March 3, 2024

Modellflyg

Yo Quiero Techno

Designer Review: ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402)

5 min read

Review unit on loan from ASUS Singapore

This review is from the perspective of a visual content creator, someone who does digital art, graphic design, edits photos and videos.

The ASUS Zenbook laptops are higher tier laptops that sit between the Zenbook Pro and Vivobook laptops.

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED was released in mid 2022 and is available with either Intel or AMD processors:

Model UX3402 UM3402
Colours Ponder Blue, Aqua Celadon Jade Black
Display 14-inch, 16:10, 2880 x 1800px OLED display, 90Hz, 400 nits, 600 nits HDR, 100% P3 14-inch, 16:10, 2880 x 1800px OLED display, 90Hz, 400 nits, 600 nits HDR, 100% P3
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-1260P Processor 2.1 GHz (18M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 4P+8E cores) AMD Ryzen™ 7 5825U Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 16MB cache, up to 4.5 GHz max boost)
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 16GB LPDDR5
Storage 512GB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD
Graphics Intel Iris Xe AMD Radeon™ Graphics
Touchpad NumPad NumPad
Ports 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
1x HDMI 2.1 TMDS
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Micro SD card reader
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
1x HDMI 2.1 TMDS
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Micro SD card reader
Battery capacity 75Whrs 75Whrs
Weight 1.39kg 1.39kg
Price From SGD 1899 From SGD 1799

The review unit I have comes with the Intel processor. You can see the full specs here.

There’s a price difference of SGD 100 between the Intel and AMD model. If you edit videos often, you may want to get the Intel processor with Intel Quick Sync which can export videos slightly faster than AMD. If the bulk of your work does not involve editing videos, you can just go with the AMD model. I do not expect the Intel processor to be significantly more powerful than the AMD processor.

2 years warranty is included.

Things included


The packing list may different depending on region and country.

  • Laptop
  • User guide
  • 66W USB-C charger
  • Laptop carrying sleeve

Design


The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) is a beautiful compact 14-inch laptop with solid build quality and weighs 1.39kg.


All surfaces on the laptop are quite susceptible to finger print smudges so a wipe down regularly is recommended.


The back can be opened up by removing 7 Torx screws. RAM is soldered. The M.2 SSD is user upgradeable.

The two downward facing speakers use Dolby Atmos sound system. Audio quality sound alright but could do better with more definition with treble and mids. There’s slight distortion above 25% volume which is considered loud.


The 14-inch OLED display has a 16:10 aspect ratio with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 so all the visuals look sharp with no noticeable pixelation from one arm’s length away.

Response time is 0.2ms. Refresh rate is 90Hz so all the OS animation looks smooth without the 60Hz judder.

Colours on this OLED display look good out of the box. Colour support is up to 100% DCI-P3. Standard brightness is 400 nits and HDR brightness up to 600 nits.

Unfortunately, my colour calibrator does not work with OLED displays so I can’t measure the exact colour support. Anyway, OLED displays usually have good colour support and with this display on the Zenbook 14 OLED, colours are vibrant and contrast is amazing. The 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio is definitely noticeable when compared to even high-end LCD displays. The 600 nits HDR is also noticeable when watching HDR content.


This OLED display is said to emit 70% less blue light that can be harmful to eyes. Shown above are the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (left) beside an LCD display. The OLED display appears black because it does not emit enough blue light to pass through the blue light detection lens I’m using.


The backlight chiclet keyboard has 1.4mm key travel. Typing experience is good. The power button has a fingerprint scanner built in which is fast and effective.


The touchpad is big, accurate and supports gestures. There’s a shortcut on the top right for turning on the numpad and a shortcut at the top left for adjusting the brightness of the numpad.


On the left is one USB-A 3.2 gen 2 port and the fan exhaust.


As the display lid is lifted, that also pushes the laptop off the table for better ventilation. This is a feature you can find in many ASUS laptops.

There are two hard plastic feet at the bottom of the display lid to prevent the edge of the lid from touching the table. The two feet produce squeaky sound on my leather pad but do not make any sound on hard surfaces or cloth desk pads.


On the right there’s a microSD card slot, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, 3.5mm audio jack and full-size HDMI port. The TB4 ports supports USB charging and video output.

Performance


This review unit comes with the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P with 4 performance cores (2.1Ghz) and 8 efficiency cores. Overall performance for non-gaming usage is smooth. The fans don’t rev up and are not audible with normal usage.


The internal SSD has read and write speeds at 2.6GB/s and 4.9GB/s.


Loading photos, generating thumbnails and editing photos with Adobe Lightroom is smooth and fast. The experience of creating visual content on this laptop is great because the visuals are sharp (242 PPI) and colours look accurate.

I’m glad the display aspect ratio is 16:10. For small laptop displays, any external vertical resolution is extremely welcome.


Video editing with 4K 25FPS footage without any effects is smooth.


The laptop only has Intel Iris Xe for graphics so it’s just good enough for playing games that aren’t graphic intensive. I was able to get 60FPS with Hades at maximum resolution. With Red Dead Redemption 2, I was only able to get 19 FPS and 31 FPS with 1080P and 720P resolution with medium textures.

Conclusion

I actually don’t have many negative things to say about this laptop. The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) a good looking laptop that performs well. It’s compact and lightweight enough which makes it very portable. The OLED display looks great. And the retail prices of SGD 1899 and 1799 for the Intel and AMD models is quite reasonable. There are actually Zenbooks with better specs and more features but those are more expensive.


The visual quality of the display and performance are sufficient for visual content designers. I personally would go with a larger 15-inch 16:10 display or better yet, a 16-inch 16:10 instead if budget allows. Of course the processor will have to be 12th gen Intel P or H series. But larger displays will mean the laptop is heavier too. Obviously 14-inch has a definite advantage with portability and price against 15 and 16-inch.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful
+ Compact, relatively lightweight (1.39kg), portable
+ Vibrant OLED display
+ 2880 x 1800 resolution (242 PPI)
+ 16:10 aspect ratio
+ Display lid can lift for better ventilation
+ Smooth performance for non-gaming usage
+ Light gaming possible
+ Battery life is good
+ Good keyboard and touchpad
+ Fingerprint sensor is effective and fast
+ Good selection of ports
– Audio quality limited by back facing speakers
– 720P front camera
– Only 512GB storage option

Availability

If you’re interested to get this laptop, consider supporting my blog by buying through the affiliate links listed below at no extra cost.

ASUS laptops are available from ASUS online store.

Here in Singapore they are available from Lazada SG and Shopee SG.

They can be found on Amazon too via these links
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

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