As a manufacturer, ASUS has always been pushing the quality boundaries to improve the experience and overall specs of their laptop range. Whether it’s incorporating the fastest RAM, or building in OLED displays across the range, it’s always a pleasure to open one of these laptops and now I’m checking out their latest offering, the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED.
The Zenbook Pro 16x OLED is aimed at creators with a large, gorgeous looking 16” OLED display, a raised, sloped keyboard and massive trackpad with ASUS Dial beside it, which can help creators do more in a range of apps – or just help you raise your volume faster and more.
Priced at $4,999, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16x OLED isn’t a budget laptop, but there’s a large gorgeous OLED panel and also plenty of power inside with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIE SSD and Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU – enough to even scratch a gaming itch, or power through plenty of graphics intensive work.
I’ve been using the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16x OLED for a few weeks and here’s how it went.
Design and Hardware
For a start the Zenbook Pro 16x OLED has some very sleek lines for such a large laptop, and it’s fairly hefty too weighing in at 2.4kg. The top of the laptop has a familiar concentric ring pattern brushed into the 6000-series aerospace grade aluminium top panel, which is centred on the recently updated ASUS monogram logo.
At 17.8mm the laptop is out of the realms of ultrabooks, but it also allows for the laptop to include more ports. ASUS have included a full-sized USB Type A (3.2 Gen 2) port, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports which support both PD and display, a HDMI port, 3.5mm combo audio jack and a full sized SD card reader – quite the boon for some creators for uploading content. This excellent array of connectivity extends internally as well with dual-band Wifi 6E and Bluetooth 5 on offer.
Even with the larger size, the laptop does still fit fairly neatly into the padded laptop section of my backpack without any difficulties.
The keyboard is spacious and extremely comfortable to type on, with just the right amount of travel. That’s not the best thing about the keyboard though, with the keyboard portion of the lower deck able to rise at an angle when you open the laptop. Once open the keyboard sits at a comfortable angle that feels natural, with the raised platform aiding in cooling the internals of the laptop.
The keyboard also includes per-key RGB LEDs, a world first, letting you see some really cool effects including lighting up when notifications appear. You configure this in the myASUS app which requires an ASUS account that can easily be created when you launch the software. There’s also some downward facing LED lights underneath the keyboard that light up the desk for a neat effect.
The Zenbook Pro 16x OLED does include a fingerprint enabled power button for biometric authentication in addition to the Windows Hello compatible IR webcam on top of the display which ASUS has bumped up to 1080p resolution. The webcam is decent in quality and the easy login with Windows Hello is fast.
The Trackpad is simply massive, but very responsive. It’s got haptics built-in which is an odd sensation when you use it for the first time but works well. The ASUS Numpad 2.0 built-in to the trackpad lets you light up the NumPad in the trackpad when you need it, but leave it off when you don’t. You can even use a gesture to load the Windows Calculator app by swiping across the top of the trackpad from the brightness icon to the left which is a neat trick.
Sitting either side of the keyboard are the speakers, tweeters, which are paired with some bottom firing woofers. The whole setup is Dolby Atmos tuned (naturally), and the whole setup sounds fantastic.
The last inclusion on the keyboard deck is the ASUS Dial next to the trackpad. The ASUS Dial consists of a central button surrounded by a touch enabled circle. This setup lets you adjust System Volume and Brightness by default, but really comes into its own when you install compatible apps. ASUS has worked with Adobe on this one, so when you install Photoshop, Premiere Pro and more, you’ll see additional options when you open those apps.
I love the ASUS Dial, just with the defaults for adjusting volume and brightness it’s great, but adding in the compatibility with Adobe apps really makes the Zenbook Pro 16x OLED a phenomenal creator tool.
The laptop includes a gorgeous 16-inch 4K OLED in 16:10 aspect ratio. The OLED panel is Pantone validated with 100% DCI-P3 support. The panel is also touch enabled and also supports the ASUS Pen 2.0 which has up to 4096 pressure levels – though you’ll have to buy this accessory separately.
The display is, to put it simply, gorgeous. The colours and brightness are excellent, though it is let down a little with a ‘mere’ 60Hz refresh rate, so it’s not going to blow you away when gaming. The brightness is more than ample for working indoors or out, with the OLED able to ramp up to a very respectable brightness if needed.
What the display is great for is any graphics work you have, with the colour representation in any photo editing apps you use looking fantastic.
ASUS has included a nice 12th Gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB Gen 4 PCIe M.2 SSD. ASUS has included an NVIDIA RTX3060 dGPU with the system, so it’s also got potential for gaming. All up it’s a combo which adds up to a fast, responsive system across the board, but with some limitations.
Running your day to day office work is brilliant, web surfing, using Office 365 or Google Docs etc. all run like a dream. You can also run Adobe products through Creative Cloud with no issues, in-fact, they run quite nicely. There are some issues with gaming though, with the RTX3060 not quite up to the challenge when it comes to running top-tier games.
I ran an array of games including The Forest, The Planet Crafter and even old school Commander Keen which all ran pretty well. It was when I ran things like Cyberpunk 2077 that the system started to struggle, but even CP77 performs pretty well on Medium settings with no DLSS.
For consistency, I ran the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED through its paces on the 3DMark benchmarking software and here’s the CPU Spy and TimeSpy results.
Battery and Charging
The ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED comes with a 96WHrs, 3S2P, 6-cell Li-ion battery and 200W charger with barrel adapter for charging. The laptop also includes those dual Thunderbolt 4 USB Type C ports which can charge the device – though they’ll charge it slower than the 200W standard adapter.
In terms of battery life the performance, as well as screen brightness on that massive OLED display affects the battery life. With fairly consistent office work (Office 365/Google Docs), you’ll see over 6 hours of use at 100% brightness. If you decide to scale that down towhile 50% brightness though you will get through a full 8 hours of use, with a couple of hours left for watching videos at the end of the day.
If however you want to take advantage of the RTX 3060 GPU on-board though you can push battery life right out the door with a shade under 2 hours of battery life – moral of this story is, if you want to game for longer bring the charger.
Charging on that 200W adapter is excellent with a 15 minute charge getting you up to 30%, while a half hour charge gets you to just over 50%. If you want a full charge it’s a shade under two hours.
ASUS deliver the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED with Windows 11 Pro, which of course receives regular feature and security updates directly from Microsoft. There’s the usual McAfee LiveSafe, which of course needs to be registered and paid for almost immediately – or you can use the Windows Defender software built-in to Windows.
There is of course the obligatory MS Office 365 trial and Xbox software pre-installed from Microsoft. There is also a smattering of applications to help you configure your ASUS laptop including the myASUS application, ProArt Creator Hub, NVIDIA and Dolby Tools, as well as some shortcuts to apps which will then install fully like Spotify, Disney+ and WhatsApp.
It’s the usual software load you can expect from a laptop, with some applications quite useful, while others you can uninstall fairly easily once you login to the laptop for the first time.
Should you buy it?
As a creator tool, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED has a lot to like, and it also adds in some decent gaming if you’re willing to scale the graphics back a little and game in short bursts on battery.
The OLED display is gorgeous, though the lower refresh rate is a little disappointing but easy to overlook if you’re doing more business, or creative work. With the addition of the ASUS Dial and a bit of a learning curve to use it, it can also make your workload a little easier.
At $4,999 the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED (UX7602) carries a premium price tag, but with a little shopping around you can find a decent discount. There’s a lot to offer for any creators out there, with that additional benefit of being able to run some games in your down time.
You can find the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED (UX7602) on-sale now from Australian ASUS resellers.