Asus is a laptop brand that likes to keep a diversified portfolio with a product for everyone. While the VivoBook series is made for regular laptop consumers, the Zenbook series is catered towards professional users and creators. With the all-new ZenBook 13 UM325, the company is aiming to give a premium laptop experience with advantages geared towards creators.
The biggest highlight of the ZenBook 13 UM325 is the OLED screen. While most consumer-grade laptops come with an IPS panel, this one gets an OLED screen. Besides that, it comes with a Ryzen 7 processor and a thin and light design. With such offerings, should you buy this laptop right now? Let’s find out.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Specifications
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325 features a 13.3 inch OLED display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The unit that we received for review came with the AMD Ryzen 5700U CPU paired with 16GB of RAM. For storage, it came with a 1TB NVMe SSD. All of this is backed by a 67Wh battery.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Design, Build and I/O
Asus has been using the same design on its ZenBook series for quite some time now. The new ZenBook UM325 looks similar to the ZenBook UM425 and a few other ZenBook models. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the design does look quite premium.
The build quality of the ZenBook UM325 is MIL-STD 810H rated for durability and reliability. The laptop offers minimal flex on both the screen and keyboard areas. It also gives a level of confidence that it can handle a drop or two.
As for the I/O, the ZenBook 13 OLED features a single USB 2.0 Type-A port on the right alongside the microSD card slot. On the left, the ZenBook gets two USB 3.1 Type-C both of which can also be used for charging the device. However, I feel that the company should have given one port on each side allowing the user to connect the charger from either side.
Also, there is a full-size HDMI port on the left, which is quite surprising as this is a thin and light laptop. Another element of surprise here is the lack of the 3.5mm headphone jack. I did not get the point of missing out on one. On smartphones, it is eliminated due to minimal space inside the chassis. However, the 13-inch laptop must have enough space to accommodate a headphone jack.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Display and Audio
The major highlight of the ZenBook UM 325 is the OLED panel. It uses a Samsung-made OLED panel and it is just awesome. It offers excellent contrast, rich colors and brightness levels.
While the OLED panels do have their own fair share of disadvantages, they do bring a more eye pleasing experience when compared to an IPS screen. They offer a great media consumption experienc especially when you decide to watch a movie with the lights turned off.
As for the audio side, the ZenBook UM325 gets Harman Kardon speakers just like other ZenBook laptops. It offers a great music listening experience and one can even watch movies without the need to connect earphones. However, the speakers are downwards firing, which means you will need to connect a pair of earphones if you have to watch a movie while lying on a bed.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Performance
Our review unit of the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED came equipped with the AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU. Alongside that, it packs in 16GB of RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD. With such hardware, the ZenBook 13 OLED manages to offer a great user experience. During regular usage, I did not notice any lag or stutter even with as many as 15 tabs open on Google Chrome.
It performed well at most of the tasks. When it came to gaming, the laptop could not perform at its best. This is due to the usage of a low voltage CPU and limited cooling. However, that is acceptable as this is not being advertised as a gaming laptop but as a thin and light laptop for creators.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Keyboard and Trackpad
For the past few years, Asus has been designing some of the best keyboards and laptops on a laptop. The keyboard is tactile enough and since the chassis does not flex much, you get a clean typing experience. As for the trackpad, it uses Windows Precision drivers to offer a great experience with support for Windows 10 gestures. The trackpad also gets a NumPad which is quite convenient.
As for the Biometrics, the ZenBook UM325 gets an IR sensor alongside the webcam that enables the Windows Hello feature. While it offers face unlock for quick access, it is more of a hit or miss. I would have preferred a fingerprint sensor instead.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Battery
With the help of the new AMD CPUs, Asus has managed to provide an exceptional battery backup. During my usage, the ZenBook 13 lasted around 8 hours with Google Chrome, WhatsApp and Spotify open at all times. On the system settings side, I kept the keyboard lights turned off and the screen brightness to around 50 percent. Even with heavy usage, the laptop can easily last you north of 5 hours without needing to plug it in.
When you do need to plug in the laptop to its 65W charger, it goes from zero to full in about two hours.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED Review: Verdict
The bottom line here is that the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED is a great laptop for both streaming content on Netflix as well as creating content. It is also a great thin and light laptop that one can use to travel around with. There are a couple of points that Asus can fix in the next version of this laptop but for now, this is a great piece of hardware for the asking price.