Asus ZenBook S 13 Oled test: the ultrabook that is an excellent student, but who thinks too much

Asus ZenBook S 13 Oled test: the ultrabook that is an excellent student, but who thinks too much

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The new ZenBook design is successful.

© The Digital

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The ZenBook S 13 Oled is the benchmark ultrabook from Asus. It benefits from a new design that abandons the brushed aluminum cover with concentric circles for a plain surface with a stylized “A”, all accompanied by an original hinge. Obviously, as its name suggests – and now an Asus trademark – this ZenBook is equipped with an Oled panel in order to take advantage of the benefits of this technology, namely deep black and flawless responsiveness.

This new ZenBook is above all one of the first ultrabooks on the market to ship an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U engraved in 6 nm. If this finesse of engraving gives it a performance gain and a drop in consumption, we will especially remember that it authorizes the integration by AMD of an RDNA2 type graphics chipset, as on the Radeon RX 6000, instead of of the aging Vega architecture.

The ZenBook S 13 Oled is already available from €1,499, accompanied by 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Construction

The chassis of the ZenBook S 13 Oled is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy, which gives it a weight of only 1 kg. Asus has returned to a more conventional design on its 2022 range and our model sports a midnight blue dress and an “A” on the shell with a selective varnish effect.

The chrome hinge making the entire width of the PC is obviously part of it, while we note the side air outlet located to the left of the chassis. The whole is sober and harmonious. Downside, the shell easily attracts fingerprints and cleaning with a microfiber cloth is not enough, as evidenced by our photos.

asus zenbook s13 oled

The ZenBook S 13 Oled sports a simple and successful design.

© The Digital

A notch on the front of the touchpad allows you to grab the screen with one finger; however, opening it will often require the use of both hands. Once the machine is open, we find the same design as on the outside with a glossy slab (since the screen is touch-sensitive), not to mention a keyboard with black keys and the numeric keypad equipped with the manufacturer’s NumPad function, which displays a numeric keypad.

asus zenbook s 13 oled numpad touchpad keyboard

The ZenBook S 13 Oled embeds the NumPad dear to Asus.

© The Digital

The backlit keyboard on three levels provides a pleasant and well marked typing. The power key has a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint reader, which will take into account the fingerprint from the start to connect the user directly to Windows logon, as if nothing ‘was.

The touchpad is a little hard to drag and drop. However, it is very pleasant to use with a smooth glide and Windows gestures are perfectly taken into account.

asus zenbook s 13 oled usb-c socket

Most of the connections are on the right side; on the left, we identify the air outlet.

© The Digital

The ZenBook S 13 Oled’s connectivity is limited to a jack and three USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gb/s) ports. It is possible to connect a screen via DisplayPort support, or a charger with the Power Delivery protocol. Asus, on the other hand, ignores the HDMI port and the card reader, which is very useful and present on the ZenBook 14 Oled.

Regarding wireless connectivity, the AMD RZ616 chip from MediaTek is compatible with wifi 6E at 2400 Mb/s and Bluetooth 5.2. The onboard 720p webcam offers a mediocre rendering, very noisy even in ideal light conditions.



In the shadow.


Good brightness.

The cooling of the Ryzen 7 6800U is provided by a single fan, a heat pipe and a radiator. Under our thermal camera, the right part of the keyboard heats up to just over 48°C after encoding for 15 min. The keys located above the fan take advantage of the airflow so as not to exceed 36°C. This heating could have been limited by Asus by increasing the speed of the fan which remains relatively discreet with 34.6 dB recorded. It will therefore be necessary to play with the cooling modes offered by the MyAsus software to improve this situation, but at the cost of noise pollution.

thermal imaging asus zenbook s 13 oled ryzen 7 6800U

In Balanced mode, the ZenBook S 13 Oled tends to heat up.

© The Digital

To access the components of the ZenBook S 13 Oled, you have to unscrew nine Torx screws, two of which are hidden under the non-slip pads. The shell then unclips very easily. The SSD, the wifi card and the battery are easily accessible and replaceable, only the RAM is soldered to the motherboard. The manufacturer claims a repairability index of 7.5/10 for this ZenBook S 13 Oled.

asus zenbook s 13 oled disassembled ssd open battery fan

The SSD, the wifi card and the battery are accessible.

© The Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Performances

The ZenBook S 13 Oled (UM5302TA) is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor. This is based on the Zen3+ architecture and features a brand new Radeon 680M graphics chipset derived from the RDNA2 cores of the Radeon RX 6000. The Ryzen 7 6800U features eight hyperthreaded cores clocked at 2.7 GHz and can occasionally reach 4.7 GHz , all with an envelope varying from 15 to 28 W. Asus has placed the limit at 28 W for more performance, but also more heat release, as we have seen.

Ryzen 7 6800U macbook air m2 asus zenbook s 13 oled dell xps 13 Plus i51240P i7-1260P i7-1280p

The Ryzen 7 6800U of the ZenBook S 13 Oled is on par with the MacBook Air M2.

© The Digital

The ZenBook S 13 Oled obtains a performance index of 111 with its Ryzen 7 6800U. It is thus placed in front of the MacBook Air M2 which obtains an index of 112. It does less well than the Framework Laptop with its Core i7-1280P, which benefits from the 20 logical cores of its processor for an index of 123, but better than the Core i5-1240P of the Dell XPS 13 Plus which has 16 logical cores, like the Ryzen 7 6800U.

In practice, during our encoding on all of its cores, the Ryzen 7 6800U mounted in the ZenBook S 13 Oled runs at 2.66 GHz with a boost of 4.46 GHz and an average envelope of 21 W.

A quick word on the Radeon 680M graphics part, since we will have the opportunity to come back to it. We launched Diablo 3 in Full HD with all details set to maximum, and we reached 65 fps. On Surveillance with details in “high” mode, the ultrabook peaks at 124 fps. For comparison, this is twice as much as the ZenBook 13 Oled (UM325UA) in Ryzen 5 5500U and its Vega graphics part.

On the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1920 x 1200 pixels, the ZenBook S 13 Oled obtains the same number of frames per second as the Apple MacBook Air M2: 16 fps with the settings set to “very high”. Switching to the “very low” setting results in 26 fps, which makes the game playable. A good performance for a graphics part integrated into the processor.

Asus zenbook S 13 oled shadow of the tomb raider

Thanks to its integrated Radeon 680M chipset, we are surprised to launch a few games.

© The Digital

The SSD of the ZenBook S 13 Oled is a Samsung PM9A1, itself a variant of the 980 Pro. Mounted on the ZenBook, it provides speeds of 3.4 GB / s in reading and writing, far from the 6.9 GB / s in reading and 5 GB / s in writing that it is supposed to obtain, as on the Dell XPS 13 More. However, this will have no impact in everyday use.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

Asus has integrated an Oled panel displaying 2880 x 1800 pixels in 16:10 format on this model. The refresh rate is “only” 60 Hz, while the ZenBook 14 Oled took advantage of a 90 Hz version. The finish of the panel is shiny, it benefits from a tactile overlay which we are struggling to understand usefulness on an ultrabook.

screen oled asus zenbook s 13 oled

A magnificent screen that only needs an anti-reflective filter to be perfect.

© The Digital

Under our probe, the colors returned turn out to be perfectly accurate with a delta E of 2, well below 3, the threshold from which drifts are visible to the naked eye. Thanks to the technology of its panel, the ZenBook S 13 Oled displays perfect blacks and flawless responsiveness. The color temperature is a bit high at 6830K, which is slightly above the 6500K video standard.

The only negative point of this screen, its reflectance measured at 51.7%. The ZenBook S 13 Oled does not seem to be equipped with an anti-reflective filter with an average of 51.7% of the light received reflected. In practice, when you watch a movie, you will see the keys reflected on the screen during dark scenes; otherwise the slab will reflect its surroundings, especially near a window. It is not the brightness measured at 375 cd / m² that will change much, and it is all in all useless to think about working properly outdoors with the ZenBook S 13 Oled. Note that the panel is HDR compatible and reaches 567 cd / m² peak. However, you will need to display HDR-compatible content and be connected to the mains to enjoy it.



Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

audio

The sound part of the ZenBook S 13 Oled consists of two speakers located under the chassis. The problem with this integration is the sound reproduction. The latter indeed depends on the support on which the laptop is placed, and the placement of the hands on the keyboard covers the speakers, thus altering their rendering.

Listening, the rendering is altogether banal. The volume is decent, but the whole spectrum is tight around the mids. In the Dolby Access software suite that accompanies the ZenBook, we advise you to deactivate all the improvements to enjoy the most neutral sound reproduction possible.

Asus zenbook S 13 oled speakers

Close-up of the right speaker of the ZenBook S 13 Oled.

© The Digital

The headphone output offers good characteristics without major flaws, except for this lack of output power. Headphones with a high impedance should therefore be avoided with this model.

Asus Zenbook S 13 Oled 2022 Average PCs tested
Output level 136mVRMS 157mVRMS
Distortion + noise 0.021% 0.014%
Dynamic range 92dB 100dB
Crosstalk -57dB -64dB
Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Mobility / Autonomy

The ZenBook S 13 Oled is a real ultrabook by its size since it is a few millimeters close to the same dimensions as an A4 sheet (29 x 21 cm) for 1.49 cm thick, all weighing a small kilogram. . It will therefore find its place in your bag without any problem. Its 65 W USB-C charger unit weighs only 224 g and can easily be transported.

usb-c charger asus zenbook s 13 oled

All that’s missing is a detachable cable for this charger to be perfect.

© The Digital

Autonomy is the nice surprise of this ZenBook S 13 Oled since we reached 11 h 47 min of use on our usual test protocol (Netflix under Chrome, screen set to 200 cd / m²). With its 67 Wh battery, it is therefore more enduring than its 14-inch counterpart, the ZenBook 14 Oled, equipped with an Intel Core i7-1260P. The MacBook Air M2 keeps the palm of efficiency with its 52.6 Wh battery.

Charging will take just under an hour and a half to get the ZenBook S 13 Oled back on its feet.

autonomy asus zenbook S 13 oled autonomy dell xps plus apple macbook air m2

The ZenBook S 1 3Oled allows you to approach your day serenely far from an electrical outlet.

© The Digital

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