A true competitor in an Apple premium world.
After using the iPad Pro for some time and going through my Pro Computer Guilt phase, I decided that I wanted a computer that did more for me. Not in the sense that the iPad Pro couldn’t do everything, but I prefer certain features for my main computer that the iPad Pro, at this stage, isn’t preferable.
I am still a very big defender and advocate of using an iPad Pro as a true computer that can do most things, if not everything, very well. I lean on the side of preference over capability when it comes to choosing a computer, and choosing the Asus Zenbook 14X has things that I definitely prefer compared to other computers.
Before I review the hardware, software, and overall usability of the Zenbook, I do want to address a big change in me reviewing a Windows PC. Over the past four years, I have written consistently about Apple platforms on Techuisite. Talking about a Windows computer isn’t new, but talking about it as a replacement for an Apple product is.
Windows 11 has brought a lot of changes to Windows, and I think in a good way. I think as tech reviewers, it is easy to get stuck within one ecosystem and not branch out a bit to see what else is out there. I think I would still prefer and want a MacBook Pro one day, but as I stated in my _Pro Computer Guilt post, the one I want is going to be over $3,000.
That is all to say that once I started looking outside of the Apple.com page at other computers that run Windows, I found a lot of features that I prefer that were not only substantially better than options I could choose with Apple, but also much more affordable.
There is also a long list of other Windows laptops that I could have purchased. Some of those are the Dell XPS 13, Lenovo Yoga or Thinkpad X1 Carbon, HP Spectre, and so many others that are outstanding computers. The reason I chose the Asus Zenbook 14X was mostly the price but with that price it is also packed with a bunch of other features that share a lot of similarities with the laptops I listed above.
So with that out of the way, let’s get to the actual review of the Asus Zenbook 14X (I will be calling it 14X going forward). I will admit right off the bat that I think this will be my new main computer for some time, which is a huge change for me being on macOS for personal use for so long. But as I will discuss later, moving away from it isn’t as unfamiliar as it may seem.
Starting off, I think it is important to address some of the things that I have loved about MacBook hardware, and comparing that to the 14X. The biggest improvement since Apple redesigned their MacBooks during the M series transition was the keyboards. For a while, they were not only very unpopular in terms of their feel but also unreliable.
Now, from the Air to the Pros, the MacBooks’ keyboards are touted as one of the best out there. I agree that the keyboards are great on every MacBook, but I don’t know if it is necessarily better than this Asus Zenbook. After writing quite a bit on this keyboard, I will say that it is definitely different, and I think I may prefer it more than the MacBooks’.
The keyboard has plenty of travel, and I like the subtle squishiness that you feel when you type fast. I also think this keyboard is quieter than the MacBook Air and Pro. The other night, when I was typing in bed next to my sleeping wife, it felt like the sound of my typing was much quieter than usual when I did the same with MacBooks and even the iPad Pro’s Magic Keyboard.
So the keyboard has been a huge plus so far. The other thing that the MacBooks continue to shine with is their trackpads. The lack of mechanical mechanisms and the ability to click the large trackpads anywhere is a huge highlight when buying a Mac laptop. This is an area the 14X can’t keep up in terms of greatness, but it isn’t bad.