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OLED is finally as affordable as IPS, Asus ZenBook 13 with OLED and 11th gen Core i7 now shipping for just $899 USD

Asus ZenBook 13 with OLED launches for only $899 USD, puts pressure on the usual IPS options (Source: Asus)
Asus ZenBook 13 with OLED launches for only $899 USD, puts pressure on the usual IPS options (Source: Asus)
Who needs IPS when OLED costs about the same? The Asus ZenBook 13 UX325EA is now one of the cheapest Ultrabooks in the market with OLED options for superior image quality and colors than its IPS or QLED peers.

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Just a few years ago, paying for an Alienware 13 OLED or Lenovo ThinkPad OLED would cost users hefty premiums over the usual IPS options. Such models would normally retail for two grand or more due to the limited availability of OLED panels. Fortunately, 2021 may finally be the year for OLED to become more commonplace on mid-range to high-end laptops.

Asus today has refreshed its ZenBook 13 UX325 series to include new OLED options. When compared to IPS, OLED offers superior response times of under 1 ms, deeper colors with full DCI-P3 coverage, brighter displays on average, and almost perfect black levels for higher contrast. The best part is that the ZenBook 13 OLED starts at just under $900 to be cost competitive against most IPS configurations.

The main drawbacks to the $900 system is its limited 8 GB of soldered LPDDR4X RAM and native 1080p resolution whereas most other OLED panels are typically 4K UHD. Users can double the RAM for about $200 more.

The ZenBook 13 OLED is now shipping in three configurations as shown below. See our review on the IPS configuration here to learn more about the system.

SKUWTB Link
UX325EA-XS74AmazonASUS StoreNewegg
UX325EA-DS51AmazonASUS Store, & Newegg
UX325EA-ES71AmazonASUS Store, & Newegg
SPECIFICATIONS[i]
 
ASUS ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325)
CPUIntel® Core i7-1165G7 processor
Intel® Core i5-1135G7 processor
Display13.3" OLED, Full HD (1920 x 1080), 16:9 aspect, glare screen, 400nits brightness display 
Slim 2.9 mm bezels with 88% screen-to-body ratio
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xe Graphics (Intel® Core™ i5/i7 models)
Main memoryUp to 16 GB 4266 MHz LPDDR4X onboard (Intel® Core™ i5/i7 models)
StorageUp to 512GB PCIe® 3.0 x2 NVMe SSD
ConnectivityWiFi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth® 5.0
CameraHD infrared (IR) webcam (supports Windows Hello)
I/O ports2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C® with ASUS USB-C® Easy Charge
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x Standard HDMI 2.0
1 x MicroSD card reader
TouchpadASUS NumberPad 2.0
AudioCertified by Harman Kardon
ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound; smart amplifier for maximum audio performance
Array microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
Battery67 Wh lithium-polymer battery up to 13 hr battery life
AC adapter65-watt power adapter
Output: 20 V DC
Input: 100-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
Dimensions304 x 203 x 13.9 mm
Weight2.45 lb
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Source(s)

Asus press release

Fremont, California (March 16, 2021) — ASUS today launched ZenBook 13 OLED (UX325), the world's lightest laptop with an OLED display.[i] The compact FHD OLED NanoEdge slim-bezel display on ZenBook 13 OLED takes visuals to a new level of realism, with true-to life PANTONE® Validated colors, a wide 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, deep blacks, and an 88% screen-to-body ratio for immersive visuals. Powered by the latest 11th Generation Intel® Core processors with next-level Intel Iris Xe graphics and up to 16 GB RAM, ZenBook 13 OLED makes light work of multitasking, productivity and entertainment. Up to a 512 GB PCIe® 3.0 x2 SSD and the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) round off the specification for superb all-round performance.


Vivid visuals, perfect portability
ZenBook 13 OLED has an amazing FHD OLED HDR NanoEdge display that renders true-to-life colors at any brightness level, with deep blacks for enhanced realism. It's PANTONE® Validated for superb color accuracy, and has a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. The ultrafast response time ensures blur-free movies and games, and its low blue-light levels are TÜV Rheinland-certified for better eye care. The four-sided NanoEdge design features slim bezels that create an 88% screen-to-body ratio for a more immersive viewing experience.

ZenBook 13 OLED is designed for effortless portability, weighing just 2.45 lb with a compact and elegant all-metal chassis that's a mere 13.9 mm thin. It's also incredibly power efficient, with up to 13 hours of battery life on a single charge, making ZenBook 13 OLED a perfect match for today's on-the-go lifestyles.
The stylish new design of ZenBook 13 OLED is enhanced by a glossy pine grey shade. It projects professional wisdom, and features a special off-center version of the iconic ZenBook spun-metal finish.
 
Unrivaled I/O
ZenBook 13 OLED redefines what's possible in an ultrathin laptop, with uncompromised I/O capabilities. It's just 13.9 mm thin, but still includes full-size HDMI and USB Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and a microSD card reader for easy mobile data transfer.

The two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on ZenBook 13 OLED deliver unrivaled versatility with ultrafast speeds. They support USB-C Power Delivery and provide up to 40 Gbps data-transfer speeds for high-performance peripherals. Combined with the Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and HDMI port, ZenBook 13 OLED can support also up to four displays: three external displays plus the built-in OLED display[ii].
ZenBook 13 OLED also supports the new ASUS USB-C Easy Charge feature[iii], which allows it to be conveniently charged from a wide range of standard USB-C chargers. USB-C Easy Charge allows users to enjoy ultrafast charging with any USB-C Power Delivery-certified charger, such as the bundled 65-watt charger, or charge at slower rates when wall sockets are unavailable using airline chargers, portable chargers or power banks. USB-C Easy Charge takes the frustration out of long journeys or travel in locations with limited mains power.
 
Ergonomic design
The new edge-to-edge ergonomic keyboard design on ZenBook 13 OLED increases the size of the keyboard for a more comfortable typing experience. It also creates space for an extra set of useful function keys at the right-hand side of the keyboard. For maximum typing comfort, the precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge automatically tilts the keyboard to the optimum typing angle when the lid is opened. This action also creates space under the laptop for extra cooling airflow.
Selectable cooling-fan profiles give users the choice of Whisper mode for ultra-quiet cooling, Standard mode for balanced dynamic performance, or Performance mode for high-efficiency cooling when full performance is needed.

For easy data entry, there’s the productivity-enhancing ASUS NumberPad 2.0. This is a dual-function touchpad with an integrated LED-illuminated full-size numeric keypad: simply tapping the icon on the touchpad turns NumberPad on and off.
An integrated infrared (IR) camera located on the top bezel makes password-free face login fast and easy with Windows Hello. It also works in dim lighting conditions, so accessing ZenBook 13 OLED is easier and faster than ever in any environment.

ZenBook 13 OLED features an ASUS ClearVoice Mic with AI-trained noise-canceling technology to ensure clear voice outgoing communications in online meetings or internet voice calls. They also use ASUS ClearVoice Speaker technology to filter out ambient noise from incoming audio streams.
 
Superb performance
ZenBook 13 OLED harnesses the power of the latest 11th Generation Intel Core processors — all the way up to the Core i7 series. These processors deliver faster, smoother, and more responsive performance than the previous generation. They’re teamed with powerful new next-level Intel Iris Xe graphics[iv] for silky-smooth visual performance, and up to 16 GB of high-speed RAM to help users blitz through daily tasks.

The laptop also has some of the fastest solid-state storage available, with up to a 512 GB PCIe® 3.0 x2 SSD that ensures fast boot times and near-instant app loading. With the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) users can enjoy wireless speeds that are up to 3X faster than WiFi 5, with 4X more network capacity and up to 75% lower latency. Wireless connections are enhanced with ASUS WiFi Smart Connect that automatically selects the best WiFi source, so the laptop connects seamlessly to the best WiFi signal and known mobile hotspots.

 


[i] According to overall laptop weight, as of December 8, 2020 based on internal ASUS market analysis comparing ZenBook 13 OLED to competing clamshell laptops with a 13.3-inch OLED screen from vendors including HP, Razer and Gigabyte. ZenBook 13 OLED ranked first in terms of weight.

[ii] ZenBook 13 OLED UX325EA with an Intel 11th Gen processor can support a maximum of four displays: the laptop's own display, plus three external displays attached to the two Thunderbolt 4 ports and the HDMI port.

[iii] Easy USB-C Charging ensures 4.5-watt charging when connecting to a non-Power Delivery chargers, including portable chargers or USB Type-A to USB-C chargers. When using a Power Delivery charger, the charging speed will match the connected adapter's power output, up to a maximum of 65 watts.

[iv] Intel Iris Xe graphics are only available on models with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. All other models use Intel UHD graphics.

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4542 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > OLED is finally as affordable as IPS, Asus ZenBook 13 with OLED and 11th gen Core i7 now shipping for just $899 USD
Allen Ngo, 2021-03-16 (Update: 2021-03-16)