Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review

We were a little disappointed when we reviewed the last generation Asus Vivobook 16X OLED as we felt corners had been cut and that a potentially very good creator laptop could have been significantly better. However, a quick glance of the specs of the latest Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED suggests to us that all of our gripes have been addressed and that this could be one of those laptops that excels at everything you throw at it – whether you’re a worker, multi-media consumer, designer or gamer. How far up your shopping list should it be?

Specs

Screen16-inch, glossy, 120Hz, 3,200 x 2,000, OLED display
Processor4.0-5.6GHz Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU
Memory32GB DDR5-4800 RAM
Graphics8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Hard drive1TB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
2 x Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI 2.1
Gigabit Ethernet
SDcard 4.0 card reader
SpeakersYes
Extra SecurityFingerprint reader
Webcam privacy shutter
Windows Hello (fingerprint & webcam)
TPM 2.0
WebcamFull HD
Battery90Wh
Dimensions355 x 249 x 22mm
Weight2.1KG
SKUK6604JV
Full specs here.

Features, Ergonomics and Design

Asus tells us that the colour of the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is called “0°Black” which makes sense. The whole chassis is matte black with the exception of some minor, glossy detailing on the embossed logo on the lid and some smart-looking colourful flourishes on the keyboard. The latter manifests in the form of the keyboard’s letters being bookended by grey, auxiliary keys plus, a striped design on the Enter key and a high-contrast, orange, Escape key. It’s all very smart. .

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review lid
Be aware that the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

Asus has gone to town on the OLED screen which has a very bright, 3,200 x 2,000 UHD resolution. Naturally, a crisp and clear Windows Desktop is displayed with vibrant colours. Colour performance in multimedia is exceptional and the OLED technology provides true blacks with excellent contrast.

There’s only minor banding in both colourful and monochromatic gradients and Asus includes plenty of professional-grade colour calibration tools so that designers can get everything just so. Creators will also like that it supports 100 per cent of the difficult DCI-P3 colour gamut and those who sit in front of screens for too long will appreciate the that has, “70% less harmful blue light, TÜV Rheinland-certified, SGS Eye Care” technologies. Still, it can turn into a black mirror in dark scenes due to the glossy coating.

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review oblique
The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X has a great OLED screen but, as usual, it’s very reflective.

However, we were pleased to see that the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED has a faster-than-usual 120Hz refresh rate. This marries with a fast pixel response time to keep fast-moving objects looking silky smooth to the point where only competitive FPS players might object. In short, it’s a superb all-round laptop display.

Beneath it is the same keyboard we’ve seen on the previous version. The white-back-lit Scrabble-tile keys are well-weighted and accurate for extended bouts of typing and gaming. There’s a very usable number pad but we don’t like how the arrow keys are half-height. At least they’re isolated and quick to locate, though.

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review keyboard
We like the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED’s keyboard – except for the half-height arrow keys. But that’s a minor niggle. Also see the feint DialPad in the top left of the trackpad.

Beneath it, the trackpad is large and accurate with well-weighted button actions. It also sports a discreet version of Asus’ DialPad which is a dedicated, circular, touch-dial that activates productivity boosting shortcuts in various design and office apps plus, multimedia functions like fast-forward/reverse in multimedia. You activate it by sliding a finger diagonally down from the top right. It takes a little getting used to but once you’ve established your favourite shortcuts and macros, it’s nice to have.

Asus Colour Control
Asus’ “Color Control” options in its ProArt app enable you to calibrate colours on the screen and set your own colour palettes.

Asus doesn’t give the specs of the “Stereo” speakers but notes that they come from harman/kardon, which we view as a positive. They are as good as we hoped and provide well-rounded, punchy audio with good fidelity from top to bottom, with very good bass response and high volume.

Above the screen is the Full HD webcam and microphone array. Asus adds all kinds of software-hardware augmentations to it, as well. These optimise lighting and backgrounds plus audio configuration for individual or multiple web-conferencing participants. Image quality is certainly impressive and grain gets impressively banished in low light. Audio is also captured clearly, even in noisy environments.

MyAsus app Customization screen
The MyAsus app Customization screen lets you tinker with things like noise cancellation, burn-in protection and performance.

We’re pleased to see the orange, manual webcam privacy shutter return. Also note that supporting infra-red cameras make it Windows Hello compatible for facial-recognition log-on. The fingerprint reader, which doubles as the power button on the top right of the keyboard, is also Windows Hello compatible.

All in all, there’s very little wrong with the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED… it’s great to interact with.

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED Review: Photo Flourish

The photos in our Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review are augmented by an M&Ms mini egg.

Performance

Inside the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is Intel’s top-tier 4.0 – 5.6GHz Core i9-13980HX processor which has eight Performance cores and 12 Efficiency cores that operate across 32 threads. That’s a monster in a laptop that’s only 22mm thick, so we hoped that any performance throttling would be minimal. Asus assures more-geeky readers that it can make full use of its 150-Watt TDP power envelope with no issues.

The processor is flanked by a generous 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM plus a fast, 1TB PCIe 4.0 hard drive.

2D Performance

In the PCMark 10 benchmark, which mimics all-round computational prowess, the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED scored an impressive 8,606 which is only bettered by flagship gaming laptops.

In the Cinebench processor-based rendering benchmarks, the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED scored 4,763 in the quick R15 test and 24,718 in the longer R23 test. The latter is again down on what we see from the likes of, say, its Strix SCAR 18 gaming sibling, but the latter is a fair bit lower and suggests there may be some thermal throttling at play when the laptop gets warm. It’s still a very fast score though.

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review lid detail
When the light catches the lid’s logo, it shines.

3D Performance

We’re pleased to see that Asus has opted for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4060 GPU (with 8GB of GDDR 6 RAM) over the 4050s that we often see in creator laptops. That gives it some notable gaming potential in addition to being able to perform considerable 3D rendering.

In the difficult 3DMark ray-tracing tests the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED scored 2,513 (average 25.1fps) in Speed Way and 5,614 (average 26fps) in Port Royal. While the are approaching the 30fps magic number for smooth framerates, you’ll likely need to drop detail settings and resolutions in order to play the most eye-candy-rich games consistently smoothly. But, it will play them.

In the 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme benchmarks which ape AAA-gaming titles, the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED scored 10,623 (average 61.8fps) and 11,728 (average 53fps) which underscores that it can play the latest and greatest games.

Meanwhile, in the easier 3DMark Night Raid benchmark which demonstrates its prowess at playing casual and competitive games, the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED scored 70,668 which is an average framerate of 623fps. So, no issues here.

Cooling

Asus, makes a big deal about the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED’s cooling system which is called, “Asus IceCool Pro.” It boils down to having twin, polymer fans, with 83, shark-fin-shaped ‘IceBlades’ and five heat pipes. In reality it does a very good job of keeping the heat down (on the palm rest) although it can get very warm at the base when under load.

For the most part, it’s very quiet unless you force the fans to maximum (which is a moderate, robust whoosh), but it’s worth noting that they do seem to always be on, even if they only make a quiet, whispering whoosh most of the time.

Connectivity

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review left
On the left of the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is a fast, SDcard 4.0 reader, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port and Gigabit Ethernet.
Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review right
On the right is another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 2.1 and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. This images also shows the maximum extent that the screen reclines.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. In its predecessor, we lamented all the last-gen connectivity choices, but this is all cutting edge. Nice!

Portability and Battery Life

The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED has a MIL-STD 810H certification for toughness and feels very robustly built. The main chassis is solid and has next-to-no creaking when picked up. The stiff lid only flexes a small amount when a twisting force is applied. We expect it to happily survive life on the road or being carted around between home and office(s).

The lid doesn’t quite lie down flat and just note that while the hinge is very solid, the screen can wobble a smidge more than rivals. It’s nowhere near as bad as, say, Asus’ Expertbook B5, though.

At 2.1KG it’s not the lightest laptop but, considering the beefy internals, it’s not particularly heavy. The not-small power brick (and cables) add an additional 736g, though, so it’s also not the lightest combination.

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review underneath
Unfortunately, we returned the Vivobook Pro 16X’s power supply with the wrong laptop. Again. We’ll photograph it when we get it back.

You’ll need to carry the power brick around as the 90Wh battery only ran our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a well-below-average 5 hours 42 minutes. That’s likely down to the fan being almost-always on. It does, however, offer fast-charging to 50 per cent in just 30 minutes, which is impressive and softens the blow.

Price and Availability

The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is available now and has an RRP of $3,399 which makes it very good value indeed and wins it a Great Value Laptop Award. Even better, it can be had in the current sales for $3,098 – but be quick!

3 Alternatives to the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED

It just so happens that we’ve reviewed a couple of great alternative creator laptops recently, both from MSI…

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG A limited edition statement laptop made in partnership with the racing team. It’s awesome and comes with exclusive accessories. But, it’s expensive and has a slow screen.

MSI Stealth 16 Studio The non Mercedes-AMG variant of the Stealth 16 does have a fast screen costs the same as the Asus, has a faster screen, but not all the designer-friendly accoutrements. It’s got much better battery life, though.

Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED Gigabyte’s creator-designated might have a few foibles but its a 14-inch, lightweight ultraportable and costs less.

Conclusion: Should you buy the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED?

It’s incredibly close, but our in-depth scoring system has the MSI Stealth 16 Studio just ahead. That’s largely down to battery life, though. The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is faster and the screen calibration software and DialPad edge it ahead for features. The Asus also runs cooler (on the palm rest if not the base) but both are excellent laptops which, as things stand, will both round out our Top 10 Best Laptop list for December. We heartily recommend it.

Awards

Pros

Very powerful
Great OLED screen
Excellent ergonomics

Cons

Poor battery life
Gets warm at the base
Thin arrow keys

Results

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED Review Scores
  • 2D Performance
  • 3D Performance
  • Features, Ergonomics & Design
  • Stability
  • Portability
  • Value
4.6

Summary

The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is an excellent creator laptop, with some attractive, unique features, that can also be used for gaming.

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