30, but shows the 30-year-old company’s dedication towards making notebooks that celebrates its pristine craftsmanship.
The ZenBook Edition 30 is a highly collectable notebook and will cost $1400. It is ideal for those users if they like the aesthetics of a luxury timepiece.