As soon as you open the box, and take the ZenBook 14 UM425 out of it, you can tell that this laptop is designed for portability. Its incredibly slim and light chassis is packed with some neat technology advancements that will improve the user experience.

Actually, a little while back, we got the ZenBook 14 UX425, which can be considered, as a twin to the laptop we have today. However, in comparison to the AMD Ryzen 4000U processors, the Ice Lake counterparts were a bit underwhelming on the UX device.

So, what should you expect from a laptop aimed at travelers? As we said – great portability, decent battery life, and thanks to AMD – tons of performance. Also, ASUS is promising 100% sRGB coverage and up to 22 hours of battery life, both of which will be checked in a couple of minutes.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14-um425/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425 – Specs


OS


Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home


Battery


67Wh, 4-cell , 67Wh, 4-cell


Dimensions


319 x 210 x 1.43 mm (12.56″ x 8.27″ x 0.06″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 2x USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • Card reader MicroSD
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack

Features

  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone Array Microphone w/ Cortana and Alexa Voice Rec.
  • Speakers 2x Speakers, Harman & Karbon
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Once you take the notebook out of your way, you’ll find some paper manuals, a 65W USB Type-C power brick, as well as a couple of dongles – one from USB Type-C to 3.5mm Audio jack, and one from USB Type-A to RJ-45.


Design and construction

As we said, this laptop is extremely thin and light. It measures 14.3mm in thickness, and 1.13 kg in weight. The body is made out of metal – we suppose it’s aluminum – and in addition to the premium cool touch, you get a rigid structure, which doesn’t flex too much when twisted. In terms of design, the lid cover reveals the signature circular finish, ASUS loves to put on their notebooks. As for the rest – matte finish with chamfered edges.

Opening the lid can be executed with a single hand, which is nice. Inside, we see an anti-glare finish on the display with very thin bezels all around it. Here, the HD camera is located above the panel, and it packs a couple of IR sensors for Windows Hello certification. As a typical ZenBook laptop, this one includes the ErgoLift mechanism, so the backside of the base rises when you open the lid. This is good for both ergonomics, and cooling.

Further down below, we see the keyboard. It sports a side-to-side design, with a very small gap between the edge of the furthermost keys and the end of the base. As for the usability, the keyboard has an average travel, and quiet feedback with medium tactility – on the edge of being too soft for us.

Now, the touchpad is extremely big for a Windows laptop. It has a glass cover, which provides smooth gliding. Also, the overall tracking experience is decent. Once again, the manufacturer has included the NumberPad functionality, which lets you use the touchpad as a dedicated NumPad. Although this is one of the better units on the market, we saw something weird, when you tap on it. There is a weird noise, that feels like the touchpad isn’t properly screwed in. We didn’t experience any issues with that, it’s just the experience that takes the hit.

Lastly, after we turned the laptop upside down, we saw the ventilation grill, as well as the speaker cutouts, which house Harman Kardon-tuned units. Hot air, respectively, is exhausted from the back of the base, towards the display.

Ports

Generally speaking, the I/O here looks a bit limited. On the left side, you will find an HDMI connector, and two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports (no Thunderbolt 3 because of Intel…). By the way, both of them can be used for charging. And on the other side, there is only the USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and the MicroSD card reader. On the bright side, thanks to the dongles inside the box, you get a further expansion of an Audio jack (in the place of one of the USB Type-C ports), and an RJ-45 connection (swapping the USB Type-A port).

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

Pretty much in a similar fashion to the ZenBook 14 UX425, you need to remove the back feet to access the last two Torx-head screws. After you undo all of them, you can pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool.

Although the cooling comprises a rather bulky heat pipe, both itself, and the fan have a slim profile, which may result in lower efficiency.

Unfortunately, upgradability is one of the areas hindered by the slim chassis. All of this laptop’s memory is soldered to the motherboard, and you can get either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. Storage-wise, you get one M.2 PCIe x4 slot.

Thankfully, the battery pack inside of this machine is huge. It has a capacity of 67Wh.

Display quality

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425 has a Full HD display, model number LM140LF-3L03 (NCP0035). Its diagonal is 14″ (35.56 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 157 ppi, their pitch – 0.161 x 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 56 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Its viewing angles are excellent. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

The maximum measured brightness is 264 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 259 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 7500K (average) – colder than the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1100:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 92% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display can reproduce dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 31 ms

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425’s display uses PWM to adjust its brightness up to 67 nits. Furthermore, the frequency of the pulsations is high enough, so it doesn’t present any harm in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusions

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and a decent color coverage (92% of sRGB). Also, its colors become accurate-enough for professional work, after our Gaming and Web design profile is installed. And although it uses PWM for brightness settings below 67 nits, the frequency is high enough to ensure a reasonably comfortable experience during long hours of use.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425 configurations with 14.0″ LM140LF-3L03 (NCP0035) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425’s speakers produce a clear sound with decent quality. Its Harman Kardon tuning makes the low, mid and high tones clear of deviations.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Home/ZenBook/ZenBook-14-UM425/HelpDesk_Download/?model2Name=ZenBook-14-UM425

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The big 67Wh battery pack delivered 13 hours and 54 minutes of Web browsing, and 12 hours and 9 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

Currently, this notebook can be found equipped with either the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U or the Ryzen 7 4700U. However, we have information that it will be available with the newly announced Ryzen 5 5500U, and Ryzen 7 5700U.


GPU options

And since there are no dedicated graphics options, you are left with the Radeon RX Vega 6, or Vega 7, depending on the CPU.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425 3.28 GHz (B+43%) @ 75°C 3.06 GHz (B+33%) @ 85°C 2.59 GHz (B+13%) @ 71°C
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-42) 3.10 GHz (B+35%) @ 65°C 2.90 GHz (B+26%) @ 74°C 2.60 GHz (B+13%) @ 65°C
MSI Modern 14 (B4Mx) 3.19 GHz (B+39%) @ 54°C 3.13 GHz (B+36%) @ 63°C 3.05 GHz (B+33%) @ 81°C
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 (14) 3.29 GHz (B+43%) @ 74°C 3.32 GHz (B+44%) @ 88°C 2.53 GHz (B+10%) @ 63°C

Well, the Ryzen 5 4500U inside of this notebook performs pretty much as expected. It is not too hot, and the frequencies at the end are in check with most of the competition.

Comfort during full load

During extreme workloads, we noticed that the fan was spinning pretty violently, leading to a bit higher noise levels than usual. Additionally, the temperature on the keyboard was a bit more than 43°C.

Verdict

There you go, the AMD version of the ZenBook 14 UX425 – the UM425 has delivered as promised. There is no doubt that its biggest advantage – the lightweight and slim profile, resulting in an extremely portable notebook, that almost no person on Earth would hate.

Ultimately, the design is not the only positive thing about it. It has a very good battery life, which will last you through an entire workday. We got almost 14 hours of Web browsing and just over 12 hours of video playback. This means that you can board a flight from London to New York, and if you watch movies the entire time, you are still going to have a reasonable amount of juice left when you get home (or to your hotel).

ASUS ZenBook 14 UM425’s IPS panel (LM140LF-3L03 (NCP0035)) has a Full HD resolution, good contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles, and a decent color coverage (92% of sRGB). Also, its colors become accurate-enough for professional work, after our Gaming and Web design profile is installed. And although it uses PWM for brightness settings below 67 nits, the frequency is high enough to ensure a reasonably comfortable experience during long hours of use.

Also, the Ryzen 4000U processors deliver far better performance, than their Ice Lake counterparts from Intel. This makes today’s notebook an even more viable option than its Intel cousin. However, going the Red route takes the Thunderbolt 3 compatibility away from the equation. Nevertheless, the two USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports do almost everything that Thunderbolt 3 has to offer.

Well, yes, the input devices are good, but not great, and the touchpad felt a bit flimsy, which wasn’t a problem, apart from being annoying at times.

However, the only big disadvantage that we saw on this notebook, which is definitely carried over from the UX model, is the lack of RAM expansion. Since all of the memory is soldered to the motherboard, you should think twice before making your purchase decision.

On the bright side, Ryzen 5000U CPUs are around the corner. They promise even better performance and efficiency than the 4000 series, so you might just want to wait for them before buying the ZenBook 14 UM425.

Pros

  • Very good battery life
  • Thin and light all-metal design
  • It doesn’t use aggressive PWM to adjust screen brightness (LM140LF-3L03)
  • Supports PCIe x4 M.2 drives and Wi-Fi 6 networks
  • Covers 92% of sRGB and has an accurate color representation thanks to our Gaming and Web design profile (LM140LF-3L03)
  • Useful NumberPad 2.0 and ErgoLift goodies from ASUS
  • A set of USB Type-C dongles, as well as a protective sleeve inside the box
  • Ryzen 4000U processors deliver a great performance

Cons

  • Memory is soldered to the motherboard
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 3 connectivity

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14-um425/





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