The ASUS company continues to actively develop the line of Zenbook image laptops, and while we are waiting for new products presented at CES 2023, we’ll review the Zenbook 14 OLED model (UX3402ZA) presented at the end of last year. This compact 14-inch laptop promises the best you can get in the Zenbook line today: a quality screen, high performance, and, of course, battery life. Let’s see if this is really the case and what else the Zenbook 14 OLED has to offer.
Zenbook 14 OLED specifications
|OLED, 14″, resolution 2880×1800 pixels, aspect ratio 16:10, frequency 90 Hz
|Intel Core i7-1260P
|16 GB LPDDR5 – 4800 MHz
|Intel Iris Xe
|2 Thunderbolt 4 connectors (with DisplayPort and Power Delivery), one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, RJ-45 (via adapter), 3.5 mm audio jack, microSD card slot
|Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2
|Acoustic system with 2 speakers
|Island-type keys with a stroke of 1.4 mm and backlight
|Battery and PSU
|75 Wh, power supply unit 65 W
|59 999 UAH
The laptop comes in a small cardboard box, inside which you can find the device itself, a compact 65 W power supply, and a branded carrying case.
The latter is a nice bonus because often such models only come with a charger.
Design and materials
Zenbook 14 OLED received a somewhat experimental design. ASUS abandoned the traditional pattern with concentric circles on the cover of the display unit, choosing a matte finish with a large image of the company’s new logo. It turned out really nice, but the most important thing is practical. The matte cover does not collect fingerprints.
Another innovation is a new round panel on the back of the case to which the screen hinge is attached, it is made in silver and seems to combine two parts of the laptop.
An interesting solution that slightly dilutes the overall minimalist design of the model. By the way, if we are talking about the hinge, it allows you to open the display by 180 degrees and do it with one hand, while reliably fixing it in any position.
Zenbook 14 OLED has relatively compact dimensions of 313.62×220.63 with a thickness of 16.9 mm and a weight of 1.39 kg. The display unit and the base of the case are made of aluminum, and the touchpad is covered with frosted glass.
The only visible plastic elements are the keyboard and screen frame. The latter has a glossy coating, which is better not to touch with your hands, so as not to waste time wiping off traces.
In general, the laptop body turned out nice, with interesting design elements and good build quality.
All connectors in the laptop are located on the sides of the case. On the right, you can find HDMI 2.0, a 3.5 mm combo audio jack, two USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 4.0, and a microSD card reader.
There is only a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port on the left side.
As for a compact model, the available connectors are enough for comfortable work. And if you use a monitor that can transmit video and power via USB Type-C, then you can connect a laptop to it with one cable.
Zenbook 14 OLED display
The laptop is equipped with a 14-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 2880×1800 pixels, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, an aspect ratio of 16:10, and a response time of 0.2 ms.
According to our measurements, the display shows 100% of the sRGB color space, 98% of Adobe RGB, and 99% of P3. It has a reference gamma of 2.2, and the peak brightness in HDR mode even exceeds the one declared by the manufacturer and reaches 600 cd/m².
Traditionally for ASUS OLED panels, the matrix is very well calibrated, but it allows you to adjust the display yourself through the MyASUS utility, in which you can change the color saturation and gamma through the Splendid settings.
In addition, there is a set of software tools that should extend the life of the OLED screen. With their help, the system switches pixels imperceptibly for the user so that they do not show the same static elements all the time, which eventually leads to burnout.
Overall, everyone likes the Zenbook 14 OLED display, except that it has a glossy finish that is harder to wipe than glass. However, for careful users, this will not be a big problem.
Platform and performance
Intel Core i7-1260P 12-core processor was installed, which uses an architecture with 4 fast and 8 energy-saving cores. The maximum frequency of the chip can reach 4.7 GHz, but slower cores are overclocked to 3.4 GHz.
The amount of RAM is 16 GB of dual-channel LPDDR5, which operates at a frequency of up to 4800 MHz. The memory is soldered on the board, so you will not be able to increase it yourself.
To save data, the laptop offers a PCIe4.0 x4 NVMe SSD drive with a capacity of 1 TB. It is a very fast file storage that provides over 6500MB/s read and over 4900MB/s write.
The built-in Intel Iris Xe accelerator is responsible for graphics processing in Zenbook 14 OLED, which is enough for basic tasks such as photo editing and even more or less modern games with minimal graphics settings and low resolution.
When running on battery power, the processor in the Zenbook 14 OLED is expected to reduce frequencies, so the computational speed drops. In the same PCMark 10 test, the model scores 2857 points, compared to 4434 points with the charger connected.
In general, the laptop is great for office and multimedia tasks, as long as they don’t require faster graphics.
To connect to a wireless Internet network, the laptop offers a Wi-Fi 6E module, and for wireless headphones, you can use Bluetooth 5.2.
Heating and stability of work
The notebook is equipped with an active cooling system that collects air on the bottom of the case and blows it out through the ventilation hole on the left side. When working from the battery in office mode, the laptop remains quiet and does not heat up.
The fan is activated under load, but the noise from it does not exceed the acceptable 60 dB, that is, it is not louder than the noise level in an open office.
In the AIDA64 system stability test, the laptop shows throttling at the beginning of the load, but after the cooling system fan start working at full capacity, it disappears.
The laptop body becomes noticeably warm, but not so much as to cause discomfort during use. The keyboard area and around the touchpad remain barely warm.
Under 100% load, the processor heats up to 80 degrees Celsius on average, keeping the frequency at 2.2 GHz, which is adequate for a compact model.
Keyboard and touchpad
Zenbook 14 OLED received an ErgoSense island-type keyboard with a keystroke of 1.4 mm. It’s a very pleasant keyboard, which is slightly raised by the display hinge to create an ergonomic tilt. The keys themselves are pressed softly, but a relatively long stroke ensures the comfortable typing of long texts. In addition, I will note that the keyboard is not noisy at all.
The touchpad in the laptop is quite large and covered with frosted protective glass, it accurately detects the position of the fingers and works well with Windows gestures.
Separately, the touchpad has two touch keys located in its upper corners. On the right it’s for turning on the touch numeric keypad, and on the left it’s for adjusting its brightness.
It’s generally a useful option for those who work a lot with numbers, but it’s also my only gripe about the touchpad. The fact is that while typing on the keyboard with the right hand, it is quite easy to activate the numeric keypad, which may simply not be necessary at that moment.
This is not a critical problem, because even if it is activated, the touchpad continues to perform its main function, and in the settings of MyASUS the numeric keypad can be turned off altogether, but I would like the company to simply make the touch key less sensitive in future software updates.
In the upper right corner of the keyboard to the left of the Delete key (for which special thanks to ASUS engineers), there is a button to turn on the laptop, which is also a fingerprint scanner. The latter can be used to unlock and sign in to Windows 11 with your account without using a password, and it works great with the Windows Hello option.
The fingerprint scanner button itself is not very large, but it works accurately and quickly.
The Zenbook 14 OLED webcam built into the top frame of the screen allows you to transmit images with a Full HD resolution and is actually quite high-quality for a laptop, at least in good lighting.
ASUS has also added several smart features to the webcam, which can be activated in the MyASUS program.
These include the ability to blur the background during video calls, optimize lighting, track movements, and, most surprisingly, eye correction. All options work, but not without nuances that depend on lighting, viewing angle, and, for example, whether you have glasses on your face.
For sound reproduction, Zenbook 14 OLED has built-in stereo speakers, which are located on the bottom of the case closer to the front edge. They sound very loud, I would even say VERY loud, for such a thin laptop, but the inscriptions Dolby Atmos and harman/kardon on the case still mean something. But the volume that can be heard in models with four or more speakers is not here, as well as at least a little expressive bass, so you should not count on a complete replacement of high-quality external speakers or headphones.
By the way, headphones can still be connected to the laptop in a wired way through a 3.5 mm jack, and for wireless models, there is Bluetooth 5.2.
Zenbook 14 OLED battery life
The laptop is equipped with a 75 Wh lithium-polymer battery, which should be enough for a full day of work, depending on system load and screen brightness, of course. In the PCMark 10 Modern Office test, which simulates various office tasks and at a brightness of 200 nits, the Zenbook 14 OLED lasted almost 11 hours. This is an excellent result for a modern compact laptop.
The model is charged from a 65 W power supply via a USB Type-C port. At the same time, fast charging is supported, and the battery is charged to 60% in 49 minutes.
I will also note that the power supply itself is quite compact, it will be convenient to carry it with you in a bag or backpack.