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ASUS ZenBook S is a success, almost perfection (Australian review)
4.8Overall Score

Price (RRP): $TBA
Manufacturer: ASUS

ASUS ZenBook S follows the Buddha saying, “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up because you will lose the ability to learn new things. Move forward with your life.”

The 2018 generation of ASUS Zenbooks are one step closer to perfection. They were pretty damned good anyway.

Reviewing an ASUS ZenBook always makes me sad because I know that I will have to give it back at the end of the review. Without a doubt, there is nothing to compare to the absolute drop dead sexy looks and design cred ZenBooks have. I covet one!

This review could well apply to any 2018 model with the Intel 8th generation Core CPU – flip, hybrid or now the Zenbook S.

Review: ASUS ZenBook S model UX391UA

Australian website here

Note that the review unit is an engineering sample and not yet available here for retail sale.

ASUS ZenBook S


What is an ASUS ZenBook S? Well S is for slim!

  • It is a clamshell design laptop – not a 360° flip or a 2-in-1 tablet
  • Windows 10 Pro (Home option)
  • MIL-STD 810G standard. That covers drops, temperature, and vibration
  • Zen design is unique. The review unit is a most wonderful Deep Dive Blue (option Burgundy Red) with the characteristic svelte Zen spun metal chassis
  • Size 31.1 (W) x 21.3 (D) x 1.29cm x 1.05kg
  • The review unit has a 13.3-inch, 4K UHD, 331 ppi, 16:9, full-backlit, glossy touchscreen with a massive 85% screen to body ratio
  • It runs an Intel Core i7-8550U, 1.8/4Ghz (option i5-8250U 1.6/3.4GHz) with Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 16GB (8GB option) memory and 1TB PCIe SSD (512GB option) storage
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C 3.1 Gen 2); 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1; Wi-Fi AC (Intel 8265 2 x 2 MU-MIMO); and Bluetooth 4.2
  • 50Wh battery for up to 13.5 hours use. USB-C, 20V/3.25A (65W) fast charger
  • Supplied with a leather sleeve and pen/stylus

ASUS ZenBook S

A beautiful 4K touchscreen without peer

This 4K IPS screen has 100% sRGB (about 75% Adobe RGB) and a range of colour profiles for photography, drawing and more. It has a full 178° viewing angle. There are options for 1920 x 1080 (glossy or anti-glare alternatives).

The screen tilts to 145° which is great for desktop use but can be slightly limiting on an aircraft fold-out table or lap use.

When I read ‘glossy’ it immediately screamed fingerprint magnet – and it is. Glossy screens need non-reflective background behind you. If a direct light source like a window is behind you, it will show.

But you quickly forget this when you see the very small 5.9mm bezels (85% S-T-B-R), the amazing colour and brightness levels.

With ASUS Vivid adjustments and its Tru2Life video technology, this is the laptop for 4K streaming.

ASUS ZenBook S

All metal case and hinge

The case is entirely metal – there is not a trace of cheap, nasty plastic. There is no flex or any hint of anything but a solid MIL-STD build.

The ‘ergolift’ hinge lifts the keyboard by 5.5° and allows for ventilation underneath. Cooling is via a ‘liquid-crystal-polymer fan’ with 71 blades offering 13.4% more airflow and a 5° temperature improvement over previous ZenBook models.