ASUS Zenbook Flip S: Full, in-depth review

ASUS Zenbook Flip S
  • ASUS Zenbook Flip S
  • ASUS Zenbook Flip S
  • ASUS Zenbook Flip S
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Snazzy form-factor
  • Snappy processor

Cons

  • Weak battery life
  • On-board graphics are a little limiting

Bottom Line

The Zenbook Flip S delivers pretty close to the high-level of performance and form-factor it promises - even if the interior battery life holds it back from greatness.

Would you buy this?

Design

The Zenbook Flip S boasts the distinction of being made of an aerospace-grade aluminum alloy - and it looks the part. ASUS claim this offers 50% more protection that the standard alloy found in other laptops and, while it’s difficult put this claim under too much of a microscope, the texture of the device definitely does at-least feel like it offers a bit more protection.

ASUS have bundled in a sleeve case for you to carry the laptop in, however, I found myself just folding it up and carrying it with me in my normal work backpack in order to make the most of its tiny form-factor.

The ultralight matte texturing on the Flip S’ outer shell does a good job of keeping it from becoming too much of a smudge magnet. Generally, it looks pretty sharp in most situations. Though the gold-and-navy-blue color scheme might not be for everyone, I did find that it grew on me over time.

The display on the Zenbook Flip S also proved a standout. With 340 nits to its name, it was consistently as bright, sharp and responsive as I needed it to be. It supports video output to HDMI through the bundled converter in up to 4K, which - much like the ASUS Pen - is a neat little bonus.

Boasting support for 1024 levels of pressure, the ASUS Pen is a nice inclusion made nicer by integration with the newly-rolled out Windows Ink. As is often the case with styluses, you'll either be the kind of person who gets a lot of use out of it or the kind who forgets its even there.

Not that you have much to complain about if you're the latter. The Zenbook Flip S' keyboard manages a deft balance between being compact and being comfortable to use. With 1.0mm key travel and LED backlighting, it's a satisfying delight to use.

Performance

The Intel Core i7-7500U at the heart of the Zenbook Flip S really is the secret weapon that gives it an edge over the competition. It’s usually the case with convertibles and laptops that a slimmer form-factor often comes with a cost to performance. And at 13.3-inches, it doesn’t get a whole lot slimmer than the Zenbook Flip S.

However, the Zenbook Flip S proved itself to be up to the task of pretty much anything we threw at it. In terms of benchmarks, it held together under the pressure pretty well.

In Cinebench’s OpenGL and CPU tests it managed a pretty respectable 45.22FPS and 238cb respectively.

Though it’s obviously not the natural use-case for the convertible, we did also run the Zenbook Flip S through its paces when it came to gaming. Overall, the integrated Intel chipset fared a little better than expected. 2D, low-intensity titles like Hearthstone and Gwent ran well enough - even if it did heat up the base of the convertible by a positively-scorching amount.

However, don’t expect to be able to play anything too modern on the Flip S. Even on the lowest of settings, things like Absolver, Overwatch and XCOM struggled to gallop up to a playable framerate.

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