ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition review: Worth the premium? (Updated)
Introduction & key features
Note: This review was first published on 22nd April 2022. We are republishing it now as ASUS has upgraded it with a 4K display, but has maintained the same price for the notebook. The review is still based on the earlier display resolution.
Ready for prime time
ASUS has finally sent me a retail-ready version of the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition. It’s a notebook made to commemorate the P6300, ASUS’ first ever notebook. The space connection is because the P6300 actually spent over 600 days onboard the now-defunct Mir space station. ASUS is very proud of the fact that during its time in space, the P6300 notebook reported zero issues.
On the outside, it’s mostly the same as the pre-production unit that I received. So for this article, I’m going to focus on the performance. For my thoughts on how this notebook feels and handles, check out my hands-on here. That said, let’s go through some key points and features of this notebook.
Though the ZenBook 14X OLED Space Edition is based on the ZenBook 14X OLED which I reviewed earlier, it has a number of differences.
The most obvious is the finish of the chassis. It comes in a colour that ASUS calls Zero-G Titanium, which, to my eyes, seems like a mix of gunmetal titanium and gold. Then there are the various space-inspired motifs and printed on the lid is the Morse code representation of the popular Latin phrase “per aspera ad astra” – which translates to “our aspirations take us to the stars.”
Of course, the star is the small digital display that ASUS calls the ZenVision display. Essentially, it’s a 3.5-inch OLED panel that can be customised to show system status, a personal message, a fun animation, or anything you want. Customisation is done through the MyASUS app which comes with four preset options. Though the display is quite low in resolution – only 256 x 64 pixels – the end effect is that it has the look of 8-bit graphics which many would surely find charming.
Another highlight of the notebook is the display. ASUS has been pushing OLED displays in their notebooks hard and the premium is well worth it. Here, we have a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,800 pixels and it covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space. Because it’s OLED, the contrast ratio is a stunning 1,000,000:1. It also has Pantone validation and VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black certification. Some readers might be concerned about burn-in, but ASUS has technologies in place to prevent that. The important thing, however, is that it looks great. Colours look natural, but they are also vivid and punchy. It’s hard to go back to a regular LCD display after this.
(Updated on 9th December 2022): While the notebook launched with a 2,880 x 1,800 pixels resolution OLED screen, in Singapore, it's now updated with a 4K OLED screen (3,840 x 2,400 pixels) at no extra cost.
Connectivity is excellent in this notebook. On the left, you have two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and a full-size HDMI port. On the right, you have a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a microSD card slot. You cannot ask for any better on an ultraportable notebook.