Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 review

Updating the ZenBook Flip S to use Intel’s latest 8th-generation CPU is a welcome move, as it sees this svelte machine trade blows with much beefier options. The stock frequency of this quad-core, eight-thread chip may not excite at 1.8GHz, but it rarely operates at anything as low as that, instead heading up to 4GHz when required.

It can’t operate at that frequency for long periods, as the temperatures do rise. While it certainly gets warm to the touch, the fan does a good job of keeping the noise levels down while keeping things cool (more so than what we’ve seen with the Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe).

Read more: Anmeldelse: Asus Chromebook Flip C302

As already hinted at, the processor is just half of the story here, though, and it’s the storage subsystem that really shines in day-to-day use. There will be naysayers that posit you don’t need a PCIe NVMe drive, and that a SATA SSD is good enough, but we’d recommend using this machine for half an hour to make them see the error of their ways. From simple file copying, to full software installations, this thing just flies, and it feels silky-smooth in Windows 10 because of it. Having plenty of RAM to play around with helps, but we’ve definitely added high-end storage to our want list for laptops and convertibles after our experiences here.

BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 4280; Fire Strike: 966; Time Spy: 333
Cinebench CPU: 588 points; Graphics: 49.39 fps
GeekBench: 4715 (single-core); 14075 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3046 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 12 minutes
Battery Life (techradar movie test):6 hours and 10 minutes

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a gaming machine, as it relies on Intel’s integrated graphics to do the heavy lifting. You’ll be hitting single figure framerates in most modern games, and it’s rare that any amount of settings voodoo will turn things around. This isn’t really its intended usage, and we don’t hold it against the machine, but it’s worth bearing in mind.

Battery life

If there’s one area where the ZenBook Flip S didn’t stun us, it’s on the battery stamina front. While certainly not awful, it doesn’t quite live up to the potential of its form factor. We could happily carry this around all day, but we’ll need to reach for a power socket at least once during that time. PCMark 8 managed just over three hours, which is fine, and something of a worst case scenario, but it’s not going to last a day’s hard graft without juice.

The movie playback test, that has us watching a Full HD movie, is a bit more impressive at over six hours. Speaking of which, the screen is a particularly vibrant panel, with punchy colours and great viewing angles. The sound is surprisingly good as well, with the Harman Kardon-certified speakers capable of producing a better than average audio experience for films and music.

We liked

Where the Asus ZenBook Flip S really delivers is in its core promise of a convertible machine that is easy enough to carry around, but powerful enough to deliver the goods.

It’s a joy to use, is well-designed using great components and looks great… if you’re prepared to carry the cleaning cloth with you at all times (it really does smudge so easily).

We disliked

We would have liked a finish that didn’t smudge so easily, as it really does take the edge off a great looking device.

The battery life could do with a bit of work as well, although given how thin it is, we can see that such a request is not a trivial thing to solve. While we’re dreaming though, we would like this machine even more if its price tag was a bit lower.

Final verdict

While not perfect, the Asus ZenBook Flip S hits its core competency so brilliantly, that the few imperfections are rendered unimportant.

This is a versatile machine that handles serious work well, yet also providing plenty of scope for entertainment after a hard day in the office.

It looks good, sounds good, and feels good to use. Yes we’d like a bit more stamina, but even the power brick is compact enough to take with you.

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