Anyway, this hybrid comes clearly to measure against some tenors of the genre, like the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and intends to seduce by the quality of its finishes, its power or its endurance announced at 11 o’clock .
The Asus ZenBook Flip S is undoubtedly one of the sexiest Windows 10 hybrids that have passed into our hands since the start of the school year. Made of the same “wood” as the Zenbook Deluxe, the really thin (1.35 cm maximum thickness) and light (1.11 kg) case of the Flip S is made of aluminum alloy (40 layers superimposed according to Asus) matt and shiny. Point of blue and gold color as on the Deluxe (although these colors are available on other models), but several shades of gray, for more discretion and sobriety. And to avoid scratching this pretty PC when you take it with you, Asus has the good taste to deliver a protective pouch with this version of the device.
These hues are also found on the keyboard with separate keys and backlit with white (two different intensities). The latter provides a typing sensation that reminds a bit of that felt when you tap on a MacBook 12. The fact remains that the race is a little longer in the case of the Asus, which is not to displease us, especially when you have to enter text for long hours.
On the other hand, yellow card for the touchpad! The good sliding surface is not in question. No, the culprits are the click buttons built into it. They are soft and not very reactive so that using them quickly becomes annoying, especially for quick and precise selection. Of course, you can always use the supplied stylus, directly on the surface of the 13.3 inch touch screen. Or, simpler, opt for manipulations with your fingertips. But nothing really replaces a good touchpad in many cases.
An ultraportable to use in many positions
As the Flip is not a standard ultrabook but a convertible, its 13.3 inch screen (with thin side edges) is mounted on hinges which allow the screen to position itself back to the keyboard and thus pass from ” PC format to large tablet format.
Obviously, the ZenBook can also adopt the intermediate positions known as “tent” mode (inverted V) or even “stand”: screen facing you, keyboard turned against the table surface.
The 13.3-inch screen uses an IPS panel to promote wide viewing angles and therefore an identical display quality, regardless of the inclination of the screen. When you say touch, you say gloss, and the Corning Gorilla Glass on the ZenBook Flip S is particularly good at reflecting all sources of stray light in the room.
From a technical point of view, the Full HD panel (1920 by 1080 pixels) displays an average maximum brightness of 301 cd / m2, which is a bit fair according to our rating criteria. The contrast ratio, it bursts the ceiling with almost 1300: 1! Clearly, the dark and black colors are well developed and are very deep. The lighter shades, on the other hand, are sometimes a little distorted and the whole draws a little on blue (characteristic of IPS) but, we have already seen much worse!
Superior to that of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, the display quality is more than enough for viewing a film or series, alone or in front of the screen, in good conditions. The ZenBook Flip S can even venture into the field of photo editing: the differences between the rendering visible on the screen and that printed on paper will be quite minimal.
Condensed and well ventilated power
And, precisely, to run photo editing software, you have to have power under the hood. That’s good, the ZenBook Flip S can boast a very good set of components, better than that of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. While the latter opts for a processor of type Core i7 “Y”, the Asus bets on a classic Intel Core i7-7500U, double heart of its state, which has proved itself in all high-end machines ultra nomads released since last spring, both in terms of pure calculation and graphics.
This Core i7 is accompanied by 16 GB of RAM (LPDDR3) and it is a 512 GB SSD which is responsible for hosting Windows 10, all data and everyday applications. Good point, Asus did not preinstall too much in-house software: cleaning up and regaining a few hundred MB is therefore possible.
Placing such a configuration in such a thin box is not without consequences. Asus is forced to place a fan in the bowels of the machine to cool the processor. Fan whose blades are only 0.3 mm high and which is supported by a steam chamber, but which has not yet made a vow of silence (36.5 dB measured). Remember that the Dell XPS 13 hybrid did not make any noise since all cooling was passive.
The fact remains that the ventilation chosen is effective since we have neither identified nor throttling (component frequencies lowered in case of high heat) or excessive fever peak on the housing (44.1 ° C max. under the machine).
The eleven hours of autonomy promised are not quite there
As shown in the photo above, the ZenBook Flip S battery occupies a prominent place inside the case. But, again, considering the configuration chosen, it seems difficult to reach the 11:30 am announced by Asus! According to our review protocols, it offers correct services, nothing more.
In continuous video playback, screen set fully, the Asus hybrid takes a little over 5 h 20 and an additional 30 min (5 h 50) in versatile use; the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 – admittedly with less powerful components – lasted more than 9 hours in both scenarios. All in all, the ZenBook Flip S still obtains the average in autonomy. Recognize that we expect much better from him.
Note also that the battery is recharged via one of the machine’s USB Type-C ports and that the adapter – in plug format, very good! – is compatible with fast charging technology from Asus. The latter makes it possible to recover approximately 50-55% of battery in less than an hour.
Connections (almost) reduced to frenzy
Finesse requires, as on the lareview Apple MacBook Pro or Dell hybrid, there are only two USB Type-C sockets, a headphone / microphone jack and a fingerprint reader on the sides of the ZenBook Flip S.
Unable to expand storage capacity via SD or microSD, there is no suitable drive. Connect a standard USB 3.0 hard drive or an external HDMI display? This is only possible if you use the small USB Type-C to USB 3.0 / HDMI / USB Type-C adapter supplied as standard with the machine connected to one of its two sockets. For the asking price (1800 euros remember), we will not complain!