ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

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ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

Today, we’re diving into the sleek and clever ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405M), a ultraportable laptop that may be small in size but packs a powerful punch. Representing a significant leap in design, this laptop is the first to hit the market with the new Intel Core Ultra processors featuring the innovative Meteor Lake architecture, marking a crucial milestone in Intel’s recent history.

Our review focuses on the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED equipped with the Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor. Additionally, the laptop incorporates an integrated Intel Arc GPU, surpassing AMD’s integrated graphics solutions.

Despite its compact form, the Zenbook 14 OLED laptop stands out with a 3K OLED screen featuring a 120 Hz refresh rate. Furthermore, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity enhances the laptop’s versatility, providing high-speed data transfer and support for a variety of peripherals.

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ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED Laptop 14” 2.8K OLED Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 7...
  • 14 inch 2.8K (2880x1800) OLED Touch NanoEdge bezel display
  • Latest AMD Ryzen 7 5825U  Processor (8-core/16-thread, 16MB cache, up to 4.5 GHz max boost) and AMD Radeon...
  • ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED laptop comes with Windows 11 Home
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD with 16GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Extensive connectivity with HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Type-C, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5, and micro...

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405M): Video Review

SpecsASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405)
Screen14.0-inch, 3K (2880 x 1800) OLED 16:10, 0.2ms, 600nits
ProcessorIntel Cor Ultra 7 Processor 155H 1.4 GHz (24MB Cache, up to 4.8 GHz,
16 cores, 22 Threads); Intel AI Boost NPU
GraphicsIntel Arc Integrated Graphics
RAM32GB LPDDR5x on-board Dual-Channel Memory
Storage1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD
ConnectivityWiFi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
CameraFHD IR / 3DNR / ACS camera
OSWindows 11 Home / Pro
AudioBuilt-in array microphone, harman/kardon (Premium)
Battery75WHrs, 2S2P, 4-cell Li-ion battery with 65W AC Adaptor
I/O ports2 x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI 2.1 (TMDS), Audio jack
Touchpad129 x 74 mm ASUS ErgoSense Touchpad
Dimensions312.42 x 220.05 x 14.9 mm
Weight1.28 kg (2.82lbs)

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405M): Design

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M is a sleek and compact laptop that boasts a minimalist design, measuring 31 x 24 x 1.49 cm (L x W x H). With its thin profile, this laptop is geared towards professionals and individuals seeking a portable device for work or personal use. The combination of a dark color scheme and diagonal stripes on the screen cover adds a touch of uniqueness without compromising on its discreet aesthetics.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

Despite its slim form factor, ASUS has managed to incorporate a full USB-A port on the left side of the laptop. The strategic placement of this port, right at the limit of the case’s thickness, maximizes the available space. It’s worth noting that the USB port is of the 3.0 variety, offering a data transfer rate of 5 Gbps, which, while not as fast as USB 3.1 or 3.2, is still sufficient for most users. This side houses the only physical connectivity, providing a clean and uncluttered look.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

On the opposite side, you’ll find the rest of the physical connectivity options, including two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, offering versatile connectivity for various peripherals and external devices. Additionally, there’s a combo minijack for audio input and output, catering to your audio needs, and a full HDMI 2.1 port that complements the USB-A port on the other side.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The laptop’s keyboard is a standout feature, offering a satisfying typing experience with soft keys and a surprising amount of travel and cushioning, especially considering the laptop’s slim profile. The keys are backlit with a white LED system, enhancing visibility in low-light environments. The keyboard is complemented by a well-sized touch trackpad, featuring a numerical area for added convenience.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The 14-inch screen is a highlight, featuring thin bezels all around, thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio. This design choice not only contributes to a more immersive viewing experience but also makes the laptop more compact overall. However, the glossy finish of the screen may pose a challenge in brightly lit environments due to its reflective nature.

Display

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED stands out among its peers by integrating OLED technology into its display. The 14-inch OLED panel boasts an impressive resolution of 2,880 x 1,800 pixels, providing users with a crisp and detailed visual experience. What’s even more noteworthy is the adoption of a 120 Hz refresh rate, a feature traditionally associated with gaming laptops. 

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The glossy coating on the screen, while contributing to the overall aesthetic, poses a challenge in outdoor or brightly lit environments due to reflections. Despite this drawback, the panel’s quality is exceptional, particularly in achieving a spectacular contrast thanks to OLED technology. The ability to produce pure blacks, a characteristic of OLED displays, sets this laptop apart, offering an immersive visual experience.

The screen is advertised with a maximum brightness of 400 nits, with the capability to reach 500 peak nits. In practical tests with 20% of the screen active, measurements indicate a brightness of 343 nits in manual mode. When in HDR mode, the display achieves its highest brightness, reaching an impressive 440 maximum nits. These figures contribute to excellent visibility, and it’s worth noting that such brightness levels are not often required at their maximum setting.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The color coverage of the OLED panel is exceptional, covering the entire DCI-P3, Adobe-RGB, and sRGB color ranges. This broad color spectrum makes the laptop suitable for professional-level design tasks, ensuring accurate and vibrant color reproduction.

Performance

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED, powered by the Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor from the Meteor Lake line, introduces a groundbreaking hybrid architecture featuring P-Cores, E-Cores, and low-energy LP E-Cores integrated into the SoC block itself . The processor is composed of 6 P-Cores, 8 E-Cores, and 2 LP E-Cores, offering a versatile and efficient configuration.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

The P-Cores, with a base frequency of 1.4 GHz, can dynamically scale up to an impressive 4.8 GHz with maximum Boost. The E-Cores, starting at 900 MHz, reach up to 3.8 GHz, while the LP E-Cores, operating at a base frequency of 700 MHz, can achieve a maximum Boost of 2.5 GHz. Despite the nomenclature including an H in the name, it’s crucial not to mistake these processors with the H-series laptop processors known for higher consumption and performance.

The Intel Core Ultra 7-155H stands out with a TDP of 28 W (65W with Boost), positioning itself in Intel’s low-consumption range. Although expectations were high for the Meteor Lake architecture in terms of CPU performance, the real surprise comes from the integrated graphics performance. The Intel Arc with 8 Xe Cores outperforms AMD’s Radeon 780M, establishing itself as the most powerful integrated GPU in the current market.

Despite the exceptional graphics performance, some applications still face compatibility issues with this platform, notably in 4K resolution tests. However, it is hopeful that these compatibility issues will be addressed in future updates.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

Benchmark tests reveal impressive results for the CPU, with Cinebench R20 scores of 689cb on Single Core and 5,459cb on Multi-Core. Cinebench R23 records 1,796pts on Single-Core and 14,067pts on Multi-Core. CPU-Z reports 697.1 points on Single Thread and 7,128.3 points on Multi Thread.

The integrated GPU benchmarks showcase strong performance with 3DMark Time Spy scoring 3,691 points and 3DMark WildLife Extreme scoring 7,035 points.

Cooling

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED, featuring the Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor, excels not only in performance but also in thermal management. 

The underside of the notebook is thoughtfully designed with an array of ventilation ports, strategically placed to facilitate optimal airflow for effective temperature regulation. On the left side, three additional ventilation ports contribute to the overall cooling system, enhancing the laptop’s ability to dissipate heat.

Upon disassembling the notebook, the internal cooling system reveals a singular cooling fan and a dual heat pipe configuration. This design choice helps maintain the laptop’s performance without compromising thermal management.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

Internally, the Core Ultra 7-155H processor reaches temperatures of 97 degrees under load, but despite the elevated temperature, the laptop does not suffer from thermal throttling. 

The highest observed external temperature reaches 39.5°C at the upper-middle section of the keyboard area. While this temperature is warm, it remains within normal levels and does not pose any discomfort to the user during regular use.

Battery life

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED is equipped with a 75 Wh battery, providing users with an impressive amount of power for prolonged usage. To complement this, the laptop comes with a 65W USB-C charger.

In battery life tests, specifically during video playback with energy balanced mode and maximum brightness (without sound), the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED has demonstrated an impressive longevity of approximately 14.28 hours. 

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Ultraportable laptop with powerful potential

In practical, day-to-day usage scenarios involving tasks such as web browsing, office productivity, and multimedia consumption, the laptop has shown a commendable battery life, averaging around 8-9 hours. This makes it well-suited for users on the go, providing a reliable and enduring performance throughout the day without constantly needing to seek a power source.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405M): Conclusion

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED masterfully leverages the capabilities of the Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor and its integrated GPU to strike an excellent balance between performance and price. Notably, the laptop achieves outstanding battery life and operates silently, showing the efficiency of the hardware. All of this is packaged within an impressively thin form factor, featuring a stunning 3K OLED panel with a 120 Hz refresh rate.

Intel has traditionally lagged behind AMD in the realm of integrated graphics, but the Intel Arc with 8 Xe Cores has changed the game entirely. In fact, we can confidently assert that it stands as the most powerful integrated graphics card in the world. This is a significant leap forward for Intel and a boon for users who prioritize graphics performance in ultrabooks.

Sale
ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED Laptop 14” 2.8K OLED Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 7...
  • 14 inch 2.8K (2880x1800) OLED Touch NanoEdge bezel display
  • Latest AMD Ryzen 7 5825U  Processor (8-core/16-thread, 16MB cache, up to 4.5 GHz max boost) and AMD Radeon...
  • ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED laptop comes with Windows 11 Home
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD with 16GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Extensive connectivity with HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Type-C, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5, and micro...

The NPU is a fascinating addition, although its full potential is yet to be realized at the software level. While some applications, including native Windows programs, already support it, there is a need for more software to harness the capabilities of this hardware in a more widespread and user-friendly manner.

The laptop’s physical connectivity is well-considered, making optimal use of available space by including a USB-A port and an HDMI port alongside the two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4.0 support. The keyboard complements the overall user experience with its comfortable touch and responsive key movement.

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M stands out as a complete ultrabook that excels in providing graphic power within a compact format. With a reasonable price tag of 1,499 euros, the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED offers a compelling value proposition.

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