It isn’t just our bosses that have demanded more from us – and usually get it too, as we’ve moved to WFH mode. We’ve expected more from our devices too. Tablets like Samsung’s Tab S7 or the Apple iPad Pro have upped their productivity game while laptops have amped up their entertainment creds with better displays and improved sound. ASUS has pitched its new ZenBook Flip S as a device for the times. A versatile productivity gadget that can easily flit from a laptop to a tablet and a binge-watch screen on tent mode. Should you be excited?
As we gradually make the shift to WFH to more than the occasional physical meeting, it’s time to flaunt those gadgets again. You no longer have to work those Zoom camera angles for your co-workers to spot that new smartphone or cool earbuds. The ZenBook Flip S is certainly a device that will stand out in a board room. It’s not just slinky but looks ultra-premium with what ASUS calls a Jade Black finish. It weighs just 1.2 kg with a side profile of under 14 mm. ASUS’ trademark 360° ErgoLift hinge allows you to swing from laptop to tablet mode with comfortable typing positions.
Aside from the slim form, our favourite feature is the vibrant 4K UHD NanoEdge OLED HDR display that’s among the best you will find on any slim laptop right now. It’s also VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certified for deep blacks and increased dynamic range. The bezels on the 13.3-inch display (3840 x 2160 pixels) are ultra-slim, making it the perfect screen for those Netflix binge-watching sessions. While the Harmon Kardon certified dual speakers deliver the stellar audio quality, I found that it wasn’t as loud as rivals like the MacBook Pro.
You’re unlikely to use an ultra-portable laptop like this for heavy-duty tasks like Photoshop. But even if you do, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. The ZenBook Flip S is kitted with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core Tiger Lake processors. – 2.80 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.70 GHz) and 12 MB cache. It’s backed by 16GB of RAM and 1TB of onboard storage. We were also impressed with the range of ports – a full-size HDMI port, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port. You can power the device with a convenient USB-C charger. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack but ASUS has bundled a dongle in the box.
That’s not the only thing in the box. There’s also a Stylus that I found extremely responsive in my tests that’s quite handy to annotate PDFs or take notes on MS Word. ASUS also touts the NumberPad a touchpad with an integrated numeric keypad that could be useful for applications like the calculator. It’s not a feature that I found myself using a lot. While ASUS claims a battery life of 10 hours, this could vary depending on the screen resolution you opt for. The fast-charge feature – 0 to 60 % in 49 minutes, is very handy, and the USB-C charger allows you to use even a power bank to fire up the laptop on the go.
The ZenBook Flip S has a lot going for it. It’s super slim and looks elegant despite being ultra-tough (It’s US Military grade certified), the display is terrific and the flexible form factor makes it truly versatile as a work + play companion. The premium price tag, however, means that it is in the same league as some of the pricier MacBooks that Apple die-hards still swear by, especially for their user experience. It’s the Flip S’ form factor that is its calling card.
The ASUS ZenBook Flip S costs Rs 1,49,990