Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review

The Core of the matter

from ₹ 96,990

The new generation of Intel’s chips are here and of course the Asus Zenbook line is one of the first devices to get them. This upgrade from Intel isn’t just a bump up in cores or clock speed or some other stuff like that. This chip has a whole new Neural Processor Unit (two of them) that focuses on boosting up the tasks that are managed by AI. 

Now we know what you’re thinking - ‘My centuries old laptop can run chatGPT on the browser’. Yes, it can but it depends on the cloud doing the work behind the scene. Well instead of letting the cloud handle the heavy lifting, these units do it in house.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Design and build

We have been old fans of the Zenbook lineup thanks to its design, lightweight and robust build. Nothing has changed. If you're the type who likes to travel light, this thing is your spirit animal. At 1.28Kg it is the go-to choice when it comes to portability and convenience. Now there’s not a lot of changes to the design apart from those fancy geometrical  lines on the lid and the classy Asus logo at the bottom. 

But the aluminum shell still is a fingerprint magnet and after a day’s use it looks like you’ve been painting at it with fingers full of butter. The build quality is sturdy and dependable just like a childhood friend who always shows up with a spare tire when you get a flat. Asus has managed to cram in a decent selection of ports despite the svelte design. USB-A on the left, Thunderbolt 4/USB-C twins on the right. On the other side are HDMI 2.1 and a good ol' 3.5mm audio port which we love.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Display and sound

We’ve always maintained that Asus calibrates and churns out some of the best displays we’ve seen on laptops and the OLED here is stunning as well. It’s crisp, bright and has superb contrast. It’s a 550nit display with HDR and the colours are properly vibrant without coming across as harsh and undesirable and the 2880x1800 resolution is razor-sharp. 

The new Zenbook is also available without the touch functionality and considering the highly reflective nature of the display, we’d opt for that because again, the display is prone to a lot of smudges and as a result you end up being a little cautious and avoid touching it in the first place. We haven’t tested this but logically without the touch the battery life should see a slight bump up as well.

When it comes to sound, the Zenbooks little chink in the armour has been persistent. It’s definitely not a great sounding laptop and is pretty average. In fact on higher volumes it gets a bit annoying and harsh and causes listening fatigue.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Keyboard and trackpad

One of the Zenbook’s oldest party tricks has been the trackpad that doubles up as a numberpad. We absolutely love the integration of this system as it makes up room for a much better spread out keyboard that allows you to type at full speed. The trackpad is huge as well and super responsive and the illuminated number pad, although you won’t use it much, is great to use when you need it. 

The keyboard has been passed down from generation to generation and we love that Asus has maintained the ‘if it ain't broke…’ approach here. It’s well spread out and the key response is just what you’d expect - not too spongy and the right amount of springy. The bright backlight is a boon for people (nerdy tech journos) who love typing in dark dungeons and it comes with different levels of illumination as well.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Performance

The Ultra 7 155H chip comes with a total of six performance cores and ten efficiency cores out of which two are especially low powered to handle extremely basic tasks. Intel claims they reduce power consumption by 20-25 percent and are mainly implemented for tasks such as streaming videos, resulting in a total output of around 12-14 hours of Netflix streaming time! Considering it runs an OLED display, that is some serious run time!

We managed to get a full day’s use with a mix of editing, streaming and normal web browsing with a bit of music streaming in the background as well. It handles Photoshop and InDesign extremely well and without any hiccups especially when you put it into the performance mode. Like other Zenbooks, this has a single fan that cools things down but it doesn’t get whiney. 

To test the two Neural Processing units we used Microsoft’s Studio Effect which blurs backgrounds as of now and adds a sort of noise reduction effect to your microphone and it seemed to work just fine. The problem is that it’s a little too early to test this since most of the AI related bits are sent to the cloud anyway, even if you try the Microsoft Copilot stuff baked into some of the apps. It’s like having a 8K display in a world that still is generating content in 1080p if it makes sense.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Verdict

It’s got the lightweight, it’s got the OLED display and it’s got oodles of style and subtle sophistication. The new chip is a stellar performer as well. Add to that a decent battery life and you have quite a workhorse on your hands. Of course, it’s too early to get the full use of those Neural units yet, but the future is AI and if you’ve go the Zenbook you’ve got one foot in the door already.

Stuff Says

The best Zenbook Asus has made so far with a promising future
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Great Display

  1. Great Design

  1. Weight

  1. Performance

  1. Efficiency

  1. Poor speakers

  1. AI units not useful right now