Asus’s Zenfone 3 and Zenbook 3 lineup was first shown at Computex 2016, since then, the new flagship by the company has taken a wide turn into Malaysia. After two months, Asus has finally launched and revealed the details of the Zenbook 3 and Zenfone 3.

At the event held in Kuala Lumpur today, Asus gave the attendees a brief look and introduction of the Zenfone 3 and the Zenbook 3. Asus revealed the details, pricing and the models of the Zenbook 3 and Zenfone 3 family. These models include the complete Zenfone 3 and Zenbook lineup with the Zenfone 3 Ultra, Deluxe, Max, Laser, and two variants of the Zenfone 3 making it into the Zenfone 3 family. Meanwhile, the Zenbook 3 family comes in three models, the Transformer 3, the Transformer 3 Pro and lastly the standard Zenbook 3.

The Zenfone 3 Lineup – The New Charms from Asus

Unlike the plastic and matte finish on the Zenfone 2’s from last year, this year’s Zenfone 3 lineup is incredibly premium kicking off the “cheap” tag from their smartphones. The new Asus Zenfone 3 smartphones are built of metal and are sandwiched in glass as we’ve previously seen in recent Samsung’s Galaxy flagship smartphones. The Asus Zenfone 3 has a lot under it’s hood to defy itself from the competition and comes in a whole wide variety of variants.

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The Asus Zenfone 3 lineup finally allows you to easily distinguish the phones from each another, thanks to the simple naming scheme unlike last year’s Zenfone 2 series which were identified by different model numbers. The Zenfone 3 series come in a wide variety of variants allowing the consumer to make the right choice for themselves.

The base Zenfone 3 comes in two variants, a 5.2-inch and a 5.5-inch screen, both rocking Full HD displays with a maximum brightness of 500 nits.

CPU RAM Storage Screen Size Camera Battery Size Pricing
Zenfone 3 SD 652 4GB 64GB 5.2/5.5-inch 16MP/8MP

(IMX298)

3,000mAh RM1499/

1,699

Zenfone 3 Ultra SD 652 4GB 64GB 6.8-inch (1080p) 23MP(4k)/8MP

(IMX318)

4,600mAh RM2,599
Zenfone 3 Deluxe SD 821/820 6GB 256GB/64GB UFS2.0 5.7-inch (1080p) 23MP(4k)/8MP

(IMX318)

3,000mAh RM3,299/

2,599

Zenfone 3 Max SD 615 3GB 32GB 5.2-inch (720p) 13MP(1080p)/

5MP

4,100mAh RM799
Zenfone 3 Laser SD 430 4GB 32GB 5.5-inch (1080p) 13MP(1080p)/8MP (IMX214) 3,000mAh RM999

Let’s skip over to the Ultra and Deluxe now. The Zenfone 3 Ultra and Deluxe are the highest end devices announced by Asus today. As you can refer to our chart above, both smartphones are pretty similar in specs with the exception of the Zenfone 3 Ultra boasting a huge 6.8-inch display while packing only mid-range Snapdragon 652 and 4GB of RAM.

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Just as last year’s Zenfone Deluxe, Asus’s beast, this year, the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe continues on its fame. Boasting the latest Snapdragon 821 CPU along with 6GB of RAM and a humongous 256GB of super-fast UFS2.0 Internal Storage, the phone is obviously a killer for the specs and features.

Some features of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is the sleek and slim gorgeous body of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe which will have a premium unboxing experience along with the ability to support Quick Charge 3.0 with their USB Type-C cable and allow you to use the fingerprint scanner. Asus claims that the Zenfone 3 Deluxe could charge up to 60% in just 39 minutes.

The Zenfone Deluxe will retail for a price tag of RM2,599 for the Snapdragon 820 and 64GB of Internal Storage. Meanwhile, the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe with the latest Snapdragon 821 and 256GB of internal storage will retail for RM3,299.

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The Asus Zenfone Laser and Max come with their own special capabilities. The Asus Zenfone 3 Max also joins the fingerprint & metal chassis family. The new Zenfone 3 Max packs a 4,100 mAh battery which is good, but considerably smaller than the original Zenfone Max. It’ll be interesting to see how much they’ve improved here since the original last-gen Zenfone Max came with a 5,000mAh battery and lasted 8 hours in our tests, especially considering the new CPU Snapdragon 430 being utilized.

The Zenfone 3 Max is available in three colors; Titanium Grey, Glacier Silver and Sand Gold and is retailing for a price tag of RM799.

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Last year, the Laser was added to the Asus Zenfone 2 lineup which refreshed the Zenfone 2 series. However, this time around, the Zenfone 3 Laser has been unveiled at launch. We could hope that there will be no refreshed during the Zenfone 3 lineup.

The Zenfone 3 Lasers runs on the Snapdragon 430 which is a pretty new SoC in the market. The Zenfone 3 Laser is paired with 4GB of RAM along with 32GB of Internal Storage. The phone also comes with a fingerprint sensor packed in a decently thin 7.9mm package

For the camera configuration we’re looking at a 13MP f/2.0 shooter for the rear equipped with laser auto-focus, while the front is being accompanied by a 8MP selfie cam. The rear camera is capable of recording upto 1080p with the stabilization being handles by the EIS.

The Zenfone 3 Laser is retailing for price tag of RM 999.

Zenbook 3 Linueup – Asus’s “Zen” Promise Fulfilled

As you can see, the announcements for the Zenfone 3 were huge. However, Asus didn’t end it there. Asus finally unveiled their new Zenbook tickling the computing fans back there.

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Asus has been very well known for their excellent design. This time, the Zenbook 3 series just took the stage with the Zenbook 3, Zenbook 3 Transformer, Zenbook 3 Transformer Pro and lastly the Zenbook Flip.

The base Zenbook 3 comes with some powerful hardware, packing an Intel Core i7 CPU, M.2 1TB SSD, 16GB of RAM in a 910g aerospace aluminum construction allowing the laptop to become lighter and upto 50% duarable, as Asus claims. In the durability department, the took it even futher by utilizing Gorilla Glass 4 and making the hinge more durable to open and close sessions.

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The Zenbook 3 also has double the key travel at 0.8mm compared to the Macbook Pro at 0.4mm, allowing it to have a better typing experience. Not only that, the base Asus Zenbook 3 also supports Windows Hello and has a fingerprint scanner embed into it’s touchpad. Some other features that Asus touted at the event was the super thin design they were able to pull of, weighing in at 910g and 11.7mm in width, this thing was surely light and thin.

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To cool that Core i7, Asus has included a 3mm thin fan with vapor chamber cooling. Not only that, but the fan bearings are made of ceramic allowing the bearing to be lighter and faster.

Next up, Asus showed off The Asus Transformer 3. Packing some excellent power for those on the go, the Transformer 3 Pro goes after Microsoft’s Surface linuep by utilizing a similar design to Microsoft’s Surface series, the Transformer 3 Pro actually showed how much they’ve done to differentiate the Transformer 3 Pro from Microsoft’s Surface lineup.

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The Transformer 3 Pro comes with an Intel Core i7 Processor, 1TB M.2 SSD, 16GB of RAM, Thunderbolt 3 port and an HDMI port. Asus claims, that the Transformer 3 Pro is capable of running dual 4k displays and could bring excellent productivity thanks to their “Asus Pen”. The Asus Transformer 3 Pro is thinner than the Surface Pro 4, measuring in at only 8.35mm

The Asus Transformer 3 is also similar when compared to the “Pro”, though, it’s even thinner. Coming in at 6.9mm, the Transformer packs an unspecified Intel Core 7th Gen processor paired with a 256GB of SSD and 4GB of RAM.


Both these devices come in different variants appealing to different audiences. Asus has revealed the pricing of the Transformer 3/Pro and the Zenbook 3 starting at RM3,199 for the Transformer 3, RM 6,999 for the Transformer 3 Pro and RM7,999 for the Zenbook 3

Conclusion

Asus revealed a heck ton of devices, with the Zenbook 3 and Zenfone 3 making their way to the stage I think Asus has worked hard, not only on the specs but also on the software. However, since they have improved so much, it seems like the pricing of the Zenfone 3 series of smartphones are getting out of reach unless you’re going for the Zenfone 3 Laser or the Zenfone 3 Max.

For the price of RM3,299 for Asus’s highest end smartphone, it sure has tough competition, but on the other hand we should be looking forward to other manufacturers especially who are known for their flagships to release their beasts. Nonetheless, impressive event by Asus Malaysia.

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