Asus makes the Zenbook Line, they have big ones, they have small ones. Asus ZenBook S13 they’re latest thin and light Ultrabook and what makes this device special is the very thin bezels. So, this device has, what I think are, the thinnest bezels on an ultrabook. They’ve done it to fit a relatively large screen on a smaller chassis. So it is a 13.9-inch screen on a chassis that would traditionally only hold a 13-inch screen. So, it’s a bigger screen for a smaller footprint. Now the display itself is quite nice. It’s a 1080p screen, colour-accurate, very bright: 400 nits, it’s brighter than a lot of other 1080p screens I’ve used in the ultrabook market and because of the hinge it almost hides the bottom bezel completely and gives you very clean looking visuals.
The port selection is ok, there’s 2 USB-C, 1 USB-A. The USB-C does not support Thunderbolt 3, which is a bit of a shame, there are micro SD and a headphone jack. It’s the fact that they include a USB-C charger. All the older models have used a barrel plug which I hate for 2018 and 2019. They finally switched over to a regular USB-C like universal charging and that’s very nice.
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OK, keyboard, it lifts the back of the device, they call it ERGOlift when you lift it up, it’s about this tilt. Some people hate this, some people really like it, personally, I find it enjoyable, the tilt. It’s very slight, I know a lot of people are like, “Hey, you have tilted keyboards, it’s really annoying. It gives you carpal tunnel. It is such a slight tilt.
It’s probably like 2 or 3 degrees. It is very slight and I think for most people they will enjoy it but it’s something that you should probably try out in a store if you can before you commit to this keyboard. But the actual typing experience is good, Good layout, nice and spacious. The keystrokes are a little softer, the mechanism they’re using tends to bounce the key back up, it could be a little stiffer, but I think most people will get used to this easily.
Now the trackpad has Windows precision drivers. It’s a nice trackpad, but they have this option, where you can get an illuminated keypad on the trackpad. Now it looks really cool in pictures and videos, but, having used it in other devices that they make, it’s not as useful as you might think.
The reason that you’d want a number pad on a laptop is for speed of numerical inputs, right? You’d think that by pressing the numbers it’d be easier than using the numbers on the top of the keyboard.
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The CPU on this thing is the 8th gen Whisky Lake, it turbos a little bit faster than the last generation, but it’s still 8th gen CPU and it’s still a 4 core CPU. The GPU in here is an MX150, This particular unit, I believe is running a 25-watt version, it clocks pretty fast and the 3D mark scores in line with a 25-watt version, but, this is an engineering sample so I’m not sure how the retail units will play out. Despite the MX150, and a pretty powerful CPU, there is a relatively large drop on this device, and it’s the thermals.
Asus Zenbook S13 has two fans, and when it is idle the whole thing is pretty much silent, which is great. but even when running benchmarks it’s still very quiet, and it shouldn’t be, because the CPU in here, both CPU and GPU, are capable of pushing out a lot of performance, and a lot of heat.
The thing is, I ran some fan control apps. I ran some manual fan control software and the fans can get quite loud, and when they do, thermals are great. The problem is in its current state, there’s no way to control those fans through Asus’ software they don’t have any kind of fan control and I get it, it’s a Zenbook, it not a gaming device, but it’s capable of pushing out decent frame rates in games, but because of the thermal situation this is put in, it can’t. Now, I’m not sure if Asus is doing this because they don’t want it to get too loud for the user or they don’t want it to be too complicated to have users switch between fan profiles and stuff.
Battery & Speakers-
It’s a 50 watt-hour battery, I got a little less than 7 hours of battery life, with the screen at 250 nits. I feel like the retail version will probably tweak that a little bit better. In its current state, a little less than 7 hours. Speakers are good, they’re not amazingly positioned, they’re on the bottom, and because of the ERGO lift there’s a chamber of “emptiness” underneath that the sound kind of reverbs a little bit. it gets reasonably loud, but it’s not super clean audio.
Price of Asus Zenbook S13-
A device like this, if you’re interested in buying one is priced near ₹1.30 Lacs. The device, on the whole, great hardware, I just wish there was some kind of software for fan control so that for users who really want that extra kick out of their system, they could get it.
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