With increasing demand for thin and powerful laptops, you need to know what is available on the market to choose from. The Asus S 13 OLED (UX5304) is the world’s slimmest OLED laptop and one of the latest ultraportable laptops from the company. The laptop will be available on pre-order from July 1st 2023 for Ksh 189,990. You will be able to get this laptop through Laptop Clinic, you can check that through this link.
This is a very thin and light laptop that weighs around 1 KG. This makes it perfect for those always working on the go. It can easily be used by professionals and creators alike as it is powerful and has a decent number of ports for most scenarios. I have had a chance to use this laptop and in this review I will share with you what it has to offer.
A portable and powerful laptop is always a plus these days, unlike back in the day when you had to choose between power and portability when choosing a laptop. You either had to get a powerful laptop that is not comfortable to carry around or a portable laptop that is not as powerful.
As we get to this review, let us first look at the key specifications of the Asus S 13 OLED (UX5304).
|CPU||13th Gen Intel Core i5/i7|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe (integrated)|
|Storage||512/1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch 2880 x 1800 OLED|
|Networking||Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211, Bluetooth 5.3|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1 (TDMS), 3.5 mm combo audio jack|
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro|
|Dimensions||(WxDxH) 11.6 x 8.52 x 0.43 inches (29.62 x 21.63 x 1.18 cm)|
|Price||Ksh Ksh 189,990. (Buy from Laptop Clinic)|
Design and Build
Asus has always nailed it when it comes to the design and build quality of its laptops and this one is not different. It is one of the best looking laptops I have seen this year and grabs attention every time I am using it out in public. The company says it used recycled materials for the outer shell of this laptop.
On the outer cover, there are silver lines running through for a more stylish look. This is unique and generally part of the design philosophy Asus was going for. With most other laptops on the market having the same look, incorporating a different style is always appreciated. The outer lid does not just look different, it feels different as well. The lid is not a fingerprint magnet like most metal or plastic laptop lids.
One of the things you will notice with this laptop and the lid is how thin it is. Asus says this is 25% thinner than previous models which were already thin. You have to see this laptop just to appreciate how thin and sturdy it is. Even though it is thin, it does not feel weak at all.
Being light and slim, the Asus S 13 OLED is very portable. You can throw it in your bag or just carry it around throughout the day without it weighing you down. Asus says it has used circuit boards with fewer layers and higher wiring density so as to have many more transistors for better performance and less weight in a compact space.
The variant I have for review has a color Asus is calling Basalt Grey which is inspired by stone formations.
The laptop has a 13.3 inch OLED display with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels. You will never go wrong with OLED displays as they provide very vivid colors and as for this laptop, it has a peak brightness of 550 nits. This means that it is exceptional when using outdoors or in bright environments. To put it into perspective, the MacBook Air M2 has a peak brightness of 489 nits.
This display is very vivid with very good saturation and since it is OLED, the blacks are very deep. If you are a content creator or watch videos on your laptop, the experience with this will be very good. I did watch a few videos on YouTube and Netflix and was impressed. It does offer a much better experience compared to the standard LCD panels we are used to.
Benefits of the OLED display on the Asus S 13 OLED
The OLED display has excellent color accuracy and reproduces a wide color gamut, resulting in vibrant and lifelike images. The self-emissive nature of OLED pixels allows for precise control over each subpixel and this helps with accurate color reproduction and enhances the overall visual experience.
Since this is an OLED display, it can produce deep blacks meaning that each individual pixel can completely turn off and emit no light when displaying black content. This is possible as OLED pixels are self-emissibe and thus generate light individually and can be controlled independently.
The display also supports wide viewing angles ensuring consistent image quality from various positions.
OLED displays are also energy-efficient compared to traditional LCD panels. Since the OLED pixels emit light individually, there is no need for a backlight to illuminate the entire display.
Performance and Power
The Asus S 13 OLED is powered by the 13th generation Intel Core processor. You can get it with the Intel Core i7-1355U processor or the Intel Core i5-1335U processor. Both these are performance beasts and will not disappoint no matter what you are doing with the laptop. The processor can handle heavy software without so much of a problem but keep in mind that the fans will get loud if you push it so hard.
The laptop does come with the Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated). This graphics card does allow you to connect to 4 different HDR displays at the same time, supports immersive gaming experiences, allows HD video streaming with Dolby Atmos support etc. If you want a high graphics performance, this is ideal for you.
For the RAM, there are different configurations as expected including 8, 16 and 32GB. The higher the RAM configuration you have, the better the multitasking experience and overall performance so choose wisely. I do a lot of multitasking and did not have any issue with the 8GB of RAM. I would however recommend the 16GB variant for most advanced users from content creators to programmers.
Storage options available range from 512 to 1TB SSD. I had the 512GB variant that should be good for most people. The responsiveness and writing speeds are quite good on the SSDs Asus has used and that helps with overall performance,
On the software side, the laptop comes with Windows 11 out of the box with a few additional software installed. I never have any issue with pre-installed software but some of them can be nugging. One such software in McAfee that I have never used.
The MyAsus app is also there and I am not sure if it’s me who can’t remember or the company has changed things since now you have to login to the app to use it. I am certain that in previous models I could use it without signing it. That is not a major issue as the app gives you access to some customization options including controlling the fan noise which by default is very loud.
Connectivity and Ports
Even though the Asus S 13 OLED is a very thin laptop, it does have a decent number of ports. The company has included a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port, HDMI 2.1 ports and two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports.
Having two Thunderbolt 4 ports ensures you can charge and still use the other port for data transfer. For a content creator, you can use one port to charge while you copy content from an external drive using the other port. Overall, the Thunderbolt ports allow:
- Faster data transfer speeds which can be useful for video editors who have larger files.
- Can be used for charging and even reverse charging a device that supports it.
- Can be used to connect to external monitors just like you would do with HDMI ports.
The USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port and HDMI 2.1 also help with data transfer and connecting to external monitors if you need to. I did not use these ports that much during my review but it is always good to have them in case you do.
For audio, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack included for that. This means that you can easily connect your headphones and get the best sound quality you need.
Connectivity Wise, this laptop has Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 and Bluetooth 5.3.
Camera and Audio
The Asus S 13 OLED has a 1080p camera which is quite good for video conferencing and even content creation. Laptop webcams are not known to be good but this one is perfect. The quality is great and will not disappoint you. I used it a couple of times and cannot complain. This camera supports AiSense that makes sure that you always look your best during virtual conferences. It does this through a number of features including blurring the background, corrects the lighting, motion tracking etc. The camera also supports Windows Hello.
The speakers on this laptop are very good. The sound is balanced and even at high volume, it was very clear. It was not rich in bass but that is not something we really expect on a laptop. The laptop supports Dolby Atmos for improved audio performance.
With the Asus S 13 OLED, we are getting a 63 WHr battery that lasts an entire day on a single charge. If you are planning to run heavy software such as Adobe Premiere or others, the battery life may be shorter than that. For most people using it for work or other light tasks, getting it to last an entire day is not a problem. I mostly used it for web browsing, emails, writing, zoom meetings etc. I didn;t run heavy software and that is why I can get the battery to last the whole day.
The battery supports fast charging and Asus says you can get it from 0 to 70% in 49 minutes. This is true but I got it to 70% for slightly more than 50 minutes. That is still quick though considering that with 70%, I can use the laptop for the whole day at work.
The Asus S 13 OLED (UX5304) is one that surprised me. Considering how thin it was, I was not expecting much in terms of performance. I was surprised as it was more than good. The design and build quality also impressed me and it is refreshing to see this on a laptop. I was also impressed with the ports available on this laptop, it has a decent number of ports compared to some other laptops that are specifically meant for creators. Battery life is also impressive considering how thin and powerful this laptop is.
The one area that should be improved is with the software out of the box. Some of them are quite annoying and might affect the user experience. I would also love to be able to use the MyAsus app, or rather access some of its features such as controlling the fan noise , without logging in to the app. Some of these are just simple things that you may want to change without being forced to sign in.
Having used the laptop for a while, I can say it is perfect for anyone but especially for professionals and content creators. The decent number of ports and performance makes it worth having, At Ksh Ksh 189,990, it is not cheap but definitely worth having. If you buy this laptop, I would suggest the 16GB RAM variant with 512GB of space.