Laptops

Asus launches world's lightest OLED laptop

Asus launches world's lightest...
The ZenBook 13 OLED weighs in at 2.45 lb
The ZenBook 13 OLED weighs in at 2.45 lb
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The lid of the laptop wears an off-center version of the ZenBook spun-metal finish
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The lid of the laptop wears an off-center version of the ZenBook spun-metal finish
The 13.3-inch OLED display supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut for cinema-quality visuals
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The 13.3-inch OLED display supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut for cinema-quality visuals
The hinge lifts the back of the laptop up for a more comfortable typing angle
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The hinge lifts the back of the laptop up for a more comfortable typing angle
The ZenBook 13 OLED weighs in at 2.45 lb
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The ZenBook 13 OLED weighs in at 2.45 lb
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With many folks working from home thanks to the global pandemic, demand for laptops is on the rise. Asus has responded with the launch of a lightweight portable powerhouse named the ZenBook 13 OLED.

The UX325, to use it model name, tips the scales at 2.45 lb (1.11 kg), and comes in at 13.9 mm (0.55 in) thin. Opening the clamshell up presents a 13.3-inch OLED display panel at Full HD resolution, with an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio thanks to 2.9-mm bezels.

Other notable display specs include 400 nits of brightness, Pantone-validated colors and support for 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and eye-friendly operation thanks to TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification. Asus also reports an "ultra-fast response time," though no figures are given.

Inside, the processing brains come in 11th Generation Core i7 or i5 options with Iris X graphics onboard, supported by up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage.

The 13.3-inch OLED display supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut for cinema-quality visuals
The 13.3-inch OLED display supports 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut for cinema-quality visuals

Wireless connectivity shapes up as Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6, and there's healthy spread of I/O ports too: two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (with power delivery), one HDMI 2.0 and one USB 3.2 Type A. A microSD slot can also be found on the unit's right edge.

Elsewhere, the edge-to-edge chiclet keyboard makes for more comfortable typing, with a hinge raising the laptop at the back to help further in that regard. The touchpad doubles as a numeric keypad when needed, there's a HD infrared webcam with Windows Hello support, though no privacy shutter, and a noise-canceling microphone for video chats or VOIP calls. And the audio system has been tuned by Harman Kardon.

Asus says that this is a portable workstation you can rely on, having been dropped, chilled, shaken and transported up high to MIL-STD-810G standards. Meanwhile the 67-Wh lithium polymer battery promises up to 13 hours of per charge usage (though manufacturers can be a little optimistic here).

The ZenBook 13 OLED will go on sale shortly, pricing starts at US$899.99.

Product page: UX325

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5 comments
5 comments
EJ222
I had to read that last line twice.

$899? That's fantastic, even if the baseline model only has 8GB of RAM (with an open DIMM?) and a small SSD.

I'm rather impressed with the consumer friendliness of my current Asus laptop as well. For example, it lets me set a charge limit to preserve the battery, custom fan curve and turbo behavior for tweaking the speed/noise/battery life balance, and comes with a troubleshooting/diagnostic suite and a dualboot friendly BIOS. Yet the preinstalled bloatware is minimal and well behaved. In fact, this this the first laptop I haven't wiped to install a clean Windows image.
WB
I have the precursor.. as it comes to runtime mfg need to specify how many hours of zoom calls.. rest is meaningless. And that same laptop with that same 13h runtime does about 2.5h of zoom calls. Which is useless.. so in pandemic times these mfg need to optimize battery for zoom calls or web conferencing.. because they suck up 3x the energy. Wish those mfg would wake up to this new reality.
EJ222
@WB Video conferencing is a relatively power hungry workload. It loads the processor and wifi card pretty much constantly, in addition to spinning up the mic, camera and such.


And most of the problem lies at the feet of Microsoft, Intel, and Zoom, not Asus. If the former 3 don't work to get hardware encoding/decoding and the rest of the app set up efficiently, well, there's only so much Asus can do (other than use a chunkier battery, which they should absolutely do).


This laptop should theoretically be better though, as it has a newer Intel video encoder/decoder in it
BIP
Is there any similar tech for a ChromeBook?
Jinpa
The numeric keypad overlay on the touchpad is interesting. Is that unique to Asus, or is it to some degree standard on newer 13-inch laptops and tablets? That survey would be worth an article by itself. I wouldn't buy any laptop that doesn't have a numeric keypad, so 13-inch has been verboten. How well the numeric pad works, and how easy it is to use, will be important. Any reviews on those aspects?