18 December 2017


See you on the flip side.

Things are getting thinner. When we say that, we're not talking about people (although you've been looking very trim lately), but rather technology. There is no place better to see how our everyday tech is shrinking than the world of laptops. For a computer that is so thin it is barely even there, step this way as we review the ASUS ZenBook Flip S.

How thin is this thing? Well, the ASUS ZenBook Flip S is, at its thickest point, just 10.9mm. That's just over a centimetre for both the screen and keyboard section to fit into, which is very impressive. It's light too, weighing in at just over one kilogram. So good start, then.

After you've been wowed by the dimensions and weight (or lack thereof) you can have a go at opening it. The ASUS ZenBook Flip S features a 13.3 inch 4K screen, with a full-sized keyboard on the main body. Despite having the word 'Flip' in the name, this is still first and foremost a working laptop, and can be used in the exact same way you would a more conventional, and chunkier, laptop. In fact, this will probably work faster and smoothly than most other laptops you've used previously, possessing 8GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and an Intel i7 Core Processor. Seriously, how do they fit all that in?

But, as the name suggests, you can 'flip' the ASUS ZenBook Flip S, rotating the screen through 360 degrees. When you do, pushing it all the way back to lay flat on the rear of the keyboard section, you enter tablet mode as default in Windows 10, and you have a very nice and powerful finger slate. Obviously you can leave the screen at whatever angle you desire, creating that fun 'A board' which is handy for watching films and TV. However, in tablet mode you can make full use of the included stylus; one that glides very smoothly over the surface of the screen and reacts very quickly to your movements. For artists, or for people who prefer to jot down their notes by hand, it is spot on.

Still talking about the physical laptop itself, the ASUS ZenBook Flip S is the first ever computer we've reviewed that only has USB C ports. Like, seriously, nothing else. There is a headphone port, so it has something over Apple at least, but that is it: the headphone and a USB C ports one side, and another USB C on 'tother. That means you have to both charge and connect external devices via them, which is no great surprise considering the aforementioned thinness of the unit. If you're worried that you favourite old flash drive won't be able to plug into the ZenBook Flip S, ASUS have been kind enough to include an adaptor, one that features a full-sized USB port, a full-sized HDMI port, and another pass-through USB C. That's a good thing, and at least for the next couple of years or so, it will be something you'll have to carry around with you, until USB C completely takes over.

Altogether this adds up to an extremely portable, extremely versatile machine. We certainly have no complaints about the speed at which Windows 10 ran, even with heavy workloads such as multiple open web pages, media streaming and video editing. We also really liked the finger print sensor on the side, allowing you to sign in to your Windows account without typing anything. It was fast, and worked every time.

We used the stylus and folded back screen less than actual laptop mode. This was just our personal preference, but we found holding the ASUS ZenBook Flip S is that flipped state slightly uncomfortable, with the mashy (yet deactivated) keys under our fingers. Still, ASUS have designed it to also be placed flat on a surface in that mode, so you can draw, scribble and hand write comfortably.

The one ting that might put you off, however, is the price. Almost £1200 for a laptop will always discourage a lot of people, but those who are specifically looking for what the ASUS ZenBook Flip S can do, and have the cash to splash, won't be disappointed.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk 

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