Zenbook 14X OLED Area Version vs. MacBook Professional

Many publications (The Verge included) have heralded this 12 months’s MacBooks as one of the best laptops you should buy as we speak. For a lot of customers, they are going to be.

However a number of surprisingly compelling Home windows-based alternate options have been arising in Asus’ high-end Zenbook line, providing the construct high quality, show, and efficiency to match Apple’s greatest. The 13-inch Zenbook 13S OLED choice has confirmed to be a worthy M2 MacBook Air competitor, and eyes have been on the 14-inch Zenbook 14X OLED (and, particularly, the high-powered Area Version) as a potential rival to the fan-equipped M2 MacBook Professional.

I took an early take a look at a prerelease model of the Zenbook 14X OLED Area Version again in January, and this week, I used to be capable of check an actual, completed unit for efficiency and battery life. The Zenbook truly beats the MacBook in various vital areas — nevertheless it loses in a single essential class.

The Zenbook and the MacBook are very, very comparable in dimension. The Zenbook weighs 3.09 kilos, whereas the MacBook weighs three kilos. The Zenbook is 0.62 inches thick, whereas the MacBook is 0.61 inches thick.

I’ll say, from in depth expertise carrying each round, that the Zenbook does really feel perceivably heavier, particularly after I’m lifting it with one arm. However they’re each fairly skinny and lightweight units for the ability they provide.

The Zenbook is barely extra reasonably priced than the MacBook Professional, although I don’t think about the distinction will likely be tremendous vital to most buyers.

There’s just one configuration of the Zenbook 14X OLED Area Version — it features a Core i9-12900H processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. It’s priced at $1,999 on Asus’s web site, although some retailers presently have it listed for $1,979.99.

For those who wished to purchase a 13-inch MacBook Professional with 24GB of RAM (the utmost accessible) and 1TB of storage, you’d must pay $2,099, a premium of $100. Whereas neither the Zenbook nor the M2 MacBook is reasonable, they’re each throughout the realm of what shopper ultraportables price. A 32GB / 1TB model of the 14-inch MacBook Professional (even with the bottom CPU choice) could be $2,599.99.

Now, if you’re somebody whose workload is not going to take full benefit of the 1TB / 32GB the Zenbook provides, you could be higher off shopping for, say, a $1,699 MacBook Professional with 16GB of reminiscence and 512GB of storage and saving a number of hundred {dollars} over the Zenbook. That’s going to return all the way down to what your day by day wants are.

It’s additionally the case that the 14-inch MacBook Professional with the M1 Professional is commonly on sale as of late (you’ll be able to presently get a 16GB / 512GB mannequin for $1,599). If you will get by with 512GB of storage and don’t thoughts some additional weight (the 14-incher is round 3.5 kilos), that’s the mannequin to go for.

Sorry, Apple, however no MacBook can examine right here. Each of those laptops are very sturdy, well-built, and troublesome to torque. However relating to seems, the M2 Professional nonetheless has the identical boring, grey, big-bezeled design that MacBook Professional fashions have had since 2016. The 14-inch gadget has an up to date design, however all issues thought of, it nonetheless seems, properly, MacBook-y.

The Zenbook 14X OLED Area Version, then again, seems like a spaceship. Design components on the lid and keyboard deck evoke a shuttle and cockpit, and apparently, there’s Morse code hidden in them when you really feel like sitting down and doing a little decoding. Clearly, it is a subjective factor, however I’d select the Zenbook’s styling each time.

The Zenbook 14X additionally wins the place show is anxious. The Zenbook has a 14-inch, 16:10 OLED contact panel with 2880 x 1800 decision and a 90Hz refresh fee. The 13-inch MacBook Professional has a barely smaller 13.3-inch display screen with a decrease decision (2560 x 1600) and a decrease refresh fee (60Hz). Whereas the MacBook’s display screen is actually good, I’d select the Zenbook’s any day — it’s crisp and vibrant, and I’m at all times right here for these deep OLED blacks.

The Zenbook additionally has what’s referred to as the ZenVision show on its lid, a 3.5-inch OLED panel that may show your music, the time, battery share or different statistics, a enterprise card, textual content of your selecting, or cute little astronaut animations. (It’s alleged to be the window of the spaceship, I assume.) The MacBook Professional has a touchscreen Contact Bar on its deck, whereas the Zenbook has a bodily perform row, however I personally discover the ZenVision show manner cooler.

The Zenbook additionally has the ErgoLift hinge, a characteristic you’ll discover on all types of Asus laptops. This hinge folds just below the keyboard deck and raises it a number of levels off the bottom for higher airflow, and it does dig into your legs once you’re utilizing the Zenbook in your lap. It’s not tremendous sharp, however it’s one factor you could cope with that the MacBook doesn’t have.

The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED Space Edition keyboard seen from above. The screen displays the words Space Edition.

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 seen from above on a lavender background.

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