Asus ZenBook Flip S review: A premium 2-in-1 laptop that has its moments
Asus ZenBook Flip S is a 2-in-1 convertible touchscreen laptop that combines an ultra-thin design, a 360-degree hinge and Intel’s 8th generation i7 processor. Here’s our detailed review.
The idea of a slimmer and more powerful 2-in-1 laptop continues to fascinate notebook manufacturers. Taiwanese PC manufacturer Asus believes it is possible to design a convertible laptop that packs the punch, without compromising on the performance.The ZenBook Flip S was born out of the same idea, a 2-in-1 convertible touchscreen laptop that combines an ultra-thin design, a 360-degree hinge and Intel’s 8th generation i7 processor. But you need to pay a price to own the Asus ZenBook Flip S.
I spent a week with the ZenBook Flip S to see how the top-tier Windows 10 laptop fares on a number of parameters. Here’s a review of Asus ZenBook Flip S (UX370), pitched as the world’s thinnest and lightest convertible laptop.
Asus ZenBook Flip S (UX370) specifications
13.3-inch FHD (1920×1080) LED-backlit touchscreen display|8th gen Intel Core i7-8550 U processor clocked at 1.8Ghz (up to 4.0Ghz)|16GB LPDDR3 RAM|512GB SSD (SATA3)|Intel HD Graphics 620|2 x USB-C 3.1, headphone jack|802.11ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1|480p VGA camera|1.1KG weight| 11.2mm thin|Harman Kardon-certified stereo audio system|Backlight keyboard| Asus Pen stylus|Fingerprint scanner|Windows 10|39Wh lithium-polymer battery
Asus ZenBook Flip S (UX370) price in India: Rs 1,30,900
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Design and build quality
Asus ZenBook Flip S should be lauded for its design language and build quality. My review unit came in a royal blue and gold color scheme, and it is a stunner from every angle. Asus’ trademark concentric ring pattern on the lid and diamond-cut golden edges add a dash of style.
At 1.1kg and 11.2-mm thick, Asus ZenBook Flip S is the world’s thinnest and lightest convertible laptop. Carved out of a single block of aerospace-grade 6013 aluminum alloy, this 360-degree convertible can be either used as a notebook or a tablet. The notebook’s hinge quality seems decent enough. I can easily flip the screen into tablet mode and, yes, it stays at whatever angle you want to place it. Plus, when the hinge is opened beyond 135-degrees, the edge of the lid lifts up the keyboard into a certain angle for perfect typing.
Asus says the ZenBook Flip S can be used in different modes—laptop, tablet, tent, and stand. Out of the four different modes, I preferred using the ZenBook Flip S on a desk. As a tablet, it is usable, but once in a while. Frankly, the device feels heavy and cumbersome when you read an article in portrait orientation.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Connectivity options and fingerprint scanner
To make the laptop’s design thin and light, Asus had to compromise on certain key things, like limited connectivity options. There are only two USB 3. 1 Type-C ports, one on each side of the laptop. A 3.5mm headphone jack on the left, and a volume rocker and power button on the right-hand side. For wireless connectivity, you’ll get the standard dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. Thankfully, Asus has provided an additional dongle in the box that comes with a full-size USB port, HDMI port, and a Type-C port. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an SD card reader, which is a shame.
The ZenBook Flip S also comes with a fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. And yes, it provides support for Windows Hello login. Although I was able to log into the system instantly, I didn’t like the position of the scanner. It is situated on the right side of the notebook onto the extreme edge and frankly, I couldn’t place my finger on the reader properly. I wish Asus had placed the fingerprint scanner somewhere close to the power button.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Keyboard, trackpad, and Pen
It is a sheer joy to type on the ZenBook Flip S’s chiclet keyboard. The keyboard is accurate, keys are nicely spaced. I typed the entire review of the ZenBook Flip S using the notebook. The keyboard is backlit and offers the most surreal typing experience I’ve ever had a Windows laptop. Meanwhile, the trackpad is large and responsive. It is precise and pinch-to-zoom features work well.
Along with the laptop you also get the Pen stylus, Asus’ answer to Apple Pencil. The stylus looks like a regular pen and is comfortable to hold. It can be charged by a single disposable AAA battery, which Asus claims will last up to ten months, and that’s great. It has 1,024 levels of pressure points, and it delivers an excellent experience when sketching or writing. Also, it feels natural to draw using the Asus Pen.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Display and sound
The ZenBook Flip S features a 13.3-inch IPS Full HD (1,920x1080p) multitouch display. This is a vibrant display by all means, perfect for watching videos, movies, and gaming. The ZenBook Flip S’s screen is nice and bright and should be perfect for an average user. The onboard speakers, however, sound weak. Volume was limited in my testing and I could barely listen to audio when there were people around me.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Performance and battery
Asus packs plenty of power into the ZenBook Flip S. It sports an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, and Windows 10. The ZenBook Flip S is a beast in terms of performance, and I’m not surprised at all. I opened up to 20 tabs in Chrome, and the ZenBook Flip S did not slow down even minutely when I browsed the web. The ZenBook Flip S does not look like a gaming laptop, but it should be perfect for playing casual and entry-level games. The machine also supports a web camera, though it’s only 480p. Video looks blurry with plenty of noise. These days even a low-end laptop offers a 720p web camera. So this was a letdown.
Battery life was average in my testing. It lasted roughly 5 hours 20 minutes on a single charge, which means it will struggle to last a day. When I’m spending Rs 1,30, 900 on a laptop, I would expect the battery life to be fairly good. If you want a laptop mainly for work purpose that would last a day, Asus ZenBook Flip S is not the ideal option.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Verdict
No laptop is perfect, and same goes for the ZenBook Flip S, which has its pros and cons. Asus has spent time on making the device as slim as possible, and it shows. The 360-degree hinge feels sturdy, plus the quality of the screen is also good. Asus has nailed the keyboard, and the trackpad is responsive. Windows 10 isn’t great to use in tablet mode – and frankly, Asus has little role to play in making this better anytime soon. Battery, however, is the biggest flaw of the ZenBook Flip S. This is a deal-breaker for me or anyone who’d like to buy a laptop that costs as much as the 13-inch MacBook Pro.