ASUS just launched its newest lineup of its mainstream ultraportable laptops in the Philippines, offering customers the power and advantages of Intel’s 12th Generation Alder Lake processors paired with OLED displays with high refresh rates, and a new new look. Today, we’re zeroing in on one of the newly-launched devices, the Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA.
Design and Build Quality
Gone is the large ASUS Zenbook branding on the middle of the lid. Instead, they have now opted for a more subtle branding, and as a friend also commented, it now uses a single font, which shows consistency. The rest of the lid boasts a matte finish, with lines that refer to the brand’s new Star Trek-inspired logo.
Despite having an aluminum chassis, the Zenbook 14 OLED only weighs 1.39kg, and is only 16.9mm thin. It’s not the lightest feel in world, but it’s easy to move from a to b. I think they did a good job balancing out durability and lightness.
Opening the lid reveals the ErgoSense Keyboard, which offers three levels of backlighting, and a power button that also acts as a fingerprint scanner. Speaking of which, the power button requires more force to be pressed unlike the rest of the keys, I’m guessing it’s to prevent you from accidentally turning off your laptop while typing.
With 1.4mm key travel, you don’t have to press too hard on the keys to get a response. It’s nowhere close to a mechanical keyboard, but it’s good enough for everyday typing.
The touchpad seems larger, which means you can easily drag things across the screen. ASUS claims that the hyrdrophobic coating makes it feel like you’re touching silk, and I sort of agree. It definitely is more enjoyable to use. In one short tap of a button, you can also turn the touchpad into a numpad for quick computations. Very handy.
If you’re used to the USB-C charging port being on the left, well, both USB-C ports are now on the right. Both are Thunderbolt 4 ports that also support PD charging and DisplayPort. You also get one USB Type-A port, a MicroSD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack.
ASUS is going all out on OLED for its Zenbook lineup, the Zenbook 14 OLED gets a PANTONE Validated 14-inch 2.8K display with a 0.2ms response time, 400 to 600 nits of brightness, and 100% DCI-P3 coverage.
And yes, the difference to a typical IPS panel is night and day. The deeper blacks and the richer more punchy colors alone are simply eye-candy. What’s more, you also get a 90Hz refresh rate, so even simple tasks like minimizing windows and opening menus look much smoother and more fluid compared to a 60Hz screen.
For media consumption, it also means you get more detail in dark scenes and good color reproduction regardless of the level of brightness.
ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA is equipped with a 720p HD webcam. The quality isn’t the best I’ve seen from a webcam, but it’ll do for online meetings. There’s also a dedicated button for turning it off, indicated by an led light on the F10 key.
The Zenbook 14 OLED is powered by an Intel Core i5-1240P or a Core i7-1260P processor, along with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. That’s not exactly the most storage you can get, but personally, that’s enough for my use case.
This one doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, but the Intel Xe Iris Graphics should be enough for everything that a lot of folks would and should use this laptop for. It’s not slouch – Apart from the usual productivity work, you can easily do basic photo and video editing as well.
As to whether it can game, yes it definitely can, but not without tinkering with the settings. Most likely, you’ll have to dial the resolution down for a smoother experience.
For the benchmarks, we ran the tests on every performance profile to see whether there are noticeable differences.
Cinebench R20 and R23
As one of the most popular benchmarking tools used by reviewers and enthusiasts, Cinebench R20 and R23 make use of the latest rendering architectures, and measures the capabilities of the device in rendering a specific scene with the latter having the more complex one.
Super PI is a benchmark tool that measures performance based on how a CPU can calculate Pi to the nth digit.
WPrime, on the other hand, measures performance based on finding prime number using Newton’s Method, in this case it’s set to calculate 1024 million prime numbers. The shorter the calculation time is, the better.
Corona Renderer is a photorealistic render available for Autodesk 3Ds Max, Maxon Cinema 4D, and is used as a stand-alone application. It measures the time it takes to render a specific scene. The shorter, the better.
VRay is a tool that test CPU and GPU performance by rendering sample scenes within a fixed time period.
Google Octane 2.0
Just like when it’s used for smartphones or other mobile devices, Geekbench 5 tests the CPU’s muscles in both single and multi-core scenarios.
For thermals, the Intel Core i5-1240P achieved an average temperature of 89°C and a max temperature of 100°C. Despite that, I really didn’t notice any issues with overall performance.
The Zenbook 14 OLED comes pre-installed with Windows 11, whether we like it or not. Of course, the very first thing I did was to uninstall the proprietary Anti-Virus, because the Windows Security Suite has been more than enough, based on experience. Uninstall at your own risk.
As with other Zenbooks, you get the MyASUS app, which lets you check the overall status of the laptop, system information, and granular adjustments for the display, battery, AI Noise Cancelling, and performance.
As a bonus, this laptop also comes with a lifetime license for Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021, which is already quite big. Add to that, a three-month subscription to all of Adobe’s apps. That makes the already great, to even better.
In standard mode, the Zenbook 14 OLED was able to score an impressive 12 hours and 24 minutes of uptime using PCMark 10 and its Modern Office benchmark, which simulates tasks like writing, web browsing, and video conferencing. Of course, your mileage may very depending on numerous factors like screen brightness, if you’re connected to the internet, and the suite of apps that you use.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.