Asus’ new Zenbook Pro 16X OLED raises the entire keyboard tray when you lift the lid

In 2017, Asus wowed us with an ultra-thin gaming laptop thicker Opening the lid revealed a huge hidden trapdoor to keep the unusually large GPU cool. But the original Zephyrus also committed the mortal sin of joining the keyboard-in-the-front club – and the new $2,599 Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED announced today could finally correct that mistake.

Rather than elevating the entire laptop like the Zephyrus, or say a large strip of touchscreen like the ZenBook Pro Duo, the new 16-inch laptop elevates its entire keyboard tray when you lift the lid.


The lift is mechanically connected to the hinge.
Image: Asus; Sean Hollister / The Verge GIF

Asus says this nifty hinge gives the laptop’s Core i9 CPU and RTX 3060 GPU a combined 140W of thermal headroom – despite the chassis being just 16.9mm (0.67in) thick.

And this is just the beginning from what sounds like one of the highest quality ultra-thin laptops we’ve seen. I’ll spend a little time going into detail, but here’s a TL;DR chart:

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The ZenBook Pro 16X OLED’s standout features are the snazzy hinge, 4K 16:10 OLED screen, and jog dial, but there’s a lot more to this.
Image: ASUS

Yes, an Nvidia RTX 3060 isn’t the most playable graphics chip out there – this machine is clearly aimed at developers focused on bringing an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, 12 woofers and stylus support to an “ASUS Pen”.

But as a gadget nerd, I’m instantly jealous of those who get a 16-inch 4K OLED display with a really tall 16:10 aspect ratio with 100 percent DCI-P3 color and a 0.2ms response time, all right not to mention two -it-all Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 985 MB/s SD Express 7.0 card reader and a gigantic touchpad with both pressure sensitivity and a linear actuator for haptic feedback (I don’t expect many software developers to actually benefit from this).

Oh, and did you see those? Palm rest jog dial and white RGB lighting per key?

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The per-key white RGB lighting is fully programmable, including the beams that exit the hinge.
Image: ASUS

I’m sure I might find a reason to use these at some point! And for all the fancy features, Asus still makes room for a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a full-size USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port (yes, that’s the fast one), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You also get good but affordable features at this laptop tier like up to 32GB of RAM, up to 2TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and one of the largest laptop batteries you can get at 96Wh in take a plane. It weighs 5.3 pounds, so it’s not exactly light.

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The keyboard tray lifts up to a 7-degree angle, and you can charge via either Thunderbolt 4 or a standard DC barrel jack adapter.
Image: Asus; Screenshot of The Virgin

My big question here is if this keyboard is actually ergonomic when it’s raised to 7 degrees like that, because it can be done against The conventional wisdom that the keyboard slope should probably be flat or even negative to best serve your wrists. It’s not like you can adjust the tilt here, as it’s tied directly to the lid of the laptop. But obviously some people are buying these upward-sloping keyboards since the “ErgoLift” is a feature Asus has been selling for years.

And at least it’s not as tilted as Asus’ dual-screen devices, which use a similar hinge to prop them up up to 12 degrees for better viewing. And I’m also really, really curious if Asus with 140W TDP can get more out of its RTX 3060 than the competition, because laptop chip speed is increasingly about how much thermal headroom you can give them. According to Asus, the ventilation offers 30 percent more airflow and lowers temperatures by 7 degrees.

Speaking of dual-screen devices, the ZenBook Pro 16X OLED isn’t the only new laptop the company is announcing today, far from it! There’s a new dual-screen Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED if you’re still okay with being part of the keyboard-in-the-front club, a backflip Zenbook Pro 15 flip OLED with Intel’s new Arc discrete graphics – both with 120Hz OLED screens! – a Zenbook Pro 17 with an AMD Ryzen 6900HX chip and two smaller OLED laptops. Asus has been all-in on OLED lately, and you love to see it.

Here are Asus’ bento box infographics for each of these other machines:

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The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED for $1,999 and up has a 14.5-inch, 120Hz, i9-12900H, RTX 3050 Ti OLED screen with a thickness of 17.9mm and a 76-Wh -Battery pack.
Image: ASUS

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The Asus Zenbook Pro 15 Flip OLED is a 15.6-inch 2.8K 120Hz OLED with up to i7-12700H, Intel Arc A370M GPU, with 96Wh battery.
Image: ASUS

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The Asus Zenbook Pro 17 has a 2.5K 165Hz screen with up to Ryzen 9 6900HX, RTX 3050, with 76Wh battery, at 18.9mm thickness. No Thunderbolt here.
Image: ASUS

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The Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED features a 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED and a Ryzen 7 6800U with a 14.9mm thick 67Wh battery. USB-C instead of Thunderbolt.
Image: ASUS

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The Asus Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED features an i7-1260P, also with 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED at 14.9mm thick, 67Wh battery and three Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Image: ASUS

You might also want to check out Asus’ new pop-art-inspired panels. And you can check out Asus’ unveiling presentation for all of these machines, starting with the keyboard-lifting laptop, starting at 41 minutes and 8 seconds, right here.

https://www.theverge.com/23060820/asus-zenbook-pro-16x-oled-hinge-laptop-raise-keyboard-dial Asus’ new Zenbook Pro 16X OLED raises the entire keyboard tray when you lift the lid

Fry Electronics Team

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