Review unit on loan from ASUS Singapore
The ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is the world's first laptop with a 16-inch OLED display. The laptop was launched in late 2021 equipped with 2021 processor from either Intel (model N7600) or AMD (model M7600). Here in Singapore, only the AMD version is available, and the price is SGD 2598 with 16GB RAM and 1TB storage.
By the way, my review is from the perspective of a visual content creator, someone who does digital art, graphic design, edits photos and videos.
The large 16-inch 4K UHD+ OLED display with 16:10 aspect ratio is great for productivity. Sharpness and colours are fantastic. Overall build quality is excellent. Weight of 1.95kg is reasonable for laptop at this size. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti provides more capability to using 3D software and light gaming. Battery life is easily above 10 hours. Downsides would be the inability to charge the laptop with USB-C, the micro SD card slot which is not full size, and having two USB-A with only USB 2 speeds (thankfully one USB-A is USB 3.2 speed).
Here's the list of specifications for the unit I'm reviewing:
|Display||16.0-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2400) OLED|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800H Mobile Processor (8-core/16-thread, 20MB cache, up to 4.4 GHz max boost)|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 + 8GB DDR4 SO-DIMM|
|Storage||1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU|
|Wireless Network||Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home (64-bit) - Complimentary upgrade to Windows 11 Home|
|USB Port(s)||1x USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Type-A, 1x USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Type-C, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A|
|HDMI Port(s)||1x HDMI|
|Web Camera||720p HD camera//With privacy shutter|
|Dimension (cm)||36.05 x 25.9 x 1.89|
|Warranty||2 Years International Warranty|
|What’s in the Box?||Pre-installed McAfee + Carrying Bag + Optical Mouse + Charging Adaptor|
Here's a quick price comparison for other 16-inch laptops I found online:
- LG Gram 16 (2021) with 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, Intel Iris Xe - SGD 1899
- Apple Macbook Pro 16 (2021) with 16GB RAM, 512GB storage - SGD 3749
- Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (16-inch) with 32GB RAM, 1TB storage, NVIDIA RTX 3070 - SGD 2749
ASUS's pricing seems competitive to me.
The laptop comes with a 120W charger that does not use a USB-C connector. From what I've read, only the Intel version of the laptop supports USB-C charging, but not the AMD version. Not having USB-C charging supported I feel is a big miss because there are multi-port GaN chargers can charge up to 120W. By not supporting USB-C charging, it means you'll probably have to bring the charger along for charging outdoors.
The ten included stickers look good and can be used to decorate your laptop to give it some character.
It's a good move to include a laptop bag, and this is a good looking one that's well made and seems durable. There's one big pocket outside which can be used to hold the charger. Inside, there are two big laptop compartments, and two smaller pockets.
The bag can be used as a tote bag or a backpack.
Design of the lid is quite plain-looking since it's designed for decorating with stickers. I like the matte textured surface of the lid but it's quite susceptible to fingerprints.
The only design is this pop-up area with the Vivobook brand and #BeExplorers and #ReadySetGo hashtags.
On the bottom there are raised rubber feet. You can get to the internals by removing eleven T5 screws. The WLAN module and M.2-2280 SSD are replaceable but not the RAM. Anyway, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage is should be more than sufficient for most creative workflows except for video editing where you can just attach an external SSD anyway.
The two speakers are located at the bottom. Audio quality is loud with good clarity.
This is a beautiful looking laptop with extra styling to appeal to the creative crowd.
I just don't like all the stickers from AMD, NVIDIA, Pantone and ASUS (bottom right).
There are little design accents above the row of function buttons. The Escape button is a bright almost neon orange.
The Enter key has a striped pattern at the bottom. On the hinge is a row of diagonal pattern.
The keyboard comes with a numpad on the side. It will take some time to get used to the size and location of the 0, . and Enter buttons. Other than that, the numpad is useful. The power button has a finger print sensor which works fast and effectively.
The keys have backlight, good travel and feedback. Typing experience is excellent. The function buttons come with useful shortcuts.
Hey ASUS, if you're reading this, add a ruler to the bottom of the display like you did with the ASUS PA279CV monitor would be really useful for designers. No labels are necessary if there's no space. Ruler markers are so useful.
The touchpad is relatively large and works quite well without any quirks.
The ASUS DialPad is built into the touchpad. To activate the DialPad you just swipe down from the top right and the DialPad will light up. Unfortunately, the light isn't that bright so the lighting can be considered useless, unless you use this laptop only at night.
When you tap on the DialPad on the touchpad, the digital DialPad appears on screen at the top left. I would have preferred the digital DialPad to appear in the middle of the display, but there's no way to change the location. Also the DialPad doesn't stand out against dark background – a thick white outline would have solved this design issue.
The ASUS DialPad settings are accessible through the ASUS ProArt Creator Hub app. The main thing to note here are the shortcuts on the DialPad are customisable, and the shortcuts will update accordingly depending on the app you're using.
There are pre-programmed shortcuts for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro and Illustrator. You can also create your own keyboard shortcuts, for a total of 8. Other than the Adobe apps, you can also create groups of shortcuts for other apps you use.
The DialPad works great for adjusting values that charge incrementally, e.g. brush size, timeline scroll, webpage scroll, font size. It could be useful depending on the tool you're using. For example, you can change brush sizes faster with the DialPad compared to pressing the [ and ] buttons repeatedly.
It will take time to get use to the location of the DialPad on the touchpad. I find it easier to use my pinky finger to activate the DialPad so that my index finger can turn the dial immediately afterwards.
I'm not sure how useful the DialPad is for me though. I certainly wish the DialPad was something separate so that you don't have to toggle it on and off. FYI, the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED has a dedicated dial.
The two USB-A ports on the left unfortunately only have USB 2 speed (60MB/s).
On the right side, there are 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot, USB 3.2 gen 1 Type C (5Gbps or 625MB/s), full-size HDMI v1.4, USB 3.2 gen 1 Type A and the power charging port.
Highlight of this laptop is the beautiful 16-inch 4K UHD+ OLED display with its vibrant colours and extreme contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
The resolution is 3840 x 2400 pixels with 283 PPI. Visuals are exceedingly sharp with no noticeable pixelation even if you look closely.
16:10 aspect ratio is good for productivity. 16:9 aspect ratio personally a deal breaker for me when it comes to a laptop for work purposes. 3:2 aspect ratio is rare on laptops. And now with the thicker Windows 11 taskbar, more vertical resolution is appreciated.
Colour accuracy is excellent. I measured colour support for 100% sRGB, 100% AdobeRGB, 100% P3 and 98% NTSC. I measured only 339 nits of brightness out of the advertised 550 nits. You won't be getting true HDR effect but the extreme contrast of 1,000,000:1 ensures you're not missing out on image quality.
Viewing angles are good with minimal colour shift. Main downside to the screen is it's very reflective, but as long as you don't have light source reflecting off the screen, it looks great.
There's a privacy shield for the 720HD camera at the top of the screen.
The Intel Core i7-11370H, Intel Core i5-11300H and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processors were released in early 2021. The single core performance between the quad core Intel and 8-core AMD processors isn't that different. However, the 8-core processor is almost two times faster than the Intel because, well, it's 8 vs 4 cores.
My review unit comes with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and the overall performance is smooth, and lag-free.
Even though the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H has an 8-core processor, video export times are actually less than ideal when compared to Intel.
Below are timings to export a ten minute 4K video with H.265 using Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Timings are arranged from fast to slow.
- ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 15 UX582 (Intel Core i9-10980HK (2.4 GaHz x 8) - 1 min 40s
- ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX5400 (Intel i7-1165G7 (quad 2.80GHz) - 4min 8s
- LG Gram 14 2-in-1 (2021) Intel i5-1135G7 (quad 2.40GHz) - 4min 16s
- Apple M1 Macbook Air - 4 min 54s
- Apple M1 Macbook Air with FCPX - 5 min 1s
- Huawei MateBook X Pro (2021) Intel i7-1165G7 (quad 2.8Ghz) - 5 min 10s
- LG Gram 16 (2021) Intel i7-1165G7 (quad 2.8Ghz) - 6 min 11s
- ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (M7600) - 7 min 36s
This laptop came in last for exporting videos when compared to other laptops I've reviewed. It took a substantially longer time to export a video compared to the Intel i5-1135G7 and i7-1165G7 that can be found on countless laptops from 2021.
Main reason why the Intel processors are able to export videos much faster is because Intel has Intel Quick Sync Video feature which really cuts down the time to export with H264 and H265 codecs. Intel Quick Sync Video is important if you're getting a laptop primarily for video editing work.
Having said that, to export a 10-min 4K video under 10 minutes is still acceptable, actually pretty good.
Fans don't turn on unless you're pushing the system, e.g. exporting videos, live streaming, gaming, Adobe Creative Cloud updating apps
The pre-installed MyAsus app allows you to choose between different fan profiles: performance, standard and whisper. The fans can be heard when they rev up. Performance mode has the loudest fan noise obviously but still manageable. Standard fan mode is barely audible unless you're pushing the system. Whisper mode is barely audible and is good when you need silence, such as during live streaming.
When it comes to graphic design, photo and 4K video editing, everything's smooth and responsive.
16GB of RAM is sufficient for most workflows. Actual storage you'll get with 1TB is actually just 902 GB after Windows installation, but before installing any apps.
Internal SSD read speeds are up to a respectable 1.75GB/s and writes up to 1.65GB/s.
With Red Dead Redemption 2, I was able to get only 35 FPS at 1080P resolution, and 45 FPS at 720P. With Hades, I was able to get 60 FPS. This laptop is capable of some light gaming but frame rates for AAA video games are not ideal. Anyway, this laptop isn't marketed as a gaming laptop – the only brief mention is the 0.2ms response time which may benefit gaming.
If you're interested in benchmarks, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU in this review unit scores 9,441 while the RTX 3070 from the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 that I reviewed recently scored 15,186 according to videocardbenchmark.net. That Zenbook Pro Duo could run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 40FPS at 4K resolution (4x 1080P).
The 96 Wh battery capacity has terrific battery life.
I could get 12 hours of battery life with Youtube video streaming at 50% brightness. Even at 100% brightness, you can except minimum of 11 hours battery life.
Battery life is not something to worry about.
Battery life of course will depend on the work you do. Generally speaking, battery life range is 9 to 11 hours. Windows laptops and tablets usually do not have good battery life (7 - 8 hours and below) so to have a laptop that has conservatively speaking 10 hours average battery life is real good. I was able to get around 4.5 hours of battery life when gaming.
The ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (M7600) is a fantastic laptop for visual content creators thanks to its 8-core AMD processor and large colour accurate 16-inch OLED display. Design of the laptop would look better without all those company and promotional stickers. Build quality is excellent. You can easily get more than 10 hours of battery life so that's fantastic. I love the 16:10 aspect ratio too.
Actually there are lots of things I like about the laptop so just see the long list of pros and cons.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Solid build quality
+ Excellent OLED display with good colour accuracy and brightness
+ Good viewing angles with minimal to no colour shift
+ 4K display has excellent sharpness
+ ASUS DialPad could be useful
+ Good selection of ports with USB-A, USB-C, full-size HDMI
+ Powerful 8-core AMD processor
+ Quiet operation under most loads
+ NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 for light gaming
+ Decent speakers
+ Touchpad works well
+ Excellent keyboard
+ microSD card reader
+ 1.95kg is reasonable weight for 16-inch laptop
+ 96 Wh battery can provided at least 10 hours or more battery life
+ Fan noise not too loud even under load
- No USB-C charging
- Two of the USB-A ports are just USB 2 speeds
- Not sure how useful ASUS DialPad is
- No Intel Quick Sync Video means video exports are slower
- OLED displays may have PWM that can be seen by sensitive eyes
- microSD card slot not as useful compared to SD card slot
- No Thunderbolt 3 ports
The main downsides, in order of importance, for me would be the lack of Intel Quick Sync Video, USB-C charging, and the USB 2 speeds for two of the USB-A ports.
You can certainly use this laptop for video editing. If you're exporting short videos, e.g. 10 minute videos, you'll just have to wait 3 minutes more compared to a laptop with an Intel processor.