Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Lots of power in a sleek design

Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Lots of power in a sleek design

Despite the difficult working conditions, Asus has managed to keep its PC business growing at a steady pace this year. Throughout 2020, the company launched a number of new laptops spread across various budget segments.

Largely, the company has worked towards building an impressive portfolio of laptops that excel not only in performance but also in design and build quality. And recently, it added to this list by launching the all-new ZenBook Flip S (UX371). However, unlike most products in its line-up, the ZenBook Flip S is a premium-end 2 in 1 ultrabook that can also transform into a full-fledged tablet with a stylus. What's even more interesting is that despite this unique form factor, Flip S does not feel bulky. In fact, it is one of the lightest and most powerful portable computers you can get your hands on right now.

Asus has launched this premium-end ultrabook at Rs 1,49,990. Read our review to find out if it's worth buying.

Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Design and display

Asus' new ultrabook is an extremely well-designed device that covers pretty much all corners. It not only looks great but also feels well-built. On the outside, the Flip S ultrabook uses Red Copper diamond-cut highlights which are complemented by a Jade Black finish. These come together to give Asus' new ultrabook an interesting look that's understated but still would catch the eye of those around you.

Another thing I quite liked about the Asus ZenBook Flip S is just how lightweight it is. At merely 1.2kgs, it fits neatly inside a backpack and remains there without being a burden. The laptop's also very sleek at 14mm thickness, ensuring it doesn't take much space. Asus ZenBook Flip S also features the company's 360° ErgoLift hinge design which enables the display to be flipped to any position, according to the user's requirement. Asus claims the hinge has been tested for over 20,000 open/close cycles, to ensure durability.

This unique design also allows the ZenBook Flip S to turn into a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, with a screen that can be swiveled full 360-degree. Once the display is flipped back, the laptop can be used in different modes, including a tablet with touch and pen support. However, we didn't find this to be the best use case for the Flip S. In fact, we'd recommend using this as a simple laptop, placed on a desk or lap while on the go. Considering its slim form factor, the Flip S also offers a lot of connectivity options. The two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on the new ZenBook Flip S promise "ultrafast speeds" and also support USB-C Power Delivery. The notebook also gets support for connecting external 4K UHD displays, and provide up to 40 Gbps data-transfer speeds for high-performance peripherals.

As for the display, the Asus ZenBook Flip S features a 13.3-inch 4K OLED touchscreen with support for a high resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. The display offers high colour reproduction with 100 per cent DCIP3 colour gamut coverage. In fact, Asus claims that this OLED panel is calibrated to accurately reproduce colors in a 3D color volume -- ensuring that the panel cover 100% DCI-P3 color gamut regardless of the brightness level. Further, the panel features a high 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and is certified to supports up to 500 nits of brightness and 0.0005 nits of deep black levels for an immersive viewing experience.

Make no mistake, these are all tall claims, but as we found out during our time with the device, the laptop lives up to its claims when it comes to the display department. Because of its size, and the quality of the panel, the Asus ZenBook Flip S emerges as an ideal choice for watching movies and playing games. The viewing angles are also surprisingly quite decent.

Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Specifications, performance and battery

While the design and display are the big talking points of the Flip S, the hardware inside is also equally impressive. This is because the new laptop also packs within its sleek frame the latest 11th Generation Intel Core Tiger Lake processors -- i7-1165G7 CPU. While this processor doesn't make the ultrabook a powerhouse, it does offer enough juice to help the Flip S handle pretty much you throw at it.

This is especially true if you are getting the Flip S for general use, and not gaming -- although, it can handle most e-sports and AAA titles decently well. The new 11th Gen processor also brings with itself the Intel Iris X integrated GPU which promises more impressive gaming performance than ever.

As for the processor itself, it can deliver up to 20% higher computing performance than previous generation laptops. Further, there's also a 1TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD on-board, as well as a Gen 3 PCIe X4 storage for fast read, write speeds and load times. The Flip S also packs an ultrafast PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD, up to 16GB of 4266MHz LPDDR4X RAM and hardware for WiFi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity.

As for the battery, the laptop offers a 67Wh pack which is rated to provide 10 hours of usage on a single charge. However, despite its Evo branding, the laptop doesn't reach such numbers. Instead, we found it to give us a runtime of around 6-7 hours. Now, this isn't bad for a Windows ultrabook, but it isn't the best either.

The biggest drain on the battery here appears to be the laptop's 4K display. However, turning down the resolution to 1080p does increase the battery life, and serves as a quick hack to ensure that you get through a long workday without running for the charger. Another thing to note here is that the Asus ZenBook Flip S brings with itself support for fast charging. Using the supplied charger, the ultrabook's battery can be filled up to the brim in a matter of an hour.

Asus ZenBook Flip S review: Verdict

In our time with the Asus ZenBook Flip S, we found it to be a delightful machine that looks as good as it works. The 2-1 ultrabook's biggest USP is definitely its design and the gorgeous 4K OLED display that supports touch interactions via a stylus. However, it's 11th-Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPU-backed performance is also a definite tick in its favour.

As found out during our review, the ultrabook packs in more power than you'd expect it to, and as such is primed for work on the go and even casual gaming. Although, there's one department it could have improved in -- battery life. However, here also the performance isn't so bad that it turns into a deal-breaker.

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