Updated: December 17, 2020, 3:11:03 p.m.
If you are looking for a powerful and slim laptop on Google, there are very few options available. While there is a segment of ultrabooks that meets the needs of many people, not every notebook in this category is geared towards “entertainment”. Surprisingly, Asus’ new ZenBook Flip S seems to be one of a handful of ultrabooks that demonstrate the performance of the Tiger Lake CPU in a slim form factor. And let’s not forget, this 2-in-1 has a 4K OLED screen and great audio. But will you spend Rs 149,990 on a notebook when the new MacBook Pro with the M1 chip costs the same? We find out all of this and more in our detailed review.
Asus ZenBook Flip S Price in India: Rs 149,990
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: design and build
The ZenBook Flip S gives the impression of a high-end notebook. You can feel the premium quality of the laptop the way it was designed. The laptop is made of aluminum alloy and is solidly built. At 1.2 kg, the ZenBook Flip S is extremely light and I had no problems putting this laptop in my backpack or laptop bag. The lid is black with concentric Asus circles and it is impossible not to be influenced by the notebook.
The ZenBook Flip S, a convertible 2-in-1 laptop, lets you pan the screen a full 360 degrees. Aside from using the Flip S as a standard laptop, you can tilt the screen backwards or put it in a tent mode. It can also be converted into a tablet with touch and pen support (the Asus pen is included). However, it’s best to use it as a laptop, on a desk, or on your lap.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: connections and biometric authentication
The ZenBook Flip S offers 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 there is a single USB-A port and a power switch. Unfortunately, the notebook lacks a 3.55mm headphone jack, although you get a USB-C dongle with a 3.5mm port in the box.
The notebook does not have a physical fingerprint scanner. Instead, the webcam has Windows Hello face recognition. This means that you no longer have to enter a long password or PIN to unlock the laptop. I found the Windows Hello facial recognition authentication method to be largely reliable. There were no problems getting access to the notebook, even without glasses. However, disappointingly, the 720p webcam is average. Now that everyone works from home and video calling is the standard medium for communicating with clients and colleagues, a laptop as expensive as the ZenBook Flip S should come with a 1080p webcam.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: display and audio quality
The screen is perhaps the highlight of the ZenBook Flip S. It’s no ordinary LCD screen found in 98 percent of high-end notebooks. Instead, it is a 13.3-inch 4K OLED panel with a touch function. While the screen is an OLED variant, it doesn’t extend from edge to edge. This isn’t really crap. The 4K OLED screen is above the notch, with deep blacks, rich colors, and decent viewing angles. With the advent of OLED screens, where budget smartphones and TVs are becoming increasingly popular, I would expect laptop manufacturers to use OLED panels on a large scale for a full experience on premium notebooks. This makes a lot of sense, especially now that many consumers like me spend more time watching TV shows and movies on a laptop than on their TVs.
The brilliant 4K OLED display is complemented by excellent speakers. Although they don’t get as loud as those on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the speakers sound round and full. When I played Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” on the Flip S, I could hear the singing clearly and there was no distortion at higher volumes.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: keyboard and trackpad
Although the ZenBook Flip S has a small footprint, the keyboard doesn’t feel tight. The keys are a decent size and the backlit keyboard is comfortable to use. I had no issues with the responsive trackpad on the ZenBook Flip S, which includes Numberbad 2.0. All you have to do is tap an icon in the top right corner of the touchpad. An LED touch based numpad will be displayed. The numpad works well for a laptop of this size.
Asus ZenBook Flip S review: performance and battery
The fame of the Flip S is Intel’s newest Tiger Lake processor. My test device came with a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 with integrated Xe graphics as well as 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. So it’s a pretty powerful machine, but I didn’t see a drastic difference between the 10th generation processors and the 11th generation processors. I could open multiple Chrome tabs open. Edit pictures; Play music on Apple Music; Stream my favorite show on Amazon Prime Video and edit a Google Doc file at the same time. The Flip S is a powerful machine … but this isn’t a laptop that can run professional programs and AAA titles like Forza Horizon 4. People like me will never have problems with the Flip S because I could do most of my daily chores without any problems.
One thing I didn’t particularly like about the Flip S is the battery life. Although the notebook is equipped with a 67 Wh battery, I have about four and a half hours. At that point I set the resolution to 3840 x 2160p. However, you can set the resolution to 1080p to increase the battery life. However, the Flip S laptop charges quickly. It takes 60 minutes to fully charge the battery.
Asus ZenBook Flip S Review: Should You Buy It?
The Asus ZenBook Flip S is a solid machine with Intel’s 11th generation processor, a 4K OLED display, great speakers, a superior pen, and a keyboard that’s comfortable to use in a sleek and thin form factor. However, I’m not sure if the Flip S can compete with Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro that comes with the newly introduced M1 processor. This could be the option for most of the people who want a laptop with all day battery life and great performance. You won’t get a 4K OLED screen, however.
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