ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401, 11th Gen) review – great display, sleek design, and a lot more

For most of us, the laptop is the portal to our work. Some people need larger devices, others rely on small units, but at the end of the day, the use cases depend largely on your workflow. The laptop we have today is intended for people that need a stylish and compact device for office work, photo and light video editing, and not in the last place – mobility.

The ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401) aims to provide all of the aforementioned in a package, that some would name the sweet spot of business computing. It comes with a 14-inch 16:10 display built on OLED technology. You get to choose between a 2880x1800p 90Hz panel and a 3840x2400p 60Hz panel. While the latter offers a more detailed image, we feel that the first option is better for this screen size. Especially, considering the faster refresh rate.

In addition to that, both options provide PANTONE-validated colors and HDR True Black 500 support. Not only that but there is an optional touch-screen version with stylus support.

While we wait for 12th Gen Intel devices to show up, we’re going to review the 11th Gen Tiger Lake option, again from Intel. ASUS is bold enough to promise up to 40W of power budget for the CPU, which would be insane to see in real life.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14x-oled-ux5401-11th-gen-intel/

Contents


Specs Sheet

ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401, 11th Gen) review – great display, sleek design, and a lot more - Specs

  • Samsung ATNA40YK04-0 (SDC4154)
  • Color accuracy  2.2
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 1000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 M.2 NVMe 4.0 slot  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 16GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Home
  • Battery
  • 63Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 311.2 x 221.1 x 15.9 mm (12.25" x 8.70" x 0.63")
  • Weight
  • 1.40 kg (3.1 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 2x USB Type-C
  • Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.0b
  • Card reader
  • MicroSD
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Array Microphone with Cortana and Alexa voice rec.
  • Speakers
  • Speakers by Harman Kardon
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found some paperwork, as well as a 100W USB Type-C power adapter. Some units may include a protective sleeve, a stylus, and a USB Type-A to RJ-45 dongle.


Design and construction

First and foremost, it is great to see that the device is made out of metal. It features the signature spun brushed finish on the lid, which is super strong, thanks to the glass cover of the optional touchscreen model. Surprisingly, despite the thin chassis, there is little flex when we twist it. Good job, ASUS. In terms of numbers, we are talking about a profile of 15.9mm, while the weight sits at 1.40 kg.

It is good to see that the lid opens easily with one hand. This is courtesy of the smooth hinges. As expected, this ZenBook features the ErgoLift mechanism. Essentially, once you reach about 70-80° of opening angle, two rubber feet on the bottom side of the lid grip the ground and lift the backside of the base slightly. This provides more breathing space for the fans, and arguably better ergonomics during typing.

Our particular unit comes with a touchscreen, which means it has a protective glass cover. Surrounding the glossy display are four slim bezels, with the top one housing an HD Web camera.

Moving to the keyboard, we see an end-to-end unit. It has a backlight, while the Power button acts as a fingerprint reader as well. The unit itself is pretty good with decent key travel and rather quiet feedback. Ultimately, we would have liked it to be a bit more clicky, but it’s pretty comfortable for long typing sessions.

Then comes the touchpad. It has a glass surface, which offers a smooth gliding experience. To be honest, the 90Hz panel is a great compliment to this touchpad, as we see almost no latency on touch input. However, you may notice something weird about it. It has a couple of icons in each top corner. As you know, 14-inch laptops don’t come with a NumPad section, due to the lack of space. Inside the touchpad, you will find the solution to these problems. Actually, it is called the NumberPad 2.0.

If you turn the laptop upside down, you will notice two speaker grills and a rather large ventilation grill. Interestingly, the hot air here is exhausted from either side of the device.


Ports

On the left, there is an HDMI 2.0b connector, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports, while on the right, you get a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, an audio jack, and a MicroSD card slot.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To get inside of this device, you first need to remove the back rubber feet. Then, undo the two Phillips-head screws, as well as the 8 other Torx-head ones. Then, pry the bottom panel and pop it away from the chassis.

Inside we see a rather big 63Wh battery pack. It lasted us for 11 hours of Web browsing, or 8 hours of video playback. If you want to remove it, you first need to unplug the battery connector. Then, undo all 6 Phillips-head screws holding it in place, and take it away from the device.

Here, the memory comes soldered to the motherboard. You get to choose between 8 or 16GB of quad-channel LPDDR4x RAM. Storage-wise, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot, which supports Gen 4 drives.

As for the cooling, it is impressive to see two heat pipes, leading to a pair of heat sinks, and two fans. In addition, the VRMs are being cooled as well.


Display quality

ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401) is equipped with a 90Hz OLED panel, Samsung ATNA40YK04-0 (SDC4154). Its diagonal is 14.0-inch (35.5 cm), and the resolution – 2880 x 1800p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:10, the pixel density – 243 ppi, their pitch – 0.1 x 0.1 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 36 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 370 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 369 nits (cd/m2) as an average, with a maximum deviation of only 2%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6520K – matching the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio here is incomparably better than that of the IPS and TN panels and is mathematically infinite.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 100% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976 and 100% of DCI-P3 providing a punchy and vibrant image.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc.

Below you can compare the scores of ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401) against the sRGB standards.

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 2 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Unfortunately, ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401)’s panel uses low-frequency PWM for brightness adjustment up until 89 nits. Afterwards, we detected small pulsations, which makes the display generally safe in this aspect (after 85 nits).


Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401) configurations with 14.0″ Samsung ATNA40YK04-0 (SDC4154) (2880 x 1800p) OLED panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401)’s Harman Kardon speakers produce a sound of very good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Home/Zenbook/Zenbook-14X-OLED-UX5401-11th-Gen-Intel/HelpDesk_Download/

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s 63Wh battery lasted us for 11 hours and 7 minutes of Web browsing, or 7 hours and 58 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

You can find this laptop with the Core i5-1135G7, or the Core i7-1165G7.


GPU options

As for graphics, you get the integrated Iris Xe Graphics G7 with no option for dedicated GPUs.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 193 fps 147 fps 80 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 149 fps 108 fps 68 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-1165G7 (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401, 11th Gen) 3.76 GHz (B+34%) @ 94°C @ 53W 3.46 GHz (B+24%) @ 94°C @ 43W 3.31 GHz (B+18%) @ 94°C @ 39W
ASUS ExpertBook B1 B1400 3.67 GHz (B+31%) @ 87°C @ 51W 3.38 GHz (B+21%) @ 93°C @ 39W 3.26 GHz (B+16%) @ 94°C @ 34W
HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 3.24 GHz (B+16%) @ 90°C @ 45W 2.92 GHz (B+4%) @ 74°C @ 30W 2.25 GHz @ 61°C @ 18W
Dell Latitude 14 5420 3.80 GHz (B+36%) @ 98°C @ 51W 3.27 GHz (B+17%) @ 98°C @ 35W 2.78 GHz @ 96°C @ 26W
HP EliteBook x360 1040 G8 3.43 GHz (B+23%) @ 98°C @ 40W 2.84 GHz (B+1%) @ 88°C @ 27W 2.43 GHz @ 69°C @ 17W
HP Elite Dragonfly G2 3.17 GHz (B+13%) @ 98°C @ 34W 2.34 GHz @ 76°C @ 18W 2.14 GHz @ 73°C @ 16W
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (14) 3.90 GHz (B+39%) @ 85°C @ 61W 2.57 GHz @ 69°C @ 26W 2.37 GHz @ 57°C @ 20W
HP Pavilion 14 (14-dv0000) 3.08 GHz (B+10%) @ 91°C @ 40W 2.79 GHz @ 89°C @ 29W 2.13 GHz @ 71°C @ 18W
Acer TravelMate P4 (TMP414-51) 2.99 GHz (B+7%) @ 94°C @ 33W 2.66 GHz @ 93°C @ 27W 1.86 GHz @ 68°C @ 16W
Acer Swift 3X (SF314-510G) 3.74 GHz (B+34%) @ 95°C @ 45W 3.45 GHz (B+23%) @ 95°C @ 37W 3.09 GHz (B+10%) @ 85°C @ 28W

To be frank, this is one of the best performing laptops, equipped with the Core i7-1165G7. What is even better, is that ASUS actually delivers on its promise, as the laptop manages to sustain a 39W power target.

Comfort during full load

To achieve this, we used the Performance preset from the MyASUS app. However, this comes at one significant downside – noise. During long periods of extreme use, the ZenBook 14X OLED gets pretty loud. On the bright side, the maximum temperature on the outside is within reasonable margins.


Verdict

Apparently, one of the best things about this device is its design and build quality. It is covered by the MIL-STD-810H certification, but most importantly, the results can be seen in real life. The laptop is thin and light, and we were surprised to see that it is also pretty powerful as well.

Thanks to a pair of heat pipes, heat sinks, and fans, it is able to sustain 3.30 GHz in extreme workloads, putting to shame some gaming laptops from the past. In addition to the great performance, you get a ton of features. Noise cancellation, for example, is probably one of the most useful magic tricks offered by the laptop. Especially if you have kids at home, or you’re trying to make a conference call in a loud office environment.

ASUS ZenBook 14X OLED (UX5401)’s OLED panel has a very high resolution with decent maximum brightness, comfortable viewing angles, and true blacks, thanks to the nature of the panel. Additionally, it boasts fast pixel response times, while the color coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut is exceptional. This provides a very vibrant-looking image, which will make multimedia consumption a lot more appealing. You should keep in mind that the panel uses PWM below 85 nits, but above that, the pulsations are pretty weak.

Speaking of downsides, the laptop memory here is soldered to the motherboard. Thankfully, the RAM comes in quad-channel mode, and you can go for configurations with up to 16GB. On the bright side, the M.2 PCIe x4 slot supports Gen 4 drives, which is great.

Also, there are two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, either of which can charge the device. Add a MicroSD card reader, and an HDMI 2.0b connector to the mix, and you get one happy little I/O club. And yes, you do get a USB Type-A port, which is pretty fast as well – it runs at 3.2 (Gen. 2) speeds.

Considering the 63Wh battery pack, we were expecting to see a longer screen on time. However, the 90Hz 1800p OLED panel is surely not very power efficient, if you’re not displaying dark content. Nevertheless, the laptop should last your entire workday as we got 11 hours of Web browsing or 8 hours of video playback.

Ultimately, the ZenBook 14X OLED is a highly-anticipated device. And we really can see why. Its versatility and surprisingly good performance are combined with a fantastic OLED display. All of this will help you excel at work. Keep an eye out, because it won’t be too long before the version with the 12th Gen Intel processor goes out. And it will surely bring a mighty performance boost.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/asus-zenbook-14x-oled-ux5401-11th-gen-intel/

Pros

  • Great performance from a ULV chip
  • Strong aluminum chassis
  • 100% sRGB and DCI-P3 coverage + HDR support
  • High resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Deep blacks and virtually infinite contrast ratio
  • NumberPad + ErgoLift
  • 90Hz refresh rate with fast pixel response times
  • Fingerprint reader + MicroSD card slot


Cons

  • Uses PWM below 85 nits
  • Soldered memory

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