It feels like only yesterday that Asus announced the ZenBook S and Flip S – and to be fair, it was only the day before that – but the company has already doubled back with the fresh news that the two new premium ultrabooks will be powered by Intel’s new 11th-gen chips.
Asus announced the pair of new designs on Monday with 10th-gen chipsets, but now that Intel has lifted the lid on its new laptop processors the company is able to reveal that they’ll also come powered by the new chips – making us wonder why they bothered to announced the 10th-gen models in the first place.
Release strategy aside, there’s a lot to like here. Both models launch in a finish Asus is calling Red Copper, which in this case means black with diamond-cut copper edges and detailing that highlight the fact that the two S models are targeting the upper end of the market.
The ZenBook S UX393 is particularly appealing, with a 13.9in, 3.3K, 3:2 touchscreen panel that offers 100% DCI P-3 coverage and a peak brightness of 500 nits, with Pantone certification to boot. That 3:2 aspect ratio is a particular draw, with the extra vertical space much better suited to productivity.
You can power it with up to an Intel i7 1165-G7 with 16GB RAM and 1TB storage, and while there’s no discrete GPU option the new Iris Xe integrated graphics should keep pace with light creative work. If you need more than that, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports should power an eGPU or even an 8K monitor, while USB-A, MicroSD, and HDMI round out the ports.
The ZenBook Flip S is essentially a convertible version of the ZenBook S, and spec options are almost identical, but there are a few differences. The display is the big one: the 13.3in screen is 16:9, rather than 3:2, but there’s an option for a full 4K OLED panel, supposedly making this the world’s thinnest OLED 2-in-1 at just 13.9mm.
The other notable omission on the Flip is the MicroSD card slot, but both updated models are missing one crucial port: a headphone jack. First they came for your phones, and now your laptops: both devices are strictly Bluetooth and USB-C audio only, which I suspect will be a bit of a dealbreaker for some.
The new announcements are part of a massive refresh of Asus’s laptop line with 11th-gen chips, with the ZenBook 14 and ExpertBook B9 also getting the update treatment.
The 11th-gen ZenBook Flip S will be available in the UK from November for £1,799, while the ZenBook S will arrive early next year from £1,599. The ZenBook S is available right now with 10th-gen chips though, and is £100 cheaper at £1,499 – as for the Flip S, the 10th-gen version isn’t coming to the UK but is available now in other markets.