The Zenbook Flip S (UX371) from ASUS is one of the first notebooks to come with the new Intel Lake Chips that is designed to go head-to-head with AMD’s Ryzen processors.
This premium notebook is loaded with features, including a 4K OLED touchscreen as well as Thunderbolt connectivity 4. The 2-in-1 convertible is sleek, lightweight, and also features a stylus for those who are creative. However, this comes at a price. The notebook has a sticker price of INR149,990. Whether the Zenbook Flip S justifies such steep pricing, we will find this out and more in this review. Let’s dive right into it.
Design and build quality
The ZenBook Flip S screams premium as soon as you take it out from the box. The notebook is made up of the premium Red Copper diamond-cut aluminum alloy, thus acquiring the desired sturdiness yet weighing a meager 1.2 kg. The 13.3-inch notebook is also pretty thin with a side profile of 13.9mm.
Such compactness comes in handy while carrying the laptop to workplaces. It easily slips into the sleeve case provided by ASUS. Not to mention, it feels significantly light on the shoulders too.
The lid has a Jade Black finish and features ASUS’s signature concentric circles, which quickly grab the eyeballs. There is also ASUS smooth ErgoLift hinge that angles the keyboard to some degrees for a better typing experience and creates a space underneath for heat dissipation. However, the laptop tends to attract fingerprint smudges.
The laptop is a 2-in-1 convertible in terms of functionality. It rotates 360 degrees, allowing it to be used as a tablet (in conjunction with the included ASUS Pen 2.0) besides the laptop mode. If you love watching videos and movies, it can transform into a tent mode as well. However, the best results are realized in the standard laptop mode. ASUS vouches for the solid hinge durability as the latter is tested for over 20,000 open/close cycles.
Ports and biometrics
Slimmer laptops do sacrifice a few ports. However, the ZenBook Flip S comes with a better port selection than many notebooks in the same category. On the left, there is an HDMI connection along with two USB-C ports with support for Thunderbolt 4, while on the right, you will find a single USB-A port and power button.
However, unlike many laptops in this category, the ZenBook Flip S lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. You get a USB-C dongle with a 3.5mm port in the box, though.
You don’t need to remember or type long passwords since the laptop is equipped with Windows Hello facial recognition, which works fast and accurately. However, a 720p webcam is a downer. A laptop as costly as the ZenBook Flip S must have a 1080p camera, especially during COVID times, when one has to work from home and attend lots of video calls and online meetings.
Display and audio
The display is the area where the ZenBook Flip S truly shines compared to other laptops in this price segment. No doubt, the display has bezels around, especially the lower bezel is slightly thicker, but an OLED touch panel with 4K resolution compensates by offering rich colors and decent viewing angles. The images with deep blacks look absolutely crisp and lively. Overall, you get a top-notch, immersive viewing experience.
A vibrant display is well complemented by loudspeakers, which sound full and rounded. You will experience hardly any distortion at higher volumes.
Keyboard and touchpad
As the Zenbook Flip S is a 13-inch laptop, don’t expect full-size keys with the keyboard. However, the keys don’t feel cramped. A little bit of practice will make you adept in their use, with ease. The keyboard is an LED-backlit with three presets to allow you to work even in the darks.
The touchpad is relatively big and comes with Numberpad 2.0. All you need is to tap an icon at the top-right corner of the touchpad, an LED touch-based Numpad pops up, which works seamlessly. If you work on spreadsheets too much, you will love this feature.
Performance and battery life
The ZenBook Flip S comes with the latest 11th Gen Intel Corei7 processor mated to integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. You also get 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. With this spec sheet, expect a breezy performance. Hardly you’ll notice any lag or throttling issues. Whether it is scrolling through different tabs on your browser, watching movies, or editing images and videos, the ZenBook Flip S handles multitasking with appreciable ease.
Where the ZenBook Flip S stumbles is when playing high-end games. Anyways, this laptop is not meant for gaming in the first place. But if you are a weekend player, it handles most of the e-sports and AAA titles decently well. Thankfully, with the Iris Xe graphics, ASUS claims to have doubled the performance compared to the previous generation.
The performance of the Flip S in terms of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity is also quite impressive. No perceptible stuttering or drops were reflected during connections.
But, when it comes to battery performance, don’t get your hopes up even though the laptop is armed with a large 67Wh battery. A regular work alongside a few sessions of YouTube watching lasts you about six hours only. It is, however, with the display set to the highest resolution. Scaling down the resolution does extend the battery life for sure. Having said that, the battery quickly draws juice via a USB-Type C port. A 60 percent charge is ensured in less than an hour.
Pros and cons:
- Sleek design
- Lightweight & portable
- Absolutely gorgeous display
- Reliable performance
- HD webcam
- Battery life is not up to the mark
By all accounts, the ASUS ZenBook Flip S is a solid notebook. It comes with a stunning 4K OLED display, Intel’s latest 11th Gen processor, great speakers, a much-improved stylus, and a comfortable keyboard in a slim and thin form factor and all of these without many shortcomings except for an HD webcam.
Nevertheless, a sticker price of INR149,990 is whopping in the context of the Indian market. It is the only thing that might go against it. Otherwise, as a premium offering, the ZenBook Flip S has nearly everything going for it.
It squares off with Apple’s 12-inch MacBook Pro, which is priced slightly lower but comes with the newly launched MI processor. However, you won’t get a 4K OLED screen as exquisite as the one with the ZenBook Flip S. To conclude, if you are looking for a laptop that is premium and lightweight and can also be used as a tablet, then Asus ZenBook Flip S makes a very good option.