Posted on October 8, 2018 by Brad Moon
The ZenBook S arrived in premium packaging that made it clear this was not an everyday laptop. Inside was a gleaming slab of polished aluminum in an attractive Deep Dive Blue with “diamond cut” Rose Gold edges. ASUS says the ZenBook S unibody case goes through a 40-step process to get its spun-metal finish just right. It looks pretty smart, although fingerprints do show, so expect to be wiping this one frequently if you want it to always be gleaming.
Open the lid, and the top case plus an overhang rotate back, creating tilt for more comfortable typing that can be adjusted with the display angle. That 13.3-inch NanoEdge display is a beauty. The company recently released new laptops with even smaller bezels, but coming from a MacBook Air, the 0.2-inch borders around the ZenBook S screen seem tiny. The panel on my review units was a glossy, 4K UHD touchscreen version with stylus support. That gives it a 331 ppi pixel density and 85% screen-to body ratio.
The display also offers 178-degree viewing angles, 100% sRGB color gamut and a claimed 30% reduction in blue-light.
ASUS doesn’t scrimp on the components, either. The ZenBook S is no looker that lacks processing punch. My review unit was equipped with an 8th generation, quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. There was 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM on tap. Storage was a whopping 512GB, third generation PCIe SSD. In terms of ports, there were three USB-C. Two of these support Thunderbolt 3, and all three can be used for charging.
The ZenBook S is impressively sleek. This version weighed only 2.31 pounds and it’s just 0.51-inches at the thickest point. ASUS says the laptop can deliver up to 13.5 hours of use on a charge, but battery management would have to be pretty aggressive to hit those kind of numbers. I’ve found six…