Asus ZenBook 13 (AMD) Review: Beautiful OLED, Impressive Power

The Asus ZenBook 13 is one of the Laptops of the best value I’ve tried it in a while. The ZenBook line has always packed high-quality features at surprisingly competitive prices, but the latest model stands out for two reasons: a beautiful OLED screen and a Ryzen 5000U-series chip.

What’s remarkable about AMD’s new Ryzen 5000U series processors is that they get performance that is often better than the latest Intel 11th generation processors (“Tiger Lake”) for significantly less money. The AMD version of the Asus laptop starts at $ 800 for the Ryzen 5 model, which is a lot for most people. The most expensive model of the 7 Ryzen series I tested comes close to the performance of Apple’s M1 chip in his Recent MacBooks, but also with a lower price. U ZenBook 13 “ it’s a lot of laptops for not a lot of money. However, this does not mean that it is free of peculiarities.

Tight keyboard

While the ZenBook 13 is a great value, there’s one annoyance you’ll have to endure: the keyboard. Someone might call it tight, which it is, but that’s not my primary problem. What bothers me is the row in addition to the keys on the right side with the keys that are usually found on a NumPad, such as Page Up and Home.

Finish by making the QWERTY area out of center with the trackpad. Every time I put my hands on either side of the trackpad, it didn’t touch the keys I thought I would touch. Luckily, after about a week my brain adapted and got used to it. The bad news is that the spacing of the keys is closer than usual do lead to an unusually high amount of typography. I even had the ZenBook with my wife for a couple of days to see if it was just me, but no, she had the same experience.

The solution here is obvious – drop the extra row of keys and space out the rest of the keyboard accordingly, but alas, that’s what it is. It’s not an agreement, and I say that as a writer who writes constantly. But I suggest you try this laptop before you buy to see if it bothers you.

Aside from the keyboard, there’s a lot to love about the rest of the design of this ZenBook. These laptops have always been feathered, fast cars, and this latest model is no exception. It weighs a little over 2.5 pounds, and is only a hair over half an inch thick.

When you open the ZenBook cover, the zipper raises the back of the body from the surface, giving the keyboard a comfortable slope of 3 degrees (approx.). This also helps to get some air flowing under the chassis to keep things cool. Whether or not the result of this design is uncertain, but only once in all my trials have I heard fans come along. (And to be fair, an hour-long meeting in Microsoft Teams will do someone the laptop sounds like a jet engine.)

Photography: Asus

OLED is the Ryzen 5000U series

Most of my initial interest in the ZenBook 13 was the AMD Ryzen 5000U-series chip, and it doesn’t disappoint. I made some benchmarks against the previous AMD (Ryzen 7 4000 series) and an Intel i7 Lenovo which I also tested. This is a little honey-to-orange, so I won’t go too deep into it, but the 5000U series has outperformed both in almost every multi-threaded test, which is about what you’d expect. Where the Intel model is likely to win is in the game.

More interesting to me was the real-world experience of video rendering and exporting, which burned fast, even next to the Ryzen 4000-series machine, and watching HD video, which looks great on the 13-inch OLED display . This is one of the first under $ 1,000 laptops I’ve seen with an OLED display. It’s only 1080p, unlike the 4K OLED on some Dell machines, but it still looks fantastic, with deep, rich blacks and highly saturated colors.

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