“A worthy Windows-based machine for the power-hungry power user on the go”: ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED review

Looking for a high-end Windows-based laptop to handle all your music and video needs? We go PC

  • £2999
  • €2999
  • $3090
ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED
(Image: © Future)

MusicRadar Verdict

A well-thought-out package for any Windows-based users who need to have enough power to cope with all types of content creation.


  • +

    Plenty of power under the hood, top specs all round

  • +

    Keyboard feels comfortable and very responsive.

  • +

    Perfect solution for content creators of all types.


  • -

    ASUS Dial isn’t easily implemented for music production at this time.

  • -

    Numberpad 2.0 feels slightly superfluous.

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ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED: What is it?

ASUS’ Zenbook range is aimed squarely at creators on the go, according to what the blurb says. The range is split into two subdivisions, single-screen or dual-screen variants. We’ve already checked out the Pro 14 Duo, a 14.5” dual-display laptop that felt a little too small for music production with its cramped keyboard and touchpad. We thought a 16” Duo would’ve been a better shout, had they made one, which is why we’ve plumped for checking out the Pro 16X OLED. This is the largest model on the Pro range and that X means we’re looking at flagship specs.

Coming with an Intel Core i9 13905H 14-core processor, 32MB RAM, 1TB SSD and an Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU, the Zenbook Pro 16X looks good on paper. Those specs are complemented with a 16” NanoEdge HDR OLED touchscreen, an enlarged haptic touchpad with ASUS Numberpad 2.0 and an ASUS Dial which promises “intuitive control of creative apps”. We’ll see how well that performs shortly. On the I/O front, there are two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, one USB 3 type-A, HDMI, a 3.5mm combo audio jack, DC in and an SD card reader.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED

(Image credit: Future)

ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED: Performance and verdict

Similar to the Pro 14 Duo, the Pro 16X has a cantilevered panel called AAS Ultra. Not to be confused with a certain softsynth, the AAS Ultra Analog VA-3, this is an Active Aerodynamics System. While it might seem like another small crevice to lose things and collect dust, it does mean the keyboard is slightly raised for a more comfortable typing angle. The obligatory backlit functionality can be tweaked should you not want to be bothered by flashing lights so much. The touchpad is also backlit with a numerical pad layout which is perfect for when you’re doing your tax returns, but otherwise can feel the tiniest bit gimmicky. 

The same goes for the ASUS Dial, which can have its uses so long as you’re editing images or video in Photoshop or Premiere Pro. It’s the same old problem where a product aimed at ‘creators’ is actually just for the visual arts. The music tech industry is clearly not mainstream enough to be considered in the same way. That said, the dial is customisable or configured as a Microsoft Wheel. We had really high hopes for this to work but were left frustrated. Using Bitwig Studio as the test DAW, we had hoped that we could easily map the dial to specific controls. And while we're certain it can be done, at the time of writing this review, we have still yet to manage it. Even with the Microsoft configuration, it hasn’t been plain sailing. It’s too much of a faff and clearly getting in the way of writing any music. No change there, then. 

Worthy Windows-based machine for the power-hungry power user on the go

The hardware acceleration is clearly beneficial for rendering video, so we don’t need to tell you how well it can cope with audio. We hadn’t encountered any issues with audio latency during our time using the Pro16X, and dare we say it, it was as painless as running an Apple Sillicon-based Mac. Although, it’s worth noting that an equivalent spec Macbook Pro wasn’t available to compare at the time, so we can’t give you any raw data here. However, despite the issues with the dial, for producers who also find themselves working with video, the Zenbook Pro 16X will more than cope with the workload. With specs that are comparable to the Apple M3 Max, this is a worthy Windows-based machine for the power-hungry power user on the go.

MusicRadar verdict: A well-thought-out package for any Windows-based users who need to have enough power to cope with all types of content creation.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED: The web says

"It combines everything you want and need in the ultimate creator laptop. It offers fantastic performance for heavy-duty creative tasks, it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best gaming laptops I've ever used, it looks fantastic, the ergonomics are great, and it's a delight to use."
Creative Bloq

ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED: Hands-on demos


Just Josh



ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED: Specifications

  • KEY FEATURES: Flagship Zenbook laptop aimed at content creators, especially visual artists I/O: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 type-A port, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x 3.5mm combo audio jack, 1 x DC in, 1 x Express 7.0 SD card reader.
  • DIMENSIONS: 355 x 251 x 169 ~ 178mm. 
  • WEIGHT: 2.40kg.
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.