The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED (2023), an updated addition to the Zenbook series, brings a compelling mix of performance, affordability, and contemporary features to the table. Building on the success of its predecessors, this ultrabook caters to a diverse audience, including office workers, multimedia enthusiasts, and even casual gamers who seek both personal and professional utility.
Under the hood, the Zenbook 15 OLED is powered by an AMD Ryzen processor, marked by the UM3504 reference. ASUS consistently employs a naming convention, with Intel-based models sporting the UX prefix. This AMD chip embodies the latest technology trends of 2023, offering a harmonious blend of performance and energy efficiency. It’s worth noting that this model carries all the hallmarks of a modern laptop, including a responsive OLED screen, a webcam compatible with Windows Hello for secure logins, and fast-charging capabilities. These features ensure that users can seamlessly adapt to the current digital landscape.
The base configuration of the ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED is equipped with 16 GB of memory and a 512 GB SSD, all bundled at a competitive price point of €999. For those requiring more memory, a 32 GB RAM variant is available for €1,349. Furthermore, for users who need ample storage capacity, a premium option offers 32 GB of memory paired with a capacious 1 TB SSD for €1,499.
Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023): Video Review
|ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED (UM3504)
|15.6in 16:9 2.8K (2880 x 1620) 120Hz OLED
|AMD Ryzen 7 7735U
|32GB LPDDR5 6400 MHz
|1TB SSD PCIe 4.0 x4
|Windows 11 Home
|Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
|2 x Type-C USB with USB4, USB 3.2 (Gen 1),
|1 x Type-A USB 3.2 (Gen 1), HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio jack
|35.48 x 22.66 x 1.49 cm (13.97" x 8.92" x 0.59")
|1.40 kg (3.09 lbs)
|US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard
Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023): Design
The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED UM3504 is a premium ultrabook that boasts an exquisite build. Crafted entirely from aluminum, this laptop not only exudes a sense of elegance but also offers remarkable portability, weighing in at a mere 1.4 kg despite its generous 15.6-inch display. In comparison to its 16-inch contemporaries, which typically tip the scales at a minimum of 1.6 kg, the Zenbook 15 OLED stands out for its lightweight design.
Adding to its allure, this ultrabook maintains a slim profile with a thickness of just 1.5 cm. While it might not quite match the razor-thin dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, which measures a mere 1.3 cm, the Zenbook’s compact form remains impressive. ASUS offers this laptop in two sophisticated color options: a striking blue and a timeless silver.
One of the standout features of the Zenbook is its keyboard. It not only offers a pleasant typing experience with backlighting but also incorporates a numeric keypad—an invaluable addition for users who frequently need to input numerical values. Additionally, the keyboard includes dedicated keys for muting the microphone and disabling the webcam. Notably, ASUS has opted for this approach instead of a manual shutter, which some users may find more reassuring, especially in terms of privacy.
In lieu of a fingerprint reader, the ultrabook relies on its infrared webcam for facial recognition, enabling seamless and secure access to Windows. Furthermore, this webcam, like many modern laptops, supports Full HD (1080p) resolution, providing improved video quality for virtual meetings and video calls when compared to the more common 720p resolution.
In terms of connectivity, the Zenbook 15 OLED offers a standard set of ports. You’ll find two USB-C ports, a single USB-A port, an HDMI video output, and the indispensable 3.5 mm audio jack. However, it does lack an Ethernet socket and a microSD memory card reader, which may be a slight drawback for some users.
Completing the package is a generously sized touchpad, ensuring precise and effortless navigation, enhancing the overall user experience.
The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED (2023) is a visual delight, thanks to its 15.6-inch OLED panel, designed to deliver stunning colors and perfect blacks. This display technology makes it an ideal choice for tasks such as viewing photos or streaming video, where color accuracy and contrast are crucial.
However, one minor drawback is the reflective coating on the screen, which can be noticeable, particularly in very dark areas of images and under bright lighting conditions. While it doesn’t significantly hinder overall performance, it’s something to be aware of, especially if you often use the laptop in brightly lit environments.
The display resolution of the Zenbook 15 OLED is noteworthy. It supports a 2.8K resolution, specifically 2880 x 1620 pixels, in a 16:9 aspect ratio. This level of detail is well-suited for a screen of this size, providing sharper images than Full HD while maintaining better readability than a 4K panel, which can sometimes make text and icons appear too small.
Moreover, the display offers a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. While this is a commendable feature, the difference between 90 Hz and 120 Hz may not be readily noticeable to most users, especially considering that the Zenbook 15 OLED isn’t configured for gaming at ultra-high frame rates. The higher refresh rate primarily benefits activities like smooth screen scrolling during web browsing or using social media. The laptop also includes a dynamic mode in the MyAsus application, allowing it to automatically switch to 60 Hz when unplugged from the power adapter to save energy.
As for brightness, ASUS advertises a maximum of 400 nits, with a peak HDR brightness of 550 nits. These levels ensure excellent visibility even in well-lit environments, making the laptop suitable for outdoor use as well as indoor tasks.
The Zenbook 15 OLED offers various display profiles, such as Vivid/SDR mode. However, these modes don’t necessarily provide significant advantages, except for more vibrant colors, which may not be ideal for color-critical work due to a measured Delta E slightly above 3. Users can choose the display mode that aligns with their preferences, whether it’s for realistic color accuracy or more eye-catching visuals, making it versatile for different use cases.
The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED (2023) is a laptop that combines power and efficiency, driven by the AMD Ryzen 7 7735U processor. With its 8 cores and 16 threads, this processor operates at clock speeds ranging from 2.7 to 4.75 GHz. What makes this choice particularly apt for an ultrabook is its thermal design power (TDP) limited to a modest 28 watts. This careful balance between core count, clock speed, and TDP ensures that the Zenbook 15 OLED delivers strong performance without compromising on energy efficiency.
In addition to the powerful processor, this laptop is equipped with 32GB LPDDR5 RAM and 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, making it well-equipped for multitasking and providing fast data access.
To manage graphics tasks, the Ryzen 7 7735U incorporates the Radeon 680M chip. This combination of CPU and GPU ensures that the Zenbook 15 OLED handles office and multimedia tasks with ease. It even demonstrates a degree of gaming capability, as evidenced by its smooth performance in games like GTA V, even if played on lower settings. While it’s not a dedicated gaming laptop, the Zenbook 15 OLED can provide a decent gaming experience for less demanding titles, showcasing its versatility beyond everyday computing tasks.
When it comes to benchmark performance, the Zenbook 15 OLED shines in various scenarios. It may not match its Intel-powered counterpart, the Zenbook 14X OLED, in a benchmark like Geekbench 6 when it comes to multi-core performance. However, in real-world tasks simulated by PC Mark 10, it surpasses its counterpart, showcasing its efficiency in practical usage scenarios.
Furthermore, in the 3D Mark Night Raid graphics test, the Zenbook 15 OLED outperforms the Zenbook 14X OLED, achieving an average score of 22560 compared to the latter’s 14151. This result highlights its capability to handle graphical tasks effectively.
The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED (2023) is equipped with a reasonably sized 67 Wh battery, which provides a good balance between portability and endurance. However, when compared to some of its competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 and the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i, which offer larger batteries at 76 Wh and 75 Wh respectively, the Zenbook’s battery capacity falls slightly short.
In testing, with a display refresh rate of 60 Hz and a screen brightness set at 200 nits (75% of Windows’ maximum brightness), the Zenbook 15 OLED managed to run for just under 9 hours, specifically 8 hours and 51 minutes, in the Modern Office autonomy test as measured by the PC Mark application. While this result is quite satisfactory, it’s important to note that ultrabook-type laptops are traditionally expected to endure for at least 10 hours in such office and multimedia usage scenarios to comfortably last through a busy day.
The battery life for video streaming is also in a similar range. Playing a two-hour movie over Wi-Fi reduced the battery charge by 23%, providing a total runtime of approximately 8 hours and 41 minutes. This performance is acceptable, but it doesn’t quite reach the desired 10 to 13 hours of autonomy.
To keep you powered up on the go, the ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED comes with a 65 W USB-C charger. This charger offers quick replenishment, capable of charging the battery to 46% in just half an hour and reaching 75% charge after one hour.
Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023): Conclusion
The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED is a versatile and well-rounded laptop that brings several compelling features to the table.
The pros of the Zenbook 15 OLED include its compact form factor, making it highly portable for users on the move, and it’s good overall performance, suitable for daily tasks, multimedia consumption, and even light gaming. The OLED display delivers stunning visuals with vibrant colors and deep blacks, offering an exceptional viewing experience.
Other notable advantages include the high refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, which ensures smooth and responsive visuals, and the inclusion of a 1080p infrared webcam for secure and high-quality video calls. The addition of a numeric keypad on the keyboard enhances productivity, especially for users who work with numerical data.
However, the laptop does have some downsides, such as its correct but not exceptional battery life, which may require occasional recharging during intensive use. Additionally, the connectivity options, while functional, may feel somewhat limited for users who rely on legacy peripherals or require Thunderbolt 4 support.
In summary, the ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED is a well-balanced laptop that excels in many aspects, providing an excellent combination of performance, display quality, and portability. While it may not be without its minor limitations, it offers a compelling package for users seeking a versatile and stylish laptop for a variety of tasks, from work to entertainment.