Ultra-slim ZenBook S and two ZenBook Pro notebooks join Asus' stable


Manufacturers typically love to announce a large number of notebooks at Computex, and this year was no exception. Asus in particular has a wide variety of new portables on the way. We'll take a peek at the new entrants to its ZenBook line.

First up is the ZenBook S (UX391). As it's only 0.5" (13 mm) tall and 2.3 lbs (1.0 kg), this 13.3" notebook is positively svelte. The all-metal unibody chassis features a new hinge design that tilts the bottom half of the clamshell by up to 5.5° when the notebook opens. Asus claims that this improves the typing experience, cooling airflow, and audio performance. The 5.9-mm display bezels are also slim, and they surround a 4K display that boasts 100% coverage of the sRGB color space and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. The display's 178° viewing angles suggest that it's an IPS panel.

Inside the ZenBook S, Asus found room for an eighth-generation Intel Core processor up to the Core i7-8550U. Asus claims that its updated cooling solution means the ZenBook S runs up to 5° C cooler than previous ZenBook models. The processor will be paired up with 16 GB of power-sipping 2133 MT/s LPDDR3 RAM. The primary storage drive is a 1-TB PCIe x4 SSD. These power-efficient parts suggest that the notebook could have good battery life. Asus tells users to expect up to 13.5 hours of usage on battery. Finally, the ZenBook S has three USB 3.1 Type-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 3.

Next, Asus has a new variant in the works of its previously-announced ZenBook Pro 15 (UX580). The new option will feature the company's new ScreenPad input device. As its name suggests, the ScreenPad is a touchpad with a full-color touchscreen. Asus says that this input device enables task-adaptive functions and context-sensitive tools. The company already has new input tools for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and YouTube, and says that more tools will be available through ScreenPad-specific apps.

The final ZenBook that Asus announced is the upcoming ZenBook Pro 14 (UX480). While this model won't have the show-stopping Intel Core i9 available in the ZenBook Pro 15, it will still boast eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processors, 16 GB of RAM, and a Max-Q GeForce GTX 1050. Storage duties will be handled by a 1TB M.2 SSD, but models with Intel's Optane memory are in the works.

Of these models, the ZenBook S will be the first one to hit the market. Asus plans to launch it on June 11 for $1,199. The ZenBook Pro 15 with ScreenPad will launch in mid-July, and Asus set its price at $2,299. The ZenBook Pro 14 will follow sometime later in the year. The company will announce its pricing closer to launch.

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