Asus announced ZenBook S13 (UX392), the thinnest laptop with dedicated graphics

Aurel Dragan 09/01/2019 | 13:30

Asus announced the latest ZenBook S13 (UX392) at CES 2019. It has a 13.4 inch NanoEdge display and FHD resolution, with almost invisible edges on all four sides, managing the highest screen-to-screen ratio in the industry at 97 percent.

With NVIDIA GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics and the 8th-generation Intel Core quad-core processor, the ZenBook S13 forces the limits of a possible 13 inch housing that leaves enough space for 1TB of storage on the SSD PCIe x4 and a 50-Watt battery, offering up to 15 hours of autonomy. The ZenBook S13 will be available in the coming months, with prices and configurations by region to be announced on launch.

The world’s thinnest frame

The ZenBook S13 delivers the edges around the 13.9 inch FHD screen and the surrounding edges are 2.5 mm thick.

The top edge integrates a webcam HD webcam that also serves to open the lid as a support. The user can easily open the laptop without looking for an opening point. It is a small change, but it will make the difference in daily use, deserving the effort to change the shape of the bottle on the display and the contour of the lid. In spite of the spacious screen, the ZenBook S13 retains its reduced physical footprint (316 x 195 x 12.9mm) compared to most 13 inch laptops.

The slimmest laptop with dedicated graphics

Intel’s 8th-generation mobile processors are available on the ZenBook series for over a year, and the ZenBook S13 goes further by connecting a Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of RAM. Both Core i5 and Core i7 configurations have four cores and eight threads to deliver fluid performance, allowing complex tasks such as aggressive video encoding or multitasking such as parallel-image processing in productivity applications, email and web browsing.

The processing power is accompanied by improved graphics capabilities, possible with the NVIDIA GeForce MX150. In order to get the most out of the processor and the GPU, a large storage is needed. Larger media files and applications to be installed will not face space problems, with the ZenBook S13 laptop performing in storage capacity and speed thanks to a 1TB SSD PCIe x4.

Adding these components to a slim 12.9 mm package required the ingenuity of the ASUS engineers. To ensure that no space has been lost, the metal casing was cut to the CNC from an aluminum monoblock, which allowed sculpting the cover and the complex cuts around the keyboard without creating unnecessary voids. The processing allowed the walls to stay thinner, leaving at the same time sufficient material in the key areas to not compromise their strength and thinning where component space could be created.

Strong and stylish

The ZenBook series has always demonstrated ASUS ‘commitment to laptop design, being built on the idea that the best ultraportables are a mixture of style and power. The ZenBook S13 once again forces design limits to become a truly portable, thin and lightweight laptop without sacrificing performance and resilience. It also meets the requirements of the MIL-STD-810G military standard for durability, being tested in harsh environments, including extreme altitude, humidity and temperature conditions.

One of the most striking changes in the ZenBook S13 case is its visual appearance. The notebook comes with a trendy theme, a totally new hue, titled Utopia Blue. The silver blue subtly subtracts it, while the fresher color reflects the Zen signature as the concentric circles on the lid. Utopia Blue balances the Rose Gold accents and trim edges with precision, giving you an extra touch of elegance.

Convenient connectivity

Despite its compact size, nothing seems crammed at the ZenBook S13. The illuminated keypad extends over almost the whole width of the laptop, and despite the ultra-slim design, the key stroke is 1.4 mm, slightly longer than the predecessor model. The touchpad is spacious and integrates a fingerprint reader, allowing fast and convenient authentication via Windows Hello.

Without compromising on connections, the ZenBook S13 offers the convenience of a standard USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, available on one side. A lot of super-thin laptops only offer USB Type C-C (USB-C) ports, making this connection now a rarity, even if it is extremely useful in connecting USB peripherals that have not yet done much leap the more modern USB-C. In addition to the standard USB port, the ZenBook S13 has two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports to achieve bandwidth up to 10Gbps5.

Any of these two ports can be used to connect an external display or charge the battery. The 50 Watts battery is large enough to provide up to 15 hours of battery life, and if required, fast charging will quickly return to operation. In addition to USB ports, the laptop also features a 3.5 mm combo audio connector that lets you use any type of headset with microphone, and a MicroSD card reader makes it easy to transfer photos and videos from a variety of devices.

The laptop will be available from March, but the pricing was not announced. If Asus will keep the price in the same range as UX333FA it will be around EURO 1,000.

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