Friday, June 14, 2024

REVIEW | Asus ZenBook 13 OLED laptop

Launched alongside two dual-screen laptops, the ZenBook 13 OLED is one of the new members from the premium Zen family of laptops that Asus churned out in time for CES 2021. This release includes 4K OLED screen variants and AMD-powered versions.

ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED

The Asus ZenBook 12 OLED UX325 features the latest functionalities that the Taiwanese manufacturer currently has in its flagship portfolio – a full HD OLED display with HDR enhancement and Pantone validation, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics and 11th-generation Intel Core processors, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, AI noise-cancelling for videoconferencing, and a dual-function touchpad.

The chassis and lid of the laptop is built with diamond-cut aluminum alloy, that is why it feels solidly built and don’t feel hollow anywhere. It is also immune to fingerprint smudges thanks to the concentric-circle finish and the clean-cut metallic and reflective edges around the keyboard add a nice touch aesthetically.

ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED
ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED

Carrying the UX325 is an easy feat since it only weighs at 1.14kg and is 13.9mm thin, taking up only a small space in the backpack and has no issues when carried in laptop sling bags. Picking the unit up and setting it down does not produce any wobble or signs of instability, but opening the lid can be tricky at times since the upper edges of the screen offer almost no gap at all from the base lid.

ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED

The ZenBook 13 is available in two paintjobs – the more sophisticated and restrained Pine Grey, and the creative Lilac Mist. While the Lilac Mist is the more aesthetically striking choice, the Pine Grey feels more modern and professional-looking — a good fit for users seeking a lightweight productivity powerhouse.  

The unit’s vibrant screen can display up to 1920×1080 resolution content and is backed by a Pantone validation for color accuracy. Streaming videos on the OLED screen can produce deep blacks and good contrast due to its wide color support, and its brightness level is perfectly suited for reading in outdoor lighting conditions.  

Despite its thin profile, the ZenBook 13 OLED is equipped with heavy-hitting hardware that include an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of LPDDR4X onboard internal memory, 512GB of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD storage, and a beefy 67Wh battery. It can handle modern online game titles like Valorant and Fortnite at moderate settings with more than decent framerate output, but can only run the lowest settings for games like Apex Legends and Genshin Impact.

ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED

The only weakness for a lightweight form factor is also a glaring issue with the device since it only comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a single standard HDMI 2.0 and Type-A port, and a microSD card reader. With limited connectivity options, the need to connect additional external devices can be a restrictive situation, especially when the one of the two Thunderbolt 4 ports is being used for charging.

ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED
ASUS ZENBOOK 13 OLED

When unplugged, the ZenBook 13 OLED can power through a day’s worth of Internet browsing and multiple office software running simultaneously. When charging, using it in the same workload scenarios can expose its heating problem, especially in the area below the display and above the keyboard.

Conclusion

The Asus ZenBook 13 Oled UX325 is a smart pick for a lightweight workhorse with top-performing features, especially since it comes at a competitive price of P59,995. The ScreenPad boosts functionality without adding complexity, the FHD display –albeit small — produces excellent colors, and the battery can keep up when used on-the-go.

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