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Asus ZenBook Flip S review

No, that’s not a 2-in-1 MacBook you see

Asus ZenBook Flip S

Unsurprisingly, the ZenBook Flip S performs just about as well as any 2-in-1 laptop with a 7th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with plenty of speedy memory to throw around. There isn’t much that will slow this laptop down short of rendering video files, playing intense games or carrying out complex spreadsheet functions.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Asus ZenBook Flip S performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 4,272; Fire Strike: 1,008; Time Spy: 397
Cinebench CPU: 311 points; Graphics: 47 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,314; Multi-Core: 8,479
PCMark 8 Home: 2,808 points
PCMark 8 Battery: 3 hours and 45 minutes
TechRadar Battery Test: 7 hours and 23 minutes 

All told, the ZenBook Flip S makes for a fine general use laptop with impressive versatility. When it comes to speeds and feeds, the latest HP Spectre x360 easily edges out this Asus laptop, packing an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 chip – though not by much in graphics-intense tests. These aren’t differences you’re going to see in everyday use.

Naturally, the U-series processor inside the ZenBook handily keeps the latest 12-inch MacBook at bay in both computational and graphical performance. Again, these aren’t discrepancies you’ll likely notice in real-world use.

That said, we can easily see the ZenBook here able to take on far more tasks at once on account of it housing double the memory of either of these aforementioned laptops. That means more browser tabs and more apps open at once without noticing slowdown or tabs having to re-load.

Again, while this is a perfectly performant machine, it’s a rather specialized one. Don’t expect to achieve tasks much more rigorous than Netflix binging while you’re on Facebook and video chatting with someone in the background.

Asus ZenBook Flip S

Battery life

Despite its mildly dated U-series Intel processor and touch display, the ZenBook Flip S can still hang with its Intel 8th-gen U-and 7th-gen Y-series-packing rivals when it comes to longevity. In our benchmarks, the ZenBook is a bit more than an hour shy of the Spectre x360 in the PCMark 8 battery test and just minutes behind in our own local video rundown test.

Meanwhile, the MacBook only has 51 minutes on the ZenBook in our video rundown tests – most impressive for a Windows laptop. We chalk this up to the MacBook pushing far more pixels behind its screen with a weaker, battery-sipping processor, as opposed to the ZenBook conversely pushing fewer pixels with a more powerful processor that also doesn’t guzzle juice.

In short, more than seven and a half hours of time away from the outlet will get you across every cross country flight in the US and Australia as well as throughout western Europe. Plus, fast charging through USB-C gets you 60% power in just 49 minutes.

Asus ZenBook Flip S

Fingerprint sensor

For secure login, the ZenBook Flip includes a surprisingly slim fingerprint sensor within the right edge of its keyboard. In fact, the sensor is just 3.6mm tall and 16mm wide – yet, somehow, it develops a profile of your fingerprint all the same.

That’s because the sensor can register even a partial fingerprint reading, meaning you don’t really have to account for its size when trying to log into the laptop via Windows Hello. Of course, the process for registering a fingerprint is exactly the same as it is on other Windows 10 laptops.

For the record, of Apple’s lineup only the MacBook Pro currently features biometric login, while the Spectre x360 opts for an infrared camera for the same purpose. 

Asus ZenBook Flip S

Final verdict

All told, the Asus ZenBook Flip S is a fantastic, luxury 2-in-1 laptop for the style-conscious buyer that doesn’t want to sacrifice that panache for something powerful and long-lasting. Asus’s latest hybrid practically brings it all.

Sure, we could do with a more advanced stylus, and the lack of Thunderbolt 3 is a sore omission, but overall you’re looking at an incredibly thin, light, capable and versatile laptop.

Asus may have taken some obvious inspirations in its design and aesthetic, but has done so in such a way that outclasses those rivals. If you want the MacBook appeal in a laptop that can do so much more, your search may very well end here.