Complete. Here is the right word to define the offer of Asus in terms of PC. Between its ROG gaming products, its Vivobooks cut out for multimedia and office automation and its various Zenbooks, ranging from mid to high-end, the choice is plethoric. However, despite its efforts, the Taiwanese manufacturer did not manage to climb to the top 5 of the best PC sellers in the world in 2021, still dominated by Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer and Apple.
Despite everything, France is one of its favorite markets. In France, Asus has been number 1 on the market for 10 years now, both in terms of value and volume on consumer and gaming products. A fine performance which earned it the place of 3rd most important subsidiary for Asus worldwide.
And the builder is doing everything to keep his throne! Asus decides to adopt for this year a tactic of abundance. As proof, the manufacturer has already announced the launch of four new references for the third quarter.
Among all the novelties of this beginning of the year, the ZenBook 14 particularly caught our attention thanks to its balanced techno-price ratio, at least on paper. After using it in the office, on weekends and abroad during a business trip, here are our impressions.
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED price and availability
Available since last April, the Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) is available in two configurations and in a single color, midnight blue. For 1199 euros, the first has a 12th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. For 1399 euros, the Zenbook 14 has an Intel Core i7 with the same characteristics.
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED at the best price
Base price: €1,529
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A fully controlled facelift
The Zenbook 14 Oled inaugurates a new design that will now be adopted by all of the brand’s ultrabooks. Behind, the brushed aluminum dressed in discreet concentric curves has been abandoned in favor of a metal back with a matte finish. On the latter, varnished lines adorn the space by forming triangles with plunging finishes.
A wise choice since in industrial design the triangle symbolizes, among other things, harmony and balance. These are two terms that perfectly suit this Zenbook 14 when you see it for the first time.
By taking it in hand, this impression remains. With its 1.4 kg on the scale, it is not the lightest in its category, but its weight is well distributed. Overall, the wide chassis exudes solidity.
To make the connection between the latter and the screen, Asus has chosen a hinge, in a lighter blue, going on either side of the product. The opening, closing and unfolding at 180 degrees is done without a hitch, even if sometimes we have the impression of forcing our gestures a little. For example, to close it, you have to take care to accompany the screen to the end, otherwise it will tend to fall back on the end, making noise.
Finally, we are happy to note that for Asus the ultrabook format does not necessarily entail limited connectivity. Rather generous, this Zenbook 14 sports a USB-A Gen1, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, a micro-SD card reader and of course a 3.5mm jack.
Sober and elegant, the Zenbook 14 borders on design excellence, except for two details. Too bad that the integration of its screen is made in a plastic frame that does not exude as much robustness as the rest of the machine. And above all, his back is devilishly too fond of fingerprints.
Compact keyboard and trackpad
At first, the keyboard initially seemed a bit too compact. However, the space it takes is proportional to the size of the chassis (31.3 x 22 x 1.7 cm). After several hours of use, we guess where this impression comes from.
Although the keys are thick and pleasant to the touch, they feel a bit constricted to us. Likewise, the function keys on the top are, this time, a bit too small, as is the Enter key. As a result, we made a few accidental typos early on that slowed down our prose.
As a good malleable typist, and as is often the case when changing machines, it took us a short week of adaptation for our writing experience to be completely fluid.
Highlighted by a gray ring, the power key also acts as a fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello. As for the backlight, which offers three levels of intensity, there is nothing to say. Even in total darkness, the keyboard reveals itself to us without any problem. Finally, a big crush on the large touchpad (130 x 74 mm).
It allows a precise glide, our fingers skate over it almost with pleasure. The ingenious digital overlay, which is activated by a short press on the upper right corner, is still there. Extremely reactive, the latter allows a significant productivity gain once the forced gesture turns into a reflex.
A screen that shines brightly
For some time now, the manufacturer has made it its mission to democratize OLED as much as possible in its catalog. With each time, a perfectly successful calibration. This Zenbook is no exception to the rule, its 14-inch (2880 x 1800 pixels) slab (non-touch) in 16:10 format is simply sumptuous.
Whether for office automation or leisure, it’s a real treat to use it. The pickiest among you could tell us that on its XPS range Dell offers more muscular definitions (3840 x 2400 pixels), but believe us.
On a 14-inch format, the gain of a 4K display is, in our opinion, very little visible and therefore not very useful. Except, perhaps, to increase the bill.
As with its design, Asus therefore manages the calibration of its screen with a master hand. The temperature is always realistic and no color changes over the other. Thanks to OLED technology, the contrasts are, logically, almost infinite.
The experience could have been perfect, but unfortunately the screen has no anti-reflective treatment. Indoors, you will have to be careful not to be too backlit to watch a video, otherwise the details of the room will be reflected in the shadows of the screen.
Finally, outdoors it will be possible to use the machine to work for a while, but not over time as reading comfort is subject to reverberations. We have tried to play on the brightness to overcome this problem. Although effective in the majority of situations, the latter turns out to be too weak outside to help us.
In the bowels of the Zenbook 14, there is a Core i7-1260P processor accompanied by 16 GB of DDR5 RAM. As a reminder, these latest Intel chips are hybrid, in other words they are composed of four hyperthreaded cores for performance and eight other, more economical cores, dedicated to system efficiency.
In our test configuration, this processor is supported by an Intel Iris Xe graphics chip, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage, which we can fortunately expand via a micro-SD card so as not to feel overwhelmed. narrow over time.
Unsurprisingly, the latest offspring from Asus is rarely caught out. Whether for office multitasking, web browsing or streaming, the Zenbook 14 offers a smooth experience, without any slowdown. Especially since it is possible to increase the refresh rate of the screen to 90 Hz, which visually optimizes this impression of speed continuously.
For Sunday creatives, know that it will also be possible to launch photo editing software, but only for extra use. As far as gaming is concerned, it is not predestined to run the latest video game blockbusters, but on Cloud gaming or on games that are not too greedy in graphic resources, it will satisfy you.
Does the latest offspring have the same Achilles heel as most ultrabooks? Indeed, it is well known, the big weak point of this PC format is inherent in their size. They usually show weaknesses when it comes to heat dissipation because they don’t have a lot of space to vent properly.
And much to our surprise, the Zenbook 14 is doing quite well. Even fully loaded, it heated up very little and above all it remained silent 90% of the time like a carp.
A faithful companion
Thanks to its new processor, which optimizes consumption, and its large 75 Wh battery, the Zenbook 14 has two nice arguments to make in terms of autonomy. In fact, it keeps pace during a heavy day’s work – 90 Hz screen, maximum brightness and audio streaming in red thread – and a mini movie night.
In all, by pushing him to the limit, he ran out of steam after 9 hours, which in itself represents a good result. Especially since by being more lenient with him, especially on weekends with a few surf sessions and Netflix, it is possible to take full advantage of him over two days.
Compact, the USB-C charger offers a power of 65W, which allows us to give colors to the Zenbook 14 without waiting too long. To reach 50% battery, we needed 45 minutes. Finally, to facilitate transport, Asus includes a nice carrying case in its packaging, as well as a USB-A to RJ-45 adapter to connect it to Ethernet. We appreciate the gesture.
Audio and webcam: a good and a bad point
For a versatile product, intended as much for leisure as for office automation, it is surprising to see such a mediocre webcam. By limiting its module to 720p, Asus seems to forget that videoconferences are now part of the daily life of the greatest number.
Please note, we are not asking here to have a mind-blowing video experience, but at least the bare minimum on an ultrabook in 2022. Of all the video meetings we have carried out, the sharpness has always been lacking. Too bad, especially since most of its direct competitors offer Full HD sensors.
So as not to end up angry, let’s tackle the subject of audio quality. With its two speakers located under the chassis, the Zenbook 14 offers a balanced sound spectrum, although a little muffled in the bass.
Excellent on the mediums, the voices are clear and limpid, and the highs, restored as desired, the overall experience is pleasant, even at a high volume. A good surprise, because on this point, unlike the webcam, it does much better than most of its competitors.
Buy the Zenbook 14 OLED
Our opinion on the ZenBook 14 OLED
“Do you have a recent laptop PC to recommend to me that could be used for work and to relax?” “. Balanced and efficient, the Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) is the ideal device that we can recommend without hesitation to answer this famous question.
Indeed, it has almost everything you would expect from an ultrabook in 2022. A premium and sleek design, a sumptuous OLED screen for leisure, a convincing keyboard for office automation and generous connectivity. Add to that, solid performance, serious autonomy and an excellent techno-price ratio.
As mentioned in the test, it is unfortunate that its webcam is of fairly average quality and that its screen is subject to reflections. Two small false notes, which in no way spoil our overall impression, and which prove to us once again that perfection does not yet exist.
Asus Oled 14
Design and finishes
Autonomy and charging
- A beautiful well-calibrated screen…
- An elegant design
- Solid performance
- Significant autonomy
We love less
- …but too prone to glare
- A more than average webcam
- The frame of the screen, a bit cheaper than the rest