• June 30, 2022

Long gone are the days when content creators and productivity users have limited options for their work machines. Now, features such as high-res displays, fast processors, and powerful graphics have become readily available in compact and relatively affordable laptops.

Case in point: the ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED (M3401). Included in the new ASUS OLED laptop lineup, this 14-inch machine promises uninterrupted work and a next-level computing experience on the go. Among its key features are its OLED display, NVIDIA RTX 3050 graphics, and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor.

We spent some time with the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED to see if this product is as good as it says on paper. Read on to know our experience.

Design & construction

The Vivobook Pro 14 OLED looks sleek and clean with its neutral colorway (we got the Quiet Blue variant). ASUS added a few accents to break the somewhat monotonous appearance, including a raised ASUS Vivobook branding on the lid and a pattern-blocked Enter Key design.

The polycarbonate body feels solid. We had no worries of it bending or breaking when stored in a laptop bag along with some accessories and personal items. At 18.9mm thick, it’s also easy to carry around and slip into your everyday carry.

Available ports include two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.2 Type-A, a USB 3.2 Type-C, a full-size HDMI, a microSD card reader, and an audio jack. These already cover all the basic ports usually needed by creatives and professionals.

The keyboard is well-spaced and clicky. It’s good enough for everyday tasks. For those missing the number pad, ASUS integrated its NumberPad 2.0 into the trackpad. Users only need to click the capacitive button on the upper right corner to activate it. It may take time getting used to it, but overall, the NumberPad is a nifty feature to have.

Display & multimedia

Now onto one of the main selling points of this Vivobook: the 2.8K OLED display. The OLED panel offers a 90Hz refresh rate and a 2880 x 1800 resolution. Images appear bright and vibrant, which ensures that users will enjoy creating and consuming content on this laptop.

Contrast is impressive on the OLED screen. Plus, you get vivid colors, deep blacks, and sharp details. Not everyone will need the 90Hz refresh rate, but it provides significant improvement even in tasks as simple as scrolling a web page.

Creatives will also appreciate the high-resolution panel paired with a 100% DI-P3 color gamut and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The screen is also Pantone-validated and VESA DisplayHDR 600 True Black-certified.

The thin top and side bezels make the screen look even bigger than it is. Additionally, the low blue light and flicker-free features allow users to work more hours without straining their eyes. Productivity users will not only have more real estate to play with, but they can also do their tasks comfortably.

On the other hand, the Harman Kardon-branded speakers fell short of my expectations. Audio from the bottom-firing speakers is decent at best. The sound can get very tinny at higher volume levels.

Performance

The Vivobook Pro 14 OLED offers solid hardware under the hood. Our review unit comes with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (an Intel Core i5 configuration is also available) paired with an NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU. The laptop also has 16GB DDR4 32000MHz RAM and 512GB PCIe 3.0 x2 NVMe SSD. Performance is snappy overall; there were no considerable lags or problems experienced during the review period. Running demanding photo and video editing programs on this machine should not be a problem.

Battery life is around six hours (we were running Lightroom and Premiere), which is good enough given that it has a power-demanding processor and graphics cards. Charging this laptop from 20% to 100% took us a little under two hours.

Out of the box, this laptop runs Windows 10 Home, which is upgradeable to Windows 11. This laptop truly delivers value-for-money specs and performance for its sub-P75,000 price.

Speed says

The ASUS Vivobook Pro 14 OLED proves that you don’t need a bulky gaming machine to get powerful performance. This ASUS laptop delivers a snappy experience with its RTX 3050 graphics and Ryzen 9 processor, and an immersive and enjoyable overall experience thanks to its OLED display. Priced at P74,995, the Vivobook Pro 14 OLED is a good buy and gives you a solid price-to-performance ratio.

Words and photos Pat Calica

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