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Asus Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Assessment


The Zenbook 14 OLED is Asus’ premium skinny and lightweight laptop computer. With me right here at this time is the UX3402ZA, which is the up to date 2022 mannequin with an Intel twelfth Gen processor.

The Zenbook 14 OLED is designed primarily to be an on a regular basis laptop computer with a give attention to aesthetics, portability, and media consumption. It sits between the extra reasonably priced Vivobook fashions and the extra premium ProArt fashions for artistic professionals.

The mannequin I’ve right here options the Intel Core i7-1260P, meant for skinny and lightweight ultrabooks with some give attention to efficiency. Different options embody a 90Hz 1800p OLED show, 16GB reminiscence, as much as 1TB NVMe storage, twin Thunderbolt connectivity, and a 75Wh battery.

Design

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a clear and minimal aesthetic. The again of the show has a big Asus emblem etched into it, which is simply seen from sure angles. The underside cowl can also be comparatively empty apart from a skinny strip of vents.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The show has a standard hinge mechanism however the backside fringe of the show is designed to elevate the bottom barely for higher air consumption. The hinge permits the show to open full 180-degrees and lie flat.

The Zenbook 14 OLED has an aluminum physique. The one bits of plastic are across the show and the hinge. The aluminum has a soft-touch matte end that’s sadly very troublesome to maintain clear. Inside moments of touching it, all the floor will get coated by very apparent smudges.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The construct high quality was subpar. There was an audible creaking each time I picked up the machine. Since this isn’t a retail unit and had been utilized by others earlier than me, it might be that the problem was restricted to this specific unit.

One other subject I had with the design was the best way the show opened. The divot made within the base is just too small to supply sufficient of a lip to elevate the show, and your fingers hold slipping on the sting of the display as you wrestle to pry it aside. As soon as lifted, the show could be opened with one finger with out lifting the bottom with it.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The Zenbook 14 OLED is available in two colours, a greenish Aqua Caledon and the blueish Ponder Blue I’ve right here. Each shades are relatively subdued, with Aqua Caledon wanting extra silver and Ponder Blue wanting extra black. I might suggest going with the previous because the darker blue mannequin would present smudges extra readily.

Show

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a 14-inch, 2880×1800 decision, 90Hz OLED show. The show helps 10-bit colour and HDR10 content material.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

As with most OLED panels, the Zenbook 14 OLED show has an extremely extensive colour gamut, with full protection of the sRGB and DCI-P3 colour areas, and 97% Adobe RGB protection.

Out of the field, the show is ready to a extra vibrant colour profile with a cool colour temperature. By the MyASUS software program, the consumer can change the show to sRGB, DCI-P3, or Show-P3 colour areas, together with adjusting a number of different settings.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Whereas these profiles could be useful, they weren’t color-accurate in my testing. The sRGB profile, for instance, had a cooler white level with undersaturated greens and reds. Related inaccuracies had been seen within the different profiles as properly. The profiles are good for clamping the gamut to a specific colour area with out doing a full calibration however if you’re desiring to carry out any color-sensitive work then it’s extremely beneficial that you simply do a full {hardware} calibration.

Fortuitously, the panel on the Zenbook 14 OLED is superb, so it responds properly to calibration and you may obtain wonderful outcomes with it. Being an OLED panel, you additionally get the benefit of an infinite distinction, with completely deep blacks. The added distinction provides depth and dimensionality to the picture that’s troublesome to explain however simple to see, even on this comparatively small panel.

The viewing angles are first rate. OLED panels haven’t got luminance shifts when considered off-angle however there’s a seen change in colour temperature, with off-angles wanting a lot cooler than head-on. It is not a serious subject however one thing to remember whereas doing color-sensitive work.

The 90Hz refresh fee gives a comparatively modest enhance in fluidity over 60Hz however is appreciated nonetheless. Being an OLED panel, the show has distinctive response occasions, which by the way tends to magnify movement readability and may make decrease refresh charges look extra stark in comparison with an LCD.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Asus units the show to 60Hz out of the field, which some customers could not understand. Additionally, you will have to enter the Intel Graphics Command Heart to vary the bit-depth from 8-bit to 10-bit.

A significant trigger for concern with OLED panels is picture retention and burn-in, particularly on displays that are inclined to have numerous static parts similar to window chrome and taskbars. Fortuitously, the newer technology of OLED panels is significantly better on this regard.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

On the Zenbook 14 OLED, I did not discover any picture retention from issues just like the taskbar, even after being on the display all day. Software home windows additionally depart no traces after they have been minimized. Conserving a vibrant 10% window in HDR and following it with a grey display additionally did not present any retention.

That is not to say retention and burn-in are inconceivable on this show. Even with enabling the OLED burn-in prevention options in MyASUS app, you should still find yourself with some burn-in just a few years down the road. Because the consumer, using just a few further methods, similar to setting the taskbar to cover robotically, altering window positions, maintaining a stricter show off timer, enabling a screensaver, and utilizing decrease brightness might help lengthen the inevitable.

The MyASUS app has a Goal mode characteristic that’s designed to dim components of the desktop that aren’t the energetic window. For some motive, it will dim all the desktop even when the desktop was the main focus and there was no manner for it to cease doing that aside from turning the characteristic off, so it did not see a lot use.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The HDR efficiency on the Zenbook 14 OLED show is phenomenal. Whereas the show can solely hit about 330nits in SDR, it could possibly go as much as 600 nits in HDR. Sadly, HDR playback is not fairly plug-n-play, as you do first have to allow it by Home windows settings and likewise calibrate it, because the default peak luminance causes the display to overexpose and exhausting clip highlights.

Nevertheless, as soon as the height luminance is dialed again a bit, HDR content material appeared unbelievable on the show. Nevertheless, there was as soon as once more a little bit of a snag; I used to be solely capable of play HDR content material regionally and on YouTube. Netflix refused to play HDR in Edge in addition to within the Netflix app.

The show on this specific mannequin will not be a touchscreen, which looks like a missed alternative. There’s, nevertheless, a model with a touchscreen accessible, that has a barely decrease 550 nits of brightness.

Lastly, being a shiny panel, reflections and glare is a matter. The panel may be very reflective and could be exhausting to see in vibrant environments, even when the show itself is fairly vibrant.

Total, the Zenbook 14 OLED has a superb high quality show and is without doubt one of the highlights of the machine.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a regular TKL structure with every key having a definite, chiclet-style design. The highest row is assigned shortcuts by default however you’ll be able to entry the operate keys by urgent the Fn key under. You can too swap the row completely to operate keys after which press Fn to entry the shortcuts.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Additionally within the prime row is the facility button, which has a capacitive fingerprint sensor built-in. The fingerprint sensor is not tremendous quick however does work reliably. Within the backside proper nook, Asus has used an inverted T-shaped structure for the arrow keys, which makes them a lot simpler to inform by contact whereas navigating.

The keyboard is comfy to kind on with good spacing and first rate tactile suggestions. Most keys are the place you anticipate them to be so there’s a little or no studying curve right here. The keyboard can also be backlit and the brightness could be adjusted in three steps. The backlight is even and legible at midnight. Nevertheless, the seen LEDs on some keys do not look very good.

Annoyingly, you can’t have the keyboard gentle keep on always, because it robotically turns itself off after just a few seconds of inactivity.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The trackpad under is spacious with a comparatively easy floor that is not too grippy. It is comfy to make use of and all of the gestures work reliably. In fact, the celebration trick right here is the Asus Numberpad characteristic, which initiatives the numeric keypad, permitting you to shortly kind in some numbers with no need a separate numeric keyboard. This operate could be toggled with the button within the prime proper nook of the trackpad.

Audio system and webcam

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a pair of bottom-firing audio system on both facet. By themselves, the audio system sound terrible and are additionally not significantly loud.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Fortunately, the pre-installed and activated Dolby Atmos app involves the rescue and considerably improves the speaker high quality, to the purpose the place they really sound pretty first rate, no less than for issues like watching YouTube movies. I might nonetheless suggest utilizing headphones every time doable.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The Zenbook 14 OLED additionally has a 720p webcam. The picture high quality is not superb and the low decision hurts the picture additional. Furthermore, the webcam does not assist Home windows Hiya, so you’ll be able to solely use the fingerprint sensor.

Connectivity

The Zenbook 14 OLED has most of its ports on the suitable facet. Right here, one can find a full-size HDMI 2.0b port, a headphone jack, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and a microSD slot. On the left is a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The Thunderbolt 4 ports additionally double because the charging port for the pocket book, so it is unlucky that each of them are on the identical facet as you might be restricted to charging from one facet solely. Additionally, since one among them will get reserved for charging, you might be successfully left with only one USB-C port.

The USB-C ports are additionally very shut to one another and likewise the headphone jack, and do get a bit in one another’s manner. A full-size SD slot would have additionally been preferable, as the one units utilizing microSD today are motion cameras and drones.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Except for the wired choices, you additionally get dual-band Wi-Fi 6 in addition to Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.

Software program

The Zenbook 14 OLED comes with Home windows 11 Professional out of the field. I’ve come to essentially dislike this model of Home windows. It is stuffed with bugs and unhealthy design concepts with many options that both work worse or do not work in any respect in comparison with Home windows 10. No quantity of phrases can convey my disappointment with this launch and the way a lot of a downgrade it’s from Home windows 10.

If this was operating AMD Ryzen or an older Intel technology of CPUs, I would suggest putting in Home windows 10 and by no means wanting again. Sadly, whereas Home windows 11 is optimized for the hybrid structure of Intel’s twelfth Gen processors, Home windows 10 will not be, which might trigger some points in sure purposes and video games. It is an unlucky scenario, which suggests you might be caught coping with Microsoft’s incompetence and stubbornness for the foreseeable future.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

For its half, Asus has stored the Zenbook 14 OLED comparatively freed from bloatware, with the one offending piece of software program being McAfee anti-virus. There are additionally a few Asus apps, together with GlideX, which is a paid app that allows you to use a smartphone or pill as a second display. Every part else is definitely simply the junk Microsoft forces into each recent set up of Home windows.

No matter the place it comes from, it could possibly all be eliminated with relative ease. The one annoyance is that a few of it may be faraway from the brand new Settings display whereas others solely from the outdated Management Panel, however that’s as soon as once more a problem with Home windows 11, not the Zenbook 14 OLED per se.

One piece of software program that it is best to positively hold put in is the MyASUS app, which will get its personal devoted shortcut on the keyboard. By this app, you’ll be able to management the battery charging settings, fan profiles, OLED pixel refresh settings, show colour profiles, and webcam and microphone settings. You can too replace the drivers in your machine and take a look at the promotional gives Asus has accessible on varied software program and companies. It is moderately well-designed and simple to make use of.

Efficiency

My overview unit of the Zenbook 14 OLED got here with an Intel Core i7-1260P. It has 4 P-cores and eight E-cores, which leads to a complete of 16 threads. The P-cores/E-cores have 2.1GHz/1.5GHz base clocks and may enhance as much as 4.7GHz/3.4GHz. The bottom energy is 28W however can enhance as much as 64W.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Additionally included is the Intel Xe built-in graphics, which is the one GPU on this machine. It has a max frequency of 1.4GHz.

The MyASUS utility enables you to modify the fan profile, which in flip additionally adjusts the efficiency of the machine. There are three modes: Efficiency, Normal, and Whisper.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The Efficiency mode has the fan spinning at its quickest. It spins up faster beneath load and likewise extra often and may get pretty loud. The Normal mode spins the fan a bit slower and it additionally ramps up extra step by step. Underneath load, nevertheless, it sounds virtually as loud as in Efficiency mode.

By way of clock velocity, there is no such thing as a main distinction between these two modes. Whereas the aforementioned enhance clock speeds are achievable beneath fast bursts, the CPU spends most of its time at a lot decrease speeds beneath prolonged load, particularly round 2.5GHz for the P-cores and a pair of.2GHz for the E-cores. This is identical for the Efficiency and the Normal mode.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The Whisper mode begins out the identical however after a quick interval drops down clocks to 1.5GHz on the P-cores and 1.2GHz on the E-cores. This 40% discount in clock speeds ends in a couple of 35% discount in efficiency.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

For that loss, Whisper mode is just about precisely what it says on the tin. The fan is barely audible except you might be in a particularly quiet surroundings and by no means ramps up regardless of how a lot load the system is beneath. If issues get too sizzling it simply retains clocking the system right down to hold issues quiet.

When left to run within the Efficiency mode, the 1260P performs properly. The excessive thread rely is useful for multi-threaded purposes like Cinebench and Blender, which spawn one tile for every thread rely. The excessive IPC efficiency of Alder Lake additionally advantages single-threaded duties.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Media encoding and decoding efficiency was first rate however not fairly at workstation ranges. Trying to decode 4K ProRes 422HQ in DaVinci Resolve supplied good outcomes, with good timeline efficiency even with colour grade and some edits utilized. This, nevertheless, was solely true for 24p and 30p content material. 4K 60p movies in ProRes weren’t dealt with properly. Equally, BlackMagic RAW efficiency was effective for 4K at decrease body charges however shortly fell aside at 6K or larger body charges. You additionally run out of the 16GB reminiscence shortly for bigger initiatives.

In case you are simply engaged on small initiatives with much less demanding codecs and resolutions, the transcoding efficiency right here needs to be ample for infrequent use. For bigger workloads, you need to be a workstation laptop computer or a desktop.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The storage efficiency is superb. The included 512GB Samsung 980 Professional PCIe 4.0 SSD performs very properly, producing robust learn/write outcomes.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

Gaming efficiency is understandably lackluster. The built-in Xe graphics is just too weak to run most up-to-date AAA titles at 1080p 30fps even at their lowest settings. One of the best you are able to do may be very outdated 3D video games, some aggressive multiplayer titles, and 2D video games.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The thermal answer feels a bit insufficient at occasions contemplating how sizzling Intel’s twelfth Gen chips can get. The 1260P often slams towards its 100°C thermal restrict even with much less demanding purposes, which ultimately causes it to throttle down if the ambient temperature is just too excessive. The only fan with a small warmth sink has to work too exhausting and may typically get a bit loud because of this, except it is within the Whisper mode.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The again of the laptop computer additionally tends to get extraordinarily sizzling beneath load, which isn’t bearable for precise lap-top use. Fortuitously, the realm across the keyboard and trackpad stays at a snug temperature so when you’re utilizing the machine on a desk, you do not really feel an excessive amount of of the warmth.

Total, the Zenbook 14 OLED gives good efficiency for on a regular basis use for a skinny and lightweight machine. Nevertheless, gaming efficiency is mainly non-existent and the machine can get fairly sizzling beneath load.

Battery

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a 75Wh battery. The laptop computer comes with a 65W USB-PD charger that claims to cost the battery to 60% in 49 minutes.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

In mixed-use consisting of net shopping, doc enhancing, and video playback with the show set to 90Hz and 250 nits brightness and efficiency set to the Normal/Balanced mode, the Zenbook 14 OLED supplied round 5-6 hours of battery life. This might be improved additional by utilizing the Whisper profile, lowering the brightness, and maintaining the show to its default 60Hz mode. Nonetheless, the general battery life is underwhelming.

Sadly, as good because the OLED show is, it could possibly eat way more energy than a typical LCD, particularly at larger refresh charges whereas viewing predominantly vibrant content material. Issues like paperwork and net pages can find yourself being way more power-hungry on an OLED than on an LCD.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA Review

The MyASUS app has choices to let you choose how a lot of the battery you wish to cost. You’ll be able to select from 100%, 80%, or 60%, and the decrease the determine the longer the theoretical lifespan of the battery can be. It is a good possibility, particularly for individuals who do not essentially use their notebooks outdoors that a lot.

Conclusion

The Zenbook 14 OLED is an efficient skinny and lightweight laptop computer. The crown jewel is the OLED show, which seems to be gorgeous. Except for that, the efficiency is sweet for workplace, faculty, and occasional media creation use, the keyboard is comfy, the trackpad works properly, and has the cool quantity pad built-in when wanted. Home windows 11 is what it’s however the software program in any other case is comparatively clear and the Asus apps that come bundled are well-designed and helpful.

On the draw back, the Core i7-1260P tends to run sizzling and the Zenbook 14 OLED’s cooling cannot at all times sustain. The port structure is a bit awkward and the webcam high quality is mediocre. The battery life can also be underwhelming.

The Zenbook 14 OLED begins at round $1000 for the Core i5 mannequin, though the Core i7 variant examined right here is about $1300. I believe the i5 mannequin could be a very good candy spot and may alleviate a number of the points with the cooling and battery life. It is a fantastic possibility and one I might suggest for many customers. The i7 mannequin makes much less sense to me and when you should have a robust pocket book then a skinny and lightweight is probably not the suitable type issue for you.

Execs

  • Nice OLED show
  • Comfy keyboard
  • Good trackpad with intelligent built-in quantity pad
  • Good efficiency from the i7-1260P

Cons

  • Restricted ports with awkward location
  • Mediocre webcam
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • i7 mannequin runs sizzling

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