A closer Look at ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402ZA)
In the last few months, I have been traveling a lot within the country and especially within Western Kenya. In those travels I observed a lot of interesting aspects of our beautiful country. To start with, the mobile phone penetration is now like 100%, it is rare to find someone or a homestead without a mobile phone. Despite that, there are some very remote areas without electricity at all. Not even solar powered electricity which I found in quite a number of places. In places where the homes have solar power systems, getting where to charge the phone or laptop is easy but in those areas without, then one has to move quite a distance to find a place to charge your devices.
My first round of trips I carried a laptop that required to be charged frequently, sometimes referred to as a desktop. Since I had some productivity work to do along the way, the kind of work that was not easy to do on a mobile phone, I found myself spending a lot of time in a far away shopping center. As luck would have it, immediately I got back to Nairobi, I received a Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA from my great people at ASUS.
Now I have used a number of laptops before but none of them have impressed me like the Zenbook 14 OLED based on its simplicity and the size. The device is extremely lightweight and slim. Its chassis and lid are made of very light aluminum alloy. It weighs only .139kg with a slide profile of less than 16.9mm. I really appreciated the above specs when I went back to the field. The size alone meant I traveled light since it did not add much weight to my luggage.
As already mentioned about the areas I was visiting and the issue of electricity, getting a laptop that I could charge only once and then use the whole day was a big bonus for the trip. So the trick was to have it fully charged by morning and the whole day I am sorted. In terms of the battery The Zenbook 14 OLED series is equipped with a 75- watt -hour battery which according to ASUS can keep you productive for 18 Hours. My battery life test also came close to that, I got 16 hours and 30 minutes. In terms of charging the systems these days have intelligent charging systems that you can just leave them to charge overnight and they do not overload. Still the ASUS Battery Health Charging feature offers three modes: The full Capacity, and Maximum Lifespan. This mode allows the battery to charge to 100%, providing a full charge for extended on the go performance. The next one is Balance mode, which allows the battery to charge to 80% and the final one is Maximum Lifespan mode that allows the battery
It may be just me but I am always smiling when I use an extremely portable laptop and it is doing so much in terms of Productivity. It reminds me of back when I started using computers in high school ( yes that was the first time I saw a computer) and how huge the Main Frame server was then. Our work stations had desktops but there was not much you can do apart from typing on DOS. WHen we transitioned to Windows then it was like magic and the same magic I still see when I use or hold a laptop like the Zenbook 14 OLED UX3402ZA. The device is equipped with the latest 12th Intel Core i& processor. It supports up to 16GB of memory and 1 TB SSD or storage space.
Talking of Memory size, A few days ago one of my friends who is very clueless when it comes to technology read a review about a laptop I did sometime back. He called me and asked, why do you techies throw some of the computer numbers around without explaining what it means or how it helps the users. Then I asked him, like which one…and the answer was how does 4GB RAM add more sufurias of ugali on my table. Anyway the guy is a joke but I got his point just saying a device that comes with 16GB RAM like this one does not explain much especially to non techie. So today for the sake of my friend and in case he reads this article sometime in future let me explain why the RAM is important in any computing device. The more RAM your computer has access to , the easier everything becomes for it. And that enables the computer to be faster. If you like those who open a million tabs on your browser, with high memory, your computer would function like nothing is happening. But if you have a low memory size like 4GB (it used to be something a few years ago) then your computer has to work much harder to transfer data or perform basic functions. This restricts computer performance and that is why you hear people saying their computer has hanged. Random access memory (RAM) also helps your system support software.
This is important especially when you need to add more storage through microSD, or connect to USB or connect to HDMI. I am not sure what one will do with 1TB and then still need to add more storage through MicroSD but yes it offers Thunderbolt 4, full size HMDI 2.0, USB 3.2 Type -A ports, microSD card reader and audio jack. Just in case you are wondering, thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface for the connection of external peripherals to a computer. It is a product which was developed by Intel, in collaboration with Apple.
Apart from functionality, display is another aspect of devices that I like talking about. That is because it is central to how the device looks, feels as well as inner beauty if I may call it that. It also forms a bigger part of the overall design of a device. In the case of Zenbook 14 OLED the expansive 16:10 2.8K OLED NanoEdge touchscreen delivers incredibly detailed visuals with ultra-vivid colors. The NanoEdge design has ultra-slim bezels and a 90% screen-to-body ratio, which in turn gives Zenbook 14 OLED its svelte and compact form factor. Those keen on colors would be happy to know that its color accuracy is on another level.
One thing that I know is affecting so many people of the current generation is overuse of the screens and hence problems with the eye sights. It is encouraging that the device manufacturers like ASUS are taking the issue seriously with their new devices. That is why I think the fact that it cares for your eyes during long screen sessions, with low blue-light levels is very important.
Back to the screen size and the resolution the Zenbook 14 OLED has a 14-inch, 2880×1800 resolution, 90Hz OLED display. The display supports 10-bit color and HDR10 content and hence explains the color accuracy that I have mentioned above.
When it comes to laptop keyboards, one thing I look for these days is how comfortable it is when I am using it. I do a lot of writing meaning I spend so much time using the keyboard hnec comfort is key to me. So I confirm that the Zen 14 OLED keyboard is comfortable to type on with great spacing. They have used a design that they are calling the ErgoLift hinge, which enables the device to automatically tilt when the laptop is opened. On top of the design allowing users to type more comfortably, it also increases the ventilation space under the chassis for improved heat dissipation.
Also all the keys are where you would expect them. I sometimes get confused with some laptops where you find the @ key is wrongly placed or sometimes weirdly exchanged with “ key. If you are going to use the laptop in areas where there is not enough light or darkness as I was when I was traveling, the backlit would be your friend. The brightness can be adjusted in three steps.
I can not move on before mentioning the cool power key with fingerprint sensor. It helps avoid accidental touches by users and also integrates the secure finger login, giving users more security login options.
The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED comes with NumberPad 2.0, an LED-illuminated numeric keypad integrated in the touchpad. A single-touch sensor at the top right of the touchpad turns NumberPad on and off, and a tap on the icon at the top left lets you choose one of two brightness levels. You can also swipe from the top left icon in any direction on the NumberPad 2.0 to activate the Calculator app on the main display.
Here are the Specifications in Summary
|CPU||12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1260P processor12th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1240P processor|
|Display options||14” 2.8K (2880 x 1800) 90 Hz 16:10 OLED touchscreen, four-sided NanoEdge design with 90% screen-to-body ratio, up to 550-nit peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, DisplayHDR 500 True Black certification |
14” 2.8K (2880 x 1800) ) 90 Hz 16:10 OLED non-touch screen, four-sided NanoEdge design with 90% screen-to-body ratio, up to 400-nit peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, DisplayHDR 600 True Black certification
14” 2.5K (2560 x 1600) 16:10 IPS display, four-sided NanoEdge design with 90% screen-to-body ratio, up to 400-nit brightness, 100% sRGB color gamut
|Operating system||Windows 11 ProWindows 11 Home|
|Graphics||Intel® Iris® Xe graphics|
|Main memory||8/ 16 GB 4800 MHz LPDDR5 onboard|
|Storage||512 GB / 1 TB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Connectivity||Dual-band WiFi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth® 5.2|
|Camera||720p HD/ FHD Camera|
|I/O ports||2 x ThunderboltTM 4 USB-C® with full range (5~20V) of charging1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A1 x standard HDMI® 2.01 x MicroSD Reader1 x Audio combo jack|
|Touchpad||ASUS NumberPad 2.0 (optional) / ASUS ErgoSense touchpad|
|Audio||Harman Kardon-certified Dolby Atmos sound system with 2 built-in speakersBuilt-in array microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support|
|Battery||75 Wh lithium-polymer battery|
|AC adapter||65W Type-C power adapter (Output: 20 V DC, 100 W, Input: 100-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal)|
|Dimensions||313.62 x 220.63 x 16.9 mm|