REVIEW OF THE ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED: A MACBOOK AIR OPTION

The OLED that doesn't skimp on quality

REVIEW OF THE ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED: A MACBOOK AIR OPTION

ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED

The OLED that doesn't skimp on quality
PROS
Superior central processing unit and on-board visuals
Extremely lightweight and transportable
Turns touchpad into a numeric keypad
OLED display with a high resolution
CONS
Ports are scarce.
Central Processing Units can get quite hot
Appears to be really dull.

At this point, if you have experience with one Asus Zenbook, you have experience with all of them. They are the most direct opponent that Asus has to Apple’s MacBook Air. They have chassis that are a little bit more flimsy, touchpads that have nicer capabilities, and price tags that are a little bit less daunting. Additionally, in recent years, they have become one of the most cost-effective ways to acquire an OLED screen for a laptop.

But this particular Zenbook, the $1,299 Zenbook S 13 OLED, is especially fascinating since it’s one of the first devices I’ve gotten the chance to test with AMD’s long-awaited Ryzen 6000 series inside. The OLED display on this Zenbook is one of the most impressive features it has to offer. And despite the fact that the Zenbook’s chassis is essentially unremarkable, the chip contained within it provides both CPU performance and integrated graphics that are, once again, among the greatest ones that can be found in an ultra-thin laptop. The Zenbook S 13 OLED is a very viable option to the MacBook Air for individuals who are open to using Windows because of its power as well as the ultraportability that the Zenbook family is famed for.

ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED SPECS (AS REVIEWED)

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 6400MHz
  • Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Weight: 2.43 pounds (1.1kg)
  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.3 x 0.59 inches (296.2 x 210.8 x 14.99mm)
  • Battery: 67Whr
  • Display: 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED touchscreen, 0.2ms response time
  • Wi-Fi: Dual-band Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) 2×2 LAN

The appearance of the Zenbook S 13 is not notably distinct from that of the multitudes of other Zenbooks currently available; nevertheless, this is not always a negative thing. It weighs 2.43 pounds and has a thickness of 0.59 inches, making it one of those devices that can fit into even the most crowded of backpacks, and it is one that you won’t even feel while it is in there. There is very little give in either the keyboard deck or the lid, despite the fact that both have a little plastic-like texture to the touch. Both were also quite resistant to collecting fingerprints, which is something that has been a difficulty for me in the past with Zenbooks.

Adding an OLED panel to an ultraportable product line has the well-known potential to make the product line prohibitively expensive as well as to reduce the battery life of the product line. Because of this, the tool in question is a welcome relief. This OLED touch panel, while not quite as vivid as what you could see from the most expensive OLEDs on the market, is still quite excellent. It reached a perfectly useable 360 nits in my tests, and there was almost no glare throughout the display. (And the aspect ratio is 16:10, which provides additional vertical room.)

REVIEW OF THE ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED: A MACBOOK AIR OPTION


Digital Trends

And after setting the screen brightness to medium and turning on Battery Saver, I was still able to get an average of seven hours and 45 minutes of office work out of this tablet (and that was very consistently the time I saw across multiple trials). Even if I can get a few more hours out of the most recent MacBook Air, I still consider it to be a decent deal when compared to the many different 12th Gen Intel devices I’ve tried this year (as well as all kinds of Intel-powered Zenbooks).

Zenbooks are also some of my favorite devices for working with multimedia, and this model is a good choice for making use of those capabilities. The audio was passable, with no distortion even when turned up to the maximum level and clearly heard bass and percussion. During side-by-side testing, it sounded quite comparable to the MacBook Air, with the exception of the Air maybe having slightly clearer vocals. There is a discernible surround effect, and I really had the impression that my music was all around me. Additionally, the Dolby Access app allows you to customize every aspect of the sound. I genuinely believed that the Game and Movie profiles, which place a higher priority on positional accuracy, resulted in music that sounded and was surrounded by better environments than the music profile did (which felt a bit muted in comparison).

The mics, which use artificial intelligence noise reduction, did not give me any issue at all, and people were able to hear me just fine despite the extremely loud air conditioner in my flat.

The one major disadvantage that people should be aware of is the limited selection of ports. The degree of connectivity provided by the Zenbook is now comparable to that of the MacBook; all you get is a headphone jack and three USB-C ports. At least one USB-C port can be found on either side, which is a feature that I appreciate (and they are USB-4-ready). Even if Asus supplies a USB-C to USB-A adapter in the packaging of the Zenbook, it is still an inconvenience to need to utilize dongles left and right. (There is at least a headphone jack, which is something that some earlier iterations of OLED Zenbooks made the regrettable choice to leave out.)

The model that I am testing, which is the only configuration of the Zenbook 13 S that I have been able to locate that is available for presale, is currently advertised at $1,299. It features an eight-core Ryzen 7 6800U processor, 1 terabyte of storage space, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and an OLED display with a resolution of 2880 by 1800. When you consider the screen, in particular, that is an extremely competitive price for those specifications.

Throughout the entirety of my workday, the system functioned without a hitch. I used a large number of Chrome tabs in addition to several program downloads and a Zoom call when Battery Saver was on, and there was no noticeable delay in performance. I was able to detect some warmth on the underside of the tablet on occasion, but I never had any heat on the palm rests or the keyboard deck. (And even when I had the Performance profile turned on, I was unable to hear the fans, and even when I could, their noise wasn’t bothersome.) During extensive testing, the CPU didn’t cross 96 degrees Celsius (but it did spend a lot of time hovering between 85 and 95 degrees Celsius, which is certainly hot).

DURING THE COURSE OF MY WORKDAY, THE SYSTEM WORKED Exceptionally Well.

The export of a 4K video that was five minutes and 33 seconds long was finished on the Zenbook in just over 15 minutes. This does not compare favorably to scores that we have seen from previous machines that have finished this test. The most recent version of Premiere Pro has given scores that are consistently slower than those supplied by earlier incarnations of the software. However, any aspiring video professionals should be aware that workloads of this nature are not typically AMD’s strong suit. This is something that should be kept in mind. On the PugetBench for Premiere Pro test, which measures live playback and export time at 4K and 8K, the device comes in last place, trailing 

behind both the M2 MacBook Air and the M1 device. Other 12th Generation Intel systems also come in ahead of it.

However, outside of specific use cases, the integrated graphics that come with AMD’s products are quite excellent. When integrated graphics are performing as well as they are, there isn’t much of a case to be made for purchasing laptops with entry-level Nvidia MX GPUs. This is something that I’ve been saying for years.

The system achieved an average of 238 frames per second when playing League of Legends and 114 frames per second while playing Rocket League at its highest settings (all at 1080p resolution). Even with the settings set to Epic, Overwatch was playable, with an average frame rate of 52 on that preset and 83 on Ultra. Even on the lowest settings, Shadow of the Tomb Raider could be played with a passable average of 53 frames per second. (However, even at the highest settings, it could only maintain an average of 25 frames per second.)

These results are among the greatest we’ve seen on a device with integrated graphics measuring 13 inches in diagonal size. They are superior than the M2 model of the MacBook Air, as well as the M1 model, and they are also superior to the Intel 12th Gen version of the Dell XPS 13 Plus. It is pretty impressive (and, to be honest, heartening) to see that this gadget is significantly less expensive than both of those laptops, and this is something that we should strive for.

REVIEW OF THE ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED: A MACBOOK AIR OPTION


Outlook India

AMD is still capable of producing some of the most impressive integrated graphics seen in laptops of this size and weight.

The fact that AMD continues to produce some of the best integrated graphics available in laptops of this size is, in my opinion, the most important thing I learned from using the Zenbook S 13 OLED.

The eight-core Ryzen 7 chip continues to be a significant competitor to Apple’s and Intel’s top mobile chips that are available in the 13-inch market. Both companies produce these chips. Even though it does not have the lengthy battery life as the M2 does and does not have the dominance that Intel has in creative workloads, it is still an all-around powerful chip that gives a pretty excellent gaming experience without generating too much external heat. It’s possible that Intel will reclaim its position as the dominant player in the semiconductor market one day, but that day won’t be this year.

When you consider that the Zenbook also provided us with an acceptable battery life and that it has an OLED touchscreen, I would argue that it is a fantastic option for anyone who believes that luxury ultraportables such as the MacBook Air are too expensive for their budget (or just prefers Windows to macOS).

ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED ACCESSIBILITY

ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED (AS REVIEWED)

  • The letter keys each measure 1.6 centimeters by 1.6 centimeters, and there is 0.5 centimeters of space between each key. All keys are illuminated. The indicator lights are located on the Caps Lock key, the camera key, and the microphone key. The size of the power button is 1.4 millimeters by 0.8 millimeters. The size of the volume buttons is 1.4 centimeters by 0.8 millimeters. The keys have a dark blue background with white writing, and they need very little pressure to press down.
  • During my tests, I measured an average of 75 decibels coming from the speakers.
  • The lid can be opened with one hand, albeit only with a little bit of effort. It is possible to tilt it back to an angle of 180 degrees.
  • During my testing, the display’s brightness reached 360.4 nits, and its contrast ratio reached 22,670:1.
  • The touchpad has dimensions of 12.8 by 7.3 inches and is able to recognize precise gestures.
  • During setup, you will need to power on the device and navigate through a few different menus.
  • The Zenbook only supports biometric authentication via fingerprints, not facial authentication.

WINDOWS 11

  • Windows 11 comes with its own specialized menu for accessibility.
  • Windows 11 comes equipped with its own screen reader by default (Narrator). It is compatible with screen readers developed by other parties, such as NVDA, developed by NV Access, and Jaws, developed by Freedom Scientific. On the website of Microsoft, you can get a complete list of the software that is compatible.
  • Both voice typing (which can be accessed by pressing Windows + H) and speech recognition can be toggled on and off with Windows + Ctrl + S in Windows 11.
  • Toggle color filters such as inverted, grayscale, red-green, and blue-yellow by pressing Windows + Ctrl + C. Other color filters include red-green and blue-yellow. Toggling contrast themes requires pressing Alt, Left Shift, and Print Screen simultaneously. Under Personalization, you can also access the default Dark Mode as well as colors of your own.
  • The color and size of the captions can be changed, and they will always show relatively close to the bottom of the screen.
  • Using Microsoft’s PowerToys, the layout of the keyboard can be altered. Sticky Keys is a feature that is supported. There is a keyboard displayed on-screen for your convenience.
  • In the Touchpad Settings menu, you may make changes to the size and speed of the pointer, and you can even remap the gestures.
  • Windows 11 has capability for eye control using eye trackers that are external.
  • The Snap Layout feature was added to Windows 11 and may be accessed by moving the mouse pointer over the Maximize button on any open window.


You may also like

SourceASUS

Subscribe

Latest articles

An Analysis of the Apple Watch Ultra

The robust Apple Watch Ultra is an amazing adventure-focused...

6 Solutions to the Raspberry Pi Shortage

At the moment, there is a severe lack of...

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR Review

The all-weather construction, internal zoom design, and top-notch image...

Disclosure: Written and researched by the Get Gear Tech crew. We spotlight services and products you may discover fascinating. If you happen to purchase them, we could get a small share of the income from the sale from our companions. We could obtain merchandise freed from cost from producers to test. This doesn't drive our resolution as to whether a product is featured or beneficial. We function independently from our promoting group. We welcome your suggestions. Please e-mail us at [email protected] 

GGT
GGT
Get Gear Tech is an affiliate-based website that tests and reviews the best tech, appliances, gear, and more. You can trust our veteran reviewers and experts to find the best stuff just for you. Get Gear Tech strives to be probably the most trusted product suggestion and service on the web. We obsessively test and report on thousands of things annually to suggest one of the best of all the things. We aim to save lots of you time and get rid of the stress of buying, whether or not you’re on the lookout for on a regular basis gear or items for family members. We work with complete editorial independence. Meaning nothing seems on the location as a suggestion until our writers and editors have deemed it one of the best by our rigorous reporting and testing.

DIG DEEPER WITH RELATED posts

find out more!

REVIEW OF THE ASUS ZENBOOK S 13 OLED: A MACBOOK AIR OPTION At this point, if you have experience with one Asus Zenbook, you have experience with all of them. They are the most direct opponent that Asus has to Apple's MacBook Air. They have chassis that are a little bit more flimsy, touchpads that have...