ASUS ZenBook OLED 13 (UX325) – Treat your eyes to stunning visuals
What do you get when you combine an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with support of up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs, WiFi 6 connectivity, A 1080p OLED Nano Edge display that’s also 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and PANTONE® Validated, as well as Thunderbolt 4, standard HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, along with a Micro-SD card reader, up to 13 hours of battery life, fast charging that can go from 2% to 60% in under 49 minutes. All in a chassis made of lightweight, diamond-cut aluminum alloy that comes in at just 1.14kg or 2.4 pounds and has a side profile of 13.9mm?
Well, you get the ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED. A newly introduced 13 inch premium laptop offering from ASUS and It’s a fantastic piece of hardware.
The unboxing experience is typical of ASUS laptops. On opening the box the laptop is raised like its being presented to you, further in the box, we have a Quick start guide, an ASUS service offering pamphlet and a user guide. The right compartments houses the 65w USB C charging brick, a power cable and a USB C to 3.5m earphone adapter. In the upper cover of the box, there’s a nice feeling laptop carry case that’s made of premium feeling materials.
BUILD AND DESIGN
Looking at the build and design, you just have to give it to ASUS here, they made great looking and feeling laptops. From the ZenBook flip, to the ZenBook Duo and also the ZenBook 14, build quality across all these devices are stellar and it’s no different here. The ZenBook 13 OLED is built with diamond cut aluminium or aluminum for the Americans with military grade durability. Picking this laptop, you can instantly tell that this is a premium piece of machining. Although it’s very light at 1.14 kg, it’s incredibly solid and has no flex whatsoever. This goes round the whole laptop. No flex on the keyboard, track-pad and also on the screen.
Design wise, the ZenBook 13 OLED, looks similar to the other releases before it. Very minimalist and clean. I have the Pine Gray color option here but there’s also lilac mist option which has sort of a silver-esque look. It’s on 13.9mm thick and has overall a very sleek form-factor.
So you may have noticed that this ZenBook OLED 13 is quite similar to the ZenBook Flip 13 that I reviewed a while back and that’s true, the major difference with this model UX325E vs the UX325AE is the Display/screen. The ZenBook OLED 13 comes with a 1920x1080p OLED screen with HDR and a 0.2ms response response time. This means response time between input and reproduction on the screen is at 0.2ms. This a usually much sought feature by hardcore gamers.
The OLED display is 13.3 inches and the display offers an ultra-wide color gamut of 100% DCI-P3, which is widely used in the motion picture industry, it is also PANTONE® Validated to provide the most precise color accuracy. But in real life, what does it look like. Man, its ludicrous. I even feel like its an overkill to have this level vibrancy and vivid color reproduction on a laptop screen. It’s so vivid you can’t help but notice it and it’s one of those things you appreciate daily when you take this laptop out.
I bet you if you placed this laptop beside your friends or colleagues at work, they definitely take notice of that screen.
The ASUS ZenBook 13s’ OLED display also features a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, which can support up to 400 nits of highlight brightness and 0.0005 nits of deep black brightness, providing creators with a brighter and more detailed viewing experience. You get extreme contrast and accurate color reproduction.
Watching HDR videos on this screen was a joy, movies with really dark scene did pretty well here and the monitor was able to display details in very dark shadowed scenes and also was able to deliver highlights in scenes with very bright activities.
Gamers will find playing games like Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice easy on this one cos of the specs and the great contrast ratio on the ZenBook OLED 13s display.
SPECIFICATIONS AND PHYSICAL FEATURES
Now talking about specifications, the unit I got, has 500GB of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, and a webcam that is also used to Windows Hello sign in. The camera works flawlessly, thanks to the infra-red installation at the top of the screen. It works every time. In a well lit or a dark room, it works.
On the physical features, the ASUS ZenBook OLED 13 sports a standard HDMI 2.0 port and two thunderbolt 4, USB-C ports on the left of the laptop. Any of these ports can be used to charge the device. On the right, there’s a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, along with a microSD card reader and a power indicator. At the back there are ventilation grilles and underneath you get two speaker cut outs to the left and right and another mesh for extra ventilation.
It’s got less ports compared to some of its siblings and I wish it has an earphone port on the PC instead of using an adapter. Port-wise it’s very similar to the likes of apples macbook airs.
The ErgoLift design of ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED results in the keyboard automatically tilting when the laptop is opened. This design allows you type more comfortably and also increases the ventilation space under the chassis for improved heat dissipation. The keyboard lacks number keypads, but thanks to ASUSs number pad 2.0 technology, this issue is something you’re not going to ever feel. With just a single touch you can turn on the number pad on the trackpad. It’s ingenuous and it works like a charm.
The keyboard also includes Home, Page Up, Page Down, and End functional keys. This allows users to perform functions with one hand (because it does not require them to also press the Fn key). This improves efficiency for activities such as reading or scanning documents. The ZenBook 13 OLED includes several dedicated hotkeys that you can use to capture any part of the screen with a single tap, easily switch the webcam off, or lock the system in an instant for extra privacy.
BATTERY, PERFORMANCE AND EXTRA FEATURES
Battery life on the ASUS is quite good. This laptop has a 67Wh lithium-polymer battery and ASUS claims up to 13 hours of battery life on this one. In my opinion this may have been achieved under controlled circumstances. In my typical day-to-day use, I get about 10 – 11 hours of use. Tasks carried out on the system included, browsing, watching a movie or two, typing the script of this review and also other seemingly regular tasks you’d do on a laptop.
This great and improved battery life could also be attributed to the fact that we now have an OLED screen which essentially helps with reduced battery consumption. Due to pixels being turned off when your have a black background. In my review of the ZenBook Flip 13, I said the battery lasted about 9 to 10 hour, the OLED 13 lasts about an hour longer and they both have the same battery rating.
As for system performance, the ZenBook OLED 13 is blazing. You’re not gonna have a single time when you’re frustrated here. It’s got plenty speed. Every and any app I opened worked flawlessly. Adobe premier was also a breeze and with the OLED screen my videos just look incredible. Although with this size of screen, most users will be connecting to an external display.
The ZenBook OLED 13 also comes with all the features you know and love from other ASUS laptops before this one. Things like the impressive Ergo Lift hinge, the Number Pad 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0, ASUSs proprietary WiFi master, which not only has built-in Intel WiFi 6 wireless network for faster wireless transmission performance, but also adds ASUS exclusive WiFi SmartConnect function, which provides greater distance, stability, and a seamless wireless network experiences for users. The new ZenBook includes a USB-C® to 3.5 mm dongle for users who want to connect via a 3.5 mm audio jack. The dongle has Hi-Res Audio certification to ensure outstanding audio listening experiences.
All the afore mentioned features work great on this Laptop. But the main crux of this laptop is its screen. If you’ve always wanted a laptop with a great screen, an OLED screen to be exact, then this is one you should check out. Its got great colors, a huge 1000000:1 contrast ratio, very impressive viewing angles, HDR support, and should in theory offer up better battery performance having an OLED screen.
Expect the ASUS ZenBook OLED 13 to cost in the region of a thousand dollars ($1000). I will confirm and update this when I have the actual price.
What do you think about the ASUS ZenBook OLED 13, is this a laptop you’d consider buying? Let me know in the comment section