Asus Zenbook 13 (UX325) OLED review | Laptop Mag

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Asus Zenbook 13 (UX325) OLED specs

Price: $1,099
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU
GPU:  Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p
Battery: 13:06
Size: 11.98 x 7.99 x 0.55  
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Asus gets it — and the ZenBook 13 UX325 proves that. After we’ve been screaming “Hey, laptop webcams are trash!” for years, Asus said, “We hear you! How ‘bout we let you use your phone as a webcam?” And just like that, ZenBook 13 users get a Shared Cam feature that wirelessly connects your phone’s camera to the laptop.

On top of that, the ZenBook 13 comes with a touchpad that doubles as a Calculator app summoner. I thought the Numberpad 2.0 feature was gimmicky at first, but as it turns out, I crunch numbers a lot more often than I thought. As such, Numberpad 2.0 gives you fast access to zippy calculations.

There’s plenty more about the ZenBook 13 that I’m impressed with, including its all-day (and then some) battery life, clicky keyboard, ultra-slim chassis, colorful OLED display, and more. However, no laptop is perfect.

The ZenBook 13 faced some savage competition during our benchmark showdown, and struggled to take down a fierce rival. Still, packed with a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, it put up a good fight. The spectacular ZenBook 13 is shaping up to be a perfect candidate for our best 13-inch laptops page. 

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331 at Amazon for $999.99

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 pricing and configurations  

 The ZenBook 13 starts at $799 and comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD and a 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel OLED display.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

For just $100, you can upgrade your processor to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU and bump your storage to 512GB. My review unit, priced at $1,099, adds extra memory for a total of 16GB.

The only color option for the ZenBook 13 UX325 is Pine Gray.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 design 

The Zenbook 13’s all-metal chassis took me back to my childhood when I’d feel the grooves of my father’s vinyl record collection. The lid has the same subtle, concentric circle pattern that is visible under bright lighting. In the center of the spiral lies the lustrous, silver Asus insignia with a modern, futuristic font.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

The ZenBook 13 is coated with a Pine Gray hue, which isn’t particularly exciting, but for users who prefer a laptop that screams (or better yet, whispers) “I’m here, but I like to mind my own damn business,” this sophisticated, subtle color is ideal.

Laptops should have a groove for easy lid lifting, but the ZenBook 13 doesn’t. I often wrestled with the laptop to access the display, finally claiming victory after jamming my nail in the tight gap and prying it open. Once I finally opened the Zenbook 13, however, it was satisfying to watch the laptop angle itself into an optimal typing position (thanks to the precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge). Slim bezels frame the 13.3-inch display; the top bezel is slightly thicker to accommodate the 720p camera.

The edge-to-edge keyboard also caught my attention. Just by eyeing it, I can tell that it’s not too shallow and provides a rhythmic typing experience that I love. Beneath the edge-to-edge keyboard is a spacious touchpad that doubles as Asus’ innovative NumberPad 2.0 (more on that later). On the bottom of the laptop are two bottom-firing speakers, four rubber feet and an air vent.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

It’s also worth noting that the ZenBook 13 passed several, ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810 tests, which means this notebook meets the U.S. military standard for reliability and durability. Within reason, the ZenBook 13 can endure extreme temperatures, drops and vibrations. 

The Zenbook 13, at 0.5 inches of thickness and weighing 2.5 pounds, is super-slim and compact. It’s lighter than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (0.6 inches, 2.9 pounds) and the HP Spectre x360 13 (0.7 inches, 2.8 pounds), but heavier than the Acer Swift 5 (0.6 inches, 2.3 pounds.)

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 ports

The Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 has a satisfactory selection of ports with one major omission.

On the left, you’ll find an HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports for fast charging, speedy transfer speeds and connecting to 4K monitors. On the right is one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port alongside a microSD card reader. There is no headset jack, but you can use wireless earbuds or USB Type-C headphones instead. 

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 display

The ZenBook 13’s 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display comes with everyone’s favorite display technology: OLED. The colorful panel is framed by slim bezels that make room for a screen-to-body ratio of 88%.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

I watched the Infinite trailer with a dapper Mark Wahlberg sitting opposite an intimidating interrogator. The display captured all the consternation on Wahlberg’s face as his forehead wrinkles deepened and frown lines popped. As a bird’s eye view of an aged mansion came into view, I could spot the orange hues of the building’s facade, giving it a rusty, ancient look.  Sprawling, verdant gardens surround the mansion, showing off the display’s color reproduction capabilities. Of course, the panel isn’t as sharp and crisp as a 4K display, but the colors bring the screen to life.

We measured the ZenBook 13’s display with a colorimeter and found that the panel covers a whopping 98.2% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. This blew all the other rivals out of the water, including the average premium laptop (83.8%), the XPS 13 (70%), the Swift 5 (75%) and the Spectre x360 13 (67.7%). The XPS 13 OLED covered 83.1%.

Reaching 368 nits of brightness, the ZenBook 13 could be more radiant. It’s not as bright as the average premium laptop (389 nits). The XPS 13 (488 nits) and the Spectre x360 13 (391 nits) also outshone the ZenBook 13, but the Asus laptop managed to shine brighter than the Swift 5 (350 nits). Interestingly, the XPS 13 OLED matched the ZenBook 13 at 361 nits.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

Thanks to the MyAsus app, you can spice up the display’s color richness by enabling the Vivid setting. I watched an episode of Happy Endings on Netflix to compare the Vivid setting with the default, and Elisha Cuthbert’s eyes got bluer, Damon Wayons Jr. ‘s pecan-brown complexion got richer, and Adam Pally’s hair seemed greasier.

If you tend to spend hours on end in front of a glaring display, you’ll appreciate the ZenBook 13’s eye-care option, which reduces blue-light emissions to protect your vision.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 audio

Before I tested the Harman/Kardon-certified speakers, I was already impressed with the sound while testing the ZenBook 13’s display. Asus boasts that the bottom-firing speakers ensure “immersive, crystal-clear sound” and it is certainly right-on-the-money about the former. While playing videos on the Asus notebook, I could feel the sound wrapping around my head like a soft, silky scarf.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

That being said, I couldn’t wait to test the speakers. I fired up Spotify and jammed along to “Save Your Tears (Remix)” by The Weeknd and Ariana Grande. The snappy tune filled my medium-sized testing room, but it sounded tinny at max volume.

There is a DTS Audio Processing app that lets you tune the speakers to your liking. There are three sound profiles: Music, Movies and Games. Music is on by default. After experimenting with the other presets, I concluded that Music was, indeed, the most optimal sound profile for Spotify sessions. I played Lupin on Netflix to test the Movies preset, and I found it to be best for watching films; the Music and Games presets made the show’s soundtrack sound too quiet.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 keyboard and touchpad 

Asus’ keyboards always give me life and the ZenBook 13 is no different. Although the compact notebook has a portable form, the edge-to-edge keyboard is large and in charge. All this time I thought my typing average was around 85 words per minute, but have I been living a lie?

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

On the 10fastfingers test, I reached 91 words per minute. I used ZenBook 13’s keyboard to write this review — I breezed through it like that heavily memed Bruce Almighty scene with Jim Carrey superspeed typing to answer a flood of emails. The keyboard offers solid tactile feedback and the key switches are pleasantly quiet.

Now, let’s talk about the spacious 5.1 x 2.6-inch touchpad that doubles as an LED-illuminated numeric keypad (NumberPad 2.0). The touchpad responds to Windows 10 gestures like a charm, including two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. You can turn on NumberPad 2.0 by pressing and holding the top-right corner. When you’re ready to dive into some calculations, you can swipe right from the top-left corner; this will bring up the Calculator app.

At first, I thought, “Why would I need this?” However, I never realized how much math I do throughout the day. From trading cryptocurrency to determining how much more I have to spend to fulfill a $25-minimum UberEats coupon, I use math much more than I’d like to admit. Hell, even to write this review I had to do a crapload of calculations. Whether you’re a mathematician or an average Joe, the NumberPad 2.0 is pretty damn useful.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 performance

The ZenBook 13 is packed with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. This sounds good on paper, but I decided to put the ZenBook 13’s multitasking capabilities to the test. I drowned the Asus notebook with 30 Google Chrome tabs; two of which were playing YouTube videos simultaneously. I launched a new Google Doc and started plugging away, and just as I expected, there was no lag nor slowdowns.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

The Asus notebook, which has the same CPU as all three rivals, scored a 5,428 on the Geekbench 5.3 overall performance test, which falls behind the XPS 13 (5,639) and the Swift 5 (5,916). On the plus side, it outperformed the Spectre x360 13 (4,749) and the average premium laptop (4,467).

On the Handbrake video transcoding test, which tests how fast a laptop can convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution, the ZenBook 13 took 16 minutes and 50 seconds. This beats the average premium laptop (16:06) and the Spectre x360 13 (18:39), but crawls behind the XPS 13 (15:52) and the ultra-fast Swift 5 (13:55).

The ZenBook 13’s 512GB SSD was a beast on our file-transfer test. It duplicated a 25GB multimedia file in 52 seconds at a rate of 513.2 MBps. This beats the XPS 13 (512GB SSD, 405.6 MBps) and the Spectre x360 13 (512GB SSD, 452.6 MBps), but it couldn’t catch up with the zippy Swift 5 (1TB SSD, 758.05 MBps) and the average premium laptop (796.5 MBps).

Asus ZenBook 13 UX325 graphics

The ZenBook 13’s Intel Iris Xe integrated GPU is not ideal for gaming (check out our best cheap gaming laptops page), but we decided to put it to the test anyway with our Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark. Although the Asus notebook has the same GPU as its rivals, it only reached 20 frames per second, which falls behind the XPS 13 (21 fps), the Swift 5 (33 fps), Spectre x360 13 (23 fps) and the average premium laptop (28 fps).

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

Scoring a 14,516 on the 3DMark Night Raid benchmark, which tests for features such as dynamic reflections and post-processing effects, the ZenBook 13 reached 14,516, which crushed the XPS 13 (9,034), the Spectre x360 13 (13,743) and the average premium laptop (11,293). Unfortunately, the Asus notebook couldn’t surpass the Swift 5, which nailed a show-stopping score of 17,108.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 battery life

You can free yourself from being tethered to an outlet thanks to the ZenBook 13’s impressive endurance.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

On the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the ZenBook 13 lasted 13 hours and 6 minutes. And remember, this laptop has an OLED display, which typically hinders battery life. This outlasted the average premium laptop (10:30), the XPS 13 (10:53) and the Spectre x360 13 (12:32), but once again, the Asus notebook could not outperform the Swift 5 (13:37). 

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 heat

The ZenBook 13 is slim and compact, so naturally, dissipating heat is a challenge. The Asus notebook got noticeably toasty when I used screen mirroring to display my phone’s apps. However, during less taxing processes, the ZenBook 13 remained relatively cool.

On our heat test, which involves playing a 15-minute, 1080p video, the touchpad, keyboard and underside reached 77 degrees Fahrenheit, 85 degrees and 89 degrees, respectively. Those temps are all below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The hottest area of the laptop is located near the air vent (on the bottom); it hovered at around 98 degrees.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 webcam 

 The Zenbook 13’s webcam isn’t the best, but it isn’t the worst either. It’s decent at reproducing colors for the most part; it captured my burgundy-painted nails, the gold-and-white curtains behind me, and my pale-purple wall. Yes, this webcam has visual noise and it lacks sharpness, but in all honesty, do you really want a camera that catches every single pimple, pore and pigmentation?

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

If you answered “Yes,” to this question, you may want to consider looking through our best external webcams page because the ZenBook 13’s HD camera simply won’t cut it for you.

You can also use the MyAsus app to use your phone’s camera instead of the built-in webcam using the Shared Cam feature. I tried this out with my LG Wing and there are some pros and cons. The pro is that smartphone cameras are typically better, so naturally, I got a sharper, clearer picture that’s far better than the webcam. The con is that there is a noticeable lag between my movements and the on-screen picture. The MyAsus app also allows you to enable noise cancellation via the AI-supported ClearVoice Mic feature, which filters out ambient noise during video conferences. 

Although the Zenbook 13’s webcam doesn’t have a physical privacy shutter, there is a kill-switch key (F10) that disables the camera, protecting you from hackers and peeping Toms.

Asus Zenbook 13 UX325 software and warranty 

The Zenbook 13 runs on Windows 10 Home and has some pre-installed McAfee software no one asked for, including the WebAdvisor and Personal Security apps. You’ll also find Spotify, Skype and Microsoft Solitaire Collection.

Asus ZenBook 13 (Image credit: Future)

The MyAsus app is one of the most useful apps. It provides information about your battery health, fan profile, Wi-Fi connection, and more. You can toggle AI noise cancellation on or off. You can also play around with several display options to optimize your screen for different tasks. You can check system diagnostics, install the latest update, access customer support and more.

If you download the Link to MyAsus mobile app, the Asus-branded software becomes even more interactive. I was able to seamlessly transfer files to and from my phone, use my Android device as a second monitor, and mirror my LG Wing’s screen. As mentioned, you can also swap your webcam for your phone’s camera.

The ZenBook 13 ships with a one-year limited warranty. See how Asus fared during Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands, our annual special reports.  

Bottom line

There’s a reason why we named Asus as the most innovative laptop company. It’s not content with sitting back and playing it safe — instead, the company wants to offer solutions to stumbling blocks that ail the industry. The ZenBook 13 is proof of Asus’ continued commitment to solving snags and making our lives easier.

The ZenBook 13 may not have been able to surpass the beastly Acer Swift 5 on our benchmarks, but it crushed the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 13 on the graphics and file-transfer tests. It also blew all of its rivals out of the water with its extremely colorful OLED display. The clicky keyboard is impressive, too — especially for such a compact, portable laptop. Laptops with 13-inch displays typically feel cramped, but I felt comfortable typing on the ZenBook 13.

The Numberpad 2.0 is another stellar feature. You may think that it would only benefit accountants or other math-oriented professionals, but trust me, you likely type numbers more than you think.

Asus also deserves a pat on the back for the MyAsus software, an all-in-one app that facilitates all your needs, including quick, wireless file transfers, screen mirroring, configuring fan controls, initiating updates, running system diagnostics, and coolest of all, using your phone as a webcam. Plus, the ZenBook 13 lasts more than 13 hours on a charge.

The ZenBook 13 has certainly earned a spot as one of the best Asus laptops and proves you don’t need to sacrifice battery life when opting for an OLED display.

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