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ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Review: Ultra-Light Laptops Done Right

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) offers a great balance between portability, power, efficiency and style

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

When it comes to thin and light laptops, manufacturers often had to make compromises. This pretty much boils down to physics, and in order to cram so much computer hardware into a tiny chassis, they were either too slow, too loud, or too hot.

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) was recently introduced as the world’s slimmest OLED ultra-light laptop, boasting up to a 13th Gen Intel i7-1355U processor in a chassis measuring only 1cm thick and weighing only 1kg. While it is not the most powerful laptop for your money, there are some compelling reasons to own this instead of its larger counterparts.

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1335U
Intel Core i7-1355U
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
Display13.3-inch, 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED
16:10 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time
60Hz refresh rate
550 HDR peak brightness
100% DCI-P3 color gamut,
VESA CERTIFIED Display
HDR True Black 500
Pantone Validated
Memory16GB LPDDR5 dual channel
Battery63Whr
StorageUp 1TB NVME PCIe 3.0 SSD
Camera and sensorsFHD camera with IR function to support Windows Hello
Dimensions (H x W x D)29.62 x 21.63 x 1.09 ~ 1.18 cm
Weight1kg
ColorPonder Blue / Basalt Grey
ConnectivityWiFi 6E, dual band 2×2
Bluetooth 5.3
I/O Ports1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x Thunderbolt 4 supports display / power delivery
1x HDMI 2.1 TMDS
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Design

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

ASUS has started to introduce a new look for the 2023 Zenbook series which features the company’s monogram cut-out. It was first introduced in the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED (UX3404), and that design has largely been carried over to the Zenbook S 13 OLED as well and is available in Ponder Blue and Basalt Grey colourways.

The Zenbook S 13 OLED is a premium product, with the build quality and price point to match. It looks and feels premium, and every aspect of it feels well-built. ASUS has also used a more environmentally sustainably approach, using recycled materials for the chassis and packaging, which is a nice touch.

While the I/O options are fairly basic due to the form factor, you do get the essentials. The left houses a HDMI 2.1 port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports, with the latter supporting display output and power delivery. Either one of the ports can be used for charging, however once plugged in, you are left with only one Thunderbolt / USB Type-C port available. On the right, you will find a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A port and a headset combo jack.

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

The display has a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels with a 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut with fairly thin bezels at all sides. The hinge is designed to raise the laptop feet when opened to improve airflow without adding additional bulk.

The chassis feels sturdy thanks to the magnesium-aluminium alloy construction for the keyboard deck. And speaking of keyboards, you get a backlit chiclet keyboard and a large trackpad. One thing to note about the trackpad is that has the same size as its larger Vivobook siblings.

Display

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

Just like the Zenbook 14X OLED, the Zenbook S 13 OLED uses a 2.8K OLED display. However, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz and is not as bright, capping at 550 nits peak brightness. That being said, it is still bright enough for most occasions, save for viewing it directly under sunlight.

The colours are vivid without looking overly saturated, and contrast ratio is excellent as well. While there are no official Delta E figures, ASUS has opted for Pantone validation for creative professionals who need a colour accurate display.

User Experience

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

Keyboard

ASUS has done a good job at minimising key wobble for their Zenbook lineup. I also appreciate the fact that the keyboard is still well spaced apart and refined, despite being smaller than thinner than other Zenbooks.

I find myself enjoying the typing experience on the Zenbook S 13 OLED, as it didn’t feel mushy at all. The keyboard is also silent, making it a great option for working in shared offices or cafes.

Trackpad

ASUS managed to incorporate at large trackpad into a tiny chassis, and it felt smooth to the touch. It is quite resistant to fingerprints and oils too. However, it does not have the numpad feature found on the Zenbook 14X OLED, which I think is a missed opportunity really.

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ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Review: Ultra-Light Laptops Done Right 5

Webcam

The webcam quality is just run of the mill. It does a reasonable job for video calls and online meetings, but nothing more. It does however, supports Windows Hello if you like to use facial recognition to sign in.

Speakers

The Zenbook S 13 OLED is equipped with down-firing stereo speakers. Being an ultralight, it can get reasonably loud with good mids and highs. The mid-bass isn’t great and sounds quite flat. At maximum volume the speakers start to struggle and will sound a bit muddy.

Performance

Our review sample is equipped with the Intel i7-1355U processor with 2 P-cores and 8 E-cores. The processor is more geared towards efficiency rather than performance, and the power draw is capped at around 40 watts.

On Cinebench R23, the Zenbook S 13 OLED scored 5,182 points for multi-core, and 1,536 points for single core. On CPU-ID’s benchmark, it scored 3,597.7 and 547.8 points for multi-core and single core respectively. While the scores are not mind-blowing, it is still respectable considering that it is an ultralight.

Thermals

During my day-to-day use, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED hovered between 50 – 55 degrees. However, when running the benchmarks, I noticed the fans ramps up aggressively when the laptop hit the 60-degree mark. Even so, thermals hovered around 70 – 73 degrees.

Battery Life

ASUS has marketed the Zenbook S 13 OLED to have a 14-hour battery life. In order for me to get anywhere near the 14-hour mark, I had to use every battery-saving measure I can think of, such as using power saver mode, reducing the brightness to about 30% and so on.

Taking a more reasonable usage scenario into considering, I tested using balanced mode with brightness set to 50%. It managed to last about 6 – 7 hours under moderate loads, which is quite impressive really. For the sake of comparison, my 2022 Vivobook only managed 3 and a half hours under similar conditions.

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ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Review: Ultra-Light Laptops Done Right 5

Final Verdict

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Review

4 / 5The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) offers a great balance between portability, power, efficiency and style.

While it is not the most powerful laptop you can get for your money, it has a premium build, light weight, and compact form factor, making it a great option for those who are always on the go. It is also incredibly efficient, slowly sipping power to offer a great battery life.

If you are a looking for an ultra-portable laptop that also offers a decent amount of performance, you really can’t go wrong with the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED.

To learn more about the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED, please visit the official product page here.

Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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