ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review

Discover the ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED, a compact yet powerful laptop that leaves a lasting impression. With its stunning OLED display, this slim and lightweight device enhances your visual experience while delivering robust performance. Its sleek design and portability make it perfect for fulfilling all your work and entertainment needs on the go.
One month ago
Font Size
Aa
ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review - W3Tekno
Our Verdict
Reasons To Buy
  • Fantastic screen
  • Good for photo-editing
  • Extremely light and portable
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Only integrated graphics
  • Key Specs
    CPU:Intel Core i7-1355U (10 cores, 12 threads)
    GPU:Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Display:13.3in, 2.8K (2880x1800) OLED, 16:10 aspect ration, 60Hz refresh rate, 550 nits, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut
    RAM:8-32GB
    Storage:512GB-1TB SSD
    Connectivity:1x USB-A 3.2, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
    Wireless:Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3
    Dimensions:29.62 x 21.63 x 1.09-1.18cm
    Weight:1.00kg

    Design And Build

    ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review - W3Tekno

    My first impression of the Zenbook S13 OLED was driven by two factors. First, it's tiny. Really tiny, in fact. It's only 350 grams heavier than an iPad Pro 12.9, which is exactly one kilogram. Remember, this is a full computer. When the lid is closed, it is just over an inch thick, and its width and length have also been minimized. It has a screen that is almost completely bezel-less, along with a small keyboard and trackpad.

    Second, it looks different compared to other computers I've used. The feel of the chassis is different from other laptops I've touched, and the diagonally lined lid (the lines form the ASUS logo) has a nice stone-like texture. As it happens, the solution goes deeper than a shiny new lid. The Zenbook S's keyboard lid is made from a combination of PIR magnesium-aluminum alloy and recycled post-industrial aluminum. Even the speakers are made from PCR and ocean-bound plastics (i.e., plastics that would otherwise end up in the ocean; the speakers are not meant to be thrown in the ocean). The keycaps are made from post-consumer recycled plastic. The laptop comes in environmentally friendly, 100% recyclable packaging.

    Seeing something like this done for a mass-market tech device warms my cold, cynical heart as an environmentalist who often struggles with the dubious morality of testing, using and writing about things that, let's face it, don't do wonders for our ecology.

    In fact, the Zenbook S13 OLED feels very solid despite its extreme lightness, which should allay any fears that 'recycled' equals 'flimsy'. The trackpad is fantastic, the keyboard is solid and fast, and the screen hinges are sturdy.

    Screen And Features

    ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review - W3Tekno

    Asus often claims to have the "best OLED screen technology" available for laptops, and the 13-inch, 2.8K ASUS Lumina OLED definitely makes a compelling case for being the best screen I've ever seen on a small-format laptop. It's incredibly crisp, claims 100% DCI-P3 color coverage, is bright at 550 nits (despite a claimed 70% reduction in dangerous, keep-you-up-at-night blue light), and has Pantone Validated certification.

    It even beats the highly regarded MacBook Air in the display department, with a measured sRGB coverage of 113% and a well-presented 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1.07 billion colors.

    In summary, it's quite nice to look at, and although it's only 13 inches, I found it to be excellent for both heavy photo editing as well as watching TV and movies. Unfortunately, the laptop isn't a good option for a budget gaming PC due to its 60Hz maximum frame rate and the fact that it only has integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, but that's about all I have to say negatively about it. Although there are options for 8 and 16GB of RAM, the unit I used had 32GB.

    Not surprisingly, there aren't a lot of ports for such a small laptop; there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports (which provide both power and display compatibility), an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-A 3.2 port, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. To use my usual daily work configuration on my external dock, I had to plug it in and connect my external keyboard and mouse.

    Despite its small size, the native chiclet keyboard and trackpad proved to be more than adequate for my travel needs. The layout and size of the keys were comfortable, and the trackpad was responsive. The keyboard's programmable backlighting also made it easier for me to work in dimly lit cafes and at night.

    Of course, its exceptionally light weight made it absurdly easy to carry around.

    Benchmark Scoring
    Geekbench 6:Single-core: 1,828; Multi-core: 7,426
    Cinebench R23:Multi-core: 5,918
    Handbrake:10m 34s, average of 29.13fps
    PCMark 10:6,742
    Streaming video battery life:13h 10m

    Performance And Battery Life

    ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review - W3Tekno

    As an ultraportable, the Zenbook S13 OLED cannot compete with gaming behemoths or pro creator ultrabooks in terms of sheer performance. However, the machine handled everything I asked of it with ease and in line with my initial expectations when I first opened and held it.

    Photoshop (and other photo editing applications) make photo editing easy, and the SSD and plenty of RAM keep everything running smoothly. However, the fan gets a bit noisy when working on heavier jobs and paper.

    I discovered the laptop's limitations when motion came into play. Because the Zenbook S13 lacks a dedicated graphics card, its graphics processing capabilities are severely limited, meaning you have to rely on the integrated Iris Xe graphics for tasks such as video editing and any 3D work.

    This is demonstrated by the benchmark scores on Geekbench and Cinebench, where it is only slightly below the performance of the MacBook Air M2 and mostly comparable to devices like the Dell XPS 13.

    The PCMark 10 tests also showed that while it performs well in photo editing and other office tasks, it really struggles when it comes to 3D or video editing. The results of our Handbrake video editing task were comparable to other modern computers with integrated graphics cards that I have tested.

    But the Zenbook S13 OLED's exceptional battery life further establishes it as a hybrid worker's dream. In our streaming video test, the battery lasted an amazing 13 hours and 10 minutes before dying, which is longer than most HP laptops and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4/5, both of which boast excellent battery life.

    As a bit of an audiophile, I'm not usually happy with laptop speakers, but the Zenbook S13 OLED's Harman & Kardon-partnered speakers are excellent for a tiny device. Although there is a noticeable lack of depth or range, video calls are clear and crisp, and casual music listening is pleasant enough (though, as with any laptop, I highly recommend a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones for more in-depth listening or audio editing).

    Price

    The UK doesn't currently have access to this ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED model (the 5304, as opposed to the 5302), but the 32GB model is now selling for $1,399 in the US. Hopefully this will change soon. This is comparable to high-end PC ultraportables, although it costs a little more than the M1 MacBook Air, which is also a little more capable of video editing. However, the Zenbook's screen is the best in its price range.

    ASUS Zenbook S13 OLED Review - W3Tekno

    Comment
    Comments

    No Comments Yet