ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304)


The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED embodies the perfect balance of performance, portability, and durability. With its slim and lightweight design, it effortlessly fits into any digital nomad's backpack.

What's Good?
  • Supreme portability
  • Tactile and comfortable typing experience
  • Impressive battery life
  • Surprisingly good performance
  • Sustainability and the value it carries
  • As fantastic a display as they come
What's Not?
  • Fans can get a bit noisy

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) is the 2023 refresh of a powerful digital nomad workhorse. With its upgraded Intel Core i7 processor, enhanced display, slimmer body, and lighter weight, it aims to deliver improved performance and user experience. But does it live up to these expectations? Priced at RM4999 and targeted towards the business world, can it successfully blend power and portability to meet the needs of modern digital nomads?

In this article, we will explore the remarkable features that distinguish the Zenbook S 13 OLED from its competitors and address the pressing questions surrounding its performance and capabilities. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the answers and discover why the Zenbook S 13 OLED is the ultimate solution for professionals and productivity enthusiasts who are always on the move.

What’s Good?

Supreme portability

Weight and thickness are key factors when determining the portability of a device. The size of the device often determines whether it can fit into your bag, while the weight indicates how long you can comfortably travel with it. The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED excels in these aspects, as it measures only 1cm at its thickest point and weighs a mere 1kg, making it incredibly easy to carry.

Furthermore, the Zenbook S 13 OLED supports PD charging, which allows it to share its charge with your phone and other USB Type-C devices. This means you only need to carry one charger or even a power bank, further simplifying your setup and reducing weight. Additionally, this feature extends the battery life of the Zenbook S 13 OLED , making it even more convenient and portable for extended usage.

By combining its slim profile, lightweight design, and PD charging capability, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED proves to be an ideal companion for individuals who prioritize mobility without compromising on performance.

Tactile and comfortable typing experience

When it comes to a laptop that is only 1cm thick, one might expect compromises in the keyboard department. However, the keyboard on the Zenbook S 13 OLED defies expectations by offering a remarkable typing experience with tall, mechanical-like feedback and excellent responsiveness. In fact, it stands out as one of the best keyboards I have personally experienced so far in 2023.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

Let’s delve into the details. Despite the slim profile, the keys are positioned within a shallow ditch and rise a few millimeters above it. This seemingly minor adjustment makes a significant difference in the typing experience. The increased height, coupled with the distance of travel, creates a sensation similar to typing on a proper keyboard. It provides a level of comfort and familiarity that surpasses what one might expect from such a thin laptop.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

The keyboard feedback, although unmistakably membrane-based, possesses a certain tactile quality to it. It almost resembles a softer brown switch, delivering a satisfying sensation with each keystroke. This combination of feedback and travel enhances the overall typing experience, making it highly enjoyable on the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

In summary, the Zenbook S 13 OLED surprises users with its keyboard performance. Despite its slim design, it offers a tall, responsive keyboard with a satisfying tactile feel. Typing on the Zenbook S 13 OLED is a joyous experience that sets it apart from its competitors in 2023.

Impressive battery life

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED showcases impressive battery life, lasting 10 hours and 26 minutes in the PC Mark modern office benchmark. With this level of endurance, it is well-equipped to handle intensive productivity tasks throughout the day, whether in an office environment or while on the go. Its mobility is further enhanced by its ultra-compact size and lightweight design, making it a standout choice for digital nomads and frequent travelers.

Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED supports PD charging. This not only enables it to share the same PD charger with many smartphones available today but also indicates its compatibility with PD charging power banks. This feature significantly improves the Zenbook S 13 OLED’s longevity, particularly for users who need to travel for extended periods without access to wall outlets.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

By leveraging PD charging capabilities and its efficient battery performance, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED becomes an ideal companion for those who require long-lasting productivity on the move. It ensures that users can confidently work without interruption, even in situations where traditional power sources are scarce.

Surprisingly good performance

While the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED may not boast heavy specs or be a desktop replacement gaming monster, it excels as a versatile and nimble tool capable of handling any productivity task thrown its way.

Although its benchmark scores may not be groundbreaking, during the two weeks I spent with the Zenbook S 13 OLED, I never felt that its lack of horsepower hindered me from completing my work efficiently. Applications like Microsoft Office ran smoothly, Adobe Photoshop performed admirably, and even video editing tasks were swiftly accomplished with CapCut.

In addition, ASUS has thoughtfully included two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the Zenbook S 13 OLED. This not only allows for convenient expansion with external docks but also facilitates the connection of an external GPU. This feature holds great significance for users, as it enables them to accomplish their work on the go while also having the option to enhance their device’s power by attaching an external GPU when needed.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED’s versatility, coupled with the option for expandability through Thunderbolt 4 ports and external GPU support, further enhances its capabilities. It proves to be an excellent choice for individuals who require a mobile workhorse capable of handling a wide range of tasks, without compromising on performance or the potential for additional power when necessary.

Sustainability and the value it carries

Zenbook S 13 OLED

The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED is ASUS’ sustainability halo product, and is thus designed with a lot of recycled materials used in its construction. All the metals used in the chassis are post-industrial recycled, while the plastics are all post-consumer recycled, with the speakers made of ocean-bound plastics. Not just that, the packaging is made of responsibly-sourced paper, and is 100% recyclable, thus ensuring that from an end-to-end perspective, the Zenbook S 13 OLED is designed to be as green as they come. There are also no plastic used in the packaging, yet another bonus point for ASUS.

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED UX5304-2

For those of you who are even more particular about going green, check out this Basalt Gray finish that features the new Plasma Ceramic Aluminum material. What sets this material apart is its sustainable nature. The plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) process used to create the finish is environmentally-friendly, only using very mild basic solutions that can be disposed into municipal waste channels. Even at the end of its life cycle, the Plasma Ceramic Aluminium lid can be 100% recycled, without the need for costly processes to prepare it.

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED UX5304-1

This recyclability underscores ASUS’ commitment to sustainability and demonstrates their investment in developing and implementing environmentally friendly materials. This approach not only benefits customers but also has a positive long-term impact on the world and the environment. Not just that, it is meant to last. ASUS has subjected the Plasma Ceramic Aluminium to rigorous tests, including wear resistance, corrosion resistance, thermal resistance, hardness, and overall durability. It has proven itself capable of withstanding the harshest environmental conditions, ensuring the Zenbook S 13 OLED remains resilient and long-lasting.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

By choosing the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED, users can appreciate not only its durability and performance but also the fact that ASUS is actively taking steps to minimize their ecological footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

As fantastic a display as they come

As expected, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED delivers a display that matches the precision and accuracy required by every digital nomad. It features a stunning 2.8K OLED HDR screen with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, a high-end solution shared with other Zenbook models. This display has also been validated by Pantone, ensuring its color accuracy.

121% Volume in DCI P3 Color space

The screen performs exceptionally well in various environments. Not only does it excel in shaded rooms, but it also boasts a peak brightness of 550 nits, allowing for clear visibility even under bright sunlight.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

Despite its compact 13.3-inch size, the Zenbook S 13 OLED manages to condense a resolution of 2.8k (2880 x 1880), providing a generous amount of screen real estate. This allows users to adjust their screen zoom range based on their preferences. When focusing on specific tasks, zooming in at 200% provides a more personal and immersive work experience. Conversely, when working with multiple windows, zooming out to 100% allows for a clear overview of the entire workspace.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

The Zenbook S 13 OLED’s color space is truly fantastic, delivering vibrant and accurate colors. For more detailed information on the screen’s color science, you can refer to my previous review of the Zenbook 14 Flip, as both models share a similar display technology.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

In summary, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED offers a remarkable display that combines precision, vibrant colors, and exceptional brightness. Its 2.8k OLED HDR screen with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage ensures an immersive visual experience, whether in a shaded room or under bright sunlight, making it an ideal choice for digital nomads seeking excellence in display quality.

Gamut Standard
Adobe RGBCoverage99.3%

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED — What’s Not

Fans can get a bit noisy

To effectively manage the thermal requirements of such a compact device, ASUS has implemented robust cooling solutions in the Zenbook S 13 OLED. While the cooling system proves sufficient in maintaining optimal temperatures, it does have a tendency to produce fan whining when the device is under load. This can be somewhat bothersome, particularly because the Zenbook S 13 OLED promptly responds to any signs of heat by activating the fans to suppress it and ensure the user is aware that the system is actively working.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

Although the fan noise may be noticeable during demanding tasks, it is important to acknowledge that this is a trade-off made to prioritize the device’s thermal performance and prevent any potential overheating issues. It is a common challenge faced by compact laptops where maintaining a balance between cooling efficiency and fan noise can be a delicate task.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

While the fan whining under load can be perceived as an inconvenience, it is ultimately a necessary component of the Zenbook S 13 OLED’s cooling system, ensuring that the device remains within safe operating temperatures and performs optimally.

ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED (UX5304) Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-1355U, 10C/12T (2P + 8E) @ up to 5.0GHz
12MB L3 cache
Memory16GB LPDDR5-5200 on-board, quad-channel
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics, 96 EU @ up to 1.30GHz
Storage1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 ×4 NVMe SSD
Display13.3-inch FHD 16:10 (2880 x 1880) OLED display
550 nits max brightness
100% DCI-P3 color gamut
VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500
Pantone Validated
70% less harmful blue light
TÜV Rheinland-certified
SGS Eye Care Display
85% screen to body ratio
ConnectivityWiFi 6E + Bluetooth 5.3
2 x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
power delivery
1 x HDMI 2.1 TMDS
1 x 3.5mm combo jack
AudioSmart Amp Technology
Built-in speaker
Built-in array microphone
harman/kardon (Premium)
with Cortana voice-recognition support
Power63WHrs 3-cell Li-ion battery
65W AC adapter
Dimensions29.62 x 21.63 x 1.09 ~ 1.18 cm
ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED Specs

Zenbook S 13 OLED — should you buy this?

Zenbook S 13 OLED in a snow moutain

I thoroughly enjoyed the Zenbook S 13 OLED. It is fast enough to handle my work, weighs next to nothing, and is as thin as a simple paper file. With its compact profile, I brought it with me almost everywhere to complete work, whether it was in the office, a retail shop, a café, or even bustling areas like streets and public transport. Its durable casing makes me confident that I could take it to extreme environments such as tropical jungles or mountain peaks, knowing it would be able to handle it.

Zenbook S 13 OLED in cave

In conclusion, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED embodies the perfect balance of performance, portability, and durability. With its slim and lightweight design, it effortlessly fits into any digital nomad’s backpack. The impressive battery life ensures productivity on the go, while the exceptional keyboard provides a comfortable typing experience. The high-quality OLED HDR display delivers precision and vibrant colors, and the robust cooling system efficiently manages thermals. Additionally, the use of sustainable materials highlights ASUS’ commitment to the environment. Although the fan noise can be noticeable under heavy loads, it is a small trade-off for maintaining optimal performance. Overall, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 is a reliable and versatile companion, ready to take on any productivity task and accompany users on their adventures.

Zenbook S 13 OLED

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