- Great 16:10 Display which I love
- The ScreenPad is back for good
- Performance wise, Intel isn't too shabby
- The Zenbook experience is better in build and Finish
- Thank god the Headphone Jack is back
- Another full size USB would be nice
ASUS Zenbook lineup has been the apple of my eye, and their last Zenbook I tried ended up being a wee bit of a disappointment due to its lack of Headphone jack, that also happens to be an absolute deal breaker for me. So, just in time, the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED arrived at our doorstep – not only it brings back the headphone jack, but it brings a lot more to the table than I expected it to.
Looks Identical to the Zenbook Duo Series
The ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED shares many of its design cue with the bigger brethren, which is the Zenbook Duo series which has a similar design on the outside with the slightly bigger ASUS logo, and the beautiful, brushed design which is a signature to the Zenbook laptops for years and I am glad it’s still here. The laptop is a little thicker because it has more going on under the hood, some thoughtful upgrades and even some features returning for good which we will talk in a bit. Otherwise, expect that quality build with the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED in and out as it does get things right – a good hinge, solid body with little to no flex and slightly edgier look that I am a fan of.
Now the OLED Display is in 16:10 Ratio and Touch Enabled
ASUS has been at the forefront of laptops being featured with OLED display, in fact, it has been the only brand to take the leap in offering all their devices with that good OLED display. This isn’t the first time we are laying our eyes on their display, in fact, we have reviewed some of their other laptops which is just as great as this one: True blacks, 0.2ms response time, HDR Certified and better Delta range. To be honest, the Zenbook stopped at that, and I was wondering how far this display can go now that it has been perfected this well.
ASUS has now added a touchscreen to the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED – and it’s a good move because this isn’t just a normal Zenbook where you can live with a trackpad and keyboard. It expands above and beyond into giving a better experience as the X in the naming indicates it has more than one display. To keep the experience more unified and easier to use with both the display, the touchscreen addition is a smart move. The only issue you might feel about the laptop display is that the display is glossy, so it’s a fingerprint magnet. But I think you can get those matte screen protector and slap on this display.
With the 14X: ScreenPad is the X that marks the Spot
I have been a huge fan of the ScreenPad, for so many reasons. When the concept made its debut on the Zenbook Pro, years back – I immediately fell in love, although it did feel like an early adopter. But knowing ASUS, they are not one to drop things immediately and move on to something new. They worked on the ScreenPad to improve their experience, generation after generation. Finally, the laptop has the best second mini display I have ever used so far.
Being on the move and having to rely on just that 14” display can feel a bit constricted and portable monitors are great like the ASUS Portable monitor which we reviewed, are great but it adds that extra weight you will have to lug around. While the ScreenPad is small, it is functional with its neat trick up its sleeves and the extra real estate to take advantage of. Pair the laptop with an external mouse, you have yourself an absolute unit of a laptop for productivity.
The ScreenPad carries forward the features we have seen before: Number Key, Handwriting, Quick Key, Calculator, and some Windows Applications which works well on the smaller display. Now that Windows 11 works with Android apps, utilizing this smaller display is going to be fantastic as it gives true-to-smartphone size in apps where the resizing and all that is a chore to do. Other than that, you have more improved features like saving a group you enjoy: a layout of apps if you will with a tap.
Performance-wise, self-explanatory benchmarks
In terms of specification, the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED is powered by the following:
- Intel 11th Generation Core i7-1165G7 @ 2.80GHz
- NVIDIA GeForce MX450 Discrete Graphics
- 16GB LPDDR4X RAM with 512GB PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD
Intel has been putting up a good front lately with making the processors on these kinds of laptop more powerful than it once was. When we reviewed the ASUS Expertbook B9, we loved the 10th Generation processor for a few good reasons: that it now supports Thunderbolt 4 via the USB-C which was not a thing then. The 11th Generation takes all that goodness over from the 11th Gen and puts up a good show in benchmarks, which is beyond impressive. While sure, that Team Red has some impressive processor, I believe that Intel has done an excellent job and if they continue to keep their pace in offering better experience, Intel will be a good option as always and the competition is only going to get more exciting.
You can check out the benchmark below from PCMARK, 3DMARK, Blender and Cinebench R24.
I/O: The Headphone Jack is Back
The brand agrees that they made a mistake with the non-ScreenPad Zenbook – by removing the headphone jack and giving a dongle which sure has all the ESS Sabre in it, but for a laptop it only makes life worse when the ports are getting increasingly limited. That said, the I/Os on this Zenbook 14X is neat: with 1 Full Size USB, 2x USB-C, HDMI and a Headphone Jack. So, don’t worry – your 3.5mm Headphones are still good to go.
Keyboard with Embedded Fingerprint Sensor
The Zenbook 14X carries forward the keyboard layout I personally prefer. A proper layout with properly sized keys like the Shift and Enter on the right side, while the Arrow key is a wee bit smaller, at least it’s still well within the right size. The 1.4mm key-travel is nice to type on with no such issues and the backlight is good in low light conditions, making the letters easier to see. The only odd-looking key on the keyboard is the power button, which doubles as a fingerprint sensor and its accurate. Overall, there isn’t much of an issue with the keyboard and the experience is pleasant.
While the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED may seem similar to its other Zenbook, it really isn’t. While the Zenbook 13 OLED which we reviewed a while ago had no headphone jack and ScreenPad, it was a tough one to recommend as losing the headphone jack on a laptop is an absolute deal breaker. But this 14X corrects that mistake and brings not only the crucial essentials to the table but also does better in more aspects and we are not just talking about the ScreenPad but the 16:10 Aspect ratio display – which for a creator like me is an absolute bliss.
So yes, the reservations I had are long gone, and the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED is such a good laptop that it makes you forget about their Zenbook 14 and highly likely, this is the laptop I’d personally rock.
Special thanks to ASUS Malaysia for gracing us with the Zenbook 14X OLED for making this review happen.