I regret to inform you that I like small laptops now – Creative Bloq

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I’d sworn off small laptops, but the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED changed my mind.
I like big screens and I cannot lie. So when I got a new 13-inch laptop in to test and review, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED, I was apprehensive to say the least. 
I’m old-school, you see. I have a big tower PC set up on my desk, which I periodically upgrade with new hardware as needed to keep running games I want to play. Then I’ve got a work-issued MacBook with a 16-inch screen, which I begrudgingly use for creative tasks for work. 
Thankfully, though, I’ve got a steady stream of both big monitors and variably sized laptops rolling across my desk for review purposes. And it’s spoiled me to the point where if I’m working on and testing a monitor that’s under 27 inches in size, I feel a little constricted. 
There’s also an iPad in here somewhere, but honestly, that’s mostly used to keep the seven-year-old eating machine who lives here occupied for about an hour a week when I really really need to finish urgent work and can’t be disturbed. 
So when it comes to reviewing 13- and 14-inch laptops, I always try my best to get that shipped to one of our freelance experts, because I have no interest in squinting at a small digital rectangle for any longer than absolutely necessary. I mean, with all these fantastic, more powerful and often highly portable 15, 16, 17-inch laptops available too, what’s even the point in these teeny little things?
Well, the Zenbook S 13 is keen to make one.A silver ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED laptop sitting on a wooden deskFor all the technical lowdown, you can check out my ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED review, which is full of praise (and some minor complaints), but its biggest achievement lies not in its balance of performance vs extreme lightness, or the sustainable manufacture process, or even in its admittedly gorgeous, super-sharp screen. 
It lies in the way it made me change my mind on small laptops. 
From the moment I opened the packaging for the Zenbook (all recycled and sustainable, this environmentalist is happy to report), I felt differently about this than any Mac, HP, Microsoft or any other 13-incher I’ve had to slog through using for variably long periods of time. 
First off, the lid has a stone-like texture, with the ASUS logo cleverly etched in it using diagonal lines reaching across the entire surface. Not your usual sleek, smooth, boring grey or black.
Then, it weighs only a kilo (that’s 2.2 pounds in old currency), which puts it in the featherweight division even among our best 13-inch laptops, but still feels incredibly sturdy, thanks to some clever aluminium alloy framing and compact build philosophy. After hauling some proper behemoths around – for science, obviously – travelling with this one made me think more than once and more than twice that I had forgotten to pack it altogether.
And that screen was a real eye-opener (no pun intended, for once) too. Despite only being 13.3 inches, it felt incredibly sharp and bright, a real testament to ASUS’ market-leading utilisation of OLED technology in laptops at the moment. I even managed to curb my usual instinct to plug any laptop I have into my big screen (a 27-inch gaming monitor in this instance) to ‘see everything properly’.A silver ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED laptop sitting on a wooden deskJust setting it up was a joy. Everything happened effortlessly, from the Windows Hello face scan to connecting my go-to Bluetooth gadgets and setting up my work and personal profiles. And instead of dread over having to work on the go, I just slipped the laptop in my bag, and thanks to a fantastic battery life, I didn’t even have to take the power brick along for the day. 
Yes, like every laptop ever, the sound isn’t great. No, it won’t be a gaming laptop. And yes, for video-editing you’ll need something more capable (thanks to it only sporting integrated graphics), but The ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED was a first for me in that it evoked positive emotions towards a small form-factor laptop for the first time ever.
I’m not saying you should definitely buy it. The Zenbook S 13 OLED is too expensive to be a casual laptop, its specs are only ideal for a certain type of professional, and I’d still need my hulking tower PC for gaming even if I’d kept or bought this machine. But it made me less afraid of trying out new things, because they might just surprise me. 
Well, either that or let me down horribly because of the unrealistic standards set by this little beauty. We’ll see.
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Erlingur is the Tech Reviews Editor on Creative Bloq. Having worked on magazines devoted to Photoshop, films, history, and science for over 15 years, as well as working on Digital Camera World and Top Ten Reviews in more recent times, Erlingur has developed a passion for finding tech that helps people do their job, whatever it may be. He loves putting things to the test and seeing if they’re all hyped up to be, to make sure people are getting what they’re promised. Still can’t get his wifi-only printer to connect to his computer. 
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