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

The new ZenBook design is successful.

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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 flat 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 to take advantage of the benefits of this technology, which is deep black and flawless response.

This new ZenBook is above all one of the first ultrabooks on the market to send an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U carved in 6 nm. If this carving excellence gives it an improvement in performance and a reduction in consumption, we especially remember that it allows the integration of AMD with an RDNA2 type graphics chipset, such as the Radeon RX 6000, instead of the aging Vega architecture.

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

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

building

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

The chrome hinge that makes up the entire width of the PC is clearly part of it, while we notice the side air outlet located on the left of the chassis. The whole is strong and harmonious. The downside, the shell easily attracts fingerprints and cleaning with a microfiber cloth is not enough, as our photos show.

asus zenbook s 13 oled

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

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A notch in front of the touchpad allows you to grab the screen with one finger; however, opening it usually requires the use of two hands. When the machine is open, we find the same design as the outside with a shiny slab (because the screen is touch sensitive), excluding a keyboard with black keys and the numeric keypad with the manufacturer’s NumPad function, which shows. a numeric keypad.

asus zenbook s 13 oled numpad touchpad keyboard

The ZenBook S 13 Oled embeds the NumPad that Asus loves.

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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 count the fingerprint from the beginning to connect the user directly to the Windows logon, as if there was nothing.

The touchpad is a bit difficult to drag and drop. However, it is very pleasant to use with a smooth glide and the movements of Windows are fully considered.

asus zenbook s 13 oled usb-c jack

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

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The ZenBook S 13 Oled connection is limited to one jack and three USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gb/s) ports. It is possible to connect a screen through DisplayPort support, or a charger with Power Delivery protocol. Asus, on the other hand, does not care about the HDMI port and the card reader, which are very useful and present in 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 good light conditions.



In the shade.


Good light.

The cooling of the Ryzen 7 6800U is provided by a fan, a heat pipe and a radiator. Under our thermal camera, the right side of the keyboard heats up to over 48°C after encoding for 15 min. The keys located above the fan take advantage of the airflow to not exceed 36°C. This heating can be limited by Asus by increasing the fan speed which remains quite reasonable with 34.6 dB recorded. Therefore it is 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.

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To access the ZenBook S 13 Oled components, you need to unscrew nine Torx screws, two of which are hidden under the non-slip pads. The shell then comes off 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 repair 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.

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Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Manifesting

The ZenBook S 13 Oled (UM5302TA) is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor. It is based on the Zen3+ architecture and features the new Radeon 680M graphics chipset derived from the RDNA2 cores of the Radeon RX 6000. The Ryzen 7 6800U has eight hyperthreaded cores clocked at 2.7 GHz and sometimes reaches 4.7 GHz, everyone has an envelope. varies from 15 to 28 W. Asus has set 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 in the ZenBook S 13 Oled is the same as the MacBook Air M2.

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

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

A quick word on the Radeon 680M graphics part, because we’ll have a chance to come back to it. We launched Diablo 3 in Full HD with all details set to maximum, and we reached 65 fps. on Be careful with details in “high” mode, the ultrabook goes up to 124 fps. For comparison, it is double the ZenBook 13 Oled (UM325UA) with Ryzen 5 5500U and its Vega graphics.

In the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1920 x 1200 pixels, the ZenBook S 13 Oled captures the same number of frames per second as the Apple MacBook Air M2: 16 fps with 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 component integrated into the processor.

Asus zenbook S 13 oled shadow of the tomb raider

Thanks to its integrated Radeon 680M chipset, we were surprised at the launch of some games.

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The SSD in the ZenBook S 13 Oled is a Samsung PM9A1, itself a variant of the 980 Pro. Mounted on the ZenBook, it provides a speed of 3.4 GB / s for reading and writing, far from the 6.9 GB / s for reading and 5 GB / s for writing that should be obtained, such as the Dell XPS 13 Plus. However, it has no effect on daily use.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

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

screen oled asus zenbook s 13 oled

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

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

The only negative point of this screen, its reflectance is measured at 51.7%. The ZenBook S 13 Oled does not seem to use 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 appear on the screen during dark scenes; otherwise the slab will show its surroundings, especially near a window. Not the brightness measured at 375 cd / m² will change much, and it is useless to think about working correctly outside the ZenBook S 13 Oled. Note that the panel is HDR compatible and reaches 567 cd/m² peak. However, you 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 combination is sound reproduction. The latter actually depends on the support where the laptop is placed, and the placement of the hands on the keyboard covers the speakers, thus changing their interpretation.

Listening, interpreting is absolutely banal. The number is decent, but the entire spectrum is tight in the middle. In the Dolby Access software suite that comes with ZenBook, we advise you to deactivate all enhancements 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.

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The headphone output offers good characteristics without major flaws, except for the lack of output power. High impedance headphones should 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

Activity / Autonomy

The ZenBook S 13 Oled is a true ultrabook by its size because it is a few millimeters closer to the same dimensions of an A4 sheet (29 x 21 cm) for 1.49 cm thick, all weighs a few kilos. . So it will find its place in your bag without any problem. The 65 W USB-C charger unit weighs 224 g and is easy to carry.

usb-c charger asus zenbook s 13 oled

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

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

Charging only takes an hour and a half to recharge the ZenBook S 13 Oled.

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

The ZenBook S 1 3Oled lets you approach your day peacefully away from a power outlet.

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