Review: Asus ZenBook Flip is a premium Windows convertible
Asus’ new laptop convertible can handle the rigours of work and can slip into the role of personal laptop and tablet as well
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Asus’ latest line-up of ultra-book convertibles in the ZenBook series has been designed keeping the needs of professional users in mind. The sleek form factor makes carrying them easy while the flexible hinge design provides the flexibility of using it as a tablet when the need arises.
It comes in multiple variants. The more affordable ones (UX360CA) run on Intel’s new core m7 processor and start at Rs.46,000, while the one running on Intel’s Core i7 processor (UX360UA), which we have reviewed here, is priced at Rs.97,990.
Design: Classy looks, light form factor
ZenBook Flip, as the name suggests, is a convertible which allows the lid to be flipped backwards until it touches the base of the keyboard, and can be used as a big screen tablet. The keyboard is automatically disabled to prevent unintentional typing when the lid is flipped backwards even up to 180 degrees. You can use the keyboard as a stand to prop up the display while watching movies or for using the display like a tablet.
The lid and the keyboard are joined together with a pair of metal hinges, called the “Jewel hinges” by Asus on account of their shiny appearance. They are also much smaller in size compared to the ZenBook Flip’s running on the Intel m series processors. The hinge works smoothly which makes switching between the tablet and laptop easy.
The laptop’s other highlight is the aluminium finish, which brings in the element of solidity to the device. The texture on aluminium by itself doesn’t pick up smudges readily. In this case Asus has added a pattern of concentric circles on the lid. This gives it a slightly different look. It is a beautiful looking laptop, especially the icicle gold colour variant. It is also available in mineral grey.
The laptop weighs just 1.3kg which is impressive by the standards of a 13.3-inch laptop or laptop convertible. Despite the sleek profile (13.9mm with the lid down) it packs in two USB 3.0 ports, 1HDMI port, 1 USB type C connector and SD card slot.
Keyboard: Big and backlit keys
Though a compact notebook, the laptops comes with a well laid out keyboard. The keys are made of plastic but are wide in size. There is ample space between them to prevent typing by chance, while the chicklet design ensures protection against spills. Even though the keys feel a bit awkwardly raised, typing on it was easy. The wide palm rest can accommodate big hands easily. The keys are backlit which means it can be used in the dark with the same ease that we saw earlier.
The touchpad is wide and supports multi-touch gestures such as two finger pick for zooming in or out, three finger downward swipe to open desktop and double tap for right click. The left right cursor have been demarcated for user’s convenience.
Performance: Works smoothly, runs Windows 10
ZenBook Flip is not just a combination of top notch looks and solid build quality but has very powerful internals as well. Powered by Intel’s 6th Gen Core i7 processor with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD, the UC360UA is the most powerful notebook in the ZenBook Flip series. It boots up in ten seconds while apps open almost instantly. Overall, it can handle all office related tasks such as typing, working on slides, online streaming, video calls without any issues or heating up. The laptop’s battery backup is impressive.
The battery lasts 6 to 8 hours of non-stop use which is impressive for users who might use it for office as well as personal use.
Equipped with Harman Kardan’s audio technology, the sound that you hear is louder and clearer, compared to most slim laptops.
It runs Windows 10 out of the box and offers 1 month’s free access to Microsoft Office 2016 productivity suite as well.
Display: Sharp but reflective
This is one of the few laptops which provides ultra HD (3,840x2,160p) resolution on a 13.3-inch display. There is not much of ultra HD content, though Netflix provides streaming in ultra HD, but you will need faster broadband connection for it to work smoothly. This is a bright looking display and due to the high resolution text and web pages look really crisp. The only grumble with the screen is its reflective nature. In bright rooms or when used outdoor, the display reflects a lot. Also, it picks up smudges readily.
ZenBook Flip is a powerful laptop convertible for professionals looking for a machine that is easily portable, exudes class, can double up as tablet, can withstand pressures of travel and is powerful enough to handle most work related tasks. Overall, the ZenBook Flip UX360UA fulfils all its promises. At this price this is the most powerful ultra-book convertible we have come across. In case you are looking for something that weighs even less as tablet, you can go for Microsoft Surface Pro. The Core i Series version of Surface Pro with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD and Intel’s 6th gen Core i5 processor is available at Rs.73,990. It comes with a detachable keyboard, runs Windows 10 and has a 12.3-inch full HD display.