Asus revealed its refresh of the Zenbook 14 OLED which according to the manufacturer, improves on the weight and chassis size, display, battery life, and audio, and adds in the brand new AI-powered Intel Core Ultra 9 CPU.
Intel officially launched its Core Ultra series of processors, its long-anticipated Meteor Lake chips. They’re Intel’s first chips to feature a neural processing unit (NPU). This means that these processors power AI applications, like ChatGPT and Midjourney, to massively enhance performance and productivity.
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The new Zenbook 14 OLED also features a 3K Asus Lumina OLED display, which improves on the 2023 model’s 2.8K (2880×1800) 120Hz OLED screen, though both still maintain a maximum of 600 nits of brightness. Its chassis could easily place it among the best thin and light laptops, thanks to it now weighing a mere 1.2 kg with a 14.9 mm profile.
It comes with built-in Intel Arc graphics, as well as up to 1TB SSD storage, 32GB RAM, WiFi 6E, and a well-balanced port selection of two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.1 (TMDS) port, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.
Asus and Acer taking swings at Apple, thanks to Intel
Asus’s new laptop isn’t the only one to feature Core Ultra CPUs either, with Acer also announcing its own laptop powered by the new processor – the Acer Swift Go 14. Not only does it feature a comparable OLED screen and thin and light chassis but, like the Zenbook 14 OLED being made of 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials, Acer’s laptop comes with a touchpad made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
What’s more interesting is that the Swift Go 14 is clearly competing with the MacBook Air, which it could possibly pull off due to it being an Intel Evo-certified laptop featuring instant wake-up times, faster charge time, and a claimed battery life of 12.5 hours.
Asus having the the flagship Core Ultra 9 CPU power the new Zenbook 14 OLED would mean that it would also be in line to compete with Apple’s MacBook line, including the Pro series. And honestly, all this competition would be a great thing.
Apple has proven itself to be more than a capable chip manufacturer thanks to the enormous success of its M-series silicon. But with the Intel Core Ultra now available, laptop manufacturers like Acer and Asus are getting the power up they need to stand up to the excellent MacBook line.