Foldable fun with the ZenBook Flip S
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
It’s better looking, tougher, better lit and, if you like, quieter than all predecessors
Ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight, the ZenBook Flip S (UX370) from Asus is a two-in-one Ultrabook computer that’s got plenty of power for business applications.
As the name suggests, the Flip S display can be folded 360 degrees to become a handy tablet computer.
Just 10.9mm thin and 1.1 kilograms, this gadget is great for business executives to conveniently carry around for making presentations wherever they go.
The Flip S is light but strong, precision-crafted from 6013 aluminium alloy, a material common in aerospace applications. Asus says it’s 50 per cent stronger than the 6063 alloy used in many standard laptops.
The Flip S also manages to look quite elegant when adorned with the signature ZenBook spun-metal finish and brilliant-cut diamonds on the edges. The Royal Blue model features a Zen-inspired spun-metal finish on its all-metal unibody enclosure.
Despite being so thin, the Flip Si packs a full-size keyboard that’s comfortable to type on. The full-size backlit keyboard has impressive “key travel” of just 1mm, ensuring that typing is both easy and accurate.
The substantial power comes from an Intel Core i77500U dualcore processor running at 2.7GHz. You have eight gigabytes of working memory (RAM) and a fast 512GB of SSD storage.
The Windows 10 Home 64bit operating system makes dynamic use of the touch screen, which is illuminated from the back with a 13.3-inch LED Full HD display at 1,920by1,080-pixel resolution boasting a 60Hz refresh rate and 178-degree view. Corning Gorilla Glass protects the screen.
Asus Eye Care technology reduces blue light by up to 30 per cent. And the display looks large because the bezel is just 6.11mm thin, for an 80 per cent screen-to-body ratio.
Viewing video and high-resolution photos is thrilling on this baby, further enhanced by a very good sound system. The stereo speakers employ magnets two times larger and voice coils one and a half times larger than found in the previous generation.
The smart amplifier allows the speakers to be driven further – in fact three times louder than what you get from a normal amplifier – without distortion or speaker damage.
Asus says its Golden Ear team and audiophile specialists at Harman Kardon joined forces to produce the new SonicMaster audio technology for the Flip S. Its two separate high-quality speakers powered by a smart two-channel amplifier generate surround-sound ideal for watching movies.
I found the Flip S started up and shut down fast. Its touch screen and menus scrolled quickly and smoothly. Business applications like Microsoft Office, Word and PowerPoint ran without problem.
The fun thing about the Flip S is that ability to fold up into a tablet on a 360-degree Ergo-Lift hinge. This hinge is a precision-engineered metal multigear that provides a smooth, stepless action and holds the display securely at any angle.
A dual-action mechanism lifts and tilts the keyboard into the perfect typing position when the display is opened beyond 135 degrees. Asus says the Ergo-Lift hinge is “torture-tested” – opened and closed more than 20,000 times to prove its reliability.
Apart from tablet mode, the Flip S can form a tent with the two edges serving as stands, and switch to presentation mode with the display flipped back and the keyboard facedown on the table.
In tablet mode, you get to try out the Asus Pen, an active stylus with a slim and elegant aluminium design that feels pretty posh. You can accurately draw, write or annotate in any supported app.
Full support is also provided for Windows Ink, an app that allows you to create sticky notes and jot down ideas as they occur to you. You can even take a screenshot and share it in one click. The pen has 1,024 pressure levels, so it’s great with any drawing applications.
The integrated fingerprint sensor on the top right edge enables access with security, using the Windows Hello feature of Widows 10 and without the need to key in a password.
The sensor, measuring just 16 by 3.6mm, affords superquick recognition, even from a partial fingerprint scan.
Another terrific feature of this Ultrabook is the Quiet Fan app, with which you can select the fan’s ideal noise level for any task at hand and switch between balanced and high-performance modes. The standard fan speed is ideal for quiet computing, but you can turn Quiet Fan off to allow for with high load demands, when the fan will be noisier.
The Flip S can be expanded through two USBC ports, which are there to handle external displays, power delivery and data transfer – all via one reversible, anyway-up connector. The bundled Mini Dock gives you an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 port and a USBC port for fast charging.
Battery life is good – up to 11 hours. The 39Wh lithiumpolymer battery is shaped to precisely fit the thin profile. Fast-charge technology will let you power back up to 60 per cent capacity in just 49 minutes.
And, on top of all this, you get a black leather sleeve to keep your Flipper safe from scratches.
The Asus ZenBook Flip S has a suggested retail price of Bt63,990.
KEY SPECS: Asus ZenBook Flip S
– Operating system: Windows 10 Home
– CPU: Intel Core i77500U processor 2.7GHz dualcore
– Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
– Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit Full HD with Corning Gorilla Glass
– Memory: 8GB 2133 MHz DDR3
Storage; 512GB SATA3 SSD
– Ports: 2xUSB 3.1 Generation 1 USBC
– Audio: Two speakers ASUS SonicMaster Premium stereo audio system with surround-sound effects
– Camera: VGA webcam
– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
– Battery: 39Wh 2cell lithiumpolymer good for up to 11.5 hours
– Dimensions: 10.9x313x118mm
– Weight: 1.1kg