Last year, the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED was one nice laptop to purchase if you are looking for a very productivity-oriented laptop. This year, ASUS has spiced things up with the latest generation. While the name may be the same, it isn’t the 14X you remember. Here’s all about it in the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404 First Look.
ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404 First Look
A New Ceramic PEO Coating
Unlike the predecessor, the new ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404 has some serious improvements that do appear to be beneficial – for ASUS to manufacture and end users to enjoy. Starting off with the new coating that replaces the Anodized finish of the previous generation. ASUS has opted for a new coating on the back – it’s called Plasma Ceramization Coating. The coating on the back now uses a stony texture for a ceramic smooth feel. This process happens to be eco-friendly.
Not just that, with the 8H hardness it’s now one tough cookie and has a 72H grade – where they have tested it with Salt spray and the back is an anti-fingerprint surface. The colour we see here is Sandstone Beige. While the new process seems interesting – unfortunately, they have limited to this colour only. The Inkwell Gray doesn’t get the PEO coating. Odd choice.
Modern and Retro Looking
Despite the new coating, the back uses the same design as the older 14X OLED – the “Star Trek” like Insignia with the subtle ASUS Zenbook logo at the bottom left corner. However, once you do open up, there are some big changes in the design. The previous generation has this edgy design which was nice in its own way. This time around, ASUS is going for a rather “retro” or “classic” however you want to call it.
The keyboard area has a dual-tone colour finish with a darker beige finish and a lighter beige keycap. It also has a super big trackpad with the number pad baked right in.
Goodbye NVIDIA MX, Hello RTX
I am extremely happy to report that the laptop bids farewell to the discrete GPU NVIDIA MX for a new NVIDIA RTX series GPU – specifically the RTX 3050 which is more than enough in a machine like this. It comes powered with the latest Intel Core H-Series CPU, up to 32GB LPDDR5 Onboard Memory and up to 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD storage under the hood.
There are some subtle improvements with the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404 – like the display is now 14.5” (vs 14”), 120Hz (vs 90Hz) and a new Full HD camera, colour temperature/brightness sensing with better IR for faster face login.
While the upgrades may seem granular with the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404, it is most definitely in the right direction. My biggest concern is how much more is this new laptop going to cost, especially with the specification bump. Only time will tell and we will share our thoughts on it soon when we review it.