ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review

The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED is fast and attractive. But it is very bad with battery life.
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ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review - W3Tekno
Our Verdict
Reasons To Buy
  • Excellent screen
  • Good performance
  • USB 4
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Merely average battery life
  • As laptops seem to be getting bigger and bigger lately, it's nice to see a laptop that's incredibly competent as well as being really small and light - or maybe they're just options we've chosen to evaluate. The ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED has a decent processor and an even better display, but since it doesn't have a dedicated GPU chip, it may be overlooked by those looking to do intensive gaming or video editing work, although it does have a decent battery life, nonetheless.

    Most people will be attracted to the Zenbook's 15.6-inch OLED display because it's bright, crisp and looks particularly large in a traditional 16:9 ratio in an age of 16:10 and even 3:2 ratios. This ratio also makes it easy to carry around. It fits comfortably under your arm and looks great as you scurry between conference rooms, cafes and the cushion-filled gathering spaces of modern offices.

    ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review
    Key Specs
    CPU:AMD Ryzen 7 7735U
    GPU:Radeon Graphics 680M
    Screen:15.6in 2880 x 1620 OLED
    Storage512GB SSD
    Connectivity:Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x USB 4.0 Gen 3 Type-C, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm combo audio jack
    Dimensions:35.48 x 22.66 x 1.58cm


    ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review: Features

    The Zenbook has a significant amount of connectivity, although it lacks an Ethernet connector; an Ethernet adapter is required. It has Wi-Fi 6E to compensate for this, as long as you have a matching router, and with the latest Bluetooth 5.3, it's a PC geared towards taking advantage of a wireless environment too. Owners of fast desktop SSDs can connect them to the USB 3.2 port, which has no distinguishing markings and is visually identical to the USB 4 port next to it. If you can't get enough of external displays, there's also an HDMI 2.1 connection that can be used to connect a display or charger to one of the Type-C ports.The headphone socket is a headphone-mix model.

    An SD Card reader would have been nice, but the multiplicity of available connections implies that a docking station that connects to one of the Type-C ports would be a worthwhile investment for the added simplicity of only having to unplug a cable when taking the Zenbook with you.

    The display is a good example of what laptop screens might look like in 2023. It has good colours and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, which keeps everything moving smoothly as windows open and close. Quite high resolution. The only downside is that it reflects wildly in sunlight, a problem that no OLED has been able to solve. Watching TV and films on the Zenbook works pretty well thanks to its 16:9 aspect ratio, but it makes us wish for a hinge that extends even further. It also has Pantone verification, which could be of interest to photographers and designers looking for a portable solution.

    Design And Build

    ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review: Design And Build

    The Zenbook 15 for 2023 is available in black, but takes on a blue glow when illuminated. Its cover has a stylish line pattern made by adding glossy parts to its otherwise matte surface, and it has a hinge that allows the screen to lie flat but not fold in on itself. We still don't understand why laptops do this, except to prevent overzealous use from overstraining the hinge. It is more practical to be able to use the laptop in tent mode to watch films.

    However, there is only a small complaint we have about this device. It's beautifully manufactured, although it's clearly made of plastic rather than metal. The slim screen has a tiny amount of flex, but the chassis is generally strong, and the lid shuts gently. The keyboard is very comfortable to type on, with keys that are big due to the wide aspect ratio. Even the numpad, which has smaller keys than the main keyboard, doesn't seem cramped. Even the arrow keys have been treated with care; there is a larger-than-necessary # key above a headless Enter, but there have been no odd methods to squeeze keys where they are not intended to be. However, pressing the keys gives you a plasticky feeling.

    Although the trackpad's surface is gorgeously smooth, it has a very tiny wobble when in use. At least, when you press down on it, there is a satisfying positive click, and its precision was fine.


    Benchmark scoring
    Cinebench R23:Multi-core: 7,908Single-core: 697
    PC Mark 10:6,324Row 1 - Cell 2
    Battery test:7h34mRow 2 - Cell 2
    Geekbench 6 CPU:Multi-core: 5,129Single-core: 1,960
    Geekbench 6 GPU:27,526Row 4 - Cell 2

    The fact that the laptop can push so many pixels at 120Hz despite relying on an integrated GPU proves that there's more hardware running beneath the surface. This Zenbook has an AMD APU, which is a brand new (at the time of writing) 7000-series Ryzen 7. The ability of these processors to push pixels further than earlier versions is remarkable, and is seen in the way windows move around the screen.

    We utilized a 60MP ISO 12800 raw file from a Sony A7R IV camera with a denoise value of 50% to test the new AI noise reduction in Adobe Camera Raw. This takes around 15 seconds on a desktop PC with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. We were happy to see the Zenbook finish the denoising process in 4m 55s, even though before we started it came up with a fairly worrisome prediction of 72 minutes. The Xulu XR1 tiny PC, which utilizes an older Ryzen 7 CPU and its integrated graphics chip, takes over nine minutes.

    Although it's not a GPU that gamers would swarm to, its benchmark scores put it on level with the GeForce GTX 1050 from 2016 and much ahead of Intel's Iris Xe integrated graphics chip. Although Baldur's Gate 3 won't run smoothly on it and it still pales in comparison to the most recent discrete cards from AMD, Intel, or Nvidia, it is encouraging to see integrated graphics chips becoming more potent.

    ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED review: Performance

    Different circumstances apply to the octa-core CPU that AMD's Zen 3+ design strives to keep running smoothly. Compared to the Geekbench 6 figures, which match the results published on the Internet, the Cinebench R23 benchmark results we obtained seem rather low, raising the suspicion that something is not quite right. It's common for benchmark tests of the latest processors to fail when the software requires an update.

    While 16GB of RAM isn't the maximum a laptop can have, it's a decent amount for this laptop and provides enough space for Teams running in the background, as well as office apps, image processing and a few browser tabs.

    The 67Wh pack of batteries within the Zenbook managed 7.5 hours of continuous usage during our testing, which are conducted with the screen on and set to around half brightness to prevent a result skewed by auto-dimming, which is a drawback of OLED panels. Even while we've undoubtedly seen worse, it won't cause problems for the best laptops for battery life and won't last you all day unless your workload is quite low and your lunch break is unusually lengthy.


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