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Review: ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325)

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If you are looking for a laptop built for digital nomads then you’re in the right place. With work locations becoming ever more flexible, having a compact laptop is an essential tool for working at home, at the office or on the move.

We are living in an unprecedented time where the concept of working from ome has taken the front seat due to the Covid19 pandemic. Which is why having a compact device that we can easily move from one place to another like the ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) is really important today.

As a digital nomad myself, I’ve spent much of my time working remotely and I always bring my work with me. Because of this it is really important to have a device that is as portable, powerful and resilient as you.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) Specs:

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325)
CPU  Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 processor
Display  13.3″ OLED FHD3 (1920 x 1080) 16:9 slim-bezel NanoEdge
100% DCI-P3, TÜV Rheinland Eye Care certification, PANTONE® Validated
Operating system  Windows 10 Home 
Graphics  Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics 
Main memory  8 GB 4266MHz LPDDR4X onboard
Storage  512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD
Connectivity  Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0
Camera  HD infrared (IR) webcam (supports Windows Hello)
I/O ports  2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C with full range (5V~20V) of charging
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x standard HDMI 2.0
1 x MicroSD Reader
Touchpad NumberPad 2.0
Audio  Certified by Harman Kardon
Smart amplifier for maximum audio performance
Array microphone with Cortana voice-recognition support
AI Noise Canceling Audio
Battery  67Wh lithium-polymer battery, up to 13 hours battery life
AC adapter  65W type C power adapter
Dimensions  304.2 x 203 x 13.9mm
Weight  Approx. from 1.14kg

Unboxing/Accessories

The ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) arrived in a premium looking black box with the brand logo and product name on the middle right portion of the box. The specs and serial numbers can also be found at the back of the box.

Inside you’ll see the actual Asus VivoBook S14 laptop, the package also comes with a 65W type C power adapter, laptop sleeve, a USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack, a USB Type-C Ethernet adapter, as well as paper documentations.

Build Quality/Design

Straight out of the box, you can appreciate the time that’s gone into designing this laptop. The slim and lightweight ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) features 13.9 mm-thin profile but even though it’s thinner, lighter, and incredibly compact it still includes full set of IO ports (HDMI, Thunderbolt™ 4 USB-C®, USB Type-A and a microSD card reader) for unrivaled versatility.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED
IO ports

Aside from being very compact one of the features that I really like about the ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) is how lightweight this laptop is, weighing just around 1.14kg with an ultrathin profile. You can easily slide it in and out of its included sleeve or into your bag and take it anywhere without being conspicuous, which is perfect for people like me who travels a lot and likes working on the go.

It also features a 13.3 inch full HD IPS screen featuring the company’s nano edge display technology. The side bezels on the top left and right are just a mere 2.9 millimeters thick. While the top bezel width is 6.5 mm and the bottom bezel width is 12.9 mm providing you with an immersive viewing experience. On the top bezel lies an infrared (IR) camera with support for Windows Hello for secure logins through facial recognition.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED

The ZenBook 13 OLED also features a precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge that automatically lifts the rear of the laptop slightly when it’s opened, tilting the keyboard to the optimum typing angle that lets us work longer periods of time without straining our wrists. Additionally the elevated rear helps to enhance overall audio quality and improved cooling as well.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED
ASUS precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge

It also houses an innovative ASUS NumberPad 2.0, a dual-function touchpad with an integrated LED-illuminated numeric keypad. Even when NumberPad is activated, the touchpad can be used for cursor control thanks to its intelligent software.

ASUS NumberPad 2.0

The combination of the NanoEdge display, edge-to-edge ergonomic keyboard, and ErgoLift hinge delivers on its promise for a comfortable working experience despite being such a small compact device. The almost borderless screen provides enough real estate that we could easily use without eye strain. The keyboard was a joy to use as the placement and spacing of the keys were very natural despite having such a compact design. It also has a full set of IO ports. It does not have a 3.5 millimeter jack for headphones however but the laptop comes shipped with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack to solve this problem and a USB Type-C Ethernet adapter incase you need a more stable internet connection.

The ZenBook 13 OLED has been tested to meet the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G U.S. military standard for reliability and durability. ASUS says every unit goes through a number of stress inducing tests which includes 100 millimeter freefall drop while powered on. It also proves itself to work under extreme altitude and temperature. ZenBook 13 OLED has also passed ASUS laptop stress tests that far exceed the standards set by the industry. Personally it’s good to know that the device is safe even on the hands of the clumsiest person like me.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED

Inside you’ll find that the ZenBook 13 OLED is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of ram, 512GB SSD storage, and an Intel UHD graphics card. Booting up the laptop as well as loading different programs were relatively fast and lag free thanks to the SSD storage. We tried using the ZenBook 13 OLED in a variety of real world situations including typing, editing photos, watching our favorite video content, and even gaming. The device was able to handle all these tasks without any major hiccups even with multiple browser tabs and programs running simultaneously; we didn’t experience any lag in switching from program to program.

Now for the fun part, In terms of gaming performance the ZenBook 13 OLED was able to run graphics heavy games such as Mortal Kombat X, Outlast 2, Saints Row IV, TEKKEN 7, The Witcher 3, and so much more all are played via steam with a fair amount of compromise especially for graphics this of course is understandable as this is not a gaming laptop but it’s good to know that we can still play some new games using this laptop.

For audio, the ZenBook 13 OLED is certified by audio specialists Harman Kardon to ensure immersive, crystal-clear sound. It also features a next-level AI noise-canceling audio technology that helps isolate unwanted noise from human speech. Which is perfect today especially with the increase of remote work and video conferences.

The ZenBook 13 OLED includes the latest version of MyASUS that allows you to connect your android or iOS devices with your laptop for mirroring or for receiving notifications. With ZenBook 13 OLED’s amazing 13-hour battery life you can expect to get a lot of use before it actually runs out of power so traveling without a charger isn’t a big deal. When you do need to top up, its fast-charge feature can restore the battery to a 60% charge level in just 49 minutes, so you’ll be ready to go in no time. ASUS boasts up to 13 hours battery life but we were able to get a total of 7 hours before we hit that 5% low battery warning. Perhaps the 13 hours battery life is only feasible if you are a light user and is not using any power intensive apps or if you are keeping the device on standby. When you do run out of battery access the 

65 watt power adapter supports fast charging that can achieve 60% battery life in just 49 minutes, testing this out we found that the company stayed true to its claims and I was able to charge from 0 to 66% in just 49 minutes thanks to the type c plug that the power adapter uses. Aside from this we also tried to charge our device with a powerbank and it was able to charge my ZenBook 13 OLED TBH I was really surprised by this feature and this is one of the features I really liked about this device as I normally work outside and power outlets are not always available on cafes or study halls.

Display

The ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) has a 13.3-inch OLED Full HD frameless NanoEdge display with an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio. It also has a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut (133% sRGB), Pantone-Validated, supports HDR, and can produce brightness at 400 nits.

The ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) has an immersive, vibrant, and a good color accuracy screen making it suitable for content creators, photographers, and video editors that requires a more accurate color reproduction on screen. Aside from that it also has TÜV Rheinland certification, which lowers the blue-light levels for better eye care.

Related Article: Top 5 reasons to choose ASUS OLED laptops

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED - Photoshop
I tried to re-edit some of my raw shoots using Adobe Photoshop CC.

I tried re-editing some of my old raw files back when I was still a fashion photographer with Adobe Photoshop CC and I was really impressed with the color accuracy.

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED - Lightroom
batch editing photos using Adobe Lightroom was a breeze.

I also had no issues in batch editing photos using Adobe Lightroom making my post processing a breeze.

Verdict

The new ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) is ideal for people who need to take their work with them when they get up and go. After spending some time with this device I can definitely say that I honestly love working with this device mainly because the device is so compact and lightweight weighing only 1.14 kg with a 13.9 mm-thin profile making it really easy to take with me anywhere without being conspicuous. I also liked the ergo lift hinge, edge to edge keyboard, the full set of IO ports, and the NumberPad 2.0 that made the device compact without sacrificing any important features we look for in a laptop. It is important to note as well that working long hours isn’t stressful on my wrists or fingers. It also has an amazing OLED NanoEdge display that helps in reducing eye strain and gives it a more immersive viewing experience. I’ve also used this device editing images and I was really surprised with the color accuracy of the screen and because of this I can honestly recommend this for photographers as well who needs a compact laptop for tethered shooting or editing images. While this device is not best for gaming we still tried playing some games with it at a modest settings.

Related Article: ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED and ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 Officially Launch in the Philippines

ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED

Price And Availability

The ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) with Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 processor is currently priced at Php 54,995 and is available to order at the official ASUS Concept Stores nationwide you can also head on over to the official ASUS facebook page to know more about the new ZenBook series as well as the brand’s other products available.

For more details, you can visit http://bit.ly/ASUSZenBook13OLED.

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