Reviews

Asus Zenbook S 13 Oled (UM5302) test: our opinion

It’s not easy to find an ultralight and durable laptop. Asus has achieved this with the Zenbook S 13 Oled. This ultraportable 13.3inch laptop weighs just one kilogram and is lighter than the MacBook Air (M1 and M2) and is ideal for carrying in a backpack or briefcase. Despite this compactness, Asus has managed to integrate a spacious keyboard and a large touchpad that turns into a numeric keypad when needed. The 2.8K OLED touchscreen is ideal for work, entertainment and creative pursuits. And while Oled panels usually affect battery life, this is not the case here, as the Zenbook S 13 Oled lasted over 12 hours during our video streaming test.

Overall performance is excellent with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor paired with 16GB of DDR5 memory and an equally fast 1TB SSD. Enough to compete with other benchmarks in its category such as the MacBook Air M2, Dell XPS 13 Plus, and Acer Swift 5. The problem is that these components generate a lot of heat, and even at maximum load, the fan part of the Zenbook S 13 makes your knees burn. In addition, when you need the full power of this machine, it is advisable to use it on the table.

With an ultralight magnesium and aluminum alloy body, OLED screen and stateoftheart components, the Zenbook S 13 is a topoftheline model that retails for €1,499. If you’re willing to compromise on size, weight, and battery life, the 14inch HP Pavilion Plus will save you several hundred dollars.

Asus always does a great job of making their computers stand out with exclusive features. This is especially true for NumberPad 2.0, which turns the touchpad into a numeric keypad when you tap the calculator icon in the top right. Very handy for quickly entering numbers or performing calculations. Also, the software knows the difference between entering numbers and using the touchpad, so there is no need to turn this feature on or off.

There is also the Asus GlideX app that extends the Zenbook screen to an Android tablet or smartphone, iPhone or iPad, wired or wireless. The option also allows you to use mobile apps on the Zenbook screen.

In addition, the Zenbook S 13 Oled has keyboard shortcuts in the function row to take screenshots and instantly mute the microphones and webcam to protect privacy. Too bad the camera is limited to 720p as more expensive laptops have moved to 1080p. However, the image quality is quite good. And the speakers are surprisingly good thanks to Dolby Atmos.

There are other nice touches too, like a fingerprint reader built into the power button, stylus support, a USBC to USBA adapter, and a carrying case. The ultracompact 65watt USBC fastcharging adapter is another plus, though like a laptop, it does get quite warm during use.

Conclusion

The Asus Zenbook S 13 Oled is an excellent ultraportable laptop. If you’re looking for something lighter than the MacBook Air, with a wide color gamut display, great performance, long battery life, and plenty of handy features, then this is the obvious choice.




CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance / Image: Josh Goldman/CNET




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