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It's good, but not good enough for me - About Asus ZenBook 15.6

For me after the college entrance examination, there is nothing more urgent than changing my computer. Why do I say that? Because my current computer is still the one I bought in elementary school - it has been in service for over 6 years. After the college entrance examination results came out, my dad finally agreed to buy me a computer, but when I was about to open a certain online shopping platform to choose a model, my dad said he had already chosen one in advance and planned to give me a "surprise". So after a few days of difficult waiting, I finally received my new computer: the Asus Unparalleled 15.6.

I'm not a professional reviewer, my photography skills are not very good, please don't mind.

The first impression I had of this computer was stunning. When I first learned about the disadvantages of OLED as a laptop screen online, my impression of OLED laptop screens was only that they were prone to burn-in and eye strain. But when I saw this screen, I was willing to accept all of the above disadvantages: 2.8K high resolution combined with top-notch OLED screen with ultra-high color gamut, plus factory calibration, truly made me feel the overwhelming superiority of Samsung's E4 OLED screen compared to ordinary LCD screens. The fact also proves that this screen is indeed the biggest selling point of the entire computer.

Although for ultrabooks, appearance is indeed the most impressive and easiest part to do well, I would never accept a computer that only has good looks. But my dad understands computers, how could he possibly buy me such an overpriced and low-spec machine? The fact proved that I was right, the second selling point of this computer is the latest 12th generation Intel Core i5 processor: i5 12500H.

Benchmark score for entertainment, still a trashy shot, please don't scold me.

In the 12th generation Core i5, Intel finally made a big change and adopted a more efficient big-little core heterogeneity. This also makes the i5 12500H the most cost-effective laptop processor this year: looking up, the higher-end i7 12700H has only a small improvement, just a few percentage points; looking down, its performance surpasses previous generations of i7 and even i9, higher than any previous Core processor. In daily use, I have also felt the huge improvement brought by this CPU: whether it's opening multiple web pages, compiling source code, or video editing, the experience is much better than my previous Celeron 2950M (although it's been a long time since I used a new machine, so this comparison is obviously unfair, but I can still feel how powerful this CPU is).

Because of these features, the most common tasks I use this CPU for are the same as most ultrabook users: watching movies, video editing, photo editing, and writing articles. Thanks to the top-notch OLED screen and the Harman Kardon custom speakers, I have experienced an unprecedented watching experience, especially for colorful hand-drawn animations (such as works by Hayao Miyazaki). Watching on this screen is completely different from watching on an LCD screen. The "screen-to-price ratio" of this computer is indeed well-deserved, which also led to the longest activity I've done on this machine, which is watching anime and movies.

After talking about the advantages, let's move on to the long-awaited moment - the shortcomings of this machine. And in my opinion, the advantages I mentioned above cannot outweigh these shortcomings, which led me to replace this machine with another gaming laptop in the past few days. If I have time, I will talk about my experience with the new computer later, but for now, let's talk about the shortcomings:

Firstly, it lacks strong performance. If gaming laptops are characterized by low-power CPUs and high-performance graphics cards, then I would rather call this high-power CPU and low-performance graphics card machine a "study machine" - as the name suggests, it can only be used for studying and nothing else. But obviously, I am not the kind of "good kid" in my parents' eyes, how could I not play games? Although Intel has also made a big change in the integrated graphics of the 12th generation Core i5, resulting in a significant improvement, no matter how much it improves, it is still not enough for me. Although the integrated graphics performance of this machine has far surpassed my previous GT940M graphics card, it can only run some online games (like War Thunder) at low graphics settings at 2.8K resolution, and for some newer single-player games, I have to lower the resolution to 1080P or even 720P at the lowest graphics settings to barely play. So the question is: what's the use of this 2.8K high-resolution screen for me? If I had to choose between high resolution and low graphics quality or low resolution and high graphics quality, I would definitely choose the former without hesitation.

Secondly, the battery life of the 12th generation Core i5 has regressed. When I first got this machine, I thought about taking it to the library to study seriously, hoping to overcome internet addiction without plugging in the power. But when I tried to do that, I found that I was too idealistic: this machine didn't give me a chance to study at all. Even if I used power-saving mode to write code, I would still run out of the estimated 8 hours of battery life within 3 hours. Although lowering the screen brightness can extend the battery life, it will also affect vision due to PWM, which is not worth it in the end. When I encountered this situation, my first reaction was: is the EVO certification just a marketing gimmick? If even daily office work requires me to plug in the power, then what's the difference between using this machine and using a gaming laptop? If I care about battery life, why don't I buy a MacBook (although I wouldn't buy one either)?

Lastly, and most importantly, is the heat and noise caused by the single fan. It may not be very persuasive to say how noisy it is here, but you can feel the noise by watching the video I posted before. I really can't figure out how Asus engineers designed this mold: for a CPU with a full load of 45W, it only uses a single fan for cooling, just like how MacBook uses a single heat pipe to cool the i9. The disastrous consequence of using a single fan to cool the i5 12500H is that once I open several web pages in the library, I can feel the intense gaze of the people around me. Although this machine has a silent mode, only those who use it know how hot the C surface is in silent mode (high EQ: learn from international giants like HP).

In the end, I sold this machine because it froze five times in a row during one of my 3D modeling projects, almost delaying the deadline, and it met its final fate.

Finally, let me summarize the Asus Unparalleled 15.6 laptop from my subjective perspective:

If you are a video editor, graphic designer, advertising designer, or related industry practitioner, or a heavy multimedia user, and you don't have high battery life requirements and have a tight budget, then the top-notch Samsung OLED screen and powerful CPU of this machine will definitely not disappoint you, and you can confidently buy it.

If you are a gamer, 3D modeler, or a frequent traveler with battery life requirements, please don't buy it. The graphics card and battery life of this machine will definitely give you a big "surprise".

That's all for the Asus Unparalleled 15.6 laptop. If I have time, I will also introduce my experience with the gaming laptop I recently switched to (although it's an old model, the reviews are probably already everywhere). This article is completely based on my personal perspective, and some parts may not be objective, so I ask the readers to understand.

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