The ZenBook line of notebooks from generation to generation follows one simple concept: they are lightweight portable devices that should be perfectly suited for office work and undemanding tasks. I had the opportunity to take a look at the new ZenBook Flip S UX370 and see if ASUS continues to follow this proven strategy.
ASUS has many different notebook lines, from budget options, to the top-end gaming systems with water cooling. As it seems to me, it is ZenBook that is the most famous for today a series of device manufacturers. At least the most recognizable.
Yes, and inside the line has its subcategories, each of which received some distinctive feature. In our case, ZenBook Flip S UX370 is according to the company "the thinnest 2-in-1". As it becomes clear from the title, the laptop can be fully deployed, turning it into a tablet. The format is not the most popular, but quite interesting.
Package and first impressions
The notebook is convenient because most often you only need a charger to work with it. Included with the ZenBook Flip S UX370 is a small hub with USB-C, HDMI and USB-A, a proprietary stylus and an envelope-envelope. Without all this you can do without, but in modern realities without the same adapter can be difficult, and the cover is clearly useful to those who often take a device anywhere beyond the kitchen. Only the stylus, obviously, is not useful to everyone.
At first glance, the laptop is very good. It is small, and color is a separate story. Although this design is familiar, I personally still like it. The computer still looks and feels modern, new, and not just something new. On the other hand, unfortunately, I will not be able to name it ideal either, although the first impressions are pleasant.
Design and usability
The format of notebooks, which can easily turn into a tablet, is slightly strange. As for a laptop, the device is small and convenient. But the tablet from it turns out not the best, after all it becomes big, heavy and slow. In figures it looks like this: 313 × 218 × 10 mm, with a weight of only 1.1 kg. For a laptop with a 13.3-inch display, this figure is excellent. But for a tablet weight greater than a kilogram is still gigantic, without the support of such a long time will be difficult.
But the appearance, in my opinion, is excellent. The case is made of aluminum, no plastic. The choice of design is presented in the variants of "royal blue" and "smoky gray". In this case, the blue body is supplemented by golden accents (logos, edge of the topcase) and yellow illumination of the keyboard. The whole case is matte, but the display mounts, for some reason, are glossy. There are four legs on the bottom cover, but as soon as the user opens the laptop, it will "stand" on the bottom of the display unit, which has a thin rubber lining. Two legs on the lid will hang at the same time. On stability, this does not affect the hand, but the laptop does not "slip out" under the hands, but because of the small weight, it is quite easy to move it from the place.
As already accepted for such devices, the set of connectors is limited. On the sides on the topcase is only the USB-C next to the headphone jack on the left, and one more USB-C on the right. That's why any hub (not necessarily branded) will not be superfluous if you need to connect the cable to the TV / monitor, use a flash drive, card reader or something else.
More on the left there is a rather large air outlet slot, and on the right there is a volume rocker and a power button, a fingerprint scanner is located a little higher. The latter does not always work.
Despite the small size of the device, a 13.3-inch diagonal screen fit into the top cover. It is surrounded by small frames, and the display itself covers 80% of the face space. Resolution in the basic version is 1920 × 1080 points, but in more expensive trim levels, you can get 4K. In both cases, the touch screens are covered with Gorilla Glass. The standard scaling was 150%, but I prefer 125%.
Did not economize on the matrix itself. The IPS screen in the laptop looks great. The manufacturer promises coverage of 100% sRGB. In practice, the colors are not oversaturated, and to the viewing angles no complaints. On this screen it's great to just work, watch movies and photos. The picture on the eye is slightly warmer than the norm, which will be critical only for working with photography, but at other times it facilitates long-term work in front of the computer. In any case, to adjust the temperature there is a proprietary application Splendid Utility. So I can not complain about the picture.
I still had 50% of the backlighting, but it should be taken into account that there was no sunny weather and the rooms are quite dark. I suppose that under direct sunlight with a glossy screen will not be very comfortable. The sensor works fine, even on small elements in Windows you can just hit the screen, besides it supports third-party stylus.
Keyboard, trackpad, multimedia
The laptop is equipped with an island keyboard, of course, without the Num-block. After the MacBook keyboard, it's easy for me to print on this without taking my eyes off the display. It has long Shift and a "one-storey" Enter key (it's more convenient for me personally). Pressures are quite quiet and soft. Also there is a yellow backlighting of the keys. It has three degrees of brightness, but not all buttons it is uniform (although this is a trifle, not affecting anything).
The trackpad is glass and large. They can easily replace the mouse, if it is not at hand. Or, in principle, abandon another manipulator, if this is not critical for work / entertainment. Supported gestures (up to four fingers) with which to easily move between open windows and different desktops. And most importantly, I did not need to make any changes and access the settings, the trackpad was initially well adjusted. Also do not forget that this can all be supplemented with "tapes" on the screen itself.
The speakers did not disappoint either. Impression of the Harman / Kardon logo immediately makes it clear that there will be no problems with the sound. And indeed, given the size of the case, the sound is excellent. On the bottom cover there are four perforated sections, but only two of them sound (those that are closer to the user). The sound is quite loud, at maximum does not choke. Even the low frequencies recoup, which causes the entire case to vibrate a little. Viewing movies, music, notifications, conversations – the speakers will suit all of this.
But the VGA-camera users are unlikely to be happy with the video chat. There are too many artifacts in the picture, and its resolution is very low for today. But the microphone normally hears the user and transmits voice well.
Performance and Software
The choice of processors for this model consists of dual-core versions of i5 / i7 Kaby Lake, or quad-core i5 / i7 Coffee Lake. In our case, the test ZenBook Flip S UX370 got i7-7500U. For all graphics models, only integrated – Intel HD Graphics 620. With memory, it did not become greedy: 8/16 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB of Sata 3, or 512 GB / 1 TB of a fast PCIe-drive in the "max.". We got a combination of 16/512 GB. For wireless connections, there are Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac from Intel.
Let the test scores are not that high, the laptop still wants to be praised. The drive is so definitely worth highlighting. The computer itself is quiet and fast. Of course, if it is loaded, for example, by playing (in the same GTA V you can play at low graphics settings), cooling is audible, and the temperature will rise to 55-58 ° C, which will affect the case. But there is no trotting, and during simple work with the browser, mail, instant messengers and other "easy" tasks, everything works quietly and very quickly.
The preinstalled Windows 10, of course, is supplemented with proprietary applications, antivirus and others. The behavior of the system is predictable, and there were no problems during the use of the laptop. It's important not to forget about the updates when you first setup the system, because the latest updates bring a set of new features that are worth trying.
Batteries of 39Wh, according to the manufacturer's website, must last for 11 hours. Alas, my experience from such indicators is far. In the PCMark autonomy test, the laptop showed a result of only 2.5 hours, and with a light "office" operation without an outlet it was possible to hold out for 4-5 hours. Viewing a two-hour movie at comfortable backlight and sound levels cost the battery 40%.
I liked the miniature power supply, which is almost not felt in the backpack. It's a pity that the cable is not removable. As indicated on the site, there is fast charging (60% for 49 minutes), but for a full battery you still have to spend a relatively standard 2.5 hours.