The Asus ZenBook S13 is the company's latest ultra-portable laptop, but this time sports a super thin bezel, compact design and enough power to work on the road. But is it any good? We've check it out at CES to find out.

Design

  • 13.9-inch LED-backlit IPS FHD (1080p) display with 400nits brightness
  • 2.5mm-thin bezel with 97% screen-to-body ratio
  • All metal body

Sporting a completely new all CNC-milled aluminium frame carved from a single block of metal, the key selling point here is the incredibly thin 2.5mm bezel around the 13.9-inch display. That move by Asus means that the company has managed to get a further .9-inches from the display in a chassis that would normally house just a 13-inch screen.

Despite the large screen, the device measures still a very 316 x 195 x 12.9mm.

Pocket-lintAsus ZenBook S13 laptop initial review image 4

Like smartphones with virtually no bezel the results look great. It's a noticeable difference from other laptops, and the previous ZenBook launched in 2018, on the market and one that is very much welcomed.

The super-thin bezel does mean there's no room for the top webcam though.

Other manufacturers normally solve this by putting the camera at the bottom, giving you a rather unflattering double chin experience when video calling, but not Asus.

Pocket-lintAsus ZenBook S13 laptop initial review image 5

It's opted for an inverse "notch" approach that sticks out of the top of the display instead. The upside, Asus tells Pocket-lint, is that you can use it as a lip to open the lid, and in the flesh we don't actually mind the design choice.

That's not the only stand out difference of the S13 compared to more conventional looking laptops. The hinge design means that the laptops keyboard is slightly angled with the display's frame dropping beneath the keys. It creates an air gap beneath the device which should help with cooling and by angling the keyboard should give you a more comfortable typing angle.

That keyboard is fairly comfortable to type on, although we aren't completely sure about the angle, and the trackpad, found beneath is both large and responsive. It also includes a fingerprint reader, which is strange place to put it rather than in the usual Power key as most manufacturers do. 

Power and performance

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U or i5-8265U
  • Up to Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics processing
  • Up to 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • Up to 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage

It's got the looks, and it's got the power too. Although we weren't able to test the Zenbook S13 at the show, reading the spec sheet will likely impress most people.

Powered by the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U or i5-8265U processors, the laptop will come with Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete graphics and offers up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. 

Pocket-lintAsus ZenBook S13 laptop initial review image 2

On the battery front, Asus is promising 15 hours, USB-C charging that should, the company claims, deliver half your battery fill in 49 minutes.

On the left side there are two USB-C ports and a MicroSD card slot, while the right features a USB-A port, yes you read that right. Bucking the trend of virtually every laptop maker in the last year, Asus is still happy to include a traditional USB socket, so you don't have to fully embrace a dongle life just yet.

First Impressions

While Asus hasn't detailed pricing yet in terms of design and looks the ZenBook S13 looks really nice. Nice like the Dell XPS range nice and we didn't expect to be saying that about the ZenBook.

We look forward to giving the laptop a proper run for its money when we get one in the office, but at first look we are mightily impressed.