Those of us who need a laptop for resource-hungry tasks such as 3D rendering or video editing are used to making the trade-off between power and portability. Until very recently, we’ve been restricted to the larger form factors as the more powerful GPUs haven’t been available in smaller laptops.
But now we’re starting to see a new generation of lightweight 14-inch laptops with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series Laptop GPUs that can deliver the high performance needed to accomplish these kinds of tasks. So whether you’re doing video effects in DaVinci Resolve, animation in Blender, or taking a break to play a graphically intense game like Cyberpunk 2077, you can now work from anywhere with a small laptop that’s easy to carry.
A great example is the ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 OLED, which is decked out with an ultra-efficient GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU and 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900H processor, and it comes with 16 GB of fast DDR5 RAM. It also comes with luxurious features that make it perfect for creators. The display is a glorious 2880×1800 OLED panel that’s Pantone Validated for colour accuracy and has a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 gamut, so not only does it give you stunning visuals, it’s also ideal for VFX tasks such as colour grading. This means you can use it for things that would otherwise require a trip to the studio to use an expensive monitor.
A 3D render that used to take two and a half hours on a 14” laptop without a GPU can now be done in just 10 minutes with the RTX 4070. AI-powered tools are accelerated by dedicated tensor cores, automating tedious processes and allowing artists to add advanced effects that only experts knew how to do before. Amazingly, we’re now seeing complex 3D workflows transformed into accessible processes that happen in real time, with no waiting around for renders.
This powerful laptop is small, lightweight, and fits easily in a backpack, making it a great choice for students or creators who are on the go. If you’re having trouble imagining what 1.6kg feels like, it’s about the weight of a thick hardback book. You’ll see that this weight and size is approaching the realms of an ultraportable — a laptop that most people will be able to carry around for quite some time without feeling weighed down.
You’ll also notice that the 14-inch chassis strikes a great balance between portability and screen dimensions. For this reason, it’s a highly popular size and in fact the fastest-growing form factor in terms of demand.
Enabling powerful GPUs in thin laptops
There are two key technologies that allow these powerful GPUs into a 14-inch laptop that can do 3D rendering in Blender, video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, super fast video encoding in OBS Studio, and run the most demanding games: the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace GPU architecture and NVIDIA Max-Q. Ada is the successor to the Ampere architecture of the RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs, and it offers a big jump up in terms of efficiency. Overall, Ada delivers up to twice the performance of Ampere in AI tools and features within 3D, livestreaming and video editing applications.
NVIDIA Max-Q is a collection of technologies that optimise your laptop’s performance, power and acoustics for peak efficiency so that RTX Laptop GPUs can fit into thinner and lighter laptops. These tweaks and optimisations combine to allow RTX cards to stay cool in small spaces without making a racket.
And along with NVIDIA DLSS 3, a revolutionary breakthrough in AI-powered graphics that massively improves performance while maintaining great image quality and responsiveness, this new category of laptops delivers two thirds reduction in power for the same performance.
To give you an idea of the kind of performance you can expect from this new breed of laptop, benchmark tests have shown significantly better results than even a Macbook Pro M2:
DaVinci Resolve 18 – AI Magic Mask Processing Time – Lower is Better
- RTX 4070 – 56 seconds
- M2 Pro – Macbook Pro – 2 minutes and 32 seconds
- Intel Iris Xe – 7 minutes and 44 seconds
Blender Benchmark – Sum of Scores
- RTX 4070 – 3926
- M2 Pro – Macbook Pro – 670
- Intel Iris Xe – 227
It’s incredible that a 14-inch, lightweight laptop is capable of producing ray traced 3D renders in real-time in the viewport, using AI to mask and track a subject in a video, and running the most demanding games at 1440p. But that’s where we are today with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series laptops.
The creative revolution
Using your favourite creative software on an ultra-powerful 14-inch laptop is exciting enough, but buying a computer with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series GPU means so much more than that. These GPUs come equipped with specialized hardware that accelerates 3D, Video and AI, driving the creative revolution that’s completely transforming how we work, and vastly expanding the range of people who are able to participate in high-level digital creativity.
Together with these ground-breaking GPUs we use all of our creative technologies and enhancements from NVIDIA Studio:
- Optimisations in 110 of the top creator apps for RTX GPUs
- Powerful suite of NVIDIA Studio exclusive apps, such as NVIDIA Omniverse™, Canvas, Broadcast and RTX Remix
- NVIDIA Studio Drivers that are quality tested and optimised for the top creative applications
- A stack of SDKs which enables developers of other creative tools to add advanced capabilities for RTX GPUs, such as DLSS 3
- NVIDIA Studio validation program, where NVIDIA works with the top OEMs on purpose-built laptops and desktops to ensure great experiences for creators
When you’re shopping for a computer, look for the NVIDIA Studio badge. It means that the system has been tested to make sure it runs creative applications and tools to a high standard.
The Studio suite of software includes some really powerful tools that will change how you do things. For example, Omniverse uses the Universal Scene Description (USD) open standard to make different 3D applications interoperable, so you can edit a scene using multiple tools at once and also work in real-time collaboration with others.
There’s also a livestreaming tool called NVIDIA Broadcast that uses AI to clean up audio and video noise in real time, so even with a basic setup you can produce a stream that looks and sounds like it’s coming from a home studio.
These are just a couple of examples; there’s a huge amount of incredible software to explore within this suite. And don’t forget, all of this comes bundled in when you buy a laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX Laptop GPU.
The power source within the GeForce RTX GPUs that underpins all this change is the dedicated hardware for ray tracing and AI-based tasks. Ray Tracing Cores are purpose built for the complex computations needed for ray tracing, a technique for producing photorealistic lighting by mapping each ray of light as it would bounce around the 3D scene if it were constructed in real life. Until fairly recently it required render farms with racks of computers to produce this effect—now you can do it on a 14-inch laptop!
Tensor Cores are what’s behind the transformative AI-powered features we’re seeing in our creative software today. For example, masking a person or object and tracking it through every frame of a video is a notorious time-sink that can now be accomplished in a few clicks with DaVinci Resolve’s GPU-accelerated AI Magic Mask feature.
For 3D artists, AI denoising is making a massive difference to how 3D software works, by filling in the gaps so that changes to ray traced details appear quickly, allowing artists to experiment more and be more creative. Autodesk Arnold, REDSHIFT, Chaos V-ray, OTOY OctaneRender, and Blender Cycles can all use AI denoising to speed up workflows.
An amazing AI tool for image editing is the ON1 Resize AI photo enlargement software, which can upscale images by up to 700 percent, with all of the extra detail generated by the AI.
Together, real-time ray tracing and AI-powered features are speeding up and changing creative workflows in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.
The ASUS Zenbook 14 Pro OLED is one of the best NVIDIA Studio laptops of this form factor with its powerful specification and vibrant screen, and will be available in the UK from June. In the coming months, there will be even more choice as manufacturers push out more models at this highly popular size. Watch this space!