Asus Announces ZenBook 3, a Retina MacBook Lookalike That is Thinner, Lighter, and Faster

ASUS today at Computex 2016 in Taiwan announced a wide range of new products, including the ZenBook 3, its third-generation ultraportable notebook that is thinner, lighter, and faster than Apple's lookalike 12-inch Retina MacBook.

ASUS-ZenBook-3
The 12.5-inch ZenBook 3 has an ultra-thin 11.9mm aerospace-grade aluminum alloy chassis that weights just 2 pounds and is "50% stronger than the standard alloy" used in competing notebooks. Comparatively, the Retina MacBook is 13.1mm thick and weighs 2.03 pounds.

ZenBook 3's display is crafted from edge-to-edge, scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4, with a 1,920x1,080 pixels resolution and wide 72% NTSC color gamut. The notebook has a slim bezel design that provides an 82% screen-to-body ratio for a maximum viewing experience with a minimal footprint.

The Windows-based notebook is powered by up to an Intel Core i7 processor and features 16GB of 2133MHz RAM, up to 1TB of PCIe 3.0-based flash storage, and quad-speaker audio by Harman Kardon. Like the Retina MacBook, the ZenBook 3 has a single USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals.

ASUS includes a dongle with USB 3.0, USB-C, and HDMI ports in the box, while a larger universal dock is available with additional connectivity options.

ASUS-ZenBook-3-trio
ASUS sacrificed a fanless design like the Retina MacBook has in favor of increased performance, but the ZenBook 3 has an innovative cooling system that features the "world's thinnest fan design" at just 3mm. The notebook delivers up to 9 hours of battery life with fast-charging technology for recharging up to 60% capacity in 49 minutes.

ZenBook 3 is available in three spun-metal finishes, Royal Blue, Rose Gold, and Quartz Grey, based on a two-phase anodizing process that creates golden highlights on the diamond-cut edges. Whereas the Retina MacBook's keyboard is always black, the ZenBook 3's keyboard matches the color of each finish.

The full-sized backlit keyboard also has 19.8mm key pitch and a slightly deeper 0.8mm key travel, compared to 0.5mm on the Retina MacBook's ultra-thin butterfly mechanism keyboard that some have contested. Next to the keyboard is a glass trackpad with palm-rejection technology, Smart Gestures, and handwriting support.


An optional built-in fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support enables users to sign in and unlock the ZenBook 3 with one finger tap, in lieu of having to type their password or PIN. Similarly, the 2016 MacBook Pro may feature Touch ID as Apple works on an unlocking-via-iPhone feature for OS X 10.12.

ZenBook 3 will be available in the third quarter of 2016, starting at $999 in the U.S. for the base model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. A 512GB SSD model will sell for $1,499, while the top-range Intel Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD will cost $1,999.

ASUS also announced the Zenbo home robot, the ZenFone 3 Series, the ASUS Transformer 3 Series, and multiple other new products.

Tag: Asus

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Top Rated Comments

JCrz Avatar
104 months ago
Yeah? Well, at WWDC Tim Cook will unveil a full line of nylon covers for the MacBook that shows the world how innovative Apple is.
Score: 147 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dilster3k Avatar
104 months ago
Yeah what do you expect? A bag of potatoes are faster than the entire Mac line-up since they haven't been updated properly.

Edit: Ships with a USB-C adapter included? How generous, take notes Apple...


Attachment Image
Score: 115 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wheelhot Avatar
104 months ago
I don't get it why notebooks like these is able to put Intel Core i7 in it while the MacBook gets a crippled Intel Core M?

I remember the original MBA launch where SJ showed why netbooks is horrible and one of the points was Intel Atom (or along low powered processor or something) Guess what Apple, Core M is the new Atom, and you're using it in your MacBooks!
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SteveJobs2.0 Avatar
104 months ago
You shouldn't have mentioned that it is thinner! Now Ivy will spend all of R&D resources on making the next MacBook the thinnest yet even if it means making sacrifices in other areas such as performance, battery life, camera, ergonomics, etc! :p
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sfwalter Avatar
104 months ago
who gives a hoot how "Thin" stuff is
Apple does.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Santabean2000 Avatar
104 months ago
Pretty sweet, but it ain't running OS X...
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)