Asus launched its convertible laptop, the AsusZenBook Flip S (UX370) in India about three months ago. This version updates the notebook convertible series with the latest processor in the market, the 8th generation Coffee-lake processors by Intel along with the usual top-end specifications that come with the ZenBook series. The company priced the ZenBook Flip S (UX370) at Rs 1,30,990 and it is already available on sale at retailers across the country
The company is well known in the gaming space for its ROG (Republic of Gamers) lineup of gaming machines and peripherals. To be specific, it is known for creating powerful machines with impressive cooling that allows the ROG gaming laptops and desktops to provide high performance under sustained loads. The ZenBook is an attempt to capture the other end of the market, the ultra-lightweight space where consumers don’t really want a bulky laptop and instead would go for something light. The 2-in-1 form factor increases the scope that the company can target when it comes to consumers.
I have not used the previous devices as part of the ZenBook so I was excited to see what Asus manages to achieve with this lineup when the company sent us a review unit for the ZenBook Flip S (UX370).
Asus sent us its top-of-the-line ZenBook Flip S (UX370) that packs an Intel 8th generation Core i7-8550U CPU clocked at 1.8GHz with a turbo frequency of up to 4GHz along with 16GB LPDDR3 RAM and 512GB SATA3 SSD storage. The company claims that it is the lightest and thinnest convertible in the laptop industry with 11.2mm at its thickest and just 1.1 kilograms in weight.
The Zenbook Flip S (UX370) does not come with discrete graphics, and instead, it runs the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. Asus has added a 13.3-inch display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. To my delight and relief, the display also comes with thin bezels, something that Asus has termed as the NanoEdge design. The device comes with a convertible design that depends on that “360-degree hinge”; more on this in the design section.
The notebook comes with support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, the integrated fingerprint sensor on the right side of the device, two USB Type-C ports, a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys, and a large touchpad with glass, palm rejection, and Windows precision driver support. Asus claims to have packed its dual Asus SonicMaster Premium stereo speakers that have been certified by Harman Kardon along with a microphone array for Cortana. It also comes with a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and a VGA web camera for video conferencing while being powered by a 39Wh 2-cell lithium-ion battery.
Design and Display
The ZenBook Flip S (UX370) comes in an impressive and slim package while packing top of the line specifications. I used the notebook for about two weeks and fell in love with how well built the device was. The company seems to have nailed the design with the minimalist approach that it has taken, with a mute blue shade along with a mix of what seems to be a golden accented finish running across the borders. The hinge is a bit different than what I have seen in other laptops but that has largely to do with the 360-degree convertible form factor.
However, regardless of the good design choices, I still found some issues with other choices that Asus made while designing the device. The primary complaint has to be with the finish of the device. Regardless of a metallic finish on the top and a more plastic-like finish on the bottom, the finish easily caught smudges and I sometimes found it hard to remove those visible smudges. A more matte-like finish or probably a different material may have fixed the issue
Keyboard and Trackpad
One thing I have to mention again and again is about how well built the ZenBook Flip S was making it a delight to use. I came to appreciate that quality I pushed the device to its edge with my continuous working and typing on the device for hours because its better to have a stiff keyboard with good keys than something that is not sturdy and the flexible frame makes it a task to type correctly. The layout of the keys was a bit spread out in comparison to what I have used but I quickly got used to that. The keys had reasonable actuation points so I didn’t have to press it too hard for them to register.
Asus has added backlighting with the keys but that is less than stellar with non-uniform distribution of lights along with some bleeding which took away from how polished the rest of the device looked. The device sports a reasonably large trackpad that comes with support for precision drivers by Windows and the glass surface made it easy to use.
If you are an Asus -loyalist and have the money to spare then, by all means, go ahead with the Asus ZenBook Flip S. But to everyone else, I would recommend you to check out the alternatives mentioned about while keeping in mind your usage scenario before locking the deal.