Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Hey, tech enthusiasts! Tom Tech here, and today we’re diving into the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, the latest refresh that boasts the cutting-edge 14th generation Intel Meteor Lake processors. A huge shoutout to Asus for sending over this pre-production unit, making this review possible. Before we delve into the power of the 14th Gen processors, let’s explore the design and upgrades that make this Zenbook a noteworthy contender.

Sleek Design and Compact Form Factor

One of the first things you’ll notice is the Zenbook 14’s reduced size and weight compared to its predecessor. Asus has managed to trim the weight down from 1.39 kg to a feather-light 1.2 kg, making it around 200 g lighter. The slimming down extends to the chassis, with the thickness shrinking from 16.9 mm to a sleek 14.9 mm. Despite this compact form factor, Asus has retained the gorgeous 14-inch OLED screen, maintaining the 180° hinge and touchscreen functionality.

The laptop comes in a stylish blue color or silver foggy silver, and while the blue is appealing, some users might prefer the silver variant due to the blue’s susceptibility to fingerprints. The backlit keyboard, featuring Asus’s ultra-quiet keys, ensures a comfortable typing experience. Additionally, the touchpad doubles as a numpad, adding a convenient touch to this portable powerhouse.

Impressive Display and Webcam Features

Moving on to the display, Asus has upgraded the 14-inch OLED touchscreen to a 3K resolution of 2880 x 1880. The refresh rate has received a boost from 90 to 120 Hz, providing a smoother overall experience. While Asus quoted the previous model at 400 nits in SDR and 550 in HDR, real-world measurements on the new model indicate a brightness just under 500 nits in SDR and around 750 nits in HDR. The only downside seems to be the glossy nature of the screen, coupled with a slight wobble in the hinge.

The laptop features a 1080p webcam with an i sensor for Windows Hello face unlocking, even in low light conditions. Auto-framing, combined with the privacy shutter, enhances the overall webcam experience. Asus has clearly aimed to provide a comprehensive package, addressing not just performance but also user experience and convenience.

14th Gen Intel Meteor Lake Processors and Graphics Powerhouse

Now, let’s dive into the heart of this Zenbook—the Intel 14th generation Meteor Lake processors. The new naming convention introduces the Ultra 5, Ultra 7, and Ultra 9 CPUs, replacing the traditional Core i5, i7, and i9. In this review, we’re looking at the Ultra 7 155h, a 16-core, 22-thread processor that promises significant performance gains.

Accompanying the new processors is the Intel Arc integrated GPU, boasting 8 XE cores, DirectX 12 Ultimate support, hardware ray tracing, mesh shading, and optimized AI super-sampling. The overall claim from Intel is a doubling of performance per watt compared to the previous generation, which, if true, is a substantial leap forward.

Benchmarks and Real-world Performance

Taking a look at performance benchmarks, the Zenbook 14 OLED showcases impressive results. In Gig bench 6, there’s a minimal change in single-core performance, but a notable 33% improvement in multicore. Cinebench sees a 20% boost in single-core and a staggering 113% gain in multicore. PC Mark 10 shows a 21% overall improvement, and in Time Spy, the laptop is nearly three times faster than its predecessor.

For real-world applications, running Premiere Pro on a 4K 60 H.264 project demonstrates the Zenbook’s prowess. It completes the task almost twice as fast as the previous model, highlighting the tangible benefits of the 14th Gen processors in video editing scenarios. Even in gaming, the integrated GPU proves capable, with Shadow of the Tomb Raider delivering nearly double the performance and Rainbow Six Siege exhibiting over double the frame rate.

On-Device AI Acceleration and Future-proofing

A notable feature of the Zenbook 14 OLED is its inclusion of a neural processing unit (NPU) for on-device AI acceleration. This aligns with the industry’s trend towards local AI processing, reducing reliance on cloud-based solutions. While it’s still early days for on-device AI acceleration, the dedicated NPU shows promise in enhancing AI tasks’ speed and efficiency. This could potentially pave the way for more optimized applications and games in the future.

Thermal Management and Battery Performance

The Zenbook 14 OLED does face some challenges in thermal management, with temperatures reaching the ’90s and occasionally peaking over 100°C during intense tasks. This is something to keep in mind, especially for users who push their laptops to the limit with heavy video editing or gaming. Surprisingly, the performance on battery is relatively close to that on power, with only a 5 to 10% drop, showcasing a commendable battery optimization strategy.

Pricing and Conclusion

Starting at $1,099 in the UK, the Zenbook 14 OLED offers a compelling package with the Ultra 5 CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage. Users can opt for the Ultra 7 or Ultra 9 configurations, maxing out at 32 GB of RAM and a terabyte of storage. Considering the upgraded design, stunning screen, and the significant performance boost from the 14th Gen processors, the pricing seems reasonable.

In conclusion, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED impresses with its sleek design, vibrant display, and the powerhouse that is the 14th Gen Intel Meteor Lake processors. The addition of on-device AI acceleration and competitive pricing further solidify its position as a top-tier laptop. Whether you’re a creative professional or a gamer, the Zenbook 14 OLED offers a tantalizing blend of style and performance.

And that’s a wrap for this comprehensive review! If you have any questions or specific tests you’d like me to conduct on this Zenbook with the new 14th Gen CPU, drop a comment below. Thanks for tuning in, tech enthusiasts, and until next time on the tech chat! 🚀

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