8.2
Score

We had the chance to daily drive the Intel Ultra-powered Zenbook from ASUS for a while and I have to say that, after spending a good amount of time – this processor is exactly what we were waiting for in a laptop like this, thin and light. Here’s our ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M Review.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M Review

What Feels the Same

For the most part, the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M retains its premium feel and finish in more ways than one. From the choice of material to keeping the laptop as light and thin as possible – every step to get this laptop right is pretty much obvious and that’s what you get with the UX3405M. Premium build, has a nice feel and it offers an all-rounder good experience worth having on a thin and light. It weighs about 1.2kg and is 14.9mm thin, which is pretty good on its own.

ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M Review

The back of the laptop has the newer ASUS insignia which we have seen on other laptops from them – and this has been a thing since the 30th Anniversary edition which was released pre-pandemic. There isn’t anything else to comment but ASUS sure has improved some parts of the design and still managed to bring something fresh to the table. Well, kinda. You do get the NumberPad-tron-like-trackpad which is cool.

What’s Different

The Processor (and it’s a big one)

One of the biggest game changers this year for thin and light happens to be Intel’s new Ultra processor – which the semiconductor company claims to have given some AI-level features to streamline the experience. While this is a claim that I personally take with a pinch of salt, there are some interesting and apparent improvements we do notice from the get-go. But before that, here’s a quick rundown on the specifications:

  • Intel Core Ultra 5 125H Processor with 3.60GHz
  • 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe Gen 5 SSD

Different Ultra processors aim to offer different experiences, the Ultra 5 focuses on productivity-centric features like Video Calling, Multi-Tasking and some level of gaming.

Now, from a productivity standpoint, I will say that this laptop performs miles better than the 13th Generation U and H processors from both performance and endurance standpoint because I have not seen nor experienced a laptop (with Intel processor) to give this level of experience – where I can really leave my charger at home and use the laptop anywhere and still have battery to use for later.

Throughout my use with the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M – I have easily got 8 hours of battery life which does meet my expectations in more ways than one and to have my performance scale up and down while I work is pretty nice.

However, you can overload the processor and it will struggle when you have too many tabs and stuff going on like mine – but compared to the U processor which struggles even with just one Desktop and multiple tabs of Chrome, Word, Explorer and Gallery – this ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M is quite the improvement.

We even tried gaming on it – while it isn’t capable of a full-blown out-gaming experience, the fact that Honkai Star Rail was playable is already pretty impressive. Of course, it didn’t run that well on the very high settings, but we managed to get a really smooth experience on the medium settings – which is already a big feat on a laptop like this. There were some who tried running GTA on this laptop and it ran alright. The laptop I want to carry with me all the time for sure.

Proper Physical Shutter for IR Camera for Privacy

For some odd reason, ASUS has this habit of adding and removing Physical Camera shutters for privacy in their laptops – we saw a mechanical one in the Space Edition and it wasn’t on the normal Zenbook, and it vanished into thin air and now we have a Physical slider that blocks the camera. I hope this stays because I am so done sticking Washi Tapes over my camera all the time.

What Could be Better

The I/O Location

The I/O selection for a thin and light is of course limited but decent – in this case, you get two USB-C capable of Thunderbolt protocol, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 capable of 5Gbps and of course a headphone Jack. What I do wish is that the USB-C port was on either side – so basically, one on the left and the other on the right. This would have made it easier for me to use my accessories without blocking the others. Genuinely frustrating, especially coming from a brand that has incorporated ports on both sides in the past.

Maybe a Touch Screen?

The improved ASUS Lumia OLED display is insane, and I love it so much. I am not going to repeat what’s in their spec sheet but you are getting a display that’s well worth your money for productivity work and even to do some creative-level task, although not a full-blown out one.

But that said, I do want to see a Touch screen OLED display which would be nice to have. As odd as it may sound, consumers are looking for a touch display for some reason – we don’t know why but I guess it’s good to know.

Conclusion

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M finally has a shot at not just becoming a power efficient but a powerful thin and light with the grace of Intel Ultra blessing.

Truth be told, this feels like a catch-up game to what AMD has awed us in the past but I say it’s better later than never to bring this competition to the table. As for the rest, despite ASUS sticking to a formula that we have praised in the past, it’s time for the brand to finally take a step in solidifying its form once and for all.

And what we mean by that is to finally have the fundamentals the same across generations – like having USB-C ports on both sides, really deciding if they want to implement a touch screen or not, and most importantly, the inclusion of the Privacy shutter – we have seen this come and go too many times. But besides all that, the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405M is a good laptop that I’d pick up and use it as my daily driver.


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