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Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Quick Review


I spent a few days with the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED and I was sold. Of all the laptops I have interacted with this year, it was the best alternative to my M1 MacBook Air. The laptop is light, very thin, good performance, there is just so much to like about it.

This is the slimmest and lightest OLED ultrabook in the market right now at just 1 cm and 1 kilogram. This is actually impressive and is the main point to note here.  It features up to 10-core 13th generation Intel processors, improved thermals and performance and provides up to 14 hours of streaming with Asus Lumina OLED display.

The Asus Zenbook S 13 looks pretty cool with a nice bonded layer of material that  Asus calls “plasma ceramic.”  Asus says the process of the new materials uses pure water, and no organic compounds, strong acids, or heavy metals are required. Instead, the environmentally low-impact method produces a physical and chemical transformation of the aluminum. This results in increased wear resistance, corrosion protection, thermal management, hardness, and lifespan

This material gives the lid a smooth matte finish that I really like. The review unit sent to us by Asus is Basalt Gray, but you can also buy it in Ponder Blue. Both colour options ’ surfaces are slightly roughed so you don’t have to worry about fingerprints. 

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

The hinge on the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED is also my favourite. It’s adjusted well with the maximum opening angle being 180 degrees.  What this means is that you can lay the laptop flat, which is ideal for sharing on-screen content with others.

The new Zenbook S 13 OLED offers a thinner lid than previous models by using CNC machining techniques to create more space. To achieve this slim profile, Asus has embedded a thinner yet fully featured FHD IR camera directly into the CNC-machined lid. The company has also used a specially designed ultra-slim OLED panel, resulting in a lid that’s 30% thinner.

Let’s talk about this display. We are getting a 13.3-inch Lumina OLED touchscreen with a refresh rate of 60 Hz on the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED. The resolution is 2,880 x 1,800 pixels, and the image quality is quite excellent. The OLED display supports a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, up to 550-nits peak brightness, and 0.0005 nits of deep black brightness, providing creators with a brighter and more detailed viewing. Along with an ultrawide color gamut of 100% DCI-P3 and HDR content support, the display is also certified VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black, Dolby Vision and is Pantone Validated, assuring accurate colour and high dynamic contrast. 

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

I also need to mention that for different tasks or preferences, the new Zenbook series supports a customizable colour gamut function, allowing users to switch the display’s colour gamut quickly and easily. The default setting is the ultra-vivid native colour, and users can switch to other settings via the Splendid page in MyASUS. The colour gamut of sRGB is for creating web content or browsing, DCI-P3 is for cinema content, and Display P3 is for movie-grade colours finessed to fit everyday viewing in the real world.

I love the keyboard. Asus keyboards are actually always my favourites. The keys on the Zenbook S 13 OLED are so wide and quiet with such a satisfying click. The font is quite large and easy to read and is backlit for convenient typing in dark environments such as flights or when Kenya Power does that thing. The touchpad is still fairly big quite tall. 

Asus has also continued to be very generous with the ports on the Zenbook S 13 OLED. We are getting two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports (allowing for the connection of a 4K external display). Each Thunderbolt 4 port can support up to 40 Gbps data bandwidth, DisplayPort, and Power Delivery. In addition, it also offers a full-sized HDMI 2.1 (TMDS) port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, and an audio combo jack. Both of the USB-C ports are on the left side.

When it comes to the battery, the Zenbook S 13 OLED features a 63Wh battery, which should give you up to 14 hours of battery life. The laptop also supports USB-C Easy Charge, which means you can juice up the laptop with a wide range of standard USB-C chargers (5-20 V), including portable chargers and power banks. They won’t really be fast though because this option only supports 4.5-watt. But again, this is good for people like me who always keep forgetting to carry their chargers. 

Inside the Zenbook is Intel’s brand-new 13th Gen Core i7-1355U which gets everything done just fine. Nothing really to complain about here.

13th Gen Intel Core processors feature an unprecedented new hybrid architecture, which offers a unique combination of Performance and Efficient cores (P-core and E-core). This translates to some good performance, intuitively scaled to match whatever you’re doing. 

The laptop comes with 32GB of RAM (LPDDR5) and 1TB of storage. 

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Specifications

CPU  Intel  Core  i7-1355U / Intel® Core™ i5-1335U 
Display options  13.3” 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display

 Four-sided NanoEdge with 85% screen-to-body ratio

 550-nits™ peak brightness

100% DCI-P3

DisplayHDR™ 500 True Black

Dolby Vision

Operating system  Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Home
Graphics  Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Main memory  Up to 32 GB 5200 MHz LPDDR5 (onboard)
Storage  Up to 1 TB PCIe® 4.0 x4 NVMe® M.2 SSD
Connectivity  Dual-band WiFi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth® 5.2
Camera  ASUS AiSense Camera 

FHD 3DNR IR camera with ambient light and color sensor

I/O ports  2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C® with full-range charging (5–20 V)

1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A

1 x standard HDMI® 2.1 (TMDS)

1 x combo audio jack

Touchpad ASUS ErgoSense TouchPad
Audio  2 built-in speakers /Harman Kardon®-certified/Dolby Atmos® sound system

Built-in array microphone

Battery  63 Wh lithium-polymer battery
AC adapter  65 W Type-C® power adapter (output: 20 V DC, 100 W; input: 100–240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal)
Dimensions  296.2 x 216.3 x 10.9 mm
Weight  1 kg (approx.)

Bottomline, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED is an impressive piece of tech. The performance impression is good and the OLED display and battery life are quite satisfying.

Locally you can buy for (TBA).

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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