Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED review: a MacBook Pro killer? | 91mobiles.com (2023)

ASUS has a diversified portfolio of laptop products that cater to a variety of users. Hardcore gamers usually look toward the company’s ROG lineup while consumers that are in need of a machine for professional and creative tasks can opt for the ZenBook or VivoBook series. The ZenBook Pro 16X OLED that I have with me for review is priced at Rs 2,49,990 and is clearly a device meant for users with deep pockets.

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From a 4K OLED panel with touchscreen support to the 12th-gen Intel i9 CPU and NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 GPU, the ZenBook Pro 16X appears as a device that can serve multiple purposes that oscillate between gaming and creative applications. Let’s learn more about this loaded laptop via a detailed review.

Table of Contents

(Video) ASUS Zenbook Buyer's Guide: 2022 Edition

Build, design, and display

  • The ZenBook Pro 16X is definitely not a light machine, and that’s not just because of the heavy-duty internals housed inside. The chassis is made from aerospace-grade 6000 series aluminium alloy, giving the entire laptop a very rigid construction. You couldn’t bend the chassis even if you tried.

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  • The ZenBook Pro has a very unique design feature which I initially thought is susceptible to damage although ASUS assures me it isn’t. When the lid is opened, the keyboard is raised from the body and rests on two levers present on either side, creating a kind of chamber underneath. This serves a couple of purposes of which the more important is better thermal airflow across the system. Secondary functionalities include a more comfortable typing experience on the inclined keyboard and better sound output. ASUS says that it has tested this AAS (Active Aerodynamic System) more than 30,000 times without registering any problems.
  • The ASUS Dial, present previously on the Pro Art Studiobook, has been positioned just below the keyboard. It follows an iPod Click wheel-like design with a physical button in the centre around which a capacitive wheel is present. The Dial is customisable in the ProArt Creator Hub application and can be used to control a variety of functionalities all the way from volume to colour grain on a video. However, the palm rejection on it is not the best, and while typing the ASUS Dial can randomly pop up on the screen, disturbing your workflow.

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  • The ZenBook Pro 16X OLED weighs just under 2.5kgs and has a thickness of about 17mm, both of which impact its portability. As for durability, the laptop boasts US MIL-STD 810H military-grade rating for extreme weather conditions and temperatures, although it’s likely none of us is actually going to use the ZenBook Pro outside a closed environment.
  • The raised keyboard also has an RGB underglow on either side which does look quite cool in a dimly lit room. There is only one colour option present on the device which is called Tech Black. ASUS has done a supreme job of making the ZenBook Pro a stylish yet utilitarian device and my overall impressions of the design are more than positive.

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  • Talking about the ports, the ZenBook Pro offers a very wide array of connectivity options. There’s a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port along with two Thunderbolt 4 slots that both support power delivery and Display Port functionality. An HDMI 2.1 slot is present on the right beside the 3.5mm headphone jack and SD Express 7.0 Card reader. Standard wireless connectivity options are present in the form of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. A webcam is located on the top bezel to facilitate facial unlock via Windows Hello.
  • The display present on the laptop has mostly been designed keeping creative professionals in mind. You get a 4K OLED panel that has a 16:10 aspect ratio, 60Hz refresh rate, and 550nits of peak brightness. The screen is Pantone validated, as expected, and has a 100 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut alongside a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Add to that full touchscreen capability and stylus support, and you have the ultimate creator machine. Watching Interstellar, on this Dolby Vision and HDR-capable screen transcended the visual experience like no other laptop display I’ve seen.

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  • The OLED’s deep blacks accentuate the excellent colour calibration on the panel while TÜV Rheinland certification means less stress on my eyes. This is a screen which you have to see to believe. As for the touchscreen, its response was acceptable and I had a lot of fun doodling on the display with the ASUS Pen 2.0. However, since the hinge doesn’t allow 360-degree movement, the stylus applications are a bit hampered. ASUS is really trying very hard to compete with the current lineup of MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch and during my initial viewing of the ZenBook Pro’s screen, I have to say that the company is on the right track.

Keyboard and trackpad

  • While the keyboard deck rises up from the chassis, its layout is the standard six-row chiclet-style arrangement seen very often on ASUS laptops. On the backlighting front, you get what ASUS claims to be the first White RGB loadout which provides a perfectly accurate White tone on the keys. In my opinion, the lighting does not seem very different from the sea of RGB-lit keyboards on the market. You can customise this lighting for each key or set a pattern for the entire keyboard in the MyAsus app.

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  • The 1.4mm of key travel is perfect for my typing needs and there is also a subtle 0.2mm dish-shaped indentation on each key. There’s also a nifty feature that sets the priority mode on the function key row depending on what tasks you are doing.
  • The trackpad on the ZenBook is perhaps the largest you’ll see on a laptop outside the 16-inch MacBook Pro lineup and it’s every bit as good if not better. For starters, the trackpad, with a single click, also doubles up as the Numpad for some quick calculations. Asus has also implemented LRA technology to give precision to the haptic feedback while clicking.
  • As for the surface, there is an anti-fingerprint coating that deters any smudges and maintains a clean look. All said and done, I still prefer using an external mouse instead to get my work done.

Performance and battery life

  • ASUS is offering the 12th-gen Intel i9 12900H processor on the ZenBook Pro 16X OLED review unit that I have although there is also an i7 version. You can already guess that the laptop performs exceedingly well in any CPU-related task at hand. Since I’m not using the Adobe suite of apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, Premier Pro, or applications like DaVinci Resolve in my line of work, my observations of the device’s performance revolve mainly around Chrome and Microsoft Office usage.

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  • I had about 20 Chrome tabs open across three windows while simultaneously running Spotify, Excel, and a couple of other programs, and at no point did I see a stutter or lag. Benchmark numbers also back up this claim with Cinebench R23 churning out a very healthy score of 15,124 on the multi-core test. For work-related tasks, PCMark 10 provided a score of 7,012 which is also quite good.
  • As for memory requirements, the laptop comes with 32GB DDR5 RAM which is non-upgradable but I feel that for almost all tasks that should be enough. There’s also 2TB of M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Performance SSD present and in CrystalDiskMark’s read/write test, I got splendid speeds of 6,756MB/s and 4,871MB/s respectively.
  • Thermally, the noise profile of the fans generally is quite dim although you can crank up the speeds for better performance in the MyAsus app. ASUS says that the AAS system allows for 30 percent more airflow and I have no reason to doubt it since the device runs quite cool even when I’m running GPU-intensive titles on it. Also, there are the two IceBlades fans with 3D curved blades that dissipate heat more effectively.
  • A powerful GPU is necessary for doing tasks like exporting 4K videos or RAW footage. The ZenBook Pro 16X comes with NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 discreet graphics that has a TDP of 95W when Dynamic Boost is enabled. I threw a slew of AAA titles at the device and the frame rate count didn’t disappoint me.

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  • On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, the ZenBook Pro 16X got 86fps at the Highest settings and 1080p resolution. Left 4 Dead 2 at the highest graphics kept the frame rate between 140-150fps. The lack of NVIDIA G-sync did see some tears in the frame rate but not so much as to cause any concern. CS: GO also ran at a cool 140fps alongside Valorant and pretty much any other lower intensity title. It’s imperative to state that any graphical title when running at 4K resolution will bring the system down to its knees.
  • As far as audio goes, the ZenBook Pro 16X has a six-speaker setup which consists of two tweeters and four woofers. I don’t think I’ve heard better audio coming from a laptop, be it any Windows machine or a MacBook Pro. The sound quality is extremely crisp with a deep bass resonating underneath that provides a very wide soundstage. At max volume, the audio never crackles and delivers crystal clear dialogues when watching a movie.
  • The 1080p webcam has decent picture quality although the more impressive feature is the IR-based face authentication which detects, using a separate ToF sensor, when my face is in front of the screen and unlocks the laptop instantly, even when it’s on Sleep mode.

Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED review: a MacBook Pro killer? | 91mobiles.com (9)

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  • The battery housed inside the ZenBook Pro 16X is a 96Whr cell which is pretty sizeable for any laptop. During my usage, wherein I extensively watched a lot of OTT content, the battery gave up after about 7 hours of screen-on time, which I consider to be ample, especially with the hardware onboard. The charger provided with the box can juice up the laptop at 200W and it takes about 2 hours to completely fill up the battery.

Final Verdict

Most of my friends who are into filmmaking, cinematography, photo editing, and so on, have traditionally been MacBook users. The ASUS ZenBook Pro 16X OLED genuinely has the ability to make them switch. I did show the laptop to one of my friends and he was in awe of the display and audio quality on the ZenBook Pro. Pricing plays a key role here and the laptop’s hefty starting cost of Rs 2,49,990 can put a big dent in your wallet.

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However, when compared to the MacBook Pro 16-inch with the M1 Pro chipset, you are getting a much better deal in just about every aspect of a laptop experience, except perhaps the battery life. The ZenBook Pro 16X OLED has all the elements to make it the portable creative machine of choice for most use cases.

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent 4K OLED display
  • Class-leading speakers
  • Sturdy construction
  • Decent performance
  • Snappy facial unlock

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor palm rejection on the ASUS Dial

FAQs

Is Asus Vivobook PRO 16X good? ›

The Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED ticks off the main needs on any content creator's list – a fast processor, plenty of RAM and a large 4K touch-sensitive display. It also chalks up a few wants as well, like a useful DialPad tool that simplifies working in creative apps.

Is Asus Vivobook 16X good for gaming? ›

The Vivobook Pro 16X OLED can do more than just a content creator laptop, it's an all-rounder laptop for creators, gaming and even work as it offers a longevity battery life.

Which is better Asus Zenbook or Vivobook? ›

The main difference between these laptops is that the Vivobook range is usually less expensive, and is aimed at anyone on a budget. Meanwhile, the Zenbook range is usually more expensive and packs more premium features, with more models available with OLED screens and generally having a better build quality.

Is the Asus Zenbook 4K? ›

ASUS Zenbook Pro 15 features a NanoEdge 4K UHD OLED wide-view display, with ultraslim bezels that create up to an 88% screen-to-body ratio for incredibly immersive viewing experiences. This bright and clear display has a wide 100% DCI-P3 color gamut to ensure vivid colors.

Is the Asus VivoBook pro good? ›

Asus offers a lot of performance at a comparatively low price with the VivoBook Pro models. These laptops are available in 14-, 15-, and 16-inch formats with Intel and AMD processors, as well as various options for graphics cards. Our test device is particularly impressive with its high-resolution OLED display.

Is the Asus VivoBook Pro good for gaming? ›

Despite its name, this Vivobook is better suited to gaming and general productivity than professional audio, photo, or video editing. Getting this much power and an OLED display for just $1,099 is a bargain if this laptop fits your needs.

Is Asus ZenBook good for gaming? ›

With powerful performance, good battery life, and a gorgeous OLED display, the Asus ZenBook Gaming is what you would want in either a work laptop or a gaming laptop. There aren't that many ports on the machine like there are on traditional gaming laptops, but for your everyday laptop it should do just fine.

Is Asus VivoBook 15 a gaming laptop? ›

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is powered by up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, with up to 16GB DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics for smooth visuals and great gaming experiences.

Can you play games on Asus VivoBook 14? ›

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP412UA-DB71T 14” Thin and Lightweight 2-in-1 Full HD Touchscreen PC Gaming Performance. This computer will run 160 of the top PC games. Use PCGameBenchmark's Rate My PC service to test your current set up and set how it compares.

Is HP or Asus better? ›

Asus offers more affordable gaming laptops, while HP focuses on high-end models. Asus also has a wider range of laptops with different specs and features. However, HP laptops tend to be more reliable and have better build quality. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

Which is better Asus or Acer? ›

ASUS is a better choice than Acer. The only area where Acer is better than ASUS is price – everything else like customer support, design and performance, ASUS is the better option of the two. Plus, for those looking for a gaming laptop, ASUS has a lot more options to choose from.

What is the difference between ASUS and ASUS VivoBook? ›

Our Verdict. The ASUS X515 and the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) are both budget Windows laptops. However, the VivoBook Flip is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can use as a tablet, while you can only use the X515 in clamshell mode. The X515 has a larger display, better-sounding speakers, and a better port selection.

How much RAM does Asus Zenbook have? ›

Asus Zenbook 14 inch FHD Laptop, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U, 6-Cores, up to 4 GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCle SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX450 Graphics, Webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Media Card Reader.

Is Asus Zenbook Pro Duo good for programming? ›

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

Asus Zenbook is a perfect laptop for programmers and coders especially game developers mainly because of its 4K display, power, and performance. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo includes a palm rest making it more comfortable for typing and designing purpose.

Is the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo touchscreen? ›

ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED also includes the new tilting ScreenPad Plus, a secondary touchscreen that automatically tilts up by 9.5°, creating an angle of 144.5° between the main display and ScreenPad Plus for more comfortable viewing.

Which ASUS VivoBook is best? ›

Best Asus Laptops in India
  • Asus VivoBook 15 X515JA-EJ592WS Laptop (Core i5 10th Gen/8 GB/512 GB SSD/Windows 11)
  • Asus VivoBook 15 X515JA-EJ362WS Laptop (Core i3 10th Gen/8 GB/512 GB SSD/Windows 11)
  • Asus TUF Gaming F15 FX506LHB-HN358W Laptop (Core i5 10th Gen/8 GB/512 GB SSD/Windows 11/4 GB)

What is difference between VivoBook and laptop? ›

VivoBook is the name for a large selection of Asus laptops. From an 11-inch laptop that you can bring to school for taking notes to a powerhouse for video editing, there's a suitable VivoBook for every user. In addition, there's the VivoBook Flip, a 2-in-1 that's combines the advantages of a tablet and a laptop.

Which is better VivoBook or Chromebook? ›

Asus VivoBook 15 X543UA Laptop's larger 8 GB RAM is better for playing games and all with respect to Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1 Chromebook's lower 4 GB RAM. Asus VivoBook 15 X543UA Laptop has more HDD (1 TB) than Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1 Chromebook (64 GB).

Is zenbook touch screen? ›

The distinctive ZenBook Flip 14 combines the futuristic new ASUS ScreenPad 2.0 with convenience and versatility. ScreenPad 2.0 is an evolved intelligent LCD touchscreen that's integrated into the touchpad: it works with many apps to supercharge multitasking and give you expandable creative possibilities.

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