In the ocean of new computers launched every year, some models do well. This is the case with the ZenBook 13 OLED from Asus, the first ultrabook under 1000 euros with an OLED screen.
Marketed at 899 eurosthis laptop has an interesting configuration. In order to contain costs, Asus relies on AMD Ryzen processors rather than Intel chips. A successful bet since this ZenBook 13 OLED has seduced us in many ways.
Prices and availability
The Asus Zenbook with Ryzen Chip is available from 899 euros. For that price, it includes a Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of SSD.
Our test model contains a Ryzen 7 chip with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. At the moment, Asus is not sure whether it should be marketed in France.
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED (UM325UA) at the best price
Base price: € 1,299
Design and connection
Like the Intel versions, the ZenBook 13 also has OLED with a Ryzen processor a brushed metal bowl Of the most beautiful effect. Available in a single anthracite gray version, it shows a resolutely upscale design.
If we regret the appetite for fingerprints and the sleek plastic interior, we will appreciate the very compact size and low weight (only 1.2 kg). In this little game it even holds its own against the Dell XPS 13, Reference on the matter.
We would even have a preference for the Asus machine and this for a small innovation that brings a welcome excess of comfort: its ergolift mechanism. This allows the keyboard to be raised slightly and the screen to be tilted up to 155 degrees. Small bonus: It allows better heat dissipation.
Asus also took care of the integration of the OLED panel. The margins are very thin. The upper edge integrates the webcam. The Taiwanese has a long way to go before he can compete with Dell, which delivers technical feats every year. But the whole thing remains very elegant.
Keyboard and trackpad
Like Dell’s XPS 13, the ZenBook 13 is a space-saving model. Despite a very compact chassis The Asus Ultrabook has a 3-level keyboard with backlight. It is characterized by its large keys and its travel of only 1.4 mm, which is very comfortable for longer typing sessions.
We wrote this review with the ZenBook 13 as well, not without a certain amount of pleasure. Only a small disadvantage, the too narrow “Enter” key, which is often confused with the “Shift” key directly below it.
A mistake that can easily be forgiven given that Asus has enough space for it House an imposing trackpad. It’s much wider than it is tall and displays a small button in the upper-right corner to display a backlit numeric keypad on the touchpad. Brilliant.
Due to its compact size, Asus had to make decisions to keep connectivity to the essentials. For Taiwanese The 3.5 mm socket is no longer requiredSo he decided to forego it here.
The connection of the ZenBook 13 OLED is therefore limited to Two USB-C ports, one HDMI, one USB-A and one microSD card reader. We do not recommend that you add a small USB-C adapter to add some ports to the device as the PC only has one USB-C port after it is charged. A little fair.
After all, we can count on a for connectivity WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility.
Screen and audio
This is one of the main attractions of this ZenBook 13. Under the 1000 euro mark, it is the only ultrabook that integrates an OLED panel. And what an OLED panel! Asus puts the small pixels in the big ones and delivers a soaring screen (made in Samsung) that is just as attractive for everyday tasks as multimedia.
The OLED has several advantages: the blacks are infinite, the contrasts pronounced and the energy consumption reduced (see section on autonomy).
In order not to spoil anything, the brightness here reaches 400 nits, which enables comfortable use even in very bright surroundings, for example on the terrace in full sun (we can hardly wait).
Audio by Harman Kardon
This 13.3-inch full HD OLED display has a premium audio setup. Asus has teamed up with the giant Harman Kardon to optimize the sound quality.
Overall, the ZenBook 13 delivers a very pleasant stereo sound. If the bass is discreet and the highs are sometimes aggressive, the whole thing is still very correct. Enough for a comfortable multimedia experience.
There remain two sometimes annoying shortcomings. The first is the lack of a 3.5mm jack, which forces us to opt for a wireless device or a jack / USB-C adapter that is not included.
Second problem (more annoying): The speakers are located under the keyboard This obliges us to always position the machine on a level surface. The noise is systematically muffled on the knees, on a pillow or on the bed. Pity.
Performance and autonomy
The ZenBook 13 OLED is available in France in a single version that integrates an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. A less muscular configuration than our test model with a Ryzen 7 chip. 5700U and 16 GB of RAM. The whole thing comes with a Radeon Graphics graphics card.
If we were to compare this ZenBook 13 OLED, we would position it against a MacBook Air M1 (as long as we do). In terms of performance, the Asus machine doesn’t have to be ashamed of Apple’s praised for its remarkable performance, even if the benchmarks place the Apple PC way ahead.
Yet, ZenBook 13 OLED offers almost everything a MacBook Air M1 can dowith the same efficiency. Like the Pommé ultrabook, the Asus ultrabook also shows signs of fatigue when asked to perform extremely resource-intensive tasks over a long period of time.
If the processor is keeping up the pace fairly well, then the graphics card won’t because it’s too tight for editing or gaming. The MacBook Air M1 therefore remains one step further since it does this kind of job without flinching, provided it doesn’t abuse it.
The main problem with the ZenBook 13 OLED is that it is heats up very quickly. This has two disadvantages: the performance degrades with prolonged use and the fans make the machine noisy. Not to mention the risk of defective components in the long run. In addition, a MacBook Air M1 remains silent under all circumstances. Yes but A MacBook Air M1 with the same configuration costs 500 euros more. An important “detail”.
An ultrabook designed for great mobility needs to be as durable as possible. Problem, these models also have to be very compact, which makes the exercise dangerous.
Not enough to scare the Asus engineers who manage to deliver here An ultrabook that is both compact and very durable. To achieve this, they relied on three levers: the less energy-consuming OLED screen, the Ryzen processor with low power consumption and the 67 Wh battery.
Result: The autonomy of the Zenbook 13 OLED is simply excellent. For the versatile use (web, photo editing, social networks, video, office automation) with a brightness of 200 cd / m2 and around 3 hours of listening to music via wireless headphones, we needed almost 15 hours. Impressive!
The Zenbook 13 OLED comes with a compact and easily transportable USB-C charger. number just over an hour on a full chargewhich again is a great achievement.
The device’s USB-C ports are also compatible with Power Delivery. You can therefore connect any other charger equipped with this technology. Very good work.
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED (UM325UA) at the best price
Base price: € 1,299
Our opinion on the ZenBook 13 OLED
How can I not recommend this ZenBook 13 OLED? By betting on AMD Ryzen processors, Asus wins their bet. The ultrabook has established itself as one of the most interesting ultrabooks on the market today.
It’s powerful enough for the general public and also meets the needs of students and professionals who don’t use creative software.
Its main strengths include the polished design and exemplary surfaces, the great OLED screen and the record battery life. There is also a comfortable keyboard and trackpad and a much cheaper price than the competition. A real favorite.
Asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA (2021)
Design and finishes
9.0 / 10
Autonomy and charging
9.5 / 10
9.0 / 10
- Premium design and surfaces
- Comfortable keyboard and trackpad
- Nice OLED display
- Record autonomy
- Excellent techno-price ratio
We like less
- Loudspeakers under the chassis
- Performance a bit tight for advanced applications
- Heats up quickly and hard