This ultra-thin, ultra-light convertible is a stylish laptop, a handy tablet – or anything in between
By Anuj Bhatia,
When you do a Google search for a laptop that’s both powerful and slim, very few options come up. While there is a segment for ultrabooks that meet the needs of many people, not every notebook in that category is geared towards entertainment. Surprisingly, Asus’ new ZenBook Flip S seems to be among the few ultrabooks that showcase the power of the Tiger Lake CPU in a slim form factor. Not to forget, this 2-in-1 has a 4K OLED screen as well as great audio. But will you spend `Rs 1,49,990 on a notebook when the new MacBook Pro with the M1 chip costs the same? We will find out all that and more in our detailed review.
Design and build
The ZenBook Flip S gives the impression of a high-end notebook. The laptop is made of an aluminum alloy and the build is solid. At 1.2 kg, the ZenBook Flip S is extremely light and I had no issues fitting this laptop in my backpack or laptop sleeve. Being a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, the ZenBook Flip S lets you swivel the screen a full 360-degree. Apart from using the Flip S as a standard laptop, you can tilt the screen back or put it in a tent mode. It can be converted into a tablet with touch and pen support (Asus stylus is included in the box) but it’s best to use it as a laptop, sitting on a desk or lap.
The ZenBook Flip S has a better port selection than many notebooks in the same category. On the left, you will find an HDMI connection, two USB-C ports with support for Thunderbolt 4. On the right-hand side, there is a single USB-A port and power button.
Display and audio quality
The screen is perhaps the highlight of the ZenBook Flip S. It’s a 13.3-inch 4K OLED panel with touch capability. The 4K OLED screen is above the notch, with deep blacks, rich colours, and decent viewing angles. The brilliant 4K OLED display is complemented by excellent speakers.
Keyboard and trackpad
Despite the ZenBook Flip S having a small footprint, its keyboard does not feel cramped. The keys are decently sized and the backlit keyboard is comfortable to type on. I had no trouble with the ZenBook Flip S’s responsive trackpad, which incorporates Numberbad 2.0. All you need is to tap an icon in the top right corner of the touchpad, an LED touch-based Numpad pops up. The Numpad works well for a laptop of this size.
Performance and battery
The Flip S’s claim to fame is Intel’s latest Tiger Lake processor. My review unit came with a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 with Xe integrated graphics, along with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. So it’s a fairly powerful machine but I did not see a drastic difference between the 10th generation processors and 11th generation processors. I could open multiple Chrome tabs open; edit images; play music on Apple Music; stream my favourite show on Amazon Prime
Video and edit a Google Doc file all at the same time.
One thing I particularly did not like about the Flip S is its battery life. Even though the notebook comes with a 67Wh battery, I got approximately four and a half hours. This was when I set the resolution to 3840x2160p— but you can turn the resolution to 1080p to increase the battery.
The Flip S laptop does charge fast, though. It takes 60 minutes to fully charge the battery.
Overall, the Asus ZenBook Flip S is a solid machine with Intel’s 11th-generation processor, a 4K OLED display, great speakers, a superior stylus, and a keyboard that is comfortable to use in a slim and thin form factor.
Estimated street price: Rs 1,49,990