The ASUS Zenbook Pro 16x OLED is a very unique laptop that has the power you need to satisfy a world of consumers that demand constant content.
One of the reasons I respect ASUS as a company is the design innovation, while I look at other laptop brands I often see one design with multiple choices of internal upgrades. ASUS change the layout and features externally as well to specifically target the specific consumer’s needs. In the case of the Zenbook Pro 16x OLED, it’s all about a user who is a creator of content.
The internal spec layout is impressive allowing you to run all the creation programs like the Adobe suite or Davinci Resolve efficiently and even working with large 4k files there are no skips and bumps. Nor should there be as in the review model supplied on loan was an Intel® Core™ i7-12700H Processor 2.3 GHz and an NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3060 Laptop GPU. Paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 onboard RAM (let’s be honest I’d prefer 32) it does the job extremely well as I spend a big chunk of my creative process swapping between programs like Audition, Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects.
To declare the screen “vibrant’ would be an understatement. The fairly recent decision to go all out on OLED screens is really paying off for ASUS and with a massive 16.0-inch, 4K (3840 x 2400) PANATONE Validated OLED giving you a 16:10 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate. This glossy display is perfect for the long hours you spend in front of it getting your content right especially with a 70% less harmful blue light, TÜV Rheinland-certified, SGS Eye Care Display.
The real surprise with it though is that it was a touch screen and with an included ASUS Stylus in the box, you are ready to go with your design as soon as you get the machine home. It’s times like that I wish I could draw, but there are plenty of other features you can use the combo for and it’s great to see it in a creator-focused laptop.
A thin and light external design on the Zenbook Pro 16x OLED is where the magic is, the Tech Black colour and signature ASUS “Star Trek Communicator” Emblem on the top of the closed lid, it’s a professional-looking laptop when it’s closed but when you open it the character of the design is on show.
The screen lights up to demand your focus, making that Tech Black colour a great choice while the keyboard is Backlit Chiclet Per Key RGBW. This intelligent lighting can all be set per-key in the My ASUS app included on the installation and is easy to control to get the colour system that matches your workspace, or just light it up so you can see your keys better.
The touchpad is an enlarged haptic touchpad that toggles to use the ASUS NumberPad 2.0. A handy feature that feels like future tech.
The hero feature of the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16x OLED is found to the left of the keyboard and comes in the form of the ASUS Dial. This is apparently the world’s first physical dial that enables control of creative apps. At first, its main feature adjusts the volume but once you get into your productivity its integration with creative software is an absolute game-changer allowing you to quickly perform tasks like changing your brush size in Photoshop or colour balance and tone in Lightroom.
Where I found it invaluable though was in video editors quickly scrolling the timeline and zooming in to make adjustments. One hand was on the Physical ASUS Dial, the other was on the mouse and the speed of the workflow was incomparable.
Special mention to the Twelve South Curve Flex seen in the images, I get a lot of comments about it. This “flex” model is an improvement on the standard curve and is built for MacBooks but I find it sits most laptops comfortably and is great for bringing your machine to eye level, adjusting your keyboard angle and even folds flat to fit in your carry bag. I’m a big fan of the Matte White.
There are an impressive collection of ports on the sides of the device with Dual Thunderbolt™ 4 giving you high-speed data transfers and full-range charging. There’s also a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1 FRL, 3.5mm Audio Jack, DC in and a designer’s dream SD Express 7.0 card reader.
Audio throws out a few surprises as well with Smart Amplifier, Dolby Atmos 4-way speakers but also a four-mic array, two at the front, two at the back and all set to capture 360° audio.
Of course, we see the ASUS Active Aerodynamic System Ultra in play here that tilts the keyboard up when opening the lid to allow for a more ergonomic use as well as create airflow for cooling the hardware.
In your downtime, this machine will run all your games really well, I spend some time playing the recent Sony PlayStation ports of Spider-Man Miles Morales and Sack Boy and found it to be a smooth enjoyable experience using a plugged-in DualSense controller. I see this Zenbook as more of a workstation but knowing I can use it to wind down after a busy day with games or streaming TV with a crisp and vibrant screen is another feather in its cap.
Would I recommend the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED?
There’s thought that went into creating a unique product for content creators and designers that doesn’t go unnoticed on the ASUS Zenbook 16x Pro OLED. It’s the hero feature of a Physical ASUS Dial that actually creates a practical improvement rather than just be a novelty add-on is why I’d recommend this laptop for improving your workflow.
By Doccy Darko (Official Tech and Gaming Guru of the Random 20)
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