With more bloggers and designers on Instagram than we need, the fashion industry is screaming at tech journos for not dishing out more 2-in-1 laptop reviews. Don’t blame us, the slumber party at convertibles-dot-com has just ended and we’ve already reviewed three 2-in-1 laptops since January!
This Asus is a mighty fine convertible. So fine, that we’d fancy carrying it almost to every coffee store in the vicinity, but does it have what it takes to bring down the king-of-flex Lenovo Yoga?
Asus ZenBook Flip S: Body and design
Fresh out of the box, the ZenBook looks appealing, and two weeks down the line I was still impressed with the design and colour scheme. The Royal Blue and Gold highlights don’t diminish the appeal of this laptop over a period of time for sure.
As for the body, any fledgling of art and design will be convinced by its seamless aluminum body. The zen-inspired spun-metal finish on the lid is the obvious differentiator between this convertible and all the others in the market. It’s not as drastic and hipster-looking as the Lenovo Yoga 920 Vibes, and certainly nowhere close to the grey-slapped Dell Inspiron 13 7373. The Flip S stays premium while sneaking in a bit of sexy with its colour scheme and a remarkable finish.
There are two USB Type-C 3.1, one on each side, but no Thunderbolt. You can charge your laptop using either one while the volume rocker sits on the side along with the power button. You don’t need to stress about your USB Type-A pendrive becoming redundant though. The good people at Asus have packed an adapter in the box that also gets the zen-inspired design treatment. It lets you connect HDMI, USB Type-C, and USB Type-A.
The fingerprint sensor is embedded on the right side between the port and buttons. It’s so well placed that you can hardly tell that there is a fingerprint scanner on the laptop and it works flawlessly. It took a bit getting used to, but once I got accustomed to it, it was effortless.
Asus ZenBook Flip S: Display and pen
The 13.3inch display sports a Full HD (1920x1080) resolution, and it bends over backwards for 2-in-1 love. Watching Altered Carbon on Netflix was good enough with no noticeable colour flaws. The viewing angles are great too.
But obviously it's a 2-in-1 so you want to know how it works with a pen. Asus have boxed a digital pen inside which is a good deal but it isn’t the best in class. It has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity as opposed to Lenovo’s 4,096 levels. Aside from number crunching, the performance is nothing to write home about. Serious designers will be looking for a better digital pen in my opinion.
That’s a bit of a shame because the laptop weighs just 1.1kgs and is perfect for using in tablet mode. It barely strains your arms even when holding it for extending periods of time. Your masterpiece will certainly get your undivided attention, only to be crippled by a lackluster digital pen.
Asus ZenBook Flip S:Performance and battery life
One of the most remarkable advances in computer hardware was the ultra fast SSD. The ZenBook Flip S has a 512GB M.2 SSD which is essentially SSD on steroids. And with Intel i7 8550U and 16GB RAM, this laptop absolutely flies through Windows.
Photoshop and InDesign run buttery smooth but at the expense of battery life. The 39Wh battery drains in about four to five hours even on regular use. You can suck a little more life from it by shifting to battery saver mode but it’s just not enough. Fast charge is a saving grace but that heats up the laptop considerably. Even kicking the supposedly Quiet Fan into throttle mode and making it a not-so-quiet-fan.
Asus ZenBook Flip S:Keyboard and features
The Royal Blue and Gold styling vibe off to the keyboard area this time. The buttons are a darker shade of blue with yellow shaded keyboard characters highlighted by the white backlight. They are nice to type on and have a satisfying travel. The trackpad is decent and responsive as well.
The speakers have got a thumbs up from the audio giant Harman Kardon, and the sound surprisingly amazing for such a thin chassis. You won’t miss your headphones when you binge on Netflix but we don’t recommend blasting mumble rap in office ‘cause they can get pretty loud.
Once you’re done for the day, the laptop can sit nicely inside the black sleeve included in the box. There’s space for the digital pen as well. It looks really chic and if you’re not whipping around the charger, the sleeve and a Starbucks coffee in hand will go nicely on your Instagram Business profile as well.
Asus ZenBook Flip S: Verdict
The Flip S is a genuinely good 2-in-1 laptop. Straight from the box you get about everything you would need to start using the laptop the way it is meant to be.
It’s a 2-in-1 with latest specs?
Yes it is.
But would I need to buy a digital pen separately?
No, Asus has put one inside for you.
Can I carry it to the closest Starbucks?
At 1.1kg, you’ll feel like you’re barely holding anything and with the sleeve on, it’s safe and sexy to move about as well.
What if my client puts the upcoming project in a primitive USB Type-A?
Asus has included an adapter in the box as well and there’s place for it in the aforementioned sleeve.
Aside from an average battery life, the clunky pen is a bummer for serious designers and creators looking for the absolute best. Also, Asus hasn’t launched any other digital pen to match the standards of Microsoft’s and Lenovo’s digital buddy. So the ZenBook Flip S is the jack of all trades when it comes to convertible laptops but for ₹20k more, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is still our favourite.