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ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition review – A super fancy laptop that’s out of this world (literally)


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When it comes to design, laptops tend to look more or less the same for every brand. But ASUS has improved its laptop designs a lot these past few months, with sleek and cool ones on its gaming and creator laptops. The ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition (SE) took its design to the next level.

As thin as it looks, the ZenBook 14X OLED SE is not just a laptop with a fancy name. The whole machine features an ultra MIL-STD-810H US military standard and Space-Grade standard rating. Why go through all the trouble? Apparently, this is so that the laptop can operate stably in a space capsule (I kid you not). The Vibration Test of the Space-Grade standard is up to 2000Hz, and the temperature test shows temperature differences higher than the general military regulations.

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Say it with me – SPACE GRADE

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I want to give a shoutout to ASUS for including a nice foldable box (right side) that can be used as a laptop stand and battery charger adapter storage? Every laptop brand should do that!

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The display is a touchscreen, but I wouldn’t want to smudge it too much

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The keyboard layout and NumberPad 2.0

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DESIGN INSPIRED BY SPACE

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And here are the available ports

In terms of I/O ports, this laptop has Thunderbolt 4 USB C ports (2x) and only one USB A (3.2 Gen 2) port. You should get an extra USB Hub port that supports USB A ports if you have more devices than ports. Thankfully, there’s also an HDMI port. This is useful for those who WFH, and it even has a microSD card reader and an audio jack. Overall, I find the ZenBook 14X OLED SE’s design very commendable as a compact laptop that can be used outdoors for work.

Obviously, the feature that you will notice about the ZenBook 14X OLED SE is the external 3.5-inch ZenVision display. Its purpose is to show info like incoming notifications, date/time, and the battery level. Of course, you can use your own animation as a business card or a customised message via the MyASUS app.

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Nice ZenVision display for you to show off

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The MyASUS app – I didn’t really spend a lot of time on it though

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You can customise your animation personally or put up texts

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Customise other features like the fan speed, audio, and more

The ZenVision display is also a great way to show off your laptop to everyone if you’re in Starbucks or the office. I won’t blame you if you have that intention. After all, the ZenBook 14X OLED SE’s back cover looks unique, and ASUS said it’s inspired by a datasheet of a spaceship (hence Space Edition). So if you’re just going to put it at home, I honestly think it’s a waste of space (#badumtss).

 

Although the ZenBook 14X OLED SE has a 14-inch display, the narrow bezels make it look like it’s more than that. Not to forget, it’s also an OLED display that produces superb colour contrasts in 2880 x 1800 resolution, up to 550-nit peak brightness and 0.0000 nits of deep blacks. If you want to just relax and binge Netflix shows, this laptop is the perfect device for when you’re away on a trip.

The laptop’s Dolby Atmos sound speaker system is loud, which may sound like a good thing. But that’s not the case because the speakers tremble when set to maximum volume. On the flip side, they produce the right amount of sound in online meetings (there’s AI Noise-Cancelling Audio), so I wish there was some balance there.

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You can see that there’s a clear difference between an OLED (left) and an LCD panel (right)

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The second example of colour presentation on the OLED display

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Overall colour contrast is great

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PCMark 10 score

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The CPU profile score in 3DMark

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An expected 3DMark score since it’s using an Intel Iris Xe graphics

In terms of tech specs, the ZenBook 14X OLED SE is running on the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor, 16GB of LPDDR5-4800 RAM and 1TB of PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD. That’s more than enough power and memory for an average PC user and even more so for a content creator. I tried some video editing and rendering on the laptop, and it handled the tasks seamlessly.

You might be surprised to hear this, but the ZenBook 14X OLED SE is quite capable of playing some video games as well. Even though it only sports an Intel Iris Xe graphics, I could actually play Doom Eternal (but not Halo Infinite). Of course, the game graphics aren’t top-notch, so I wouldn’t really recommend getting it for gaming. However, the fact that I could still play Doom Eternal at a decent level certainly shows the power of the ZenBook 14X OLED SE.

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Even on Halo Infinite game menu, the flying creatures were flying really slow

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Only took 12 minutes to finish rendering a 1TB video (unplugged)

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Video conferencing performance is good

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The WiFi 6E speed performance is only decent, but I’m guessing that this is because of the Xbox PC Game Pass’ wonky server

In case of a heavy media workload on the laptop, you don’t really need to worry about overheating. This is because it has an excellent cooling system – the IceCool thermal technology. Inside the body, there are 87-blade fans that will automatically spin when the motherboard’s sensors detect an increase in the temperature (in real-time). I can confirm that my thighs weren’t burned, even when working with the laptop on my lap.

Wondering about how long can the battery last when unplugged? The answer is around 4-5 hours, depending on your workload. That’s not bad for the ZenBook 14X OLED SE but what’s more impressive is the charging speed. If it’s already running out of juice, you can simply rely on fast charging to fully recharge the laptop in an hour.

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Is this the laptop for you?

After spending more than two weeks with the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition, I have to say that I’m pleased with it. Among its best features are the superb OLED visual presentation and its performance capability for creators to do their work. The Space Grade build also means it’s tough enough to work in space. But then again, not everyone is an astronaut, and I’m quite sure that the choice of materials jacked up the price.

Currently, there are two models with different processors and storage options. The first one comes with an Intel Core i7-12700H + 1TB SSD is RM6499, whereas the Intel Core i5-12500H + 512GB variant costs RM5599. To be honest, you could get similar laptops from Acer, Lenovo, or MSI. On top of that, ASUS has other models that do the same thing at lower than RM5K prices, except without the cool design and external ZenVision display. But if you do have the budget, why not?

 

Tech specs and features

  • Up to Intel Core i7-12700H Processor 2.3 GHz (24M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 6P+8E cores)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Measures 311x 221x 15.9 mm, weighs 1.4kg
  • 16GB LPDDR5-4800 of RAM
  • Up to 1 TB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 14-inch OLED touchscreen display (90Hz refresh rate, certified DisplayHDR 500 True Black, PANTONE Validated, and TÜV Rheinland
  • Features a 3.5 ZenVision display, Space Grade body rating, HD webcam with 3DNR technology, NumberPad 2.0, Dolby Atmos sound system (Certified by Harman Kardon)
  • I/O ports – 2 x ThunderboltTM 4 USB-C- DisplayPort Alt Mode + USB-PD full range (5~20V), 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (10Gbps), 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x MicroSD Reader, 1 x 3.5 mm Audio combo jack
  • Supports WiFi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity
  • 63Wh lithium-polymer battery + 100W Type-C power adapter
  • Windows 11 Home

 

Pros – It is a powerhouse working laptop for creators on the go, and the ZenVision is cool

Cons – Not everyone may need a Space Graded laptop

Conclusion – If you have the budget for it, why not?





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