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ZenBook 13 OLED – More screen than you’d expect

For a screen that fills the frame and looks vibrant, the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED ticks all the boxes. BRYAN TURNER gave it a Gadget score of 8/10.

As big fans of Asus technology, we knew we had to try the ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325) when it was made available in South Africa. This device is fine-tuned with subtle-yet-necessary changes from the previous generation.

The laptop is propped up as the box opens, which gives an appropriately premium first impression of the device. Accessories in the box include a 65W USB-C charger, a USB-A to Ethernet adapter, and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter. It also comes with a soft carry sleeve to protect the device when not in use.

Before opening the laptop, one notices it’s small – misleadingly so. That’s thanks to the bezelless screen, which fills the lid from edge-to-edge. When compared to older 13” laptops, the UX325 truly delivers on the promise of what a 13” laptop should look like.

Along the sides are two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A) port, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a microSD card reader. This level of integrated connectivity is rare to find in such a small form factor. We are, however, scratching our heads about integrating a full-sized HDMI port and not a headphone jack…

Opening the device is where the magic begins. The screen delivers what an OLED screen should: deep contrast, true black levels, and ultra-fast response times. The 1080p resolution panel is sharp and is more than enough for a 13” device. The display is also Pantone Validated and supports HDR. In terms of future-proofing, this is the panel that will last a user for a very long time.

Just below the display is the edge-to-edge keyboard, and on the device this size, it needs to be edge-to-edge. While the keyboard feels great to type on, the extra row of function keys to the right of the device adds an extra learning curve to avoid hitting Page Down when one means to hit Enter. The touchpad completes the keyboard with more functions. Those who are longing for a NumPad again can activate the Asus NumberPad 2.0 from the touchpad’s hotkey.

On the security front, it houses a biometric IR camera above the display for Windows Hello login. This makes it convenient to sign in, provided the unlocking takes place in an unmasked situation. With software, it’s fully Windows 11 compatible and users receive a notification to upgrade if they purchase a unit with Windows 10 installed.

The overall office performance of the device is good. This little device contains the quad-core, Core 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which assists in multitasking. However, when starting up heavier games like CS:GO, it heats up and performs as well as integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics do (at 15fps on the lowest setting). We don’t need to be the ones to say “don’t buy an office laptop for games”.

On office performance, the computer can handle a bunch of tabs and remain responsive. The unit we had came with 8GB of RAM, which is on the low side for Windows machines (since the operating system takes around 2GB before even opening anything). Its redeeming factor is 512GB of SSD storage – lots of space and high-speed file access.

The HD webcam performs well – both in regular and low light situations. This, paired with the top-mounted array microphone set, make this a great remote working device.

The 67WH laptop battery provided us with nearly 10 hours of office usage, which saved us a few times during load-shedding. 

Overall, the UX325 is a fantastic office work laptop with a vivid screen and strong multitasking capabilities. The 16GB+512GB variant is available from Evetech for R20,000.

Asus ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325)

8 out of 10
R19999
Body/Chassis
9/10
Display
10/10
Performance
6/10
Communications (webcam/mic)
8/10
Connectivity/Ports
7/10
Battery life
9/10
Price
7/10
Special feature – NumberPad on trackpad
8/10

Pros

Sharp, vivid display

Edge-to-edge display

Comfortable keyboard

Cons

Adapter needed for headphones

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