ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED (2023) review: Is it worth it? Know Everything Here
If you are looking for a reliable, thin & light laptop for everyday usage, you will have very few options that will suit your needs. Among them, MacBooks have clearly been the number one choice for a lot of users, but if you love Windows laptops then the new 2023 ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED is a clear choice for you.
The Asus Zenbook S13 OLED weighs just 1 kg and measures 1cm thin, making it even lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air. However, it’s common for ultrabooks to sacrifice performance in order to maintain a sleek and lightweight design, however, battery life is a priority for these laptops to deliver with efficient chips inside.
With the Asus ZenBook S13 OLED, does it follow the same pattern? How does it perform now that Asus has transitioned from the efficient AMD Ryzen 6000 series, which we declared one of the best last year, to Intel’s Raptor Lake processor? Is it efficient enough to last you through a full day of work? To find out, we extensively used the Zenbook S13 OLED as our primary work laptop for over two weeks so that you can take the decision:
ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED Specifications
This is the top-of-the-line unit that has been sent for review retailing for ₹1,55,990, a price similar to the MacBook Air but as a Windows laptop this has a lot to offer:
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1355U Processor 1.7 GHz (12MB Cache, up to 5.0 GHz, 10 cores, 12 Threads)
- Memory: 16GB LPDDR5 6400MHz on board with | Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 Performance SSD
- Display: 13.3-inch (33.78 cm) 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED 16:10 aspect ratio, 60Hz refresh rate Display, 0.2ms response time 550nits HDR peak brightness VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500 100% DCI-P3 color gamut PANTONE Validated Glossy display
- Graphics: Integrated Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Operating System: Windows 11 Home with lifetime validity | Software Included: Pre-Installed Office Home and Student 2021 | 1-Year McAfee Anti-Virus
Design & Build Quality
When you are spending this much amount of money, the design and build quality of a premium notebook always takes a big role in deciding which product you want to buy. Crafted from a combination of magnesium and aluminium, the laptop’s frame achieves a delicate balance between weight and durability, ensuring it remains intact without compromising on sturdiness.
The Asus Zenbook S13 OLED is a truly attention-grabbing laptop that effortlessly blends into your bag without weighing you down. Weighing just 0.99 kilograms and measuring 1 centimetre thin, it’s an incredibly lightweight and portable option. The lid of the laptop features Asus’ unique “Plasma ceramic aluminium” coating with these design elements, giving it a premium look, and setting it apart from others.
Opening the lid is a breeze with just one hand, adding a touch of convenience to your user experience, akin to the effortless motion of opening an Apple MacBook Air. Overall, the Asus Zenbook S13 OLED combines style, portability, and resilience to deliver an impressive laptop experience that is sure to captivate.
One of the strongest points of ASUS for a few years now has been its mind-blowing OLED panels, they have become the champion of OLED laptops adopted very early, improving it with each generation. So, being their most premium everyday use laptop out there, this ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED has got the best to offer including a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display panel.
The display is very sharp, crisp and accurate, its friendly to the eyes (stopped using my reading glasses in front of this, yet had no problems) and of course, sleek bezels all around give a premium appeal to it. Whether you talk about the 16:10 aspect ratio or HDR True Black 500 support or the claimed 550nits HDR peak brightness or even an ultra-low 0.2ms response time, this is one of the best in the market.
In terms of everyday use of this laptop, the display is more than enough for most users as you also have support for Dolby Vision, making it ideal for media consumption as well. Also, to address the concern of screen burn-in commonly associated with OLEDs, Asus has incorporated several features into the Zenbook S13 OLED. These include pixel-shifting technology and a screensaver, aimed at mitigating the risk of burn-in and preserving the screen quality over time.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks worth mentioning. Firstly, the refresh rate of the display is limited to 60Hz, which occasionally results in a perceived sluggishness in the visual experience. Additionally, the brightness of the screen could have been improved, for the price ASUS is charging, as it falls short of providing adequate visibility under bright outdoor conditions.
In terms of performance, this thin and light ZenBook S13 OLED does boast the latest Core i7-1355U deca-core processor with up to 5.0 GHz in clock speeds and 32GB LPDDR5 RAM. This Raptor Lake chip is efficient when you are not doing heavy tasks and can give good battery life well, much better than last-gen to be honest, however, if you still push to performance mode you will hear a lot of fan noise.
The laptop does get heated up with heavy work which is very surprising to me considering there’s a fan built into it, so in terms of efficiency while doing work this Raptor Lake chip does fail to be silent as the MacBook does. This ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED gets heated up like a hot cake when pushed really hard and so, you cannot do extreme work on this one unless you want to bear with the heat and excessive fan noise.
However, if you are mostly into web browsing, Excel or Word stuff, this laptop works like a breeze, try to use standard mode for most work. If you will use Performance mode, here are some of the benchmarks which will give you an idea about its peak performance:
|PC Mark 10||4897|
|Geekbench 6 Single-Core||2541|
|Geekbench 6 Multi-Core||8880|
|Cinebench R20 Single-Core||591|
|Cinebench R20 Multi-Core||2285|
|Cinebench R23 Single-Core||1260|
|Cinebench R23 Multi-Core||4970|
As you see in the productivity benchmarks, the ZenBook S13 OLED does perform quite well but you have to bear the fan noise, but, in a thin and light form factor the CPU is quite powerful for daily tasks.
For the SSD speed, the 1TB Gen4 SSD here in the ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED goes up to 5791MB/s in read speeds and writes of up to 3618MB/s, decent enough I would say. Overall, there was not any lag in starting the laptop or using it daily, however, the peak performance could have been improved and will wait for Intel to make chips more efficient next-gen.
I/O & Connectivity
Here because of a sleek profile, though you expect only Type-C ports and nothing else, from last year I like the fact that ASUS manages to provide both an HDMI port and a USB Type-A on each side of this ZenBook S13 OLED which is an engineering marvel. Both Type-C is Thunderbolt 4 ports and can charge the laptop as well, so you are pretty much covered here and much better than MacBook Air’s I/O massacre.
In terms of connectivity, you get the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 combo for the best results in daily life, I never had any issues in terms of connecting my Bluetooth Mouse or Wi-Fi router. Also, you have a 3.5 mm combo audio jack at the right-hand side to attach headphones.
Audio & Webcam
In terms of audio, you have Dolby Atmos, Audio Booster, and Smart Amp for the best results, the speakers are pretty loud after the driver update, and you will enjoy listening to music or attending calls on this ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED directly. Also, you have the upgraded Full HD 3DNR web camera with an Infrared sensor and Windows Hello support for quick logins, the quality of the webcam is also quite good.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The keyboard layout or say design has changed a bit, with a compact layout and black elements, reminding me of the old MacBook designs. The keys have 1.1 mm key travel which is quite good and I was very comfortable typing things on it nevertheless with proper backlighting for night work.
The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED features the latest ASUS ErgoSense Touchpad with increased space, making it one of the largest in this regard. The design layout does remind me of a MacBook but in terms of usability, both keyword and trackpad are great for everyday work.
The new ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED has improved battery life with 13th Gen Intel chips, provided the laptop is doing basic work, you can get an average of 6-7 hours of actual battery life at 70% brightness which is great honestly. However, improvement could be done if Intel makes chips even more efficient to reach MacBook’s insane battery life.
In terms of charging, the 65-watt fast-charge adapter supplied with the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED does juice up the laptop pretty quickly, very much usable overall.
So, should you buy this new ASUS ZenBook S13 OLED for yourself well, if you are looking for a premium Windows laptop yes you should. With a sleek and light form factor, gorgeous OLED display, great design and good battery life, it is one of the best Windows laptops out there and is also very reliable most of the time.
Yes, it has its own cons as well like doing very heavy tasks but if you aren’t going to do such tasks this ASUS laptop is a great choice overall. In 2023 too, this laptop gives an ultrabook feeling which very few Windows laptops give in this price range but if you have the money to spend this is one of the best out there.
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