We recently took a look at the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo and that was honestly an amazing laptop. But today, we have something just a little more sensible and this will be our first experience with the Intel 12th-Gen P-Series. This is the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED. Let’s take a look.
Now with it being part of the new Zenbook lineup for 2022, this gets a refreshed look as well and it’s quite the stunner. It’s really simple, really clean and this new Ponder Blue color that’s also available on other Zenbooks just looks stunning. The other big difference is the lack of an Asus text on the lid. Instead, this has been replaced with an enlarged version of their new monogram logo that takes the ‘A’ in Asus and transforms it into a minimalistic arrow. It still actually does have the Asus text on the lid mind you, just tucked away in the corner and hiding in plain sight.
The new chassis is also going to come in pretty thin at just under 17mm (16.9mm) and will weigh about 1.4 kg (1.39 kg / 3.06 lbs). But not only is the design great, but the display is as well.
Just like on the previous Zenbook 14X OLED, you’re getting a 14-inch OLED display that’s high in resolution with a great refresh rate as well. So it’s a 14-inch OLED with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 in a 16 by 10 aspect ratio, 90Hz refresh rate, 100% DCI-P3 with 10-bit color, up to 600 nits in peak brightness, HDR True Black 600 and is Pantone Validated.
Needless to say, it’s a fantastic display and OLED is just downright awesome. You get not just really vibrant colors, but accurate colors and the blacks are truly deep and dark. If you’re someone who’s into HDR content, this is by far one of the best experiences you can get on a laptop. Not to mention, it runs at 90Hz as well, which makes it really enjoyable for some light gaming too. More on that later.
As for the webcam, this is definitely a weak point of this laptop. It is only 720p, so it’s definitely nothing fantastic, but of course it’s still usable. However, there’s no support for facial recognition via Windows Hello, so that’s a little bit of a letdown.
You do however get a fingerprint reader on the power button itself, so all is not lost.
Speaking of which, the keyboard and touchpad are as great as ever. The keys are pretty large, the font used is simplistic and nice and I generally had a great experience typing for hours or more without much issues. The trackpad is also really large and your fingers will glide smoothly without hiccups. It also does feature the Asus NumberPad 2.0 which is basically a digital numpad built right on the touchpad itself.
As for speakers, I would say it is actually quite a substantial upgrade compared to old Zenbooks as far as I can remember, and it’s likely thanks to the addition of the new Smart Amp. Not only are they now louder, but they don’t distort even at max volume. It’s still not the best and the low-end is still lacking, but for just listening to music or even playing casual games, it’s more than adequate.
Battery life is also a point of consideration for this very laptop. With that 75 watt hour battery, you can expect about 8-9 hours of battery life, which can easily get you through a day of working without plugging it in. Additionally, it supports fast-charging where you can charge it up to 60% from zero in just about 50 minutes. And of course since it uses Type-C, you can use any other Type-C charger or power bank in a pinch.
In total, you do get a single USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI 2.0b, 3.5mm combo and a microSD card reader.
But we now come to what was the most interesting, at least for me. This features the latest Intel 12th-Gen Core i7-1260P, along with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. As with all 12th-Gen chips, this new chip also utilizes the new hybrid architecture of which this has 4 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores for a total of 12 cores and 16 threads. So let’s see how this performs, starting with Cinebench R23.
We tested in both the Standard and Performance fan profiles and we’ve got to say that the new Core i7-1260P is a definite improvement over the previous Core i7-1195G7. It’s anywhere from a 25-40% improvement depending on the laptop. For DaVinci Resolve, it’s honestly not too bad. While it does still take quite a while to render a 1080p project, we did notice slightly less hiccups while editing itself, especially when scrubbing through timelines and more. If you’re planning to work with 4K projects however, this is not it. Goes without saying that we played some games as well and honestly it’s quite the nice surprise
Utilizing just the Irix XE graphics on that Core i7-1260P, we were able to get decent frame rates at 1080p medium settings across some popular game titles. Especially enjoyable was Valorant which ran flawlessly with high frame rates no less. Turn it up to native resolution and things definitely take a hit, though surprisingly, Valorant still played like a charm. Goes to show how easy it is to run Valorant, I guess. As for thermals, you needn’t worry. On the Performance fan profile and playing a more demanding game like Genshin, the Core i7 will draw up to 30 watts or so and hover in the mid 80 degrees celsius for the most part. Fan noise is also well within reason.
So we’ve covered pretty much everything about this laptop and I honestly just have to say that it’s been a solid experience. It’s a beautiful design, it’s got a great OLED display, it’s lightweight with good battery life and you’re getting solid performance with that Core i7-1260P. Not to mention you can even game a bit, especially with Valorant. Moreover, it’s pretty affordable as well.
For this exact configuration, it’ll set you back just about S$1,900 Singapore Dollars (1,899 SGD) or about 1350 USD thereabouts. For the price, it really does offer quite a lot especially for this category of laptops.
So this would be my honest opinion, if you are near a major electronics store and they have this on display, definitely check it out. It’ll be worth you time.