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 that got thicker when he opened the lid, it opened a giant hidden hatch to keep his unusually large GPU cool. But the original Zephyrus also made the deadly sin of joining the keyboard club on the front end, and the new $2,599 Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED, announced today, might finally right that wrong.

Instead of lifting the entire laptop like the Zephyrus or, say, lifting a big touchscreen strip like the ZenBook Pro Duo, the new 16-inch laptop lifts its all keyboard tray when you lift the lid.

The lifter is mechanically connected to the hinge.
Image: ASUS; GIF by Sean Hollister / The Verge

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

And that is only the beginning from what sounds like one of the most premium ultra-slim laptops we’ve ever seen. I’ll spend a little time going into the details, but here’s a TL;DR chart:

The standout features of the ZenBook Pro 16X OLED are the sleek hinge, 4K 16:10 OLED display, and jog dial, but there’s so much more here.
Image: Asus

Yes, an Nvidia RTX 3060 isn’t the most gaming-capable graphics chip out there – this machine is clearly aimed at creators and focuses on installing a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H CPU instead of a GPU. more powerful, two speakers and four woofers and support for a stylus pen for an “ASUS Pen”.

But as a gadget nerd, I’m instantly jealous of those that will get a suitably tall 16:10 aspect ratio 16-inch 4K OLED display with 100 percent DCI-P3 color and 0.2ms response time, not to mention two. All with Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 985 MB/sec SD Express 7.0 card reader, and a giant touchpad with pressure sensitivity and a linear actuator for haptic feedback (not that I expect many software developers to take advantage of that).

Oh, and have you seen the jog dial palm rest and white RGB lighting per key?

Per-key white RGB lighting is fully programmable, including the beams that spill out of the hinge.
Image: Asus

I’m sure I could find a reason to use them eventually! And despite all the fancy features, Asus still leaves room for a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a full-size USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port (yes, that’s the fastest), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. . You also get good but up for grabs features at this level of laptop, 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. it can be carried on a plane at 96Wh. It weighs 5.3 pounds, so it’s not exactly light.

The keyboard tray flips up to a 7-degree angle and can charge via Thunderbolt 4 or a standard DC barrel jack adapter.
Image: ASUS; Screenshot of The Verge

My big question here is is that keyboard really ergonomic when it’s raised to 7 degrees like this because that goes against the conventional wisdom that the keyboard tilt should probably be flat or even negative to better serve your wrists. It’s not like you can adjust the tilt here because it’s tied directly to the lid of the laptop. But clearly some people are buying these tilted keyboards as “ErgoLift” is a feature that Asus has sold for years.

And at least it’s not as tilted as Asus’ dual-screen machines, which use a similar hinge to prop them up to 12 degrees for better viewing. And I’m also very, very curious if 140W TDP allows Asus to get more out of its RTX 3060 than the competition because laptop chip speed is increasingly dependent on how much thermal headroom it can give them. Asus says that the vent offers 30 percent more airflow and lowers the temperature by 7 degrees.

Speaking of dual-screen machines, 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 club on the front, a rearview Zenbook Pro 15 Flip OLED with Intel’s new Arc discrete graphics, both with OLED screens of 120Hz! – a Zenbook Pro 17 with an AMD Ryzen 6900HX chip and a couple of smaller OLED laptops too. Asus has gone all out for OLED recently and you love to see it.

Here are the Asus bento box infographics for each of those other machines:

The $1,999 and up Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED features a 14.5-inch 120Hz OLED display, i9-12900H and RTX 3050 Ti that’s 17.9mm thick, with a 76Wh battery.
Image: Asus

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

The Asus Zenbook Pro 17 has a 2.5K 165Hz display with up to Ryzen 9 6900HX, RTX 3050, 76Wh battery, at 18.9mm thick. There is no lightning here.
Image: Asus

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

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

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

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