Asus pulls back the curtain on the ZenBook 3's specs

— 2:19 PM on October 5, 2016

The full specs for the ZenBook 3 have hit the web, courtesy of the product page on Asus' site. Folks have been comparing this 12.5" ultraportable favorably to Apple's MacBooks lately. Given the listed specs, it's not hard to see why. Even the baseline ZenBook's Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U CPU far outstrips the MacBook's Core m5, and the optional Core i7-7500U unitshould leave Apple's machine well in the dust.

The ZenBook is also more versatile than the MacBook. The baseline model has the aforementioned Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Users looking for more horsepower can configure the ZenBook 3 with a Core i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and PCIe SSDs with capacity ranging up to 1TB. That's a lot of hardware to pack into a laptop that's not even a half-inch thick when closed.

Of course, Asus had to make some compromises to achieve that slim figure. Just like the MacBook, the only peripheral connection this machine has is a single USB 3.1 Type-C port. A 3.5-mm combo jack completes the external connections. Asus offers an optional dock that expands the subnotebook's connectivity by adding USB 3.1 Type C and USB 3.0 Type-A ports, HDMI and VGA outputs, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack.

So the ZenBook 3 is lighter, slimmer (at 11.9 mm), and faster than the MacBook. Apple still holds onto the gold for screen quality, though. Both machines have wide-gamut IPS LCDs, but the MacBook's 12" 2304x1440 screen has a much higher pixel density than the ZenBook's 1920x1080 screen. Still, 1080p isn't bad at 12.5", and the Kaby Lake processors' graphics bits should handle the lower resolution better if one were to try a spot of gaming.

Asus expects the baseline model to sell for $999, while the fully-loaded version will be twice that at $1,999. Online shop has the i7 version in Royal Blue with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for $1,599.

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