ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED: A Fantastic Laptop Choice for On-the-Go Casual Users with its Lightweight and Ultra-Slim Design

The year 2023 brings a delightful update to the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED, presenting a captivating spectacle. Designed with a compact and featherlight structure, this laptop stands as an excellent choice for individuals with a dynamic lifestyle, provided that demanding tasks aren’t a priority. The 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor in this Zenbook yielded less-than-satisfactory benchmark outcomes, although its integrated graphics outperformed several counterparts. Notwithstanding this, students, avid travelers, and remote professionals who value aesthetics and portability might uncover a cherished companion in the latest iteration of the Zenbook S 13.

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED
PROSCONS
Sleek buildTrackpad clicks are loud
Good battery lifeHollow audio
Color-rich OLED displayMedicore performance

About the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED laptop features

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLEDSpecifications
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1355U (2 performance cores, 8 efficient cores, 12 threads), max clock speed 5.00GHz
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe (integrated, 96 EUs)
Memory32GB LPDDR5
Storage 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD
Display13.3-inch, 2880 x 1800, 60Hz, OLED, HDR NanoEdge.
Wireless connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Wired connectivity 1 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x Thunderbolt 4,
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x 3.5mm combo audio.
Weight998gm
Size11.66 x 8.52 x 0.43 inches

The 2023 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED is exclusively available in this combination (but the laptop is also available in Ponder Blue if Basalt Grey isn’t your style).

Sleek Build

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED specifications

From a physical perspective, the Zenbook S 13 boasts remarkable aesthetics. When closed, it maintains a svelte profile of merely one centimeter in thickness. Its 14-inch diagonal span, extending from corner bezel to corner bezel, ensures it won’t demand excessive space in your bag, on your desk, or even on the fold-out table of an airplane seat. At just 998 grams, it is a 100 grams lighter than its 2022 predecessor, alleviating any concerns of burden.

The lid, crafted from plasma ceramic aluminum, is an exemplar of uniqueness. Its textured surface, adorned with delicate silver etching, imparts a contemporary, almost stone-like tactile sensation to the laptop. Both visually and tangibly, the Zenbook S 13 offers an exceptionally delightful experience.

Remarkably, the lower section of the display serves as a miniature stand, delicately elevating the keyboard to enhance ergonomics and facilitate improved airflow. Despite its feathery weight, the device can be effortlessly opened with a single hand, all while maintaining stable contact with the table surface. Furthermore, the laptop’s structural integrity is evident in its minimal chassis flex, underscoring its durable construction.

Display

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED laptop review

The screen of the Zenbook S 13 may not be the most luminous one we’ve come across, achieving a maximum of 300 nits in our comprehensive tests. This falls short when compared to our other test models with higher brightness levels, such as the HP Dragonfly Pro boasting 407 nits and the considerably more economical Dell XPS 13 9315 with an impressive 506 nits.

Nevertheless, the Zenbook S 13 compensates for this limitation through its dynamic OLED HDR display. This display type radiates vivid hues and deep contrasts, causing images and visual content to burst with life. In contrast, the displays of the Dragonfly Pro and Dell XPS 13 employ IPS panels, which generally struggle to replicate the extensive color gamuts achievable by OLED displays. With a standard 60Hz refresh rate, this device ensures seamless playback of all your preferred videos.

Keyboard

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED detail review

The keyboard of this laptop provides an incredibly enjoyable typing experience. Its key travel hits the perfect balance, often referred to as the “Goldilocks” zone: not overly shallow, nor excessively deep, resulting in key presses that are both gratifying and comfortable, eliminating any potential for typing fatigue.

Despite the laptop’s compact size, the keyboard layout is well-spaced and doesn’t give off a cramped feeling. The keys are delightfully responsive and have a gentle, springy touch. In addition to their tactile qualities, they operate in a near-silent manner, adding to the overall appeal of the Zenbook S 13. This makes it an ideal companion for extended study sessions in a library setting. It’s important to note, however, that the laptop’s touchpad functions through tapping, which we’ll delve into more deeply later on.

Battery

ASUS ZenBook S 13 OLED battery

We were delighted to observe that this laptop endured for a remarkable 9 hours and 54 minutes during continuous internet usage on a single charge. This duration provides substantial power to accompany you throughout an entire 8-hour workday, a complete day of classes, or even a long international flight. To put this into perspective, last year’s AMD-based Zenbook S 13 OLED, which we evaluated, managed to run for 6 hours and 50 minutes. Therefore, despite having a smaller battery, the 2023 Zenbook has achieved a significant extension of three additional hours of usage time.

This notable improvement can be predominantly attributed to the variances in CPU architecture between the Core i7-1355U and the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U. The 13th-generation Intel chips come with dedicated cores tailored for processing tasks with low thread demands, or those applications that can operate optimally with just one or two cores. On the other hand, the Ryzen 7 6800U employs a unified core design, eliminating the distinction between “efficient” and “performance” cores. Consequently, it consumed higher power while undergoing our battery life assessment.

What We Don’t Like

Extreme Trackpad Clicks

The auditory prominence of the trackpad clicks on this laptop is notably conspicuous. While this may appear inconsequential initially, especially in bustling surroundings, the resonance of these clicks could attract notice from individuals within a 10-foot perimeter in a tranquil environment.

Consequently, the tactile experience of this trackpad seems more antiquated than its actual age would suggest. The act of both clicking and lightly tapping the trackpad yields an equally brisk responsiveness. Nevertheless, if your customary approach involves exerting pressure on the trackpad while making selections, adapting to the trackpad of the Zenbook S 13 might necessitate a minor period of acclimatization.

We have previously affirmed the Zenbook S 13’s merit as a commendable choice for those frequently on the move, and indeed, it retains that quality. However, for individuals who prioritize unobtrusive operation, this particular laptop might not align with your preferences.

Spooky Audio

The stunning OLED display of the Zenbook S 13 adds a touch of brilliance to your Netflix indulgence, though the Harman Kardon speakers might not share the same level of usefulness. While the audio quality doesn’t qualify as abysmal (maintaining a semblance of balance between bass and treble), there’s an undeniable shallowness that leaves a void in the laptop’s audio environment, leaving much to be wished for in terms of sound stage richness.

For an optimal auditory experience when enjoying music or immersing yourself in your favorite series, opting for a quality pair of headphones would be a prudent choice.

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