ASUS Laptop Review Asus Zenbook S13 OLED

To power its latest ultrabook, Asus has chosen its side. The manufacturer relied on AMD and its latest Ryzen 7 6800U processor. Is this choice the right one? The answer in this test.

Summary

  • Features of Asus ZenBook S13 OLED
  • Design and ergonomics, with Asus it’s always a success
  • An OLED screen, tactile and… brilliant
  • Performance, don’t let its size fool you
  • Autonomy, at the top of the curve

Available since August for €1,499, this S13 OLED is the star ultrabook in Asus’ back-to-school catalog. To begin with, as the name suggests, its screen is OLED, but also tactile and high definition (2.8K). Then, under its hood, there are very recent AMD components, the Ryzen 7 6800U CPU, which inaugurates a brand new graphics part, the Radeon 680M. Finally, its ultra-compact format opens the doors to light and relaxed nomadism.

Features of Asus ZenBook S13 OLED

screen size 13.3 inches
Screen type OLED
Screen definition 2880×1800 pixels
Refresh rate 60 Hz
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
Graphics card AMD Radeon Graphics 680M
ram 16 GB DDR5
Storage 1 TB NVMe SSD
plug 3 USB C 3.2 Gen 2, 1 connector
Dimensions 29 x 21 x 1.49 cm
Weight 1 kg

Design and ergonomics, with Asus it’s always a success

In this regard, the Taiwanese manufacturer has rarely disappointed us. This S13 OLED will not be an exception, here the assembly and manufacturing quality is remarkable. Thanks to its clean lines and aluminum and magnesium alloy chassis, the S13 clearly looks good. It will almost look a little severe if its leading edges, very slightly rounded, do not soften the whole thing. With its lacquer effect and its midnight blue color, it is visually sober while being elegant. As is often the case, this coating is often smeared with fingerprints, so it will be necessary to clean it from time to time.

Devilishly light at 1kg on the scale and thin at 1.49cm at its thickest, it has the ideal physique to be carried around all day. Identical to the 14 OLED, its metal hinge allows the panel to be unfolded up to 180°. Note that the latter is truly premium and exudes solidity.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

Once opened, we discover an extended keyboard which offers very pleasant typing comfort. The latter also benefits from a multi-level backlight and a fingerprint reader located on the device’s power button. At the top of the screen is a 720P webcam, which is unfortunately not compatible with Windows Hello. The numeric keypad benefits from all the know-how of Asus, it is wide, comfortable and responsive even in the corners. As with many Taiwanese products, this trackpad turns into a numeric keypad at our request. A habit that Asus has done well to adopt, as this trick can sometimes save us time.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

Finally, he has only one flaw, namely his attributes. Its finesse and compactness strip it a little in context. On the left there is a USB C 3.2 Gen 2 port and the air vents and on the right two new USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, as well as a jack port. No HDMI, USB-A or microSD card reader, too bad.

An OLED screen, tactile and… brilliant

OLED sauce, Asus’ specialty. This S13 therefore offers a 13.3-inch 10-bit OLED screen (2880 x 1800 pixels) with an aspect ratio of 16:10. A relationship that we appreciate better on small formats, especially for work and surfing the web. The colorimetry is not particularly striking, it is sometimes felt on the reds. For more faithful color reproduction, we advise you to take a look at the MyAsus assistant, which offers other modes, including a manual one. In addition, the screen is tactile, which is convenient for saving time on certain activities.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

According to our calculations, the maximum brightness does not exceed 360 cd/m². If indoors this is not too much of a problem, outdoors it was impossible for us to work properly. Because of this brightness, just average, but above all because of the brightness of the panel, a recurring defect with OLED technology. It’s also a shame that the refresh rate was stuck at 60Hz, especially considering the price.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

A fast mode on the sound part which is of good quality. However, we expected the worst with speakers placed below the device. And yet… The sound is powerful and relatively balanced. Due to its compactness, the basses are logically set back, indirectly sublimating the mids. Also note that this S13 can easily push decibels up to 80% without suffering from distortion. All good.

Performance, don’t let its size fool you

Here is the object of all our curiosities. This S13 is therefore equipped with the newer AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, a processor based on the Zen3+ architecture. This consists of eight hyperthreaded cores clocked at 2.7 GHz and can go up to 4.7 GHz. For our test configuration, this processor is supported by 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1 TB of M.2 NVMe SSD storage in PCIe 4.0. This little armada really powers the S13 OLED, as seen on our Cinebench R23 benchmark.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

Considering its size, whether multi-core or single-core, the processor delivers remarkable results. The S13 is ready to accompany you daily without strain and with remarkable agility. Furthermore, in the comparison game, AMD does much better here than its direct competitor, Intel’s Core i7-1260P, in all multicore tasks.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

On the graphics card side, we are counting on iGPU Radeon 680M here. Although the S13 OLED is not predestined for gaming, this integrated graphics chip does quite well for occasional entertainment. On Fortnite, at 60 FPS and with graphics set to “Medium” mode, the ultrabook remains stable and hardly heats up even after a good hour of play. For even more demanding licenses, such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Cyberpunk 2077, impossible to exceed the minimum level of graphics under penalty to see the frame rate drop dramatically.

We’re not worth too much on this S13, its ambition has never been video games. On the other hand, for cloud gaming or really low consumption free-to-play licenses, run young. The S13 ran our midday game of Rocket League at the office without issue.

Autonomy, at the top of the curve

As said at the start of the test, the S13 is designed to be taken anywhere without any hassle. It must be said that with its dimensions (29×21 cm), the machine is almost identical in size to A4 sheets. In a tote bag, a bag or a purse, it will be discreet. Especially since its charging block, a 65 W USB-C is also quite light, about 225 grams.

Test of the ZenBook S13 OLED, the new ultraportable from Asus borders on perfection

Equipped with a 67 Wh Li-ion battery, the S13 OLED ranks among the best ultrabooks in terms of battery life. During a day at the office, we monopolized its power for office automation, audio streaming, two video conferences and web research. At the end of the day, two hours of extra Netflix didn’t cut it. The device can last between 10 and 13 hours on average before giving up. It is an ideal companion for people who often travel on business. To fully regain strength, it takes about 1h30, which is also noticeable.

Conclusion

Strong points

  • A serious design
  • A mobile compact format
  • Performance ready for versatility
  • Excellent autonomy

Weak points

  • Lots of reflections on the screen
  • Limited connection

With its impeccable design, its ultra-mobile format and its excellent autonomy, the S13 is cut to accompany you everywhere – on the go, on vacation, in the office, in class – while being able to meet most of your needs. Despite its contained format, the Ryzen 7 6800U chip gives the device enough power to even afford the luxury of gaming from time to time. This S13 will also be a good companion to entertain you, especially thanks to its convincing sound part and its OLED screen, although it requires a very small manual calibration effort. Like many of its friends under OLED, unfortunately its panel makes friends with a certain reflectance, this is the only major fault we can find in it. To kid you, we could also blame it on a little bit of poor connectivity, and again, it’s an ultrabook…

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