Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition review

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition review

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Epnlogs Verdict

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition is the kind of laptop that’s made for a small number of people, but it delivers exactly what they want – for the most part. There’s very little here that you won’t like, but its surprisingly short battery and hefty price tag make the device a powerful, premium showpiece that’s best kept in orbit around a nearby power outlet.

Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Price in $1,999/£1,599/about AU$2,799
  • When is it out? It’s available now
  • Where can you get it? It’s available in the US and the UK, with Australian availability forthcoming.

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition is available now for $1,999/£1,599/about AU$2,799, and is available in the US and UK. We’ve reached out to Asus about Australian availability and pricing, and will update this review once we hear back from the company.

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Edition Space
CPU Intel Core i9-12900H
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
RAM32GB DDR5-4800
Screen14-inch, 16:10 (2880x1800p) @ 90Hz OLED touchscreen, 550-nit peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Ports2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x microSD, 1 x 3.5mm combo jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
CameraHD (720p) webcam, software privacy switch
Weight3.09lbs | 1.40kg
Size(W x D x H): 12.24 x 8.7 x 0.62in | 311 x 221 x 15.9mm
Battery63Whr

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Edition: Design

  • Lots of space-y details
  • Beautiful finish
  • Good number of ports

As impressive as the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition’s performance and features might be, it’s the design that really sells the laptop.

In 1997, Asus sent several units of its first laptop, the P6300, up to the Russian Mir space station, where cosmonauts used the devices for an extended 600-day mission in space. According to Asus, the laptops were a hit with the crew (take that with a touch of salt, obviously). The ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition commemorates that original mission to the Mir, with a number of design elements and easter eggs for us space nerds.

First among these is the laser etchings on the aluminum lid that represent the shape and contours of a space station capsule. This motif is only strengthened by the 3.5-inch ZenVision OLED display that feels like it could be a space station window. 

There are also subtle hints of morse code on the lid, with one of these lines tapping out the morse code for ad astra per aspera, which is an old Latin proverb meaning “Through hardships to the stars.” 

Open the lid and you you’ll find more etching, with two lines framing the trackpad that are supposed to evoke the look of a cockpit. Further away towards the edges, you’ll find a wider set of lines that represent the orbit of the Mir, which is itself represented by a simple stylized drawing of the station to the left of the trackpad.

The space bar is highlighted with a reddish-orange accent color (which you’ll also find on the power button), as well as a pictogram of something in orbit around the Earth – at least that’s this reviewer’s interpretation, but it could be Saturn. Space is a mystery.

The keyboard feature’s backlit keys that are pleasant enough to type on and the trackpad is responsive, especially thanks to the OLED display’s 0.2ms pixel response. The trackpad can also act as a number pad, if you’re in need of one. 

The OLED display tilts the keyboard angle up when fully open, making typing a far more ergonomic experience than many other laptops. Considering the thinness of the laptop, we’re glad to see that Asus was able to squeeze in a good number of ports, including two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port for multiple external monitor support.

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Edition: Features

  • ZenDisplay is a neat feature
  • OLED display as gorgeous as ever

There are several features worth mentioning about the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition. First, there’s the Asus ZenVision 3.5-inch OLED display on the lid of the laptop. This can display the time, battery life, and other messages, as well as QR codes, custom messages and several accompanying animations. We’d have liked more variety in the animations, but there are enough to ensure everyone will find one they like.

Speaking of OLED displays, the primary panel is bright and vibrant, with up to 550 nits of peak brightness, a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and DisplayHDR 500 True Black with a black brightness of just 0.0005 nits. The 2800 x 1800p resolution is crisp, and the color range of the OLED is excellent. It should be: it’s Pantone-validated and covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Edition: Performance

  • Phenomenal performance
  • No discrete GPU

The performance of the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition is among the best we’ve seen all year, due in no small part to the Intel Core i9-12900H processor, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD.

We’re only just starting to get our hands on laptops with the latest 12th-gen Intel Core processors, so there aren’t too many laptops out there at the moment to which we can fairly compare the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition. Comparing its performance to last year’s best laptops feels like an even bigger mismatch than normal. Intel Alder Lake really is that good.

3DMark: Night Raid19,077;
Strike5,374
Time Spy2,003
Cine bench R23 Multi-core1,719
Multi-core11,508
Geek Bench 51,819
single-core11,452 (multi-core)
PC Mark 10 Test5,913 points
PC Mark 10 Battery life4 hours and 41 minutes

In our Asus ZenBook 13 review in 2021, we found that model to offer some of the best performance of anything we’d seen that year in the Ultrabook market, and it has held onto its place in our best laptop list ever since.

The ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition absolutely obliterates the ZenBook 13’s scores, reaching 11,508 in Cinebench R23’s multicore benchmark compared to the ZenBook 13’s 7,773. Granted, the ZenBook 13 was running an AMD Ryzen 7 mobile processor, so it wouldn’t really have much shot against an Alder Lake i9; but that’s still a huge jump.

If we look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Xi Carbon, which had a last-gen i7-1165G7, it too doesn’t score nearly as well, clocking in 5,389 in Cinebench R23 multi-core. The Intel Iris Xe graphics has also seen a marked improvement with the new Alder Lake chips, since the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition racked up 19,077 points in 3DMark Night Raid compared to the X1 Carbon’s 15,633.

All this is to be expected really, given that the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition is running an i9-12900H – but all that performance appears to come at quite a cost.

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Edition: Battery life

And now we come to the area where the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition nearly broke our hearts. You can expect modern Ultrabooks to easily make it through a full eight-hour workday these days, especially with Intel Evo certification that requires nine-hour battery life at a minimum. It will be very interesting to see how Intel Alder Lake shakes up that expectation, since it clearly uses up far more power than its predecessor – and it looks like this absolutely tanks the battery life on the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition.

And now we come to the area where the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition nearly broke our hearts. You can expect modern Ultrabooks to easily make it through a full eight-hour workday these days, especially with Intel Evo certification that requires nine-hour battery life at a minimum. It will be very interesting to see how Intel Alder Lake shakes up that expectation, since it clearly uses up far more power than its predecessor – and it looks like this absolutely tanks the battery life on the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition.

In our PCMark 10 battery test, the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition lasted, four hours and 41 minutes on average, while in our FHD movie test, it lasted on average just four hours. You could blame the OLED display, but you’d be wrong – the ZenBook 13 has an OLED display that’s only slightly smaller than this one, and it lasted more than twice as long.

As we see more 12th-gen Intel Core-powered laptops this year, we’ll be better able to determine from where this poor battery life stems. I don’t think the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition will be an outlier in this regard; we saw something similar in our Razer Blade 15 (2022) review as well. Unfortunately, this will likely be the new normal for Alder Lake laptops.

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