Asus Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405MA review (2024 model, Intel Core Ultra 7 155H)

46 Comments

  1. fans

    December 14, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    are the fans whiney?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 15, 2023 at 9:26 am

      there's a single fan, and it didn't feel particularly whiney to me. It's a small fan, so it is a little high-pitched, but that's just the way it is with small fans

  2. Keri

    December 16, 2023 at 10:52 am

    Two most important questions not answered. Where is the power button. Zenbook had it for over 15yrs where the delete button goes (ON EVERY OTHER KEYBOARD IN THE WORLD) DID THEY CHANGE THE POWER BUTTON LOCATION?
    2.Do they also have an on top sound bar or speakers? Why the heck brag about your "sound, " n put them ONLY UNDER THE LAPTOP.

  3. Scott

    December 16, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Do you think it would accommodate a double-sided SSD? Or, do you think there's only enough space for a single-sided SSD? It's hard to tell from the photos.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      Good question, but I don't have the right answer for you, since I didn't think to check when I opened up the laptop. It should be a similar design to previous-gen Zenbooks, though.

  4. Anders Andersson

    December 16, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Where any problems/anomalies running Geekbench 5 and 6?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      I didn't get to run those before the NDA. Will update the scores momentarily.

  5. mik

    December 16, 2023 at 8:33 pm

    Driver version 4726 is old and I know that the pre installed software is usually older, not sure if you could install 5122 from Intel.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2023 at 5:40 pm

      I was running the latest software provided by Intel for this device.

  6. mik

    December 17, 2023 at 4:52 am

    BIOS 203 is the newest on the support page, maybe you could try it out.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2023 at 5:40 pm

      I will have another go at this in the next few days.

      • Anders Andersson

        December 21, 2023 at 12:09 am

        Thank you for the added geekbench scores, good review as always. Keep up th good work.

  7. Ultrabook Fan

    December 17, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    Looking at your teardown photos, the wifi card is not upgradeable. It is a soldered down M.2 1216 form factor. You have a typo in the article saying wifi is upgradeable

  8. Nidary

    December 17, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    when you browse in web an do some work in office word or excel,
    are the fans spinnig or is it for those purposes mostly passive?

    i used a macbook m1 for the last 3 years and it is actually a passive cooling device for web browsing video and office…
    at the moment i have a zenbook 14x here with a 13900h
    and i gonna send it back because the fans are spinning almost all the timme at 1900 rpm although it is only 44° warm and i hate it
    this is a no go red line for me…

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 20, 2023 at 12:02 pm

      it depends, but mostly yes, they will be active with that kind of multitasking, especially when having the laptop plugged in.

  9. mik

    December 20, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    Ok seems like Bios 203 didn't get the pcode update. 11126 points in Cinebench R23 at sustained 28? watts looks exactly like the non upgraded pcode without the scheduling bugfix.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 20, 2023 at 7:37 pm

      I reran and updated the Cinebench scores again, with the laptop fresh from a cold boot up. In Cinebench R23, the CPU starts at 50W and ends up around 35W for the best-effort run. For the 10 min loop, it starts at 50W and then gradually drops and stabilizes at around 28W (after about 5-6 minutes it gets to 28W).

      Keep in mind it will perform differently once the heat builds-up inside, after running other sustained loads. That means it will drop in power more aggressively and quicker, and thus score lower.

      I'm also running the Cinebench/Blender stress logs again and will have them updated in the next hours.

      • mik

        December 20, 2023 at 7:56 pm

        Ok the score went from 11126 to 12132 in the 10min loop? This is a good improvement. Can you publish results from 201 and 203 so we can have a better overview?

        Maybe the new pcode is already in bios 203, not sure. In the golden pig test (he tested on Lenovo) with the new pcode 155H reportedly can do ~11.8K points at 28W.

      • Andrei Girbea

        December 20, 2023 at 8:36 pm

        201: CineBench R23: CPU 12357 pts (best run), CPU 11342 pts (10 min loop test), CPU Single Core 1751 pts (best run);
        203: CineBench R23: CPU 13873 pts (best run), CPU 12132 pts (10 min loop test), CPU Single Core 1761 pts (best run);

        Yes, 3dmark, Uniengine are on BIOS 203. Everything else except for games and Cinebench R24 are on BIOS 203. Still updating those.

  10. mik

    December 20, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    Did you rerun the GPU benchmarks as well by the way?

    • Joss

      December 23, 2023 at 1:15 pm

      Bios 201 vs 203 Did it increase performance, but also increase energy consumption, or better the performance per watt, making it more efficient? good day

      • Andrei Girbea

        December 28, 2023 at 3:25 pm

        I haven't seen any impact on efficiency. It's still OK

  11. mik

    December 21, 2023 at 1:29 am

    When you rerun the game benchmarks better update the driver too, it makes sense. 5122 is the launch driver https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/785597/intel-arc-iris-xe-graphics-windows.html

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks. So far, I only used the drivers provided by Asus, but I will give that Intel driver a try as well and see if it changes anything. Will have an update in a day or two.

      Edit: Not sure why the system reported a different driver code, but I was already using the .5122 driver for all the initial tests, a version provided by Asus before launch. Hence, after updating to the .5122 from the Intel site, I'm not seeing any changes in benchmarks. I've yet to retest the games, but I will have the results updated by the end of the day, if there's anything that changes.

      Unfortunately, at this point, I don't have another Ultra 7 155H implementation to properly compare this one against. I plan on having a detailed platform article at some point, but first I need to test preferably 3 different products to be able to draw some proper conclusions.

  12. frisby

    December 22, 2023 at 12:03 am

    Would be nice if they fixed it so you didn't have to open it up to clean dust out every month.. Last years model has been a nightmare, and this doesn't look any different airflow wise. And yeah, it's super loud too, even on youtube.

  13. mik

    December 23, 2023 at 3:14 am

    And now there is a new bios available lol, from 203 to 301. This is a major bump from 2x to 3x.

    IMPORTANCE: CRITICAL

    Important Information:
    Optimize system performance
    https://www.asus.com/supportonly/ux3405ma/helpdesk_bios/

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 28, 2023 at 3:25 pm

      I took a few days off for Christmas, I'll check out the new BIOS and have an update in the article in these next few days

  14. joss

    December 23, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    Dear writer, when updating the BIOS from 201 to 203, was there an improvement in performance per watt? Or the improvement comes from an increase in fan speed to avoid thermal throttling

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 28, 2023 at 3:26 pm

      the increase in scores is mostly due to the system running the CPU at higher power for longer.

  15. Nidary

    December 24, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks a Lot for your reply!
    Gona bis one.
    Still Not shure about 155h or 185h
    Think the 185h will ne louder…
    So ist will ne the 155

  16. Kokor

    December 25, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    There is another new BIOS release from Dec 22 available on ASUS website now: 301

    Would be great to compare several benches and see what has been improved.

  17. Peter

    December 26, 2023 at 12:11 am

    I saw ASUS postet Bios 301, labelled critical for the UX3405.
    Have you tested it?

  18. Slash-Bismarch

    December 26, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    I bought this laptop in China, most parts are identical with this one in text, except the OLED screen isn't touchable, neither the touchpad supporting NumberPad, and the price is roughly $923.45, 6599 Chinese Yuan. For me that's quite a bargain, light enough for me to carry around (my job needs me to be online for most of the time).And the battery life is excellent too, I've tested it for a 10-hour working without charging, typing articles, browsing with Chrome, listening to music in the meantime, at the end it still had 20% of battery life.

    • nidary

      December 30, 2023 at 12:29 am

      can you please tell me one thing
      was it mostly passive or did the fans spin a lot during "everyday" 10-hour work and browsing chrome?

  19. Arjun Puri

    December 30, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Does anyone know if the OLED screen uses the Samsung E6 luminescent material? Does anyone have a close-up image of the screen showing the OLED sub-pixel arrangement?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 3, 2024 at 12:34 pm

      I don't have the right camera to take that shot

      • Mo

        February 21, 2024 at 10:55 am

        Whats your opinion about the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405MA performance vs the new Dell XPS 14 ?
        It has same cpu and memory.

      • Andrei Girbea

        February 21, 2024 at 3:45 pm

        I don't know yet. I haven't read the XPS 14 reviews to understand the power settings and cooling/noise behavior. I'd expect that to be more powerful though, with the dual-fan dual-heatpipe cooling.

        I'd worry about getting used to the keyboard layout on the XPS, though. That's my pet peeve with that design. Plus, the minimalist IO.

        Build quality is better with the XPS, and battery life might be better as well, as Dell tends to optimize things well.

        Unfortunately XPS products aren't available here quickly, so it will be a while until I can get my hands on one for a review

  20. MrLuckbox

    January 2, 2024 at 12:56 pm

    Any chance you'll review the PRO versions with dGPU when they come out? :)

  21. rodrigo

    January 29, 2024 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, do you intend to update it?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 30, 2024 at 5:31 pm

      At this point, I don't have this around anymore.

  22. AB

    February 22, 2024 at 1:50 am

    I bought ux3405 with 185h to replace ux3402 i5 1240p. It cost me in uk £1399> i must admit- machine is very good.
    First bad thing- machine is making some electronic noise, it's not annoying but it exists…
    I replaced stock ssd with 2TB Hynix p41. Result: great and superfast machine.
    Here are some examples of tests results:
    Cinebench R15, best over 2500, loop between 2100-2200,
    Geekbench -single 2474, multi 13262
    PCmark10 – 7446.

    Quite laud on performance mode (not lauder than ux3402) and acceptable on standard mode. And here is the best thing: most of the time, I use it in whisper mode. I ran CB15 loop and laptop performs very quiet starting from 2200 and ending around 1200. This is the result typical for ux3402 i5 in performance mode (laud as a jet engine). Generally, on whisper- very fast, quiet and almost fanless laptop with additional super performance on demand when needed (you can switch between power modes using fn+f keys).

    Overall- very good laptop and massive improvement in build quality and noise control over ux3402. Too early saying about battery life, but in whisper mode, it should be similar to reviewed by Andrei model as TPD is limited to 15W…
    I have no doubt that form factor and cooling solution stop CPU from showing its full potential, but it performs very well anyway. Just one negative with electronic noise, but it's not constant or laud so I accepted that. Step ahead in terms of comfort, build quality and performance over 2022 generation as well as possibly the best alternative or better option than MacBook air.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 22, 2024 at 12:13 pm

      Perhaps you could return it and get another one? Is that an option? Although some degree of electronic noises is to be expected with modern laptops, and there's no guarantee you won't end up with an even worse implementation. Maybe if you can find a place that allows to test it in store?

      • AB

        February 23, 2024 at 10:27 am

        I thought about returning it but abandoned this idea. It's not loud so it's no deal braker for me. I wasn't feeling confident getting 185H option but based on your review of ux3404, I assumed that tdp levels should be similar for new 45W CPU. in the UK, I didn't see 155h and 32 RAM option but overall, it looks like I made a good choise.

  23. Mo

    February 22, 2024 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for your reply Andrei. Though the XPS 14 is available in the Netherlands, it do costs a lot more. Especially with an Oled screen.
    So I think Ill go for the Asus. And yeah that keyboard sure is an issue. Good point.

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