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Immerse Yourself with the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

Every year companies reveal new devices, from smartphones to laptops and everything in between. Most of the time these upgrades are miniscule upgrades versus the previous years models and don’t really end up being something of value for the end user. Customers want something that they see and is tangible right in front of them, that “wow” factor in a device which is rare these days.

Enter the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402), the “wow” factor that we are looking for can’t be missed, it’s the one thing you’ll be looking at the most, that gorgeous 14-inch OLED display. This display is the defining feature of this device and boy does it look good on a laptop. OLED displays give you the darkest blacks, better contrast, wider viewing angles, wider color gamut, and lower power consumption. Basically, they’re the current end game when it comes to TV, monitor, or laptop displays, it just doesn’t get better than this.

Premum Build and Design

First let’s take a look at the design of the device, the Zenbook 14 OLED looks very premium and classy. The lid has a very subtle ASUS Zenbook logo on the lower portion, while subtle lines go across the device to add a bit of flare to the device. The device is made of aluminum all around and the only bits of plastic are on the hinge and the parts around the display. Opening the lid you are greeted by that beautiful 14-inch OLED display that is flanked by thin bezels with another ASUS Zenbook logo down on the chin. You can open the lid the entire way to lay the laptop down flat if that rare case does happen.

The keyboard, for me, is just the right size and is backlit. I like 14-inch laptops without the numpad because it just makes everything a bit cramped for my liking. The Zenbook 14 has just the keyboard travel for me, though the keys are a bit on the mushy side which is to be expected with laptops. The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor so that’s a very easy way to unlock your device. Another thing to take note is that the device is also a fingerprint magnet.

Below the keyboard is the trackpad which is one of the bigger trackpads I’ve seen on a Windows laptop. The tracking is good and is smooth to touch, of course the highlight here is that the device features ASUS’ numpad feature. You can have a numpad by just pressing on the icon at the upper right corner of the trackpad.

Unmatched OLED Display

With our limited time with the device, the only thing I can say about this display is wow! From just by looking at it you know that it’s really a step above your regular laptop screens. Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. The display is a 14-inch, 2.8K OLED display (2880 x 1800), with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a very low response time of just 0.2ms. It also features a 90Hz refresh rate and can go up to 600 nits of peak brightness. It also covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and of course has that 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

With that out the way, the display is just gorgeous to look at. It has a glossy display that for some, may be a hindrance in direct sunlight but for me, glossy things are amazing at showing you more vibrant colors. The glossy screen on this just makes everything pop, from YouTube videos to gaming you really just know you are getting the best picture quality possible.

The viewing angles are better than most laptops out there and you don’t see a shift in color when you are looking at the display at an angle. The 90Hz refresh rate assures you of a smooth experience, especially when navigating around Windows and browsing the web. Honestly, there’s a lot to love about this screen and there aren’t a lot of laptops out there that can match what this display can output.

An issue that others may have when it comes to OLED screens is screen burn-in. This is an issue when it comes to OLED screens that can happen when there is a static image on the screen for too long. Sometimes they may leave traces or image retention when moving things around or worse it’ll leave a burn mark on the screen for being on that static image for too long. With the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED though that isn’t much of an issue now, the new technology that is in these laptops have come a long way in assuring customers that these issues won’t happen.

ASUS also features OLED care that is built-in the laptop. Features such as Pixel refresh, which can launch a special screen saver if your laptop is idle for more than 30 minutes. Pixel shift also will make the displayed pixels move slightly to avoid consistently showing static images on the desktop. There are a couple of other features that help you protect your OLED screen and it’s great that ASUS offers these for free.

Speedy 12th Gen Performance

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED comes with a 12th generation Intel Processor and 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM onboard. You can configure it with either 512GB or 1TB storage. Our device comes with an i5 processor which still has really fast performance especially if you’re just gonna use the laptop for everyday tasks such as meetings, browsing, YouTube, etc. Intel 12th generation processors are a step above the previous generation and you will be using this laptop for a few years without feeling any hiccups.

Also included with the device is an Intel Xe integrated graphic, which has a max frequency of 1.4Ghz. This allows you to play light games on the laptop, such as CS:GO, Valorant, and DoTA. You will have over 60FPS with all of these light games and with the low response time of the display you can be assured of a great gaming experience as well.

The laptop also features different modes, depending on what you need at the moment. You have performance, standard, and whisper modes. Performance maximizes cooling performance for demanding tasks, you can use this if you need to render videos, use photoshop, or play games. If you want to maximize battery life then whisper mode is the one you should use, though this reduces performance significantly.

The laptop also has speakers tuned by Harman Kardon and is what ASUS says is a Dolby Atmos sound system with 2 built-in speakers. In my experience with the device, it’s just, okay. Nothing exceptional, and if you want to seriously listen to music or watch videos I suggest a separate device instead.

We’ll give you more accurate benchmark results when we do our full review of the device.

Useful Connectivity Options

The laptop features your usual suite of connectivity options in a laptop. It has 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports which can be used for charging the device as well. It has 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 out, a MicroSD card reader (yey!), and an audio combo jack.

It also has Dual-band WiFI 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for your wireless connectivity options. Lastly it has a 1080P FHD camera which isn’t the worst and is very usable for your Zoom calls or any other video meeting.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a laptop for your everyday tasks and for media consumption then the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED should be on your shortlist. The amazing display is well worth it already, it just is the standout feature of the device and will surely elicit a couple of looks from people if you’re using this device in public.

It checks the boxes for what you need in an everyday laptop, it has great performance, it looks premium, and has a gorgeous OLED display. The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED is definitely a winner in my book.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) Specs:

14.0-inch, 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED, 550nits, 90 Hz
100% DCI-P3,  PANTONE Validated
Intel Core i7-1260P Processor
Intel Core i5-1240P Processor
Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics
512GB, 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Performance SSD
8GB, 16GB LPDDR5 on board
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x Thunderbolt 4 supports display/power delivery
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Micro SD card reader
Backlit Chiclet Keyboard
Support NumberPad
Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Dual band) 2×2
Bluetooth 5.2
Built-in speaker
Built-in array microphone
harman/kardon (Premium)
with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
63WHrs, 3S1P, 3-cell Li-ion
TYPE-C, 100W AC Adapter
1.40 kg
311.2 x 221.1 x 15.9 ~ 15.9 mm

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar for Arun Arun says:

    Great review. I bought the core-i7 model for $1308 in India. Looks great and is generally competent but becomes gets pretty warm easily. Also, feels a little slow for system having i7, 12th gen and 16gb ddr5.

    Strangely, its thunderbolt port refuses to display to a usb c monitor – Lenovo T-24h-20 through a usb c cable supplied with the monitor. I am able to display on the same monitor with three other usb c laptops – all non thunderbolt, with this cable. Only charging gets started with Asus when I connect the monitor’s C cable. I have even tried a very expensive thunderbolt certified cable. Same result. However, if I use a C to HDMI adapter on this port, the display works, but that defeats the very purpose of C port.

    Asus India, incompetently, is unable to figure out the issue and has already replaced one notebook. Now Asus technical support are saying that their thunderbolt port is not compatible with non thunderbolt monitors but are not willing to send an email to same effect. I believe that that Asus cannot make such a blunder at hardware level – this should require a better driver only.

    Hope you can shed some light on the issue.

  2. Avatar for Michael Michael says:

    Interesting find,

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