Finally, A Laptop For Space Nerds: ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED "Space Edition" Review!
Our solar system, space exploration, has informed nearly every aspect of who ive been ever since i woke up early that one early 90s morning to watch the space shuttle hurtle into the heavens on twin pillars of fire. So i cant help but think asus made this laptop, especially for me, a pc with enough portable power to stay mobile here on the ground, but with a look and feel more at home in low earth orbit. The zenbook 14x oled space edition is a silver anniversary celebration of the first asus laptop to fly aboard the mere space station and its also a commemoration of crude space flight as a whole. So i thought if this was made to honor a legacy, then why not review it? At the epicenter of that legacy, im going to watch a rocket launch, i booked some quick ticks. I threw some stuff into a bag, said goodbye to the family and booked my hotel in the uber enroute to the plane on route to my first laptop review from americas space coast, Music. Im not sure id have committed to this spur of the moment. Kennedy space center jaunt if it didnt, also serve as the opportunity to test an unreleased smartphone youll be hearing about soon. But the fact is, ultrabooks like this are made to be used on the go so thats also the best way to test them. You get to see how well the screen adapts from your uber to the airport lounge to your chair in the sky.
You get to see how lugable it is between historic astronaut, motel and historic astronaut tourist trap, and you get to see whether its battery lasts as long as you need it to when your day starts 10 hours before the launch window opens a side note. I invited the godfather of this review format david cogan, to come along on this trip, but sadly he couldnt make it to see the real world review series that inspired road trip. Reviews like this one check him out at his channel the unlocker. The laptop the space edition is a variation on the zenbook 14x oled, a pretty solid ultrabook in its own right. It takes its name from the samsung made oled screen, whose saturation and contrast are stratospheric. Even if you dont set your splendid settings to vibrant and theres all manner of certifications and stats to back up its color accuracy on the downside at a peak brightness of 550 nets and an actual brightness that seems a fair bit lower. This glossy display doesnt get bright enough to stay legible in even direct new york sunshine to say nothing of the florida solar onslaught id encounter at the cape. But it does refresh at 90 hertz for smooth scrolling and its also a touch screen which did make it easier to put a pin in some must visit space coast destinations on the way down. But lets be honest. The display thats going to get the most attention is that 3.
5 inch monochrome oled on the laptops lid. This is called the zenvision display and my favorite thing about it. Asus doesnt even pretend its here for a practical purpose. Yeah this isnt a resurrection of the sideshow displays of a decade ago: theres no notification support or mini apps or anything remotely useful. Instead, its pure flashy flourish. You can choose between a handful of stock animations that reinforce the space motif or customize it. With text of your own, you can even program a custom qr code that people can scan with their phones again, if youre asking why youre overthinking it. This is just to make the laptop stand out in a spacey way. Its just clean fun and, like i said in my galaxy flip 3 review fun is a perfectly legitimate reason to buy something dont. Let any killjoys tell you otherwise part of that fun takes the form of easter eggs. One of the animations contains coordinates for asus headquarters in taipei. City burned into the chassis is a symbolic representation of the space station mir upon which that first asus laptop flew a quarter century ago. Its american components of russian components all made in taiwan surrounding the trackpad is the abstract suggestion of a cockpit and the motto through hardships to the stars is emblazoned both in latin on the underside and in morse code on the cover and the satisfaction that comes with Discovering all these is a direct continuation of the delightful unboxing experience.
Every part of the packaging reinforces the space theme or is otherwise interesting in its own right, like the charger box that doubles as a laptop stand, so its unfortunate that this is somewhat sullied by the mcafee bloatware that asserts itself right out of the box as well As the partner stickers on the deck, one of which left a disgusting goopy footprint that took a long time to clean off, if youre going to put stickers of any kind on a machine like this, it better be. These shout out to colerides from my oneplus 9 pro review. Now, as with actual space hardware, there are other more significant trade offs here. The paint color asus chose to evoke titanium is beautiful, but the keyback lighting is sloppy with a lot of light leakage around the keys and a color. That makes the letters hard to see during the day unless you turn it off, which you have to do manually, because theres no auto brightness sensor to do it. For you also to keep thickness and weight down, asus unfortunately had to omit one of the most futuristic features of the standard 14x, the second display in the trackpad. Instead, you just get a capacitive numpad, which you can reveal or hide as needed. Oh and speaking of hiding things while the webcam crammed above the display maxes out at a grainy noisy 720p. I can forgive that, given how easy it is to cover it up: press the f10 key and an orange telltale lights up to let you know the camera has been both electronically disconnected and covered by a mechanical hatch.
I think every laptop should have one of these and ditto this. I o selection, which includes at least one of most ports. Most folks will need plus a micro sd slot, cleverly hidden among the fan ports. Those fans which are a little noisy can be spooled down using the laptop software. If you find yourself on a video call, at which point you can also call in some custom microphone modes to mitigate background, but noise i discovered over and over again on the road theres. One thing every laptop should have that this one doesnt that plus that rocket launch right after this you know my favorite sponsors are companies whose products i would use, even if they werent sponsors and ive been using surf shark for nearly as long as mr mobile has Existed surf shark is an award winning vpn that i used to use to protect my privacy on open, wi, fi networks in hotels or coffee shops, and i still do that. But more and more i find myself using it to just make the internet better. Those pop ups you get on every website these days well, surfshark blocks them. Your favorite shows are only streaming in a specific region, surf shark unblocks those and while i dont keep its ad blocker turned on because after all, i rely on ads like this one to survive. Well, some websites just take it way too far with ads that are actually malware or fishing schemes in disguise.
Surf shark drops the block hammer on those too, so make your internet better, get surfshark at the link in the description and use code. Mr mobile for 83 off and three extra months, free thanks to surfshark for sponsoring this video, whether i was plumbing the depths of the public record for old astronaut bars that might have survived to the present day or tensely rechecking. The weather report over a cocoa beach waffle house dinner the night before the launch or consulting a map on the day of to make sure i was looking at the right launch pad well, i was on edge because i was always conscious of the fact that never In my week of testing, had this laptop managed to last more than four hours of use on a charge, my buddy daniel rubino, suggested it could be the oled screen or the 12th gen core i9 processor, maybe its that zen vision display on the cover. Whatever the reason this battery cant last more than half a workday on a light office workload, its a big disappointment when i started this review, i was convinced that this would be the pc id want if i were shopping for an ultrabook, because its just such a Perfect match for me, but battery life like this means id need to use that awkward, brick on a string, power adapter much more often than id prefer, and yet, even that profound limitation couldnt bring my spirits entirely back to earth, because compromise is something ive come to Expect with special edition devices and in exchange you get a thoughtfully designed product that pays tribute to a legacy that, as i saw firsthand, is in the final stages of evaporating or at least transforming.
I finished my time with this review unit at a restaurant called the fish camp grill within which has preserved a seminal landmark of the space race. This is the actual bar from the mouse trap. The restaurant that used to stand on this spot at which this countrys first astronauts ate and drank alongside cronkite over 60 years ago, using this pc to finish this review script at this bar is one of the geekiest bits of self indulgence. Ive ever permitted myself, but it also served to remind me of the culture this product is trying to pay tribute to its beyond the rockets beyond the technology. Its about the thousands of people who worked to put humans into space and in the process created a very special culture that existed only for a very brief flash of time. A time when drinks like the countdown or that mars tini were served at this bar and nasa workers celebrated successful launches by throwing each other fully clothed into this motel pool the titanium lining to that long gone microculture its being replaced by a newer one thats, just As ambitious and important to our future, one thats putting people and equipment in space at a faster rate than ever before, ill use. My last practical observation to tell you that the speakers on this pc are loud, clear and much better than their downward firing. Nature would suggest, as you can sort of hear from this audio sample of the spacex launch.
I witnessed from just a few miles away Applause Applause launch in person here it is its gon na climb out its going to kind of drift up to the to the left. A little bit here going northeast. The center will get here in a minute, and here it comes dont, be worried its not going to hurt you, but it does feel dramatic. There we go nine merlin engines, 1.7 million pounds of thrust carrying 53 starling satellites at a buck under two thousand dollars. This machine is probably too pricey to sway those with more practical aspirations, those who demand more battery life in lieu of a novelty second screen, but if youre, the kind of buyer who appreciates the successful launch of 53 starlink satellites into orbit to blanket the earth in Yet another layer of internet. Well, then, youll probably consider this laptop a success as well. The zenbook 14x space edition is available now folks ill bring you the rest of my footage from my kennedy: space center adventure and a first look of that unreleased smartphone soon and if weird laptops are something youre into well stay tuned. Because next up on, my pc review desk ill be covering some machines with a lot more power, and they also have more than one screen. Oh and if you want a much deeper dive into the space edition, one with a lot of technical benchmarking. I want to give a shout out to ultrabookreview.com whose technical coverage of this machine is, in my opinion, unparalleled ill link it down below this.
Video was published following eight days with a zenbook 14x oled space edition review sample provided by asus, but the manufacturer, as always paid. Nothing for this coverage had no editorial input into it and was given no early preview of it theyre, seeing it for the first time right alongside you until next time, ive been michael fisher thanks for watching and stay mobile.