Because the saying goes, imitation is the best type of flattery. In crafting the hybrid Asus ZenBook Flip S, the 2-in-1 laptop maker has all however cribbed Apple’s 12-inch MacBook aesthetic to create a laptop computer that nigh captures that enchantment however can achieve this rather more.
Hopefully with out being too reductive, that is primarily a 2-in-1 MacBook with out the macOS and Thunderbolt Three ports. Positive, it’s missing the butterfly hinge keyboard and super-sharp show, however it additionally has twice as many USB-C ports, a fingerprint sensor and a touchscreen.
The Asus ZenBook Flip S, whereas not with out its minor flaws, is among the many finest 2-in-1 laptops you should buy proper now. That every one begins with top-shelf design and elements.
Right here is the Asus ZenBook Flip S configuration despatched to TechSwitch for evaluate:
CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U (dual-core, 4MB cache, as much as Three.5GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (2,133 MHz)
Display: 13.Three-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,zero80) LED-backlit touchscreen (60Hz, 100% sRGB, 178-degree viewing angle, Corning Gorilla Glass)
Storage: 512GB SSD (SATA3)
Ports: 2 x USB-C Three.1, Three.5mm audio jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth four.1
Digicam: 480p (VGA) webcam
Weight: 2.42 kilos (1.1kg)
Dimension: 12.32 x eight.58 x zero.43 inches (313 x 218 x 10.9mm; W x H x D)
Value and availability
Whereas Microsoft sells the newest ZenBook Flip S with an Eighth-generation Kaby Lake Intel Core processor, you’ll be able to seize this model (listed proper) from Asus straight for a similar value: $1,399 (about £999, AU$1,819). Oddly sufficient, save for the extra dated Seventh-gen Intel Core i7 processor throughout the mannequin we’ve reviewed right here, all else is equal between editions – at the least within the US.
Asus says that the machine might be outfitted with both 8GB or 16GB of reminiscence in addition to a 256GB, 512GB or 1TB (PCIe) solid-state drive (SSD) in the event you so select, however doesn’t appear to supply these choices within the states.
Within the UK, nonetheless, Asus sells a number of ZenBook Flip S configurations, beginning with one that includes a Seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 512GB of storage and 8GB of RAM for £1,279. On the best finish, you’ll get a Seventh-gen Core i7 chip inside with the identical quantities of storage and reminiscence.
Lastly, Australia too sells only one ZenBook Flip S configuration, matching the one reviewed right here spec-for-spec and calling for AU$2,199. All of those configurations embrace a USB-C hub dongle with USB-C, HDMI and USB Three.zero, in addition to an Asus Pen stylus with 1,024 ranges of stress, within the field.
In the meantime, to get a 12-inch MacBook with comparable inside – a 1.4GHz Seventh-gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD – would value you $1,949 (£1,864, AU$2,909). After all, you don’t get the dazzling, beyond-HD display screen with the ZenBook Flip S, however conversely this laptop computer provides up contact management and a fingerprint sensor the place the MacBook doesn’t.
On a extra stage taking part in discipline, a comparably specced-out HP Spectre x360 (with barely slower, 1,600MHz RAM and a a lot sooner NVMe M.2 SSD) would value you simply one other few or quid extra at $1,429 (£1,799, AU$Three,099).
You possibly can take only one take a look at the ZenBook Flip S and instantly discover it: Asus was closely impressed by Apple’s 12-inch MacBook design. If it weren’t for the outstanding Asus emblem in gold on its lid and beneath its display screen, we wouldn’t blame you for assuming Apple had gone and made a 2-in-1 MacBook, creating an affinity for blue and gold alongside the way in which.
Every thing from the keyboard to the touchpad and the chamfered edges, this 2-in-1 laptop computer appears and feels unimaginable if not awfully iterative. A minimum of Asus sells its laptop computer in two very distinctive colour mixtures: a Royal Blue and Smoky Grey major colour with gold and silver accents all through, respectively. The previous options Asus’s trademark spun aluminum, which is very prone to fingerprints, whereas the latter is an anodized end.
After all, you’ll be able to’t actually say it doesn’t work. Asus has practically matched the MacBook in lightness at 2.42 to its 2.03 kilos and has surpassed it in thinness: zero.43 inches at its thickest level to the MacBook’s zero.53 inches. If this weren’t a 2-in-1 laptop computer, Asus could properly might have beat out Apple’s finest fully in these departments. On this regard, the ZenBook Flip S edges out the HP Spectre x360 in each instances.
Nevertheless, that thinness and weight solely leaves a lot room for connectivity, leaving the ZenBook Flip S with nothing however two USB-C Three.1 ports and an audio jack. Whereas that is doubly as many ports because the MacBook, neither are Thunderbolt Three – in the meantime the Spectre x360 beats them each with two Thunderbolt Three ports, one USB Three.1 port and a microSD card slot.
At any price, the ZenBook Flip S appears completely attractive and feels unbelievable each to carry and to make use of. The aluminum body, spun on the lid and anodized on the keyboard, virtually at all times feels cool to the contact.
As for that keyboard, it options sizable, properly spaced chiclet keys that provide each surprisingly deep, 1.0mm journey and forceful suggestions – a elegant mixture. The backlighting on the keyboard is equally attractive, with golden key characters coming to life above the white backlight.
In the meantime, the touchpad was constructed to Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad spec, and subsequently serves up wonderful palm rejection to suppress errant cursor motion whereas typing. The glass coating makes for gestures as easy as they’re on the included touchscreen.
Show and audio
Discuss taking 1080p to its limits, the ZenBook Flip S touchscreen appears and feels superb. For one, it’s an extremely vibrant display screen, with its 100% sRGB colour gamut making reds pop and blacks all however get misplaced in its 6.11mm-thin bezels. Whereas not the thinnest bezels round, an 80% screen-to-body ratio ain’t half unhealthy.
Whereas Asus doesn’t reveal figures, this can be a brightly backlit show as properly, being greater than legible or viewable at brightness ranges properly under 50%. Plus, 178-degree viewing angles assist when sharing the display screen.
Lastly, contact response on the panel is snappy and correct, although the included stylus could possibly be a little bit extra superior (with extra ranges of stress and tilt detection) for the value of the complete bundle.
As for the sound profile of this laptop computer, we discover it to be simply superb. Asus has carried out quite a lot of work to enhance its audio on its thin-and-light laptops, giving the ZenBook Flip S 4 distinct audio system with capability for encompass sound, and it exhibits. Nevertheless, with solely a lot room inside these speaker chambers, the audio is usually tinny at finest – so, convey your headphones.