ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370UA Review: Hands on
At Asus’ ritual Monday afternoon Computex event, they surprised many tech enthusiasts by taking the wraps off a ZenBook trio, and a pair of VivoBook gadgets –before the main event in Taipei. Top in the proceedings was the ZenBook Flip S, which chairman Jonney Shih superlatively declared as the world’s thinnest convertible laptop. The eccentric Shih isn’t always easy to excite, but it seems that is enthusiasm is well directed, if what we’ve seen in the Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 is anything to go by.
It stands out as an incredibly well-built, powerful and enviable laptop. The Flip S comes in at a mere 11millimteres in thickness and you have a choice of a seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or i7, each with 1TB SSD storage, and 16GB system memory alongside stylus support for seamless interaction with its 3840 by 2160 panel.
It seems like Asus really wanted something that would create a statement after the well-received ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA –and boy, they have succeeded by improving on nearly every aspect, while at the same time maintaining the ZenBook family’s signature feature: reasonable low pricing.
For the design, the ZenBook Flip S is insanely thing, its 10.9-millimeter profile takes the record. If you like to compare things, it is thinner than competitors like the HP Spectre x360 (13.8mm), while the Apple MacBook Air measures in at 17mm.
At just 2.4 pounds, the ZenBook Flip S is again lighter than both the HP Spectre and MacBook Air, though, we have a 2-pound MacBook that beats all of them hands down.
For Asus, making such a thin and light laptop –but packed with power and can easily swap between laptop and tablet modes, isn’t easy feat, but they expertly pulled it together. Perhaps it’s is the landmark highlight of the innovation that they put together into making the Asus ZenBook Flip S so gorgeous and sleek.
With such a design, much had to give in making the body out of aerospace-grade aluminum, craft the cooling system and a versatile hinge, that allows the screen to flip 360 degrees, while still maintaining the thin profile and svelte looks.
The result is a slim laptop that exceeds the expectations we had over its predecessors, while still emphasizing a light and solid profile. It feels premium on your hands, and is light enough to slip into a bag and carry around without any discomfort.
Another highlight here must be the 13.3-inch screen that features a 4K UHD display. It produces vivid images (pixel density of 331 PPI), alongside multi-touch support which is ideal for using when using Windows 10 with your fingers or the included stylus –especially when in tablet mode.
The screen uses ‘NanoEdge’ technology which is underlain by a screen surrounded by incredibly thin bezels (measuring 6.11mm) –representing a stunning 80% screen-to-body ration.
Thin and Well Connected
Let the ultra-thin profile not blind you, the Asus ZenBook Flip S doesn’t skimp on ports and connectivity. On the thinnest laptop –as of now, you get two USB-C ports with 4K support to external displays, in addition to being able to power the device and transfer data. In keeping the size down, Asus threw in a mini-dock, that expands the ports with HDMI, USB 3.1 and USB C. Including the dock isn’t the brightest idea, but at least Asus aren’t selling it separately as Apple.
A Peek into the Specs
While the Asus ZenBook Flip S has wowed us at the launch event, we still have a feeling that Asus aren’t being overly generous with details –considering that they only disclosed the base pricing for the lowest-specification, while at the same time only revealed the specs for the highest-specification model.
Based on that, we aren’t really sure the kind of specs each iteration will carry, since they mentioned that you’ll get the base-specification model for anything around $1099, meaning that we really don’t know how much it will cost for the exact specs.
What we do know for sure is that you’ll be able to get an Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 with the higher-specification of a seventh-generation Intel Core i7, up to 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a PCIe 3.0 SSD up to 1TB. Expect price fluctuations than the announced $1,099, but we’ll be more particular in our subsequent reviews as we get details on all models.
The ZenBook Flip S uses a new caliber of specially designed, high-capacity 39Wh lithium-polymer battery, that has been made to be as thin as possible, while delivering long battery life. For the hands-on experience, we haven’t tested it yet, but Asus bill it as a 11.5-hours= battery life., that uses fast-charge technology –same technology being used in latest smartphones– to give you 60% charge from empty in 49 minutes –a claim that stands to be proven. In our subsequent reviews, we’ll put Asus’ claim to test.
From our early hand-on review of the Asus ZenBook Flip S, we can authoritatively bill it as an excellent device. It sports a thin-and-light design, which is a good thing, and really lives up to the hype and expectations of a hybrid laptop that you can carry around to almost anywhere. It also has a sturdy, futuristic design, and feels like a premium system with a lot going for it. Other highlights to look out for include a 4K panel, full Windows 10 support, as we look forward to the actual price tag. That said, we’re really hopeful that the company will have a real hit on its table with this, especially after taking competition in the premium 2-in-1 category to the next level.
The Asus ZenBook Flip S is no doubt an incredibly thin and light 2-in-1 laptop, with lots going for it. If you’re in the market for a svelte machine that offers the best of both worlds –laptop and tablet– set on a premium design, this is a must have.
- Premium construction and design
- Awesomely thin and light weight
- Specs for low-end model not yet clear