Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review (2024)

Asus’ Zenbooks have been knocking it out of the park in recent times. Their ability to meld great build quality, excellent ergonomics, decent power and great value into a highly portable chassis has been remarkable. Now, here’s the AMD-based Asus Zenbook 14 OLED which, at first glance, looks like it’s going to follow suit. Just how good will it be?

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED Specs

Screen14-inch, glossy, 90Hz, 2,880 x 1,800, OLED, touchscreen display
Processor2-4.5GHz Ryzen 7 7730U CPU
Memory16GB LPDDR4 RAM
Graphics2GHz AMD Radeon (integrated)
Hard drive1TB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
3.5mm audio jack
HDMI 2.1
microSD card reader
SpeakersYes
Extra SecurityFingerprint reader (with Windows Hello)
WebcamFull HD
Battery75Wh
Dimensions314 x 221 x 17mm
Weight1.4KG
SKUUM3402
Full specs here.

Features, Ergonomics and Design

The Zenbook 14 OLED has a ‘Jade Black’ aluminium chassis that’s simultaneously classy and sophisticated in addition to being lightweight and robust. Unlike its 2023 predecessor, the only details are the lid’s minimalist, glossy Zenbook logo and small, metallic lettering that only reveals itself when it catches the light, just so. It’s more than enough to keep it looking smart in a stuffy office and make you feel like you’ve bought something worthy of your investment.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review top view
The Jade Black Zenbook 14 looks very smart.

Screen

Opening it up reveals a bight, glossy, OLED, (responsive) touchscreen with a UHD, 2,880 x 1,800 resolution which displays a very sharp, colourful and clear Windows Desktop. We were very impressed when we ran our multimedia tests as the vibrant colours made all content appear very immersive. It also exhibited perfectly smooth transitions within both colourful and monochromatic gradients and the OLED-generated contrast was sublime: it has true-black dark areas and bright, 550-nit highlights. Display performance was further helped by it being Windows HDR compatible. This helps to smooth-out colour transitions, make highlights shine out of the screen and reveal many extra details in both bright and dark areas.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review front view
The Zenbook 14’s OLED works with Windows HDR to make multimedia look amazing and colour gradients appear super smooth.

On top of all that, it’s Pantone validated and displays 100 per cent of the tricky DCI-P3 colour gamut which designers will like. Asus says it banishes 70 per cent of harmful blue light, to help with eye fatigue, too. It even has a 90Hz refresh rate which isn’t quite gamer friendly but, when married with OLED’s fast pixel response time, means that it can display rapidly-moving graphics noticeably smoother than laptops with slower, standard screens. It can drop down to 60Hz (manually or automatically) to improve battery life when not needed, as well.

The only potential issue is the inherent OLED glossy coating which can turn it into a black mirror when viewing dark content.

Speakers

Asus doesn’t state the specs of the twin speakers inside the Zenbook 14 OLED but they get improbably loud and offer-up brilliant fidelity from top to bottom. There’s even some punchy bass. They’re very impressive. Asus also points out that its ‘Smart Amp’ technology can make the volume 350 per cent louder without distortion. We’re not totally convinced about this but turning it on does add some extra oomph that only just starts to distort when the volume is raised towards maximum. They’re very impressive for a laptop of any size.

Webcam

Above the screen is a Full HD webcam. It provides an excellent image with minimal grain manifesting when in low light. The microphone array (and sound modes within Asus’ management app) ensure that audio is captured crisply and clearly, even in noisy environments so, it’s very good for web-conferencing. However, it’s not Windows Hello compatible for facial-recognition-based log-on, though.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Beneath the screen resides the low-travel, touch-type, Scrabble-tile keyboard which is very comfortable and accurate to type upon for extended periods. It has squished arrow keys (booo!) but they’re isolated at the bottom right and so aren’t too difficult to correctly identify through touch alone (yay!) The power button doubles as a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader for easy log-on.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review keyboard and trackpad
The Zenbook 14 ‘s trackpad doubles as a Number Pad. But note, it’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

The trackpad is smooth and accurate with very nice, low-effort button clicks. It also turns into a responsive number pad with an elongated press of the top right corner and this works very well.

Connectivity and Ports

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review left side view
On the left of the Zenbook 14 is a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port.
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review right side
On the right is a microSD card reader, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one is used for charging), a 3.5mm audio jack and an HDMI 2.1 video-out socket.

Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. That’s a decent, if lop-sided, collection despite the diminutive chassis.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review flat view.
The Zenbook 14 can fold down flat to show other people what’s on the screen.
  • Design, Features and Ergonomics Score: 4.2/5

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED Review: Photo Flourish

The photos in our Zenbook 14 OLED review feature a sour gummy worm.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review oblique view
The treat in our Zenbook 14 review is a sour gummy worm. Note the laptop’s reflective, OLED screen coating too.

Performance

The Zenbook 14 OLED is powered by an AMD Ryzen processor with integrated Radeon graphics. These have impressed us in the past, with their performance and power efficiency, but they’re not nearly as common as we’d like them to be.

The CPU is a 2.0 – 4.5GHz Ryzen 7 7730U processor which has eight cores and uses 16 threads. It’s partnered by 16GB of low-power, LPDDR4 RAM and a speedy, 1TB NVMe hard drive.

2D Performance

In our PCMark 10 benchmark, which tests for general computing prowess, the Zenbook 14 scored a very respectable 6,055 which is a smidge over average for a laptop market that includes massive gaming machines and so, it’s very impressive for an ultraportable.

In the Cinebench rendering tests, it scored 1,838 in the quick R15 test and 9,958 in the longer R23 test. These illustrate that the Zenbook 14 is below average when it comes to rendering and you you’ll have to wait a bit longer for workloads to complete than with more-powerful machines. However, it’s still ahead of many other portable laptops.

  • 2D Performance Score: 2.4/5

3D Performance

The Zenbook 14 is no gaming machine but the integrated, 2GHz Radeon GPU is not a total slouch. It wouldn’t run the difficult, 3DMark ray-tracing tests, Port Royal and Speed Way, though.

In the AAA-game-mimicking 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme tests, it managed 1,487 (an average of 8fps) and 1,668 (average 8fps) respectively. As such, you’ll need to dramatically drop the resolution and detail settings to have any hope of playing these games.

Still, a score of 16,319 (average 85.1fps) in the lesser, 3DMark Night Raid test, which apes casual and competitive games, demonstrates it can play these to some degree. The 90Hz screen will – at least to some extent – keep fast-moving objects looking smoother and less blurry than rivals’ standard screens.

  • 3D Performance Score: 1.3/5

Cooling

The fan inside the Zenbook emits a light whoosh when in Standard mode and a robust whoosh when under load – this gets slightly louder when set to Performance mode. The whole laptop remains slightly warm under general use but doesn’t get uncomfortably hot when working hard. It does warm up a little more when set to Whisper mode, but this turns the fan off completely.

Portability and Battery Life

Asus’ Zenbook 14 OLED’s aluminium chassis is solid, has a US military MIL-STD-810H rating for robustness and should subsequently (easily) survive life on the road. That’s impressive for a laptop that weighs just 1.4KG and is just 17mm thick. The 65-Watt AC adapter (and cables) add another 330g to the mix keeping everything well-below 2KG.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review bottom view.
The Zenbook 14 OLED doesn’t have too many vents, but it doesn’t get too hot.

You might not need to carry the charger (and cables) around much either, because the 75Wh battery ran our PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a very impressive 17 hours and 10 minutes!

It’s currently the fifth most-portable laptop we’ve seen!

  • Portability and Battery Life Score: 4.1/5

Price and Availability

The Zenbook 14 OLED is available now for $2,099. That represents great value to the point where this is one of the most attractive laptops on the market. If other laptops weren’t heavily discounted right now, it would be Number 1 on our Best Laptops list!

  • Value Score: 4.8/5

7 Alternatives to Asus’ Zenbook 14 OLED

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED The Zenbook 14’s stunning, 13-inch sibling is smaller, lighter and has even-better battery life. However, it’s not as powerful and costs substantially more.

HP Elite Dragonfly G4HP’s business-oriented ultraportable is hugely desirable. But, those business features come at a hefty premium.

Dell XPS 13 Dell’s classic is a worthy rival and costs more-or-less depending on the spec you choose. However, it’s lacking in ports and the screen isn’t nearly as good.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 Microsoft’s convertible laptop is also a great tablet. But, it’s much more expensive, is less powerful and has weaker ergonomics.

Lenovo Yoga 7i This 16-inch rival has lots to like. It’s bigger and subsequently costs a bit more, but it’s well worth a look if you need a larger screen.

Asus Vivobook S 14 This cousin of the Zenbook doesn’t quite match its quality, but it’s crazy cheap and great for those on a tight budget.

Lenovo Yoga Pro 7i Another winner from Lenovo comes in at the same price and swaps out some portability for extra 3D performance.

Conclusion: Should you buy the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED?

For many people, the answer will be yes. On an even playing field, without all the current laptop sales, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED actually registers as our new Number 1 laptop which is enough to win it our Best Laptop award! Our only gripe is that it’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

There are other tempting alternatives in the sales but, all in all, the Zenbook 14 OLED is in our Top 10 for a very good reason.

Do you agree? Discuss this review in the comments below or on our subreddit.

Pros

Great OLED screen with HDR
Lightweight and well built
Impressive ergonomics
Long battery life

Cons

Fingerprint magnet

Awards

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