The ASUS Zenbook Flip S is the perfect travel companion.
Asus recently launched the Zenbook Flip S (model UX371) alongside the ZenBook Flip 13 (UX363), which is described as the “world’s thinnest convertible laptop”.
I had the opportunity to play around with both devices, and while the differences are minor, I do prefer the Asus Zenbook Flip S (model UX371). I’ll briefly touch on the Flip 13 specs, but this review will be centred around the Flip S.
The Flip 13 is ultrathin at 13.9mm and weighs only 1.3 kilograms. It is equipped with the precision-engineered 360 degree ErgoLift hinge for versatile usage modes.
That means you can use it in various different ways: Laptop, Stand, Tent, Tablet, and everything in between. The battery lasts approximately 16 hours, though I was unable to test this extensively.
To cap it off, the Zenbook Flip 13 is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor with Intel Iris Plus graphics; 512 TB PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) 3.0 SSD, and 16 GB RAM.
The Flip S is also equipped with Intel’s latest 11th Gen processor and Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. It’s a beautifully designed laptop with a crisp display and long-lasting battery, perfect for travelling as well as everyday work.
The ZenBook Flip S has a premium feel to it, thanks to its aluminium alloy build. It’s sturdy yet compact and measures only 211 mm by 305 mm. Asus explains that the Zenbook was “designed to be extra-thin”.
“The thickest part of the chassis only allows for two larger I/O ports. Our user research shows that USB Type-A and HDMI are extremely important for users, with 76% of users taking USB Type-A into consideration and 69% taking HDMI into consideration when buying a new laptop”.
Asus, therefore, opted to prioritise the USB Type-A port and HDMI ports, which means the ZenBook has no traditional headphone jack. However, a USB-C-to-3.5mm audio jack dongle ships with every unit.
About that hinge: The ZenBook Flip 13 features the exclusive 360° ErgoLift hinge design. According to Asus, the hinge “allows the display to be flipped to any position, according to the usage requirement”.
The hinge is durability-tested for over 20 000 open/close cycles. This, in addition to its sturdy design, makes the Flip S one of the most portable high-end laptops around.
The ZenBook has a 13.3-inch 4K OLED panel with touch capability which is framed by ultra-slim side bezels measuring only 3.9mm wide. It gives the laptop a distraction-free view of the screen.
“We are thrilled to introduce OLED panels in ASUS laptops. This is a new choice for all types of users. ZenBook Flip 13 FHD OLED screen provides exceptional picture quality, 500 nit brightness, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, PANTONE certification and incredible 1 000 000:1 contrast ratio”.
I also loved that I could turn the Zenbook into a tablet. And folding it “like a tent” was ideal for those lazy weekend mornings when one just wants to stay in bed and binge Netflix.
Honestly, you’ll have to look far and wide to find a better screen on any laptop, let alone a 13.3-inch device that is marketed as ultra-thin, lightweight and portable.
The bright, high-contrast OLED screen would make writers (or any creative professionals, for that matter) extremely happy. And watching movies is an absolute treat.
The ZenBook has an edge-to-edge full-sized, backlit keyboard with wide buttons which offer the perfect balance between crispness and softness. It also optimises every last bit of space without compromising on functionality.
While the backlit keys make typing in dark environments so much easier, it was the tactile experience that really made this a win for me. Asus explains that a “subtle 0.1mm dish-shaped indentation makes it all possible”.
“The dish-shaped indentation subtly guides fingers onto the keys and the long key travel provides better feedback. Together, these features improve typing accuracy and replicate the comfort of using a desktop PC keyboard”.
The trackpad is wide with a smooth surface and features an LED-illuminated numeric keypad. The keypad is activated by means of a single-touch sensor at the top-right of the touchpad.
It works well, and surprisingly, turning the NumberPad on does not interfere with using the touchpad as an actual touchpad. If you work with figures every day, you’d appreciate the ease of it all.
The ZenBook ships with a 67Wh (watt-hour) battery that lasts up to 16 hours on a single charge. It also supports a fast-charging function, which takes it from 1% to 60% in under 50 minutes.
The 16-hour battery life is impressive on many fronts, especially considering that the power-hunger OLED display. You can also charge it with a power bank if no wall socket is around, making it ideal for travelling.
Speaking of ports, the ZenBooks features two Thunderbolt 3USB-C ports with up to 40 Gbps bandwidth, as well as a standard HDMI 1.4 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, and a microSD card reader.
“This makes it possible for ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 to easily output to a 60Hz 4K display, connect to storage devices or expand connections”.