It captured a bright, well-exposed image in our dimly lit office, and its white balance and color reproduction were on point. Despite having below-average battery life, the ZenBook S is one of the best premium laptops for your money. There was even a light bass thump when I listened to Drake's "In My Feelings." The Dell XPS 13 (16:00), the Huawei MateBook X Pro (27:18) and the Apple MacBook Pro (16:57) trounced the ZenBook S. The ZenBook S isn't meant for gaming, but it can play less-demanding titles at low settings. When I watched a 1080p trailer of the upcoming Predator film, I could see individual strands of hair in Boyd Holbrook's beard, and the clarity of the extraterrestrial intruder made it especially terrifying. You'll notice the common touch-screen problem of mirror-glass reflections in dark areas and at extreme angles, but otherwise the panel is a pleasure to use, with richly saturated colors and high contrast. The angled keyboard on the ZenBook S felt more comfortable than the traditional flat keyboards I've used. That's not terrible—it should get you through an average workday—but it's not competitive with systems like the Spectre 13 ($1,499.77 at Amazon) (over 12 hours) or the amazing Lenovo Yoga 920 ($1,129.99 at Lenovo) (over 22 hours). HDMI and USB Type-A require use of (bundled) dongles. For $1,499, the 4K unit I reviewed came equipped with an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. With its quad-core, eight-thread Core i7 CPU and ample RAM and storage, the Asus went toe-to-toe with its peers in our performance benchmarks. That beats the premium laptop average (11,052) but loses to top competitors, like the Dell XPS 13 (14,180), the Huawei MateBook X Pro (12,913) and the Apple MacBook Pro (17,572). All in all, Asus put together a strong premium ultrabook with the ZenBook S UX391U. Again, that beats the premium laptop category average (306 nits) but falls short of the 4K Dell XPS 13 (415 nits), the Huawei MateBook X Pro (458 nits) and the Apple MacBook Pro (439 nits). It has better performance and longer battery life than the ZenBook S, but you'll need to throw down $1,999 for comparable specs. ZenBook series is always a stylish range of laptops but this laptop is styled so uniquely that you fall in love with this device on a very first look. New York, The total package is one of the most attractive I've seen, though the lid is prone to finger smudges. One drawback with the hinge is that a large gap forms between the deck and the display, forming a sanctuary for dust and dirt. We also suggest you consider the XPS 13. My only gripe with the key arrangement is that the power button occupies the Delete key's place in the top right corner, so I put the system to sleep several times before learning to aim a bit to the left. As expected for a system so slim, the ZenBook S is short on ports. Asus puts a USB Type-C-to-A dongle and a USB Type-C-to-HDMI dongle in the box. The Asus ZenBook S' battery life is below average. Although that surpasses our playability threshold of 30 fps, it falls below the Huawei MateBook X Pro (117 fps), the Dell XPS 13 (67 fps) and the MacBook Pro (47 fps). Laptop Mag is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Like other slimlines with integrated graphics, these laptops are suited for casual or browser-based games but not the latest top-tier titles. It played Dirt 3 at 1080p resolution at 45 frames per second. PCMag Digital Group. As I said, you'll spend $550 more to get an XPS 13 ($784.78 at Dell) with comparable specs, though the Razer Blade Stealth matches the ZenBook's price. On the lid is a gold Asus logo in the center of the company's signature texture of concentric circles. The ZenBook S is remarkably compact and lightweight. The keys remind me of those on the MacBook Pro, but better. My wrists were in a relaxed position, thanks to its gentle upward tilt. The Asus ZenBook S is priced to sell at $1,499 for a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The angled keyboard on the ZenBook S feels more comfortable than traditional flat keyboards like the MacBook Pro's. The dark-red color in my shirt was true, and my light skin tone was accurately captured. I found myself occasionally lifting my palms off the touchpad to prevent this problem. I achieved 115 words per minute at an accuracy of 96 percent in the 10fastfingers.com typing test. Some may vote for the swoopy stylings of gaming notebooks or the tapered slabs of desktop replacements, but most would agree that the prettiest portables are ultrabooks—elegantly thin, under-three-pound compacts like the rose-gold-and-white Dell XPS 13 or the ceramic-finish HP Spectre 13. The ZenBook S (UX391) is a particularly light 13.3-inch laptop from Asus. The ZenBook S was a bit sluggish in our Excel Macro stress test, which involves matching 65,000 names with their corresponding addresses. The ZenBook S' smooth touchpad is responsive. It's so small that my colleague glanced at it and assumed it was a 12-inch laptop. The category average is a smooth 69 fps. Thank you for signing up to Laptop Mag. MacBook Pro vs. MacBook Air: Which 13-Inch Apple Laptop Is Best for 2020? For performance context, I also mapped in a couple of other fellow travelers, namely the latest iteration of the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro 13-incher (which was stuffed to the brim with top-shelf components), as well as Lenovo's winning Yoga 920 ($1,129.99 at Lenovo) 2-in-1. MORE: Hey, Apple: Fix Your Crappy Keyboards or I'm Switching to Windows. Flash cards will require a separate, not-included one; the laptop's body has no SD or microSD card slot. Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. As expected from a laptop this small, the sound wasn't full, but I wouldn't consider it hollow, either. The ZenBook S completed the test in a leisurely 37 minutes and 51 seconds, which is significantly slower than the premium laptop average (22:15). With the back of the deck raised, the keyboard tilts upward at a 5.5-degree angle. For how bright the shot was, there was far too much visual noise, and details appeared blurry. On the left side is a single USB 3.1 Type-C port and LED indicators for battery life and power. At 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches, the ZenBook S is thinner but wider than the 13-inch MacBook Pro (12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) and the Huawei MateBook X Pro (12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches). Only the touchpad stayed cool at 87 degrees. Also, the keys are well-spaced (though a few are undersized). I was blown away by the display's vibrancy. The bottom lower-left side was the hottest location on the laptop, reaching 111 degrees, which exceeds our 95 degree comfort threshold. The hinge felt sturdy in our testing and the display wobbled only slightly when I tapped hard on the touch screen.
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