ASUS has given us the CES 2022 goods. Three new additions to the Zenbook range that pretty much raise the bar for what a new laptop needs to pack in order to have our attention. That is, a case I can’t help but think of a turtle when I look at it, a freaking Space Edition Zenbook that even has gauges on the outside and a 17-inch folding (!!!) laptop.
When ASUS was briefing us on their new range to be unveiled at CES 2022, it touted its 10-plus years of the Zenbook, saying it was about finding the balance between power and beauty. Look, they’re not wrong.
ASUS is bringing Dolby Atmos to all 2022 Zenbooks, which enables clear and well-rounded audio along with incredibly immersive, accurate positioning when using headphones. All 2022 Zenbooks come with speakers tuned by Harman/Kardon, too, and they promise up to 3.5 times higher speaker volumes than previous models.
All 2022 Zenbooks will boast ASUS 3D noise reduction (3D NR technology), which basically sharpens images and performs real-time de-noising to make sure everything looks crisp and clear during video calls. On video calls (because we’re clearly going to be stuck with these), the new Zenbook range also offers several webcam modes, such as lighting optimisation mode, which detects an isolates you in the foreground and then corrects the effect of backlighting and glare to reduce shadows caused by poor lighting.
The background blurring mode does just that and motion tracking mode is meant to automatically place you in the centre of the view at all times. It zooms in on your face and follows you around, but it’s also meant to automatically adjust your gaze during video calls, so it always looks like you’re making eye contact with the other side regardless of whether you look directly into the webcam or not. Apparently you still have to pay attention, unfortunately.
All 2022 Zenbook keyboards now use the same 19.05mm key spacing and all will boast Windows Hello.
So what have we got this year?
Zenbook 14 OLED
These are pretty. Sandblasted lid, a combo of matte and gloss, blown up ASUS monogram and even the exhaust fans look schmick. The colours, ASUS tells us, are inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi.
This year, ASUS is giving us two Intel options and one AMD machine.
- Aqua Celadon for Intel
- Ponder Blue for Intel
- Jade Black for AMD
“It will be extremely challenging to run out of battery on a Zenbook,” ASUS said during a press briefing.
Specs across all three models:
- 14-inch, 90Hz, 2.8K OLED display
- 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio
- 2880×1800 resolution
- 39 kg
- 9mm thick
- 180-degree ErgoLift hinge
- 75Wh battery (meant to last all day)
- Fast type-C charging
- Up to 16GB memory
- Dedicated hotkeys for a mic and camera control
- Single sign on fingerprint sensor
- Ports: Micro SD card slot, audio jack, HDMI 2.0, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A, 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (Intel) or USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (AMD)
- The promise of transfer speeds of up to 40 gigabits per second
The Aqua Celadon and Ponder Blue machines feature up to 12th Gen Intel core i7-1260P and the Jade Black for AMD packs AMD Ryzen 7 5825 U processors. So, besides the CPU, the key differences are the ports.
As a side note, those looking for an extra layer of protection for the Zenbook 14 OLED can add a Zenbook sleeve.
ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
ASUS is calling this one the world’s first 17-inch foldable OLED laptop. Surely it defies physics.
You can use the Zenbook 17 Fold as a laptop (bring up keyboard), tablet (large and smaller), PC mode, book mode or extend mode (with a wireless keyboard).
ASUS sent this thing through 30,000 hinge test cycles.
ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED specs:
- 17.3-inches unfolded, 12.5-inches folded
- 2560×1920 resolution, 1920x 1280 resolution
- 8.7mm thickness, closed as a book 17.4mm
- 87 per cent screen-to-body ratio
- (Up to) 12th Gen Intel core i7 processor
- Intel Iris Xe graphics
- (Up to) 16GB RAM
- Dolby Vision Atmos
- Harman/Kardon sound (plus all the Zenbook minimums listed up the top)
- ‘Tech black’ magnesium-alloy chassis
- Integrated dark green faux leather kickstand & keyboard
- 5MP webcam
- Color Sensor
- Walk away lock
- Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, audio jack
There was just too much to talk about when it came to the Space Edition Zenbook 14X, so we’ve given it its own home over here. You should also check out some of the ASUS ROG kit unveiled at CES 2022 yesterday. We’ll update you with pricing and availability when we know.