ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED Review – Cool, Calm and Collected
The ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED is a creator-focused laptop that is designed to maximize productivity with high performance, improved airflow via AAS Ultra, and the innovative ASUS Dial. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
24-months international warranty
+ AAS Ultra improves cooling immensely
+ Keyboard typing experience is very comfortable
+ Speakers sound great
+ Excellent OLED display with touchscreen support
+ ASUS Numberpad 2.0 is always a welcome addition
+ New ASUS Dial design looks great and is useful to have
+ Good array of connectivity options
- Trackpad has some clicking issues
- A little heavy
- Speakers could be louder
- Charging the ASUS Pen can be troublesome in the long run
Unboxing the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED
Let’s kick off the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED review with the unboxing. The box is rather unique as it comes in an angled, scalene-esque triangle for an added touch of pizazz. Admittedly, it can be a bit annoying to open but for most people, you’re just gonna be opening it once so it’s not a big deal. Inside the box, you can find the following items:
- ASUS Pen 2.0
- User guide
- Warranty card
- USB-to-LAN adapter
- 200W charging brick
- Power cable
- The ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED itself
Every purchase of this laptop is expected to come with a free ASUS backpack as well.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-12700H, 14C(6P+8E)/20T @ 2.3GHz (up to 4.7GHz Turbo), 45W TDP, Intel 7|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR5-5200 (on-board)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|Storage||1TB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD|
Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (WiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2)
2 x Thunderbolt 4, 40Gbps, supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, USB-PD
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), 10Gbps
1 x SD Express 7.0 SD card reader
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
|Display||16″ 4K 16:10 60Hz OLED NanoEdge touchscreen display
550 nits, 100% DCI-P3, Pantone Validated, VESA Display HDR True Black 500
2 x DisplayPort Alt Mode over Thunderbolt 4
1 x HDMI 2.1
|Audio||Stereo speakers, tuned by harman/kardon (premium)
Array microphone, Alexa, Cortana voice-recognition support
AI Noise-Cancelling Mic + AI Noise-Cancelling Speaker
|Power||96WHrs 6-cell Li-ion battery
200W power adapter
|Dimensions||355 x 252 x 16.9 mm|
Starting off our benchmark suite with CrystalDiskMark, the 1TB SSD used here is clearly lightning fast given the results that we got. This means minimal bootups and loading times along with very quick data transfer speeds for the most part, which is great. In case you’re wondering, the SSD is the Samsung PM9A1 PCIe Gen4 SSD.
Ignore the GPU, it doesn’t play a role in this specific benchmark.
Moving to Cinebench R20, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED had a pretty strong showing in both single core and multi-core. The only thing it lost to are laptops running the stronger the Intel Core i9-12900H, which makes logical sense.
As for Unigine SuperPosition in the 4K Optimized benchmark, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED may not seem like it got a high score at first glance but keep in mind that 4K resolution is pretty heavy. The score is pretty much par for the course given its RTX 3060 GPU.
In 3DMark Time Spy, a similar pattern can be seen, but it’s also interesting to see that it’s practically even with an RTX 2070 Max-Q, the latter is a more energy-efficient version of the standard RTX 2070.
In 3DMark Port Royal for ray tracing on the other hand, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED seems relatively low but keep in mind that ray tracing is very resource intensive. Most people wouldn’t enable ray tracing given the performance drop but if this is an area of importance for you, get one with a stronger GPU.
Lastly on PCMark 10, the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED has a very strong showing overall. It appears that the 12th Gen Intel Core CPU is certainly working its magic here. While it’s meant more for content creation, this one does work well as an all-rounder.
In case you’re wondering about the battery life, it’s not bad. It lasted 9 hours and 10 minutes (550 minutes) before it died, which is pretty good given the firepower its packing. If you’re not doing any tasks that’s too heavy, you should be able to go without a charger for nearly a whole day.
Missed the Zenbook Grand Launch event? Check out all the laptops that were launched on that day by clicking right here.
The first good thing we have to talk about is the AAS Ultra mechanism. When you open the lid, the keyboard gets a 7° lift which makes typing very comfortable. However, that isn’t the main point as the mechanism exposes more air vents, resulting in improved airflow and better cooling. While CPU temperature does get a bit high during benchmarks, it doesn’t thermal throttle and when it comes to rendering in Premiere Pro and gaming, CPU easily stays below 80°C.
Interestingly, the benefits of AAS Ultra also extends to audio as the tweeters on each side is directed more towards the user. This results in a more immersive experience, and the sound quality is pretty decent as well since it has a noticeable amount of depth as opposed to sounding hollow and tinny like most laptop speakers do.
Moving on to the display, it’s excellent for creatives as it’s a 4K+ OLED display with relatively thin bezels. The 16:10 aspect ratio gives it that added bit of screen real estate, letting you see more. Add together good brightness, excellent colour reproduction and Dolby Vision HDR, you have everything you need to get your visual work up and running. It’s also great for watching videos as well.
Not to forget, it does have touchscreen support, complete with ASUS Pen 2.0, so you can make full use of the 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s overkill if all you want to do is write down notes but if you have an affinity for drawing, sketches, and visual work, this would be a blessing. You might not need a graphics tablet anymore so you can save some space on your work setup.
The inclusion of ASUS Numberpad 2.0 is always great as it cleverly makes use of the space to turn the trackpad into a working numberpad. Most people would be using a mouse anyway so the trackpad is often left unused but that will definitely not be the case with this one.
Moving on to connectivity, it certainly does have a good array of it. You get a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-sized HDMI port, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, a full-sized SD card reader, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2. I only wished that it came with an extra USB-A port but given what you’re getting, it’s a fair trade.
Lastly, the ASUS Dial is a blessing to have. What it is is essentially an extra physical control option that will let you interact with certain software and the functions are customizable via ProArt Creator Hub. It now supports the Adobe Creative Suite and the design is now thinner. It can be a bit awkward to use at first but once you get a hang of it and take the time to customize it, it will be hard to move to another laptop without the dial.
As great as the laptop is, there are bound to be some drawbacks. In case you weren’t aware, the trackpad doesn’t actually physically click. Instead, it relies of haptic feedback to mimic a click. This is great as less moving parts mean less things would break. However, it sometimes fail to register clicks and will occasionally make you think if you did press it down or not.
While I did mention that the speakers sound good, especially thanks to AAS Ultra, the volume could be louder. It’s not exactly soft per se but at max volume, you would expect more out of the laptop.
The inclusion of touchscreen is certainly a good one, and it would be pretty useful overall. The ASUS Pen 2.0 can make that even better but my only gripe with it is having to charge it. Sure, it’s convenient that you can charge via USB-C, the battery life is long, it doesn’t take long, but the idea of having to charge a pen is rather troublesome. If only there’s a way to charge it wirelessly.
The build quality of this laptop is certainly pretty solid but if there was one complaint about it, I would say it’s the weight of the laptop. At 2.4kg, it’s certainly on the heavier side, and heavier than a good number of gaming laptops out there today. It would be great to see the weight shave off by about 300-400g to improve its mobility.
ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED Verdict
The ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED is a great laptop for content creators and visual experts. At RM11,999 it’s certainly pricey, and the crowd that can make full use of it is a niche one, so you have to make sure this is something you truly want. Personally, I would rather go for a Zenbook Duo for its dual-screen setup but it depends on which one benefits you more; the ASUS Dial or the ASUS ScreenPad.
At the end of our ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED review, I award this laptop with our Silver Pokdeward.
Big thanks to ASUS Malaysia for sending us this laptop for the purpose of this review.