Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (AMD) Review: Scores high on practicality, specs

    The Asus VivoBook 16X OLED is a no-hold approach to a creator-friendly laptop that also considers your wallet. Is this a MacBook Pro killer?
    By: AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
    | Updated on: Jan 04 2022, 11:03 IST
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED starts at  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,24,990, offering a 4K OLED display, a Ryzen 9 processor, 96Whr battery, and RTX 3050Ti.
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED starts at 1,24,990, offering a 4K OLED display, a Ryzen 9 processor, 96Whr battery, and RTX 3050Ti. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED starts at  <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1,24,990, offering a 4K OLED display, a Ryzen 9 processor, 96Whr battery, and RTX 3050Ti.
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED starts at 1,24,990, offering a 4K OLED display, a Ryzen 9 processor, 96Whr battery, and RTX 3050Ti. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Rating
    4.5 out of 5
    Price
    INR 124,900/-
    Product Name
    VivoBook 16X OLED
    Brand Name
    Asus
    Pros
    • Gorgeous display
    • Great battery life
    • Reliable performance
    Cons
    • Impractical virtual DialPad
    Specifications
    • Processor
      AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
    • Display
      16-inch 4K OLED 60Hz
    • RAM
      16GB DDR4
    • Storage
      1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3 SSD
    • OS
      Windows 11
    • Battery
      96Whr

    Asus is currently at a stage wherein it lets all its designers go mad with concepts. In a world where Apple's reintroduction of conventional I/O ports is seen as marvelous, these people are going crazy with dual screens, rotary knobs, mass adoption of OLED screens, and cutting-edge specs. It's as if Asus has ditched its want of business profits and has solely decided to focus on making amazing laptops.

    So what happens when they have to do a creator laptop within a budget of 1.5 lakhs? They came up with something like the VivoBook 16X OLED. Starting at 1,24,900, this is a laptop that seems too good to be true. A 4K OLED display, a crazy powerful processor, a svelte design, and a new gimmick to attract the creators. A 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 suddenly feels underequipped (heck, even the 14-inch MacBook Pro feels the same).

    Is this then the ultimate laptop for power-hungry creators to buy? I found out after putting it through its paces over a fortnight.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED Design

    When laden with budget restrictions, laptops usually go for pale designs with compromised material quality. With this laptop, it's the opposite. A superbly built metal chassis with a desirable matte black paintjob and clever choice of surfaces make the VivoBook 16X OLED a handsome laptop. And, just to cut off the boredom, the lid has a logo placeholder jutting out with seemingly cheesy statements such as “uncage your possibilities” and “own the universe.”

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    Open the lid and the theme continues. In what would have been an otherwise neatly-laid keyboard deck, Asus ends up dropping a splash of bright orange paint on the “Esc” key, mild contrasting colours on the Ctrl, Shift, Caps Lock, and a few more keys of similar nature, and a wacky pattern on the Enter key. These are things that creative people would surely appreciate.

    Then there are the highlights. Dominating the interior is a large 16-inch glossy OLED display with slim bezels, part of which holds a shutter-enabled webcam. The trackpad holds a small touch key that brings up the Asus DialPad within itself. It works similar to the rotary dial I loved on the StudioBook 16 but it is all virtual here. More on this later.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    You also get sufficient ports on this laptop. There's a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with display / power delivery, two USB 2.0 Type-A, an HDMI 1.4, a 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, a DC-in port, and a micro SD card reader. Demanding creators may feel the lack of a Thunderbolt port and a regular SD card slot.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED Display

    No beating around the bush here, the VivoBook 16X OLED has a brilliant display by all means. It is very difficult to complain about a 16-inch 4K OLED display with an aspect ratio of 16:10, 550 nits of peak brightness, and a couple of professional grade certifications. 

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The high contrasts and careful colour tuning means everything looks bright and vivid without the usual oversaturated looks of an OLED display. Whether editing photos, watching movies or playing a game, this is a beautiful display to behold. I wonder whether video/photo editors even need an external display with this laptop.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED Performance

    There's a lot of raw performance on offer here. My unit had the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-core CPU paired to 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3 SSD storage. For graphics, there's the NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti with 4GB GDDR6 memory, although you can spec a lower RTX 3050 as well. It boots Windows 11 out of the box.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    For regular everyday computing, these specifications are an overkill. Subjecting it to my workflow, the VivoBook 16X OLED was happy to deal with 12 Google Chrome tabs, WhatsApp and Word in the background, and streaming music in the background. Windows 11 has been a joy to experience on this laptop, impressing with its snappy animations and quick loading times.

    The laptop's party-piece, however, is its DialPad feature. Sitting in the form of a virtual dial, you can use it currently on Adobe apps to make life a little easier. In Photoshop, for example, I could adjust brush sizes and vary selection tools right from the dial. Outside of Adobe apps, I was able to adjust display brightness and system volume. That said, it requires getting used to and I wish Asus had offered a larger surface area; the current size is too small to effortlessly tap into.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The DialPad can be customized via the ProArt Creator hub app, although the supported apps are limited right now. Creators will, however, love using the WorkSmart feature that essentially lets you group up to eight of your favourite apps to just one shortcut on the desktop. The Colour Calibration tool is another useful addition.

    Note that you get a free subscription to Microsoft Office 2019 with the device. There's also a free trial for McAfee LiveSafe and Adobe subscription.

    The VivoBook 16X OLED isn't a gaming laptop but it can conduct itself when asked to take care of new AAA titles. In Forza Horizon 5, I was able to get a 60 fps frame on an average with Medium-High graphics and 1080p resolution. Codemasters' F1 2021 ran at Ultra graphics in 1080p resolution, fluctuating between 45-60 fps. The laptop warms up noticeably but the fans keep it all cool. The 60Hz refresh rate isn't great but the OLED display's punchy colours makes up for it.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The speakers are fine too although I wish Asus had given it better drivers. These are not ideal for creative applications but for regular movie watching and video calls, they do just fine. The 720p webcam quality is sub-par but the mic reception is good. The laptop is equipped with Wi-Fi 6 but even with my slower Wi-Fi router, I did not witness network disconnection while being father from the router. The keyboard is spacious and offers ample feedback, while the trackpad is well tuned for quick response.

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED Battery

    This is a laptop that surprisingly outlasts regular lesser-powered laptops. In the Standard power mode, I was able to get up to 8-9 hours of stamina with my regular office workload (Chrome, Word, and a few apps). The 96Whr battery paired with the Ryzen 9 chip makes this a reliable laptop you can take out without the charger.

    When you need to charge, the 120W charging is quick to top-up the battery. The charger is slim and can easily fit inside a backpack.

    Verdict

    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED
    Asus VivoBook 16X OLED (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The Asus VivoBook 16X OLED is undoubtedly a killer proposition for budding and experienced creators at a reasonable price point. A 4K OLED display and the Ryzen 9 5900Hz processor are good enough reasons alone to consider this laptop over everything else at this price. The funky design, a practical layout, ample ports, solid battery life, and the DialPad only tips the scales further in its favour. The RTX 3050Ti GPU is good enough for most editing apps and games but I wish Asus had offered an option to opt for the RTX 3060 or higher graphics card.

    Bottomline, if you are seeking a powerful laptop capable of dealing with graphics for photo and video editing for less than 1.5 lakhs, we highly recommend the Asus VivoBook 16X OLED over anything else. 

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    First Published Date: 04 Jan, 11:03 IST
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