I noticed this ZenBook 14 Q407IQ model, which was exclusively available at Best Buy in the US some time ago, and I wanted to tell you about it. Well, this laptop is currently available for $ 549 compared to its normal list price of $ 699, which makes it even more interesting as one of the cheapest Ryzen U models currently available.
With that kind of money, you get a Ryzen 5 4500U + Nvidia MX350 configuration, 8 GB LPDDR4x storage and 256 GB storage, plus a 50 Wh battery and an 80% sRGB matte screen with 300 nits.
In fact, the Q407IQ is pretty much an exclusive best-buy variant of the ZenBook UM433IQ that we tested some time ago and that is commercially available here in Europe.
However, it is cheaper. At $ 549, this is a bargain.
AMD has done a great job with its Ryzen 4000 hardware and offers a faster and more efficient alternative to the widespread Intel Core U platforms of this generation. And even if this only offers the 6Core / 6Thread Ryzen 5 processor and not the 8Core Ryzen 7, it is still fast enough for everyday use and some multitasking or medium-intensive workloads. With almost 1000 points in Cinebenh R15, this is 25-30% faster than with a Core i5-10210U.
Sure, Asus bundles the ZenBook Q407IQ with a SK Hynix SSD with low capacity and medium performance, but you can update it easily. In order to be able to access the internals, the rear wall must be removed. Make sure that there are a few screws behind the rear rubber feet.
However, there is no way to update the RAM, which is a potential deal breaker for this configuration. 8 GB is fine for everyday use, but more demanding loads and heavy multitasking would benefit from 16 GB. Up to you.
The GPU is the 10W efficient implementation of the Nvidia MX350 chip, a much faster track of the MX250 series that was previously included in this type of form factor. We tested the exact same chip on the UM433IQ. This can handle older or casual games with FHD resolution and lower graphics details, but is not the most powerful implementation of this hardware, as the minimalist thermal design limits performance in games and combined CPU + GPU tasks to keep temperatures and noise levels low.
Still, I find this Q407IQ competitive even at a list price of $ 699, not to mention $ 549. And that’s because there is more to consider than just the hardware.
The laptop is pretty well built and looks good. The silver metallic exterior contains most of the required ports you’d expect from a 14 incher (though not a USB-C video or SD card reader), and an IR camera with Hi support at the top of the screen and a pretty good display. It is FHD and matt with more than 300 nits of brightness, 1000: 1 contrast and good color coverage at 80% sRGB. This is by no means surprising, but better than other laptops in this price range.
For comparison: the Acer Swift 3 or the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 both get more washed out sRGB colors under 60%. And if you are wondering if you notice the difference between 60 and 80%, the answer is yes. Almost all colors are distorted and muted on these panels under the age of 60, while they are fine on it, almost naturally, but still not as rich as in an implementation with more than 100 sRGB as you will find in more expensive laptops.
In addition to the screen, Asus has also put a backlit keyboard on this laptop, but the hard-to-read type with silver keys, white writing and white lighting. Below is a reliable and spacious clickpad made of plastic. Inside, a large part is reserved for the 50 Wh battery, so it can be used for 5-7 hours a day and 7-9 hours of video. By the way, this ZenBook doesn’t charge via USB-C, which you get with higher-level devices.
All in all, this ZenBook 14 Q407IQ is an interesting choice, even if it’s not without its quirks, especially for $ 549. This deal may not last long, but it can also reappear at regular intervals. If you miss it this time, I will keep it on your shortlist in the near future.
The biggest deal breaker is still the only 8 GB of non-upgradeable memory. 16 GB would have made this a clear recommendation for school and everyday use. However, if you don’t plan to run demanding applications on your notebook, 8 GB should be enough. Barely. What do you think?