back to article ASUS's Zenbook S 13 is light, fast, and immediately impressive

The Register has sensibly struck a deal with a global PC provider who dispatches machines to vultures wherever they work around the world. After spending time with the ASUS Zenbook S 13, I wish that supplier was ASUS because the machine does everything right. The machine I tested was powered by a Core i71355u processor, a 13th …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you try to install Linux without Windows on an encrypted disk will it lock you out of BIOS?

    That's what happened to me on my LG gram, which was otherwise a nice laptop. To be clear, O am successfully running Linux on an encrypted disk, but I cannot access BIOS or update it. Of course, it's an integrated chip that cannot be removed. For whose security? BIOS controls me, I don't control BIOS. I believe the expression is "I just got owned". LG informed me I could get the code for about $500, but I don't even know whether that would would be each time I wanted to change BIOS, or not. Web search informs it's a familiar problem across many companies laptops, not just LG. Maybe next time I'll go patriotic with System 76.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you try to install Linux without Windows on an encrypted disk will it lock you out of BIOS?

      That's what happened to me on my LG gram ...

      LG informed me I could get the code for about $500 ...

      More than enough to avoid purchasing anything LG.

      Thanks for the heads up.

      .

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Linux

    1TB disk.

    Bet it doesn't... we need a new handy-dandy name for mass storage on laptops :)

    And per the AC posting above (I don't know why he got downloaded) my first question on any laptop is 'can I install Linux?' If I can't, I'm not interested. Shenanigans required by Windows lockin are nothing I want to have anything to do with, and there is no reason except bloodymindedness that so many machines are effectively locked into MS - whether it's UEFI flaws or similar.

    I've asked before, but again: when you've tested this machine, Simon, please send it to your Liam in your FOSS office and let him try a few Linux installs straight out of the box.

    1. pluraquanta

      Re: 1TB disk.

      Those issues were mostly down to Secure Boot. Microsoft claimed they didn't try to lock out Linux keys by demanding manufacturers enforce Secure Boot when Linux distros didn't support it yet, but they certainly didn't make it easy. Asus lets you disable Secure Boot now (I don't know if LG does) but almost all distros support Secure Boot now so it *shouldn't­­* be an issue anymore.

  3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    "Large bottomed bezels make the world go round" - F. Mercury

  4. Malcolm 1

    Hinge & Bezel

    I feel the criticism of the hinge/bezel is a bit unfair - seems quite a clever design that elevates the laptop for improved cooling and a more ergonomic keyboard angle. As a consequence, if the bezel was smaller the bottom of the screen would disappear behind the base of the laptop.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Hinge & Bezel

      It’s been a feature of Dell vostro laptops for at least the last two years. In this case it also elevates the key board to give it more of a slope.

  5. doublelayer Silver badge

    Apple power plugs

    Your praise for Apple's power adapters confuses me. Yes, they have the option to simply plug the transformer into a socket without a cable going between the two, but this also means that the transformer can easily block other sockets or cause other problems. This gets worse as the laptop's power requirements increase, because they always make the transformer longer to deal with this. The one that only puts out 45 W can probably fit neatly in a few places, but the one that makes 85 W not so much. It can easily block nearby sockets, is too big to fit into recessed sockets, and can be heavy enough that you don't want to install it on vertical sockets in a few countries. If you have any of those problems, the solution is a cable included in the box (at least it used to be) that goes from the socket to the transformer, exactly what you didn't like about this one. Is a box in the middle of a cable really so big a problem? I doubt it's as massive or heavy as the ones for gaming laptops, so if it's as small as some of the ones I've seen, it makes relatively little difference.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Apple power plugs

      Personally, for an ultra portable I am more concerned about the longevity of the USB-c power port on the Zenbook, I would want to replace that with a MagSafe connector.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Apple power plugs

        I would have the same concern, so I got some magnetic USB-C power cables which I can connect to charge my computer. The magnetic tip protrudes a couple millimeters away from the case which isn't ideal, but otherwise they've been working pretty well. You have to be careful to find cables which will agree to pass the voltage you need, because there are some magnetic USB cables that are 5V only.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The right ports?

    The machine has the right ports ...

    Indeed ...

    The right ports, nice to know.

    But I see no mention of the lack of an ethernet port.

    Maybe because it is a left * one?

    * Don't be daft, left as in left out

    .

  7. Sil

    Looks interesting.

    I would prefer a bigger autonomy though, even if it means a 1 mm less thin body and 100-200 g more.

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