Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED Review
The Zenbook S 13 OLED from Asus is a very light laptop that still feels strong. This is not easy to find. With a weight of 1 kilogramme (2.4 pounds), the 13.3-inch laptop is smaller than the MacBook Air (M1 and M2), making it easy to throw into a backpack or shoulder bag. Even though it has a small size, Asus managed to fit in a big keyboard and a big touchpad that can also be used as a number pad. The 2.8K-resolution OLED touch screen is great for work, pleasure, and making things. Even though OLED screens usually drain batteries quickly, the Zenbook S 13 OLED got more than 12 hours of battery life in our live video test.
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED Specs
- The style has been updated, and the IO and ergonomics have been better.
- A beautiful OLED screen that can’t be touched, with 180 hinges
- Fair performance with light use and medium work, but don’t push it.
- 63 Wh battery with good runtimes
- The keyboard isn’t very deep, and typing isn’t very powerful.
- In Performance mode, the Intel Core U chip base gets hot and noisy.
Asus went all out with the design of its new Zenbook, making it one of the coolest and most attractive ultrabooks I’ve seen in a long time. The company is also proud of the fact that the Zenbook S 13 is made with recycled metals and plastics. The material on the lid is a combination of smooth stone and metal. I don’t usually care too much about how thin someone is.
But it’s hard not to be wowed by the laptop’s 0.42-inch thickness, especially when you consider that Asus added a USB-A port and an audio combo jack to the right side. On the other side, you’ll find a full-size HDMI port and two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports. Any company that says a small laptop can’t have full-size ports or an audio jack is now on notice.
When it works, the OLED display on the Zenbook S 13 has a resolution of 2880 x 1800, which is a lot to like. The quality is a good compromise between 1080p and 4K, which has too many pixels for a small laptop screen. The screen has bright colours and deep blacks that catch your eye. The brightness isn’t the best we’ve seen, but it should be more than enough for most people.
And the dramatic red lighting and bright white logos really brought back the feeling of the concert as I remembered it, but with fewer annoyingly drunk middle-aged concertgoers. This screen should work well for most people. It looks much better in terms of colour and brightness than a normal laptop LCD screen. Just know that the screen isn’t the best, so you might not want to try to work in the sun.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The keyboard on the Zenbook S 13 feels really good for such a thin laptop. Not great, though. The key movement isn’t great, and the top row and bottom arrow keys are small because the laptop has a small frame. But I used it to write a lot of this review and didn’t have any big problems with how well it worked or how comfortable it was. The power button is built into the keyboard, which isn’t something I like very much. But because it was in the top right corner to the left of the delete key, I never hit it by mistake. Even if I did, it’s a little harder than the other keys around it, so I don’t think most people will have a problem with it.
The Zenbook S 13 has two good speakers, especially for a laptop that is less than half an inch thick. When I turned my laptop all the way up to listen to IAMX’s new record, “Fault Lines,” there was a good amount of sound. Even when the volume was turned up, Chris Corner’s moans and shouty falsettos didn’t sound distorted. But there wasn’t much bass, as is often the case with thin computers (and plenty of not-so-thin ones, too).
This laptop has a 13.3-inch 16:10 shiny OLED 2.8K screen, but it doesn’t look like it has a touch screen. The panel is a refined version of the Samsung screen used in past generations of the S 13. It has a beautiful display, but it isn’t very bright (only about 350-nits SDR) and can only refresh at 60 Hz (unlike 14-inch models, which can go up to 120Hz). Aside from that, this is still a 10-bit screen with HDR 500 support, 500+ nits peak HDR brightness in approved activities, 100% DCI-P3 colour coverage, and great blacks and contrast.
The Core i5-1235U with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD is likely to start at $1099 in the US. A version with the Core i7-1355U processor, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD is also available for about $1399 USD (on Amazon, here, or on Newegg). The Zenbook S 13 is a real ultrabook. It is small, light, mostly ergonomically built, and made for daily use and light multitasking.