Asus ZenBook S first look review: Ultraportable, ultra lovely


Ah, Asus, with this thin and light laptop you are surely spoiling us. In amongst the seemingly never-ending barrage of laptop-based launches from Asus in Computex comes yet another lovely, lithe ultraportable – the ZenBook S.READ NEXT: The best laptops you can buy right nowAsus ZenBook S first look: SpecificationsIntel Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U processors 8GB/16GB LPDDR3 RAM13.3in Full HD non-touch, glossy | 13.3in Full HD non-touch, matte (Blue model only) | 13.3in 4K touchscreen, glossy | 100% sRGB | 178-degree viewing angleIntel UHD 620 graphics256GB SATA SSD | 512GB/1TB PCIe x4 SSD802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.22 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (All support charging, data, display)50Wh battery | Harman Kardon stereo speakers | Windows 10 Home | Windows 10 ProDimensions: 311 x 213 x 12.9mm | Weight: 1kg (with anti-glare display), 1.05kg (with glossy display)Release date TBCPrice TBCAsus ZenBook S first look: What you need to knowIf you were wanting an ultraportable that’s just a little bit different to everything else out there, then the ZenBook S is probably right up your street. Measuring 12.9mm thick, and weighing in at just 1kg, this is a thin and light laptop which also has what it takes to survive the rough and tumble of daily life – the design meets MIL-STD-810G standards, so if you’re just the kind of person who subjects your laptop to a barrage of extreme abuse on a daily basis, there’s a good chance the ZenBook S might live to tell the tale. You get to take your pick between the all-metal ZenBook S in ‘Deep Dive Blue’ or ‘Burgundy Red’, and the design is strikingly different to most laptops. Tilt back the screen, and the offset ErgoLift hinge tilts the keyboard up by 5 degrees – this apparently is intended to make it more comfortable to type on, and it certainly felt that way in our brief time with the laptop.Another benefit of that hinge is cooling. As it raises the rear of the laptop off the desk, or off your lap, it helps to maintain airflow and keep the Core i5 or Core i7 8th Gen U-Series processors running at maximum performance.As to whether you opt for a slower 256GB SATA SSD or a super-nippy PCIe x4 SSD, however, is entirely down to the health of your bank balance.Connectivity is pretty competitive for such a slender laptop, too. A pair of USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3, and there’s a further Gen 1 Type-C port for good measure. And as every port supports charging, data and display duties, you shouldn’t find yourself needing to juggle cables.Needless to say, the 4K touchscreen on the demonstration units looked gorgeous too. With super slender 5.9mm bezels and a claimed 100% sRGB coverage, it’s a bit of a show stopper. And again, if you simply can’t afford the 4K model, or just can’t stand the idea of a glossy display, you can pick between Full HD matte or glossy non-touch displays on cheaper versions.Asus ZenBook S first look: Early verdictWith no confirmed price or release date, it’s little too early to call it – but the ZenBook S certainly looks like it might be another laptop for our Christmas list. Whether the super slender chassis and Intel U-Series processors can manage to balance ergonomics, performance and battery life waits to be seen, but we look forward to finding out.

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