ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED is a strikingly beautiful laptop that comes with a number of excellent features. In this review, we will be taking a look at the specs, performance, and price of the laptop. After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of the laptop and whether or not it’s the right choice for you. So stay tuned!
In a package that provides an intriguing combination of looks, excellent inputs, IO, a superb OLED display, a decent battery, and acceptable performance with most applications, the ZenBook Pro 16X OLED is intended for creators and professionals who value quality design and mostly uncompromised ergonomics. However, for others, the mid-tier GPU capabilities in this series’ full-size chassis might not be worth it at the prices asked at launch.
The Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED premium performance notebook is the subject of my detailed review. Premium-tier compact designs with the capability to compete against the heavyweights in its niche are most likely familiar to you. Asus has concentrated on the ZenBook Pro DUO dual-screen lineup in recent years, leaving the conventional clamshell design in the shadow cone while that is now shifting with the ZenBook Pro 16X series.
In addition to improving on the Zephyrus S17’s design with its AAS cooling system and sliding keyboard deck, as well as adding a vapor-chamber thermal module on the inside, they clearly put a lot of work into engineering this series. With some reasonably powerful characteristics but excellent thermals/noise levels under load, a large battery, a nice OLED screen, and no compromise on IO or inputs, the end result is a high-tier device.
This is an expensive product in a not particularly portable chassis with only mid-level GPU capabilities, and these features may harm its popularity among the plethora of other choices in its category. The closest competitors are the Dell XPS 17 and maybe the MacBook Pro 16.
Performance ZenBook Pro 16X OLED
One of two 45-watt Intel 14-core/20-thread 12th-gen CPUs may be installed in the ZenBook Pro 16X. The Core i7-12700H has a maximum turbo frequency of 4.7GHz, while the Core i9-12900H has a maximum turbo frequency of 5GHz. The former, which has been an excellent performer in prior reviews, was equipped by my review unit.
To tune for quieter, slower, or louder performance, Asus includes a utility that controls the thermal system. That’s a frequent occurrence these days, and the Asus app had a big impact on several of our tests. In the table below, I’ve listed both balanced and performance mode reports. The ZenBook Pro 16X, which reached 100 degrees Celsius and throttled in Performance mode, was aggressively tuned. Nonetheless, most of the testing saw it maintain high frequencies while achieving solid performance.
The ZenBook Pro 16X outperformed its processor class in every benchmark, particularly in performance mode. In Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R32, it lost ground to the MSI Creator Z17, notably in single-core mode, but its overall performance was acceptable. When encoding a 420MB video as H.265, it had the quickest score in our Handbrake test. PCMark 10 Complete, which assesses a wide range of productivity, multimedia, and creative tasks, achieved a high score of 6,621 on my test machine.
The ZenBook Pro 16X was average for its class in balanced mode at 771 in the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark, which runs in a live version of Premiere Pro and uses the GPU to accelerate processes. However, in performance mode, it soared to 1,034. The Razer Blade 17, which has an RTX 3080 Ti GPU, is much slower than this. The Asus laptop outscored the Apple MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro operating system.
The show was, overall, fantastic. The ZenBook Pro 16X OLED performs well in a variety of categories, beating faster CPUs and offering a good overall performance. Users and creators that need a powerful workstation will appreciate the performance of this laptop.
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Because the screen is glass and slick, and the drawing surface shifts, using a touchscreen laptop for drawing is not ideal. However, the pen’s drawing performance is quite impressive. The pen is very sensitive and the initial activation force is relatively small. It’s not really noticeable and has no effect on your Diagonal Line Jitter or Wobble.
Nvidia’s Studio drivers, which are tuned for dependable and quick scientific, engineering, and artistic application performance, were selected by Asus. As a result, instead of games, the business is targeting this computer at desktop apps like AutoCAD and Adobe Photoshop. Even so, at least acceptable gaming performance may be expected with an RTX 3060 installed.
Our game benchmark suite yielded a wide range of results. In the 3DMark Time Spy test, the ZenBook Pro 16X outperformed the other two RTX 3060s in the comparison group, besting them all. Yet, something I’ve noticed with other Studio driver-equipped laptops is that it couldn’t run Civilization VI without crashing. At 1080p and ultra settings, it managed to reach 51 fps in Cyberpunk 2077, compared to 65 fps in Fortnite at 1200p and epic settings. It then performed similarly to the XPS 17 but behind the MSI Creator Z16 in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, at 24 frames per second.
As a result, describing the ZenBook Pro 16X as a gaming laptop is difficult. You may get playable frame rates at 1080p with high graphical detail or 1440p if you lower the graphical detail a bit if your game installs and runs without problem. Nonetheless, certain games may pose issues, indicating that relying on the laptop as a gaming machine is probably a big mistake.
Design ZenBook Pro 16X
You’ll find the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED in a plastic package, and it’ll slide out with no trouble. Instead of the ASUS logo, the metallic touch has an industrial design, and we have the anniversary emblem etched on it. The ripple effect extending from the logo across the cover is a nice detail to the design, and you can see it if you look closely.
ASUS termed the internal architecture of the AAS Ultra hinge, which raises the keyboard to be more comfortable and boosts thermal performance when they opened up the chassis. The NumberPad 2.0, which is located below the keyboard, has a dial on its left.
We have a 4K 16:10 HDR OLED NanoEdge touchscreen that can refresh at a rate of 60Hz on the display side. The NanoEdge technology offers up to 90% screen-to-body ratio in the touchscreen, with incredibly thin bezels. The monitor has been PANTONE validated, adding visuals with precise color and high dynamic contrast reproduction for a better visual experience. It is also certified VESA Display HDR True Black 500.
I’m a sucker for huge, dazzling OLED displays. Even the finest IPS panels don’t provide the same experience when turning them on. In every other way, the ZenBook Pro 16X is one of the best laptops I’ve used.
Except for its brightness, which is not the brightest OLED panel I’ve tested, the display is fantastic in all parameters, according to my colorimeter. The color accuracy is top-notch at a Delta-E of 0.84 (anything less than 100% cannot be perceived by the human eye), and the colors are quite broad at 100% of sRGB and 98% of AdobeRGB. And, like with all OLED screens, the contrast is remarkable, with inky blacks shining through.
It’s worth noting that the colorimeters in the OLED screens and the MacBook Pro 16′ XDR screen are swapped, resulting in a contrast difference. The contrast between these technologies is lower than on the MacBook, according to my SpyderX colorimeter. These displays will provide comparable contrast outcomes and are visually stunning when compared using the same colorimeter.
Asus provides professional-level calibration via a utility that collaborates with a colorimeter (the X-Rite i1 Display Pro is currently the only model supported, but additional models are on the way). The ProArt Creator Hub software may be utilized to restore things in order if colors change with time, and the panel is superb out of the box.
Creators will love the ZenBook Pro 16X display since it perfectly matches the laptop’s performance, providing a great experience for all types of users. The Dell XPS 17 has an IPS panel that isn’t as vibrant, and it lacks the OLED’s deep blacks. It’s the only display with less color. There is so much to enjoy.
The ZenBook Pro 16X comes with a single-screen option that offers UHD+ 3840 x 2400 px resolution in a touch glossy OLED display. Colors are faultless, with nearly 100% AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 gamut coverage, as one would expect from an OLED panel. Blacks and contrast are spotless.
However, in SDR mode, it only achieves 350 nits of sustained maximum brightness, while in HDR mode, it reaches 400 nits. The specs claim 550-nits peak brightness in HDR mode, but that is just temporary brightness, as it is only accessible in a narrow window. This panel, in other words, will struggle in bright environments and is hardly any good outdoors in daylight. It is and feels like a 350-nits glossy screen for sustained use.
Four speakers, two upward-firing and two downward-firing produced enough sound to entirely encompass my home office. The mids and highs are clear, while the bass adds a little richness. Without headphones, the audio system is loud enough to binge-watch Netflix and listen to music.
Keyboard and Touchpad
This ZenBook has a full-size keyboard, a huge touchpad with tactile feedback, and a proprietary physical DialPad on the left side of the touchpad for inputs.
The keyboard deck is elevated over the main chassis and positioned at a 7-degree sloped angle, allowing for an ergonomically correct typing experience while preventing the keys from contacting the elements underneath, thus avoiding hot temperatures even when running heavy workloads. In addition, this deck does not flex much when used regularly, despite being a moving part.
The keycaps are properly sized and spaced, and all of the keys are in the right place. An additional column of keys, labeled Home, PgUp, PgDn, and End by default, was included in the layout. Professional-level keys are also accessible near the top-right, including Prt Sc, Insert, and Del.
The keyboard feels nice and responsive. While the slanted posture takes some getting used to, this is a good typist overall. At just 1.4 mm of stroke depth, though, this is a little shallow for an ultraportable design, let alone a full-size implementation. When pressed, the Space key is much louder than the others.
When light creeps up significantly from under the top row of keys, which is hardly acceptable for a premium implementation, I have some nits with the illumination system. The LEDs are bright and uniform, and the lighting is turned on with a sweep over the clickpad when it expires, as it should be.
I’d also like to point out that White + RGB LEDs are used in the illumination system, allowing you to pick a color or option of effects and turn them on. At the top of MyAsus >> Customization >> Exclusives, you’ll find the lighting controls. It took me a long time to locate them.
For the keyboard’s illumination settings, there’s no way to independently control the lateral lightbars and logo on the lid, which I believe may be a deal-breaker for others. When utilizing the computer at night, these light components provide a nice finishing touch, but I wish I could adjust or turn them off whenever necessary.
Asus created a huge glass surface for the mouse, which is centered on the chassis. During the time I’ve had this ZenBook, it’s a haptic feedback touchpad, so it can be clicked anywhere on its surface and work with swipes, gestures, and taps. Like on many other Asus laptops, this surface may also function as a NumberPad. But, when you tap it firmly, it rattles.
At first, palm rejection was sporadic, but by installing the latest TouchPad drivers from Asus’ website, it was resolved. The DialPad, which was frequently activated by my left palm while typing on this laptop, was also mostly fixed rejection. If you’re using a comparable driver on your unit, make sure to update it.
The DialPad is unique to Asus PCs and may be found in third-party apps, but it is seldom useful for normal operations. Adobe applications are supported by default, and you may easily launch specific tools without having to visit the menus. Photoshop, Premiere, Afte Effects, and other programs have default settings. They may be customized further and made available in the ProArt panel.
I’ve found the DialPad to be useful when working on the go without having a mouse connected, based on my time with this laptop. It’s going to take some time to get used to it, as well as get set up for your needs. I, like many others, am a mouse person who does most of his or her editing with one, but I know some people who edit without one and may try this DialPad concept out. The DialPad is explained in the video from Asus below.
Lastly, I’ll point out that this ZenBook Pro 16X features a finger sensor and an IR camera, so you can rest assured about biometrics. Both functions as intended, and Windows Hello is supported.
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When facing a 45-watt CPU and a large, high-resolution OLED display, even 96 watt-hours of battery capacity aren’t much. Expecting excellent battery life would be unrealistic when the ZenBook Pro 16X is tuned for performance.
Our battery testing revealed that the ZenBook Pro 16X did not perform well. The ZenBook only lasted five hours in our web-browsing test, which goes through a series of complicated sites. In our video test, which loops a local Full HD Avengers trailer, it lasted barely eight hours, and in the PCMark 10 Application battery, it lasted only 5.5 hours.
With Dell XPS 15 and XPS 17 standing out among the Intel machines, these results harmonize with some of the other creator laptops in our comparison group. The MacBook Pro 16, of course, stole the show with its long-lasting battery life.
With the screen set at around 120 nits (~60% brightness), we got the following results in our battery life tests.
- 20 W (4-5 hours of usage) – standard mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON; text editing in Google Drive
- In Edge, Standard Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON; 19 W (~5-6 hours of usage) — 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube.
- 17 W (~5-6 hours of usage) Netflix in Edge, Standard Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- Browsing in Edge, Standard Mode, 60% screen brightness; Wi-Fi turned ON for 22 W (~4-5 hours of use).
- Witcher 3, Performance Mode, screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON. 55 W (~2 hours of usage)
Remember that this is an early unit, so further software optimization may improve performance, especially with light usage and video streaming. The Intel Core H hardware may work well in certain systems, such as the XPS 15 and the ROG Flow Z13, but it requires complex software tweaking that most implementations do not have.
Asus still includes a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a full-size USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port (yes, it’s a fast one), and a 3.5mm headphone jack despite all of the bells and whistles. You also get Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and one of the largest laptop batteries you can bring on a plane at 96Wh, as well as nice but risky laptop-level features like up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage.
A 1080p infrared webcam, an RGB color sensor that can adjust the display’s brightness and hue temperature depending on ambient lighting, and a time of flight sensor are among the features. With 3D noise-reduction technology, the webcam produces an superb video picture, which is vivid and clear in all lighting situations.
The Asus AdaptiveLock feature employs the Intel Visual Sensing Controller to lock the computer when a user leaves and unlock it when a user returns, using Asus’ AdaptiveLock technology. When the user looks away, the screen may also dim.
The infrared camera and a fingerprint reader embedded in the power button are used to provide passwordless support for Windows 11. Both techniques performed beautifully.
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The i9-12900H configuration with 32 GB of RAM, RTX 3060 graphics, 2 TB of SSD storage, and the 4K touch OLED display – code name ZenBook Pro 16X UX7602ZM – costs 2999 USD in the US market and 2999 EUR here in Europe. That’s a lot of money!
I mean, while the memory, SSD, and overall specs that you get here are not particularly expensive, Asus should also offer midrange options at a more affordable price point. Most potential purchasers will find it difficult to justify $3000, which we’ll discuss in the following and last section of the article.
Update: In the US, at $2599, a Core i7-12700H model with 16 GB of DDR4 and 1 TB of SSD is available, and in several EU nations it’s still around 2999 EUR. While the RAM is non-upgradable on this series, that’s somewhat more cost-effective for professional usage at that level, albeit not always competitive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Asus ZenBook Pro 16x OLED 2022?
The Asus Dial is also included in the Asus Zenbook Pro 16X OLED 2022, which has a 4K OLED screen, a 12th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, and 2TB of SSD storage.
What makes the Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED so special?
With an angled keyboard, touchpad-integrated number pad, and the Asus Dial, the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED offers a robust chassis and unique capabilities such as an Nvidia GPU.
What are the features of the Asus ZenBook Pro 16X?
It has an Intel 12th Gen H-series CPU, fast 5,200Mhz memory, and a PCIe 4.0 SSD, which features the latest AAS Ultra thermal solution and a brilliant yet bright 4K OLED display. The Pro versions go above and beyond the Zenbooks, which are more optimized for creative or daily usage.
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This computer is aimed at creators and professionals who need a premium design, as well as an attractive mix of looks, decent inputs and IO, a great OLED display, a big battery, and acceptable performance with most applications.
Problem is, the ZenBook Pro 16X is expensive, and even in its 3000+ USD/EUR high-end configuration, it’s out of reach for many potential purchasers. The i7 variant is also available, although it lacks the soldered RAM of the top-tier variant and is thus less appealing for prospective creators.
So, let’s say that you could afford to pay that much for a computer. Now, is it fair to pay so much for a mid-tier graphics card and a full-size 16-inch chassis that weighs 2.4 kilos? That is yours to decide, but I want to bring up two crucial factors you should consider in your choice that are not as obvious with this ZenBook. First and foremost, this laptop runs cooler in demanding loads than any other comparable computer we’ve reviewed in recent months. The ErgoSense keyboard deck is considerably bulkier, and the only mid-tier GPU implementation is Core i5. Second, it allows for a competitive mid-tier Standard profile that keeps fans quiet, maintains comfortable temperatures, and performs well for regular activities and development/programming jobs.
Nonetheless, in terms of capabilities, the ZenBook 13 is comparable to the Dell XPS 17 9720 in Standard mode. Even if the XPS 17 is available in more affordable variants and the FHD+ display, this is still the closest competitor to this ZenBook 16X.
In a nutshell, the ZenBook offers you an OLED display, no compromises in terms of IO, RGB keyboard, 5-20% higher performance under sustained loads, and superior cooling. The 17-inch screen with a brighter IPS panel, as well as upgradeable RAM and two SSD slots, make the XPS more compact with daily use. The ZenBook Pro 16X, on the whole, is comparable to the XPS 17 in terms of performance, but it is far from the obvious pick. However, given the $2500-$3000 price range for this type of laptop, I’m not sure the effort required to build such a sophisticated series will be reflected in sales.
In my opinion, Asus should have included a better-tier graphics in this laptop, such as an RTX 3070Ti or even A-series graphics, and they might have specified the graphics at greater power on the Performance mode, given the thermal headroom shown in our tests with this 95W architecture. For individuals who need a better GPU for their activities, these choices would make the series more competitive as a creator-focused premium laptop.
Bernard Gilbert is a writer and senior computing reviewer at WordWT Covering Technology. Previously, he spent six years in IT repairing computers and helping people buy the best laptop for their needs.