Asus ZenBook 14 review – 2022 UX3402ZA / Q409ZA model

21 Comments

  1. Aelavin

    May 18, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    I'm happy to more and more 16:10 laptops, also in screen sizes between 14-15 inches (there will be some 14.5-inch models) but looking at battery runtimes I so disappointed. Most laptops with OLED panels unfortunately have glossy surface and really drops energy usage :( (also I can see more and more reviews complaining about font rendering on OLED screens but that's something that Microsoft must fix in Windows).

    But I think there is hope (at least in this model) – version with IPS panel. Will you have this IPS model in testing?

  2. Mul

    May 18, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Will you review new LG Gram laptops with 1260p CPU?

  3. Tomatot

    May 19, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Hello, thank you for this detailed review.

    I have this laptop for about a week and I'm very happy with it.

    I've been looking for a new laptop since early January, and I'm really tired of waiting.

    I tried a Lenovo IdeaPad 5 with a 5800u/QHD display, which was very nice in many aspects, but I had a deal-breaking bug with the touchpad so I sent it back, hoping I'd get a 6800u laptop in february as AMD claimed at CES. Battery life was very average though.

    Then I tried a Gram 14 with a i5 1165G7 but performance was quite underwhelming, and build quality was disappointing too (too much flex, and after removing a sticker, it left a permanent stain next to the touchpad…). Battery life was truly amazing though.

    I finally decided to get this laptop (i5 1240p, 16Go, 512Go, oled) and I think I will stick to it. I love the inputs, I love the screen (although I'm a bit scared of burn-in, and I don't like auto-hiding the taskbar), performance seems very decent, it's not always quiet but it's still acceptable. Battery life isn't great indeed though. Also, I had a major audio issue, that I managed to fix but it's far from perfect. I hope Asus will do something about it. If you're interested in this device, you should know about it: https://www.reddit.com/r/ASUS/comments/ur4vep/psa_zenbook_14_oled_ux3402_disable_intel_smart/

  4. Tomatot

    May 19, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    Also, what's your take on burn-in? It's really hard to find information. Do you think hiding the taskbar is a must if I want to keep this laptop for a few years, using it daily? Or with Asus software and latest gen of Samsung panels, there will be no burn in as long as I'm not maxing the brightness all the time?

    Regarding your conclusion, "All in all, this series is going to be competitive within its niche, especially with the lower-tier configurations being very aggressively priced. It’s not a clear recommendation for everyone, but it is an option you should consider, based on your needs and pricing/availability of other options in your area."

    I kind of disagree, but maybe I'm already biased? At the moment, it's the only laptop with last gen intel (P/U, as well as 6000u AMD since it's not available yet), it doesn't have any massive drawback, the configuration is overall well balanced. I think it actually doesn't have a lot of competition if you want something properly up to date, i.e. with usb 4 / thunderbolt 4, last gen processor, wifi 6E, bluetooth 5.2, etc.

    The only device I'm looking for ATM is the Yoga 7 with an AMD 6800u, but who knows when it will be available (I'm personally in Europe, but it won't even come to the US)?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 19, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Hi, thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it.

      1. I wouldn't worry much about burn-in as long as you're not maxing out the screen for hours at a time. These Samsung panels have good burn-in warranty and there are also all sorts of technologies implemented in the MyAsus app that help with it. Plus, you can set the Windows 11 bar to be slightly transparent, which I would recommend.
      2. The conclusion considers the other options that will be available later on, and especially those built on AMD Ryzen 6000 hardware, such as that Yoga 6 or the ZenBook 13 S (but probably others as well). I'm also hoping for a Ryzen 6000 update of the 14 inch UM3402. For me, AMD hardware is just better balanced for an ultraportable format, with superior CPU and GPU performance vs Intel Core P, and better runtimes. Significantly better. In fact, if GPU performance isn't that important, I might even go with a Ryen 7 5825U configuration of the UM3402 over the Core P UX3402, which over here is cheaper than the i5-1240P version of the ux3402.
      3. How much did you pay for your unit? I think local pricing plays an important role for each potential buyer.

      • Tomatot

        May 19, 2022 at 2:56 pm

        And thank you for your detailed answer!

        1. This is very reassuring, thanks.

        2. I tend to agree, but again, it's a matter of timing. I can't afford to wait forever especially when AMD is so untrustworthy regarding availability and release dates. I agree amd 5000u series is still relevant in 2022, however it comes without thunderbolt 4/USB 4, and usually older wifi/bluetooth chips.

        3. I paid mine 1099 € on Amazon, which is a big plus in terms of warranty/after-sales service. The Zenbook 13 S has a smaller screen and will probably be almost double the price. The Yoga will be quite a bit more expensive as well I think. So I think I got a decent deal, even if some 5800u laptops are probably better deals ATM, I don't like to get older hardware. I hope OEMs and MS can improve efficiency with these new chips, as you mentioned in the review.

      • Andrei Girbea

        May 19, 2022 at 3:01 pm

        That's better than what it goes for here. I cannot find it on any of the EU Amazons, care to share a link?

        Edit: Nvm, I found it. That 300 EUR difference for the i7-1260P makes no sense at all. Over here the i7 is still around 1400 and the i5 is around 1250. At 1100 for those specs, this is a good value

      • Tomatot

        May 19, 2022 at 3:47 pm

        I got it on amazon.fr. The extra 300€ for an i7 didn't make any sense indeed, especially considering that it's the same storage/RAM.

  5. Jet

    May 20, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Great in-depth review. I'd only be interested in a matte display. Glossy displays really limit where you can use your laptop due to reflectivity issue. Do you have any specs on the Matte ips display (e.g., # nits). And ips displays are not as big of a battery draw.

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 20, 2022 at 7:39 am

      they're mentioned in the Screen section. 2.5K resolution, 400-nits, 100% sRGB

      • Jet

        May 20, 2022 at 5:54 pm

        Ok…So you're saying that the IPS matte display brightness, like the OLED screen, is ALSO 400nits. I assumed that the screen specs you were quoting in this article were specific to the OLED option.

        Cheers,
        Jet

  6. charles

    July 5, 2022 at 10:41 am

    both UX & UM versions of this laptop is available in my country. which one do you think would have a better lifespan? the Intel version or Ryzen version?

  7. Arun

    August 14, 2022 at 7:03 am

    Great review. I bought the core-i7 model for $1308 in India. Looks great and is generally competent but becomes gets pretty warm easily. Also, feels a little slow for system having i7, 12th gen and 16gb ddr5.

    Stanegly, its thunderbolt port refuses to display to usb c monitor – Lenovo T-24h-20 through a usb c cable supplied with the monitor. I am able to display with three other usb c laptops – all non thunderbolt, with this cable. Only charging gets started with Asus. I have even tried even a very expensive thunderbolt certified cable. Same result. However, if I use a C to HDMI adapter on this port, the display works, but this defeats the very purpose of C port.

    Asus India, incompetentenly, is unable to figure out the issue and has already replaced one notebook. Now Asus technical support are saying that their thunderbolt port is not compatible with non thunderbolt monitors but are not willing to send an email to same effect. I believe that that Asus cannot make such a blunder at hardware level – this should require a better driver only.

    Hope you can shed some light on the issue.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 15, 2022 at 9:40 am

      I can't, haven't tried that combo that you're mentioning

      • Ak

        August 15, 2022 at 9:49 am

        Thunderbolt 4 port is one one of the big selling point of this laptop and for that to malfunction by design should not be acceptable to any reviewer giving otherwise excellent grading to this laptop.

        Would you consider testing it any time in near future?

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 15, 2022 at 10:17 am

        I no longer have the laptop around.

  8. Ewek

    August 14, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    Do you have any better pictures you can share of the graininess effect of the touch digitizers on the Asus OLED screens? The screen that was added is very low resolution and is only confusing I think, as there is pixelation from the low resolution.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 15, 2022 at 9:41 am

      Not really. Even at full-res it's hard to tell the difference from the comparison pictures that I took. I can tell it in real-use, though. Perhaps you can try to find these in a store (or any other modern OLED laptop with a similar 2.8K OLED touchscreen)

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