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Asus ZenBook Flip S review: When style met substance

There’s a simple yet powerful line in the popular TV series Mad Men where its protagonist Don Draper says, “Make it simple, but make it significant.” The line goes perfectly in sync with Asus’s latest device, the Zenbook Flip S – claimed to be the thinnest laptop in the world. As the tech world is slowly being seduced by the charm of convertibles – 2-in-1 devices – the Zenbook Flip S comes as a powerful offering. Priced at Rs 1,30,000, it’s a laptop that boasts of top-of-the-line specs, is stylish looking and of course is extremely light. Thinnest or not, we aren’t going to contest the claim but we will say that it’s one of the thinnest devices we have come across. Here’s our complete review:


Design

The Asus ZenBook Flip S is a laptop that’s all about its design aesthetics. There’s an Apple MacBook Air feel to it as Asus has gone for minimalistic look yet retains a lot of functionality. It comes in blue colour with gold accents around the edges – this lends a touch of elegance to the look of the laptop. A problem that most convertibles suffer from is the 180-degree hinges that add to the bulk. However, the ZenBook Flip S doesn’t suffer from any such issues. This a seriously lightweight laptop as it weighs just 1.1 kg and yet it feels sturdy and not some flimsy device.

With Asus going for the thin form factor, the casualty here are ports – something that MacBook Air also suffers from. Not that you’ll feel short-changed but don’t go expecting a plethora of ports. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the right hand side and since it’s a 2-in-1 it supports touchscreen as well. You get two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack also. If you want to use other USB devices, Asus gives a port dongle with the laptop. It’s cumbersome but that’s the way it is with the thin and sleek laptops.

Both the keyboard and touchpad on the ZenBook Flip S are a treat to work on. The backlit keyboard offers good amount of travel between keys whereas the touchpad is extremely responsive. It offers multi-touch gestures and works smoothly. When it comes to the design, Asus hasn’t put a foot wrong with the ZenBook. The keyboard, the touchpad, the chamfered edges, the thinness, everything about ZenBook’s design gets thumbs up from us. The only thing missing from the ZenBook Flip S is a Thunderbolt 3 port which can be found in the HP Spectre x360.

Display

Style can only work if it’s backed by substance. Since this is a 2-in-1 device, let’s deal with the display experience in two parts. The ZenBook Flip S doesn’t have really thin bezels – all the thinness went in the design we guess – but still has about 80% screen-to-body ratio. It’s not bad from any angle as the display looks immersive. The screen is vibrant as the display offers FHD resolution of 1920*1080with 331ppi density. Asus has also incorporated what it calls 178 degrees wide view technology. The viewing angles are good when used in the tablet mode and images are super sharp. The touch response of the device is pretty accurate and Asus has given a stylus pen also.

In the laptop mode also, the display manages to do a good job as watching videos, Netflix and other OTT content is a pleasure. Just like the design, it’s hard to find any fault with the Asu ZenBook Flip display.

Performance

When you shell out more than 100,000 rupees on a laptop then you expect a certain level of performance. The Asus ZenBook Flip S performs as well as any laptop with similar specs. It boasts of 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM which does the job well. For routine tasks like browsing the Internet, using Microsoft Word or consuming multimedia content, the i7 processor is more than sufficient and there aren’t any lags. You can render video files or play heavy-duty games and the ZenBook Flip S won’t disappoint.

Having said that, setting up the ZenBook Flip S does take an awful lot of time. But that’s the case with any laptop that runs Windows 10 like this Asus one does. Somehow, Microsoft needs to make the process a bit faster. The fingerprint scanner is a welcome addition to the ZenBook Flip S and it works accurately almost every time you use it.

The ZenBook Flip S has four speakers with surround sound but the audio performance is just about satisfactory. We tried to run a few performance tests on the ZenBook Flip S but somehow were unable to perform them on the ZenBook Flip S.

Nevertheless, it’s a laptop that checks all the boxes for most users who indulge in routine tasks on their laptop. Both for entertainment and purposes, this laptop is a good option. Although the sound output could’ve been better, so it’s better to have a good pair of headphones with you.

Just don’t go comparing the performance of this laptop with a MacBook Air. It’s not a slight on Asus but the MacOS does deliver better performance than Windows devices.

Battery

Battery life is thin laptops sometimes does get compromised but Asus ZenBook thankfully doesn’t suffer from this problem. It lasts close to eight hours on a single charge which in our experience ranks pretty well. Even while watching movies the Add to it the fact that it has fast charging support clinches the deal for ZenBook Flip S. With fast charging, the laptop gets charged up to 60% in less than 50 minutes.

Verdict

When you go laptop shopping, there are three criterias that most people have: looks, weight and performance. The Asus ZenBook Flip S meets all three with aplomb but isn’t easy on the pocket. Starting at Rs 1,30,000, the Asus ZenBook Flip S is targeted at the premium end of the market, and more importantly at buyers who are more style-conscious. There are a few things amiss – a Thunderbolt 3 port – but that’s being a tad unfair on a laptop that delivers what it promises. A thin, good-looking device that packs in the performance. Still, as far as convertibles go, there’s HP’s Spectre x360 which will give the ZenBook Flip S a tough run for its money. You won’t go wrong with the ZenBook Flip S though as this head turner of a device blends style and substance perfectly.







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