- Good sense of form and experience in general
- A solid quality of treatment
- Good specs under the hood
- Solid state 4K OLED panel on a device like this
- The ASUS stylus holder is good and included in the box.
- No headphone jack
- The hinge is a bit scary, despite extensive testing.
- An additional discrete graphics processor would have made this laptop much more attractive.
The Asus ZenBook series consists of several laptop options, designed for different customers who want something special from their laptop. They have a 2-in-1 laptop called Flip. We’ve reviewed some of their Flip-based laptops in the past, but that’s exactly what it is – a foldable 2-in-1 laptop, but this time ASUS has upped the ante with a better screen and some much needed changes to the laptop – so here’s the ASUS ZenBook Flip S OLED UX371 review.
Seeing and feeling
Despite the ZenBook name, the Flip S is a 2-in-1 laptop, and some changes need to be made to make this form factor suitable. That said, the laptop has some very notable design changes, from fit and finish to practical technology. The Flip S is thinner than the regular Zenbook, and it also gets the no headphone jack treatment of the entire Zenbook line, which is honestly a bit of a shame since you could use it in its tent mode for video consumption and entertainment, and it doesn’t have a headphone jack. But there’s that whole you win, you lose thing I’ll talk about later. The entire laptop is made of metal, which gives it a high-end look. Not to mention that the color scheme ASUS has chosen for this Flip S is excellent – the bronze finish, which seems subtle enough but still stands out in the crowd, is a good choice.
In terms of feel, the laptop is matte throughout, with the exception of the spiral bezel on the screen, which is characteristic of the entire Zenbook design. The hinge is the key here, and personally I wish Asus had chosen a different hinge technology, as they have used the same hinge in the past and it still hasn’t let them down. When using the keyboard in laptop mode, the keyboard wobbles a bit. That’s why I said ASUS could have designed a better loop, honestly. But folding it into tablet mode or using it in tent mode is no problem and works well.
Display and experience
Of course, the performance is the most important change in the laptop, but there is another much more important change in the laptop, and that is the screen. In the past, ASUS has moved to OLED for a certain portion of its laptops, such as the Zenbook Pro Duo, ExpertBook and so on – the ZenBook Flip S is now new to getting this treatment. It has a 13 and 4K OLED panel and a touchpad with 4096 pressure levels and a penpower of 10-300 grams. They also managed to keep the webcam in its usual place, at the very top, and unlike other Zenbooks with shaved edges, the Zenbook Flip has a good amount of thick edges all around with a much thicker chin that also highlights the ASUS ZenBook brand.
What I have to talk about most with this laptop is the screen, as ASUS has taken some interesting steps to avoid some issues and also provide the best experience you can get with an OLED panel. One thing OLED screens are good for – well, there’s not much they’re good for: Best-in-class colors and everything possible with their calibration. True Black is Pantone-certified and guarantees accurate colours, as black should be, very good vividness and a sharper image thanks to its high pixel density per inch. There’s the blue light thing, but I have a personal opinion that we’ll talk about in a whole other content.
The screen does everything you say above, and in fact one of my main complaints in the past with 2-in-1s has been the way the lower screens were chosen for these laptops, as it has the most potential packed under the hood, and the higher pixel count will help users take advantage of the screen in any mode. I’m happy and satisfied to say it – the Zenbook Flip S screen is the cream of the crop among 2-in-1 convertible screens.
The Zenbook Flip S’s screen is an attractive combination of screens found in 2-in-1 convertible laptops.
Put it in any shape you want and you’ll love using it. The fact that ASUS integrates a stylus into the laptop is a win in my eyes, because you don’t have to spend extra money for a stylus and do your best. Since we were still more or less sitting at home, I used the screen to fill out a few applications, sign documents, all with the ZenBook Flip S. The Windows experience in terms of touch and stylus interaction really needs to be improved, as Microsoft seems to be messing it up and I don’t like that, but in applications like Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat, the stylus seems to work well and it’s not a problem. This is more of a Microsoft problem than an ASUS problem.
One of the biggest issues with an OLED panel is burn-in – an inevitable problem with any panel, as OLED is very susceptible to it – when we tested the old Dell XPS, we experienced this problem, so we were hesitant to recommend it. ASUS, on the other hand, has the simplest feature that has been around for a decade built into its laptop: ASUS OLED Care – essentially a screen protector to prevent this burn-in. That’s great. The little things matter, and those things win our hearts.
Now for the show: Honestly, what you get here is pretty much the same as other Zenbooks with the same Intel Evo certified processors and such. Below are the technical specifications of this laptop:
- 11th generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor. Generation
- Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics processor with shared memory
- 16 GB built-in DDR4 memory
- 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
The benchmark test results for this laptop are largely in the same spectrum as the Zenbook with the 11th generation processor. This is the same 2nd generation we tested last year – so expect the same results under the hood. However, to keep it simple and clear, please read the points in the table below. If you’re wondering what kind of work this machine can do, it is. The above specifications are more geared towards performance and light editing tasks. Of course, users looking for simple editing and creation with a drawing program will admire the 2-in-1 form factor, and that with the fact that the Iris Xe has a good integrated GPU that users can rely on, and we said in our previous review that the laptop even has the potential to play games even when set to low settings. But keep in mind that because it’s a thin and light laptop, thermosiphons will likely be triggered.
If your laptop’s power isn’t enough, Thunderbolt support lets you use the eGPU to get more work done. Even if you don’t get desktop-like performance and don’t notice the bottleneck, remember that performance is always better than nothing.
Keyboard and trackpad
If you’re familiar with the Zenbook’s keyboard layout, you’ll get used to it right away, but there are some subtle changes. Unlike the regular Zenbook, which has many square buttons, the Flip S has one rectangular button. It takes some getting used to at first, but once you get used to it, it’s easier to use. The keys are arranged correctly: there is a large control key on the right-hand side, and the special function keys are arranged in vertical order on the right-hand side. The arrow keys are small, but easy to use. I wish ASUS would make use of the extra space at the top to make some of the buttons a little bigger. It is equipped with a backlight and is therefore ideal for use in low light conditions or in a dark room. The chiclet keyboard takes some getting used to, as it’s soft rather than itchy.
The trackpad, on the other hand, is exactly the same as that of the Zenbook, as it sits on that glass-covered surface with a numeric keypad below the trackpad. The trackpad is much larger and the palm display is fantastic. When I type, my right hand covers part of the trackpad, and I had no problems typing.
Speaker and battery life
The speakers on the Zenbook Flip S are located on the front instead of the side, which puts the sound in a better light. ASUS has never disappointed in the speaker department, and the Sound by Harman Kardon sticker on the case carries some weight when it comes to sound, and I don’t regret it. Especially when used in tent or screen mode, the sound is not too direct. This is due to the fact that the bottom is curved and the speaker is facing the surface, which can result in a slightly reverberant sound. Something to keep in mind.
The Flip S has a 67-watt battery that promises about 10 hours of battery life. In our test, it lasted about 7-8 hours in our PCMARK battery benchmark, which is okay. The thing is, this laptop has USB-C charging, so you can get about 60% of the battery in over 40 minutes while fast charging. So there’s nothing to worry about.
The problem is this: although it’s a regular laptop with a touchscreen and stylus, the lack of a 2-in-1 form factor and the uncomfortable feel make it a bit of an oddity to use. The Zenbook Flip S takes advantage of the 2-in-1 form factor, and the addition of stylus support makes it even more enjoyable for users. But that’s not the best part of the laptop. For me, it’s the screen that puts any 2-in-1 laptop in this price range to shame, because it has a key feature that a convertible laptop should have: Easy to use in all its forms, both on the go and glued to the table.
Thanks to ASUS Malaysia for providing the Zenbook Flip S UX371 for this review.
frequently asked questions
Is the Asus ZenBook tiltable?
The Asus ZenBook Flip S is a rugged device with an 11th generation Intel processor. generation, a 4K OLED display, excellent speakers, a great stylus and a comfortable keyboard in a slim, narrow form factor. If you search Google for a powerful yet slim laptop, you’ll find very few options.
Does the Asus ZenBook Flip have a handle?
An Asus pen is included for writing notes and sketches on the Flip 14’s screen. The pen is powered by a AAAA battery and has 1024 pressure levels. … As long as we make slow and smooth movements, the screen and stylus work as expected.
What is an Asus Zenbook?
The ZenBook is a family of ultrabooks – low-powered laptops made by Asus. … The lineup ranges from 12-inch laptops with power-saving components but no built-in connectivity and GPUs, to 15-inch laptops with discrete GPUs and optical drives.
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