When looking at contenders for best laptop, you'll likely come across more apple's than an orchard. There's a good reason for that. While Windows alternatives can offer good specs and performance, the best MacBooks have really pulled ahead recently.
Since Apple made the switch over to their in-house Apple Silicon chips with the M1 MacBook Air, things haven't really been the same. That could all be about to change though.
Today, the new Asus Zenbook S13 OLED was announced – and it looks like it's aiming squarely at the MacBook Air. The laptop is incredibly thin and light, weighing just 1kg and measuring just 1cm when closed. That's less cumbersome than the M2 MacBook Air on both counts.
You might think that the S13's diminutive dimensions come at the cost of performance. That doesn't seem to be true, though. Inside, you'll find processors up to the 13th Gen Intel i7, paired with Intel's Iris Xe graphics chip. There's two fans inside, too, for cooling and added performance benefits – up to a 20% boost, according to Asus.
Okay, so then the battery must be tiny, right? Well, no that doesn't seem to be the case either. Asus say there's more than 14 hours of battery life on board, which is pretty impressive – it won't set the world alight, but it should be good for a full day of use.
It doesn't come in the chassis either. That's a full-metal design – no plastic substitutes here – made from a magnesium-aluminium alloy. The touchpad is almost 10% larger than the previous model, and there's a substantial array of I/O options, with 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-sized HDMI port, a USB-A port and a 3.5mm audio jack. All of that, on a unit which is less than 1cm deep – impressive!
The OLED display on offer here sounds mighty, too. It's a 2.8K panel, with a 16:10 aspect ratio and up to 550 nits of peak brightness. It also features a 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut for true-to-life tones, and is certified for having 70% less blue light emission. Oh, and it packs a 120Hz refresh rate, so gaming is definitely a possibility here.
And don't think that it's fragile, either. Asus use a Plasma Ceramic Aluminium material for the top panel. This process, which bonds ceramic with the aluminium case, boosts its hardness, making it more resistant to wear-and-tear. Plus, the whole laptop has been tested to US Military durability standards, so you know it's ready to go through a lot.
Pricing starts from £1,499 in the UK, which should make it competitive. Put simply, if you value a great mix of performance and portability, the Zenbook S13 will definitely be vying for your attention.