FED UP OF PHONE DISPLAY NOTCHES? Well brace yourself as 2019 could be the year of the laptop notch if Asus' new ZenBook S13 is anything to go by.
In the latest move to kill-off screen bezels, Asus has taken the concept of a display notch and seemingly reversed it. By that we mean there's a little notch-like protrusion at the top of the laptop's 13.9in 1080p display, which houses the lappy's webcam and also acts as a lip to more easily open the lid.
The result is a display with a 97 per cent screen-to-body ratio and bezels that are a scant 2.5mm thick, leading to Asus to claim it has the world's thinnest laptop screen bezels. That means the display which is nearly 14-inches sits in a chassis that's smaller than the average 13in ultraportable.
The ZenBook S13's lid also sports a hidden bit of girth on its bottom edge which acts to tilt the top part of the keyboard deck up to supposedly make typing a more satisfactory experience.
Combined with the notch, the machine certainly catches the eye, though we'd need to see it in all its aluminium glory before we can tell if it looks good or is perhaps a tad fussy.
Under the hood, the ZenBook S13 rocks Intel's eighth-gen processors in the form of the i5-8265U or i7-8565U, up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage.
An optional Nvidia GeForce MX150 discreet graphics card is also available, which means this svelte machine can even run the odd game, though don't go expecting gaming laptop performance.
The port compliment comes in at two USB Type-C connections, a Type-A USB 3.1, and a microSD card reader. There's also an integrated fingerprint scanner to boot.
Expected to launch in the US this quarter, there's not a peep on pricing, though Asus usually keeps its prices pretty competitive.
Given Asus is big into showing things off at CES, it also took the covers off the StudioBook S, a fairly sleek portable workstation that comes packing a decent glut of power for creative professional types.
Looking like a slightly beefed up ZenBook from 2018, the StudioBook S comes with either Intel's hexa-core i7-8750H, a seriously gutsy processor with a clock speed of 2.2GHz, or a 2.7GHz six-core Xeon E-2716M, which can clock up to 4.4GHz for those times when you really want something to render at speed. Up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM is on offer as well as storage that tops out at 4TB of NVME.
Graphics grunt comes in the guise of an Nvidia Quadro P3200 with 6GB of GDDR5 video RAM.
Back to the mobile workstation's exterior and you're looking at a 17in display that's been certified by the colour lovers at Pantone. With bezels measuring in a 5.3mm the laptop doesn't have the slimmest bezels around but they are pretty space saving and acceptable for a large 16:10 ratio screen.
Port selection is decent as well, with the likes of HDMI, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3.1, present and correct, as well as a nippy SD card reader.
As such the StudioBook S looks to be a machine that will duke it out with portable workstations form the likes of Dell and Lenovo.
Again there's no word on pricing or firmed up release dates, but the StudioBook S should be priced to compete with other top dog workstation laptops.
Asus has a load more at CES, but it looks like it's once again gunning hard to win people who want an ultraportable laptop for general computing and those who want a serious slab of portable power for professional use. Your move Dell, Lenovo and pals. µ
Samsung is unlikely to have many surprises in store
$1bn mega-deal could be reached within the next week