If you can handle the compact screen format even when working on large, complex projects, you’ll have everything you need with this delightful 14-inch device. Professional performance, professional rendering, and professional construction. The only thing I miss is more RAM, but it can be within your reach. And maybe a longer battery life, if I’m expecting that. And I didn’t have that.
The new Zenbook 14 Pro Oled is a compact PC that, despite its diminutive dimensions, packs plenty of performance under the hood. It’s available with up to an Intel Core i9-13900H and Geforce RTX 4070 graphics and can therefore challenge even gaming laptops with pure raw power. The model I’m using for testing is more modest and has a Core i7-13700H and a simpler RTX 3060 instead. It also has 16 GB of RAM instead of 32. That’s why it costs just under 27,000 instead of 31,000 crowns.
That’s still quite a bit of power for such a small laptop. I can easily launch Adobe Premiere Pro and crop 4K footage or color in multiple layers, browse image libraries at lightning speed, and twist and flip 3D objects in Blender. It might be a good idea not to get too ambitious and try to do all three at once, due to the limited RAM. But of course this also works.
Handles heat fairly
You can play games on your computer even if that’s not what it was designed for in the first place. With a resolution of just over 2K and a frequency of 120Hz, the graphics card isn’t well suited to maintaining a constant 60Hz rate in games, but it’s less than ambitious and even heavy titles can stream fine. For a while anyway, the computer tends to underperform a bit during longer periods of peak load. Not too strange considering the small space for the cooling and fans.
But only for the graphics card. You can run the processor for hours without a drop in performance. However, the computer gets hot quickly on the underside, so it’s best to keep it on a table rather than on your lap. It gets noticeably hot on the keyboard only when the graphics card is allowed to run at high speed.
The PC may be compact, but it’s not particularly thin and light. It is about 2 cm thick and weighs 1.65 lbs. And their perfectly angular shapes make them less uncomfortable to hold. The body is made of strong, matte aluminum with dark surfaces, and the sides and back are covered with large cooling grilles. It still accommodates the expected range of connections, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, a large USB port, a regular-sized HDMI port, and a headphone jack.
It’s unusual to see in this small format that it has a separate charging port instead of getting power from one of the Type-c ports. But then it is a high performance computer with high performance hardware. The charger is a solid block, as thick as a computer, and weighs a few extra kilos to carry around. Three if you include a wall outlet cable.
The number 14 in the name refers to a 14-inch screen size, but it’s slightly larger than most 14-inch screens, with a 14.5-inch surface. It also makes it a few millimeters wider than the standard 13.3- or 14-inch model. It may seem fringe, and most of the time it is. However, it does provide a bit more room for the keyboard, which although margins off the edges, has full-sized buttons with adequate spacing. It is also very well built. The buttons feature premium quality mechanisms and the stroke height is noticeable.
The Play button is located in the top row between the Print and Delete screen. There is a certain risk of accidentally accessing it, but with a slightly smarter approach than other PCs and with a higher resistance to stress, Asus avoids the biggest risks. The backlight is never more than half as bright as the keyboard, but it’s enough anyway to avoid fumbling in the dark.
Below is a large mouse pad with good control. The recessed ring in the upper left corner provides a special control that simulates controlling a dial, so you can “spin” it with your fingertips.
The Asus Dial function, which displays a round menu on the screen when the “knob” is pressed, can be connected to controls such as volume and brightness as well as controlling certain functions in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud. You can also create your own menu wheels with optional settings and functions in the system. Although doing so is frustratingly complicated. After several years of this feature appearing in various Zenbooks and ProArt computers, it’s sad that the feature hasn’t been developed further and that you can’t get direct support for sliders in more programs. It’s up to third party developers to integrate, and that doesn’t seem like enough traction.
With OLED technology in the name, it looks natural on screen. Or maybe not. Of course, that wasn’t the case with the Asus Vivobook 16X Oled. But here you get a beautiful, sharp and colorful OLED screen with all the good qualities that it has to offer. The resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels makes it so pixel dense that I have to get pretty close to it to make out the individual pixels.
You get perfect contrast down to the smallest of pixels, intense colors with excellent control and color accuracy, and also short response times when you want to play games. The color scale goes up to at least dci p3, and the monitor delivers both p3 and sRGB rendering almost perfectly, and it’s so close to AdobeRGB that it’s not noticeable that it misses by a few percent.
It is for SDR image, and the brightness is about 350 cd/m2. If you want peak dynamics, it’s also possible to switch to HDR mode in Windows display settings, then you get around 500 cd/m2 in point brightness, but not with calibrated color accuracy. You can choose between srgb, dci-p3, display p3 and “Native” color gamut from Asus’ own settings, where you can also manually adjust color temperature and blue light filter.
This is done in the My Asus software where you also have controls for network optimization, keyboard settings, battery charging, and fans. Then there’s the Proart Creator Hub, where you can control the same fans, make a bunch of other settings, as well as professionally calibrate your monitor if you have a compatible calibrator. I think Asus should combine these two software. It’s confusing to have so many separate apps.
The screen has touch support which provides good direct control. and some fingerprints to buff it away from the glossy surface. It can be a little unsettling if you have dark surfaces to look at in a bright room, as the reflections become apparent, but it’s often not a problem, especially if you turn up the brightness a bit.
There are good if not amazingly good sounding speakers on the underside of the computer. They provide clear bass, treble and mid range that are well suited for sound reproduction. This may not be the hi-fi experience for playing music, but it’s acceptable for most things. The computer’s small but good microphones provide excellent audio recording without noise, and the webcam is good enough. It’s always a lottery in Asus laptops, but here it delivers a mostly good picture, some noise in dark environments but otherwise nothing significant to complain about.
Despite its compact format, Zenbook 14 Pro Oled can do just about everything. Edit photos and movies, compile code or work with 3D models. Even play games. No problem. Do you want to do everything on a small 14-inch screen in a laptop that often needs a discreet cord to a wall outlet? Because you will need to, as the computer can not perform at maximum capacity for more than two hours at most. this is the question.
product name: Asus ZenBook 14 Pro OLED UX6404VV-P1041X tested: August 2023 the creator: Asus Healer: Intel Core i9-13700H, 6 pcs, up to 5GHz, 8 pcs, up to 3.7GHz graphicsLaptop: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, 8 GB memory: 16 gb ddr5 storage: 1tb ssd, sd card slot screensDisplay: 14.5 inches glossy OLED, 2880×1800 pixels, 120Hz webcam: 1080p with 3dnr, ir for Windows Hello links: 2 Thunderbolt 4, USB 3 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI, Headphone Wireless: Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3 OS: Windows 11 Pro diverse: Backlit keyboard, Asus Dial sound level: 0-39dB battery life: 2 hours 10 minutes (high load, full brightness), about 8 hours (low load, low brightness) measuringSize: 32.2 x 22.3 x 1.8 cm Weight: 1.65 kg prize: 26,990 SEK at Mediamarkt
Cinebench R23, CPU: 15,357 points Cinebench R23, single core CPU: 1,884 points Geekbench 6, CPU: 11,214 points Geekbench 6, single core CPU: 2,559 points Geekbench 6, GPU: 87,663 points disc, reading: up to 6,996.16 MB/s disk and write: up to 5,221.14 MB/s