From the beginning, the Asus Zenbook was an attempt to beat Apple’s MacBooks at their own game — using knowledge Asus originally obtained while helping to build those laptops for Apple. Why do I bring that up? We’re wondering whether the new Asus ZenBook Pro 14 and 16X might give them a run for their money.
It’s definitely not a given, given the incredible performance and battery life we’ve seen from Apple’s homegrown processors, but Asus is pushing hard. Last year, it went all in on OLED displays, including high-refresh-rate 120Hz panels that look absolutely stunning in person, and this year, it’s going even harder, aiming no fewer than nine machines with Intel and Nvidia’s latest chips against Apple’s creator audience alone — including a pair with fancy, gimmicky-yet-intriguing 3D screens that I’ll let my colleague Monica tell you about.
One of them, the Zenbook Pro 14 OLED, is brand-new, with a 14.5-inch 120Hz OLED screen at 2.8K resolution that displays 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut and houses up to a Core i9-13900H and GeForce RTX 4070 GPU — and can let those chips hit 105W despite its 1.8cm (0.7-inch) frame. (That’s only slightly thicker than Apple’s MacBook Pros.) It manages to fit a 76Wh battery in there, too.
It can turn on and off that 40-series mobile GPU with a dedicated switch and features a full-size SD card slot, full-size HDMI 2.1, full-size USB, Thunderbolt 4, and USB-C, all at USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds, plus a headphone jack.
Then there’s the Asus Zenbook Pro 16X OLED, the refreshed version of the fancy keyboard-tray-lifting machine I told you about last year. It’s more than your average refresh: Asus says it worked with Intel on a custom i9-13905H chip, shrunk the motherboard by 38 percent, and added liquid metal cooling and a curved vapor chamber so its chips — including an RTX 4080 mobile chip — can hit a 155W TDP. That one’s got a 3.2K 120HZ OLED panel, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an SD Express card slot, HDMI 2.1, and a pen, plus a 96Wh battery all in a 16.9mm frame.
Rather than tell you about all the rest, since they’re mostly spec refreshes, I’m going to take advantage of Asus’ handy bento box style spec and feature breakouts! But I’m really eager to see how the Zenbook Pros perform later this year. Here’s the press release if you want more right now.
Asus didn’t reveal prices for these new machines yet, but they’re also not coming right away — the Zenbooks, ProArt Studiobooks, and Vivobooks are coming in Q2, with the ExpertBook B9 arriving in Q3.