First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom

First Look: Venom Zero 14 Phantom

We recently unboxed the Venom Zero 14 Phantom and have since been testing it to bits. While we prepare the full review, we thought we’d start off with a First Look at this new ultraportable and see if we can garner why Venom is confident enough to sell it with a three-year warranty and an eWaste-busting, guaranteed, $500 trade-in after [checks notes] seven years! Is this the business ultraportable laptop that will tempt your organisation to switch?

Design and Build Quality

The Venom Zero 14 Phantom is from the Metallica, Spinal Tap and Space Odyssey school of design in that it can be none more black… save for the understated, grey, cobra moniker printed on the front. It looks cool but not un-office friendly.

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom oblique studio
The Venom Zero 14 Phantom is made from a magnesium alloy that’s 30 per cent lighter than aluminium.

The magnesium-alloy chassis and hinge feels very robust and you can see why Venom will want it back to refurbish several years down the line – it would be quasi-criminal to chuck it away like so many, quasi-disposable laptops after the standard, two-to-four year lifespan. Unless it’s mistreated, it should last two-to-three times longer than these ‘consumable’ laptops which should boost the ROI of buying one, considerably. For businesses, the sturdiness and reliability should provide additional piece of mind that it can keep that important data – which is worth more the laptop – safe and sound.

Features and Ergonomics

Opening it up reveals a UHD, 2,880 x 1,800 14-inch, IPS screen. It’s a low-powered unit but we had to be told that as the multimedia quality was not inhibited like we’ve seen on rivals like the Dell XPS 13 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 9. The Windows Desktop is bright, sharp and crisp, office documents are super clear and videos look colourful, vibrant and good. It’s got a matte finish which is important for businesses as reflections can prove fatiguing and impact upon productivity.

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom front view
The Venom Zero 14 Phantom’s screen has a fine-but-readable, UHD resolution.

Above it is a Full HD webcam with an IR partner module for facial-recognition-based, Windows Hello login. It’s partnered by a microphone array that does well in the web-conferences and interviews we’ve used it with.

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom keyboard
The spot at the top left of the trackpad can disable it when tapped-on twice.

The low-travel, touch-type, Scrabble-Tile keyboard beneath the screen is very comfortable and accurate to type upon for extended periods. It’s also white-back-lit to two adjustable brightness levels. The trackpad beneath it is large and accurate and the buttons are well-weighted and quiet when clicked. There’s a small white LED in the top left corner that, if you tap it twice, disables it.

Connectivity and Ports

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom left
This is how far the screen can open.

On both the left and the right sides are Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Also, on the left is an SD card slot while on the right is an HDMI port – something that’s particularly important for business ultraportable owners who frequently need to connect to monitors and projectors when visiting different locations. Inside, there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom right
Not having an HDMI port often foxes business users. And, who likes carrying dongles around?

Performance

Many ultraportables this size use Intel’s low-powered processors but the Venom Zero 14 Phantom uses a 13th-Gen Intel i7-1360P processor with four Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores that run from 3.7 – 5GHz across 16 threads. That’s pretty beefy for a laptop this slight. We found that it took all office tasks and all the photo editing tasks that we threw at it, in its stride.

Venom also likes to heap-on the RAM saying that a minimum 32GB is what businesses need with multiple Chrome tabs and Microsoft Teams devouring all memory in their path. Our model actually came with 64GB. You’ll be able to choose your desired amount using Venom’s online configurator.

There’s also a quick, 1TB, NVMe hard drive and this too is configurable with the configurator.

Portability and Battery Life

Inside the Venom Zero 14 Phantom is a maximum-sized, 99.9Wh battery which is something we’d normally expect to see in a monster gaming laptop. Venom also tells us that, if treated well, it should last significantly longer – in terms of years – than other ultraportables which lose their capacity – potentially dramatically – after just a couple of years.

First Look Venom Zero 14 Phantom underside
You get two chargers with the Venom Zero 14 Phantom.

It’s worth mentioning that Venom supplies its business laptops with two chargers which many people will approve of having had recent experience of using their laptops at both home and the office: the alternative is suffering from unsightly, easily accessible wires on a desk every day; tidily hiding everything away again whenever you move location; and leaving the charger where it is and then taking it home and regretting it later and having to act all sweet to your husband to drive to the office to get it and you’re really sorry and this will definitely be the last time it happens and…

Oh, and it only weighs 1.2KG. So, there’s that 😊

Potential

Our first impressions are very good and the early benchmarks are highly promising. Hopefully, this Aussie-based, internationally available laptop will prove to be another winner and many businesses will buy, not just a great laptop, but into Venom’s anti-eWaste ethos and credentials (which companies can then add to their own).

Related: Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom review
Related: Venom BlackBook Zero 15 Phantom review

Leave a Reply