Tech

Asus ZenBook Flip S 2020: First Impressions

Powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors, Asus has unveiled their latest ZenBook line-up overnight. A standout in the line up is the new ZenBook Flip S 2020, which Asus has been letting me use for the past week, so here’s how it went.

For a start, the ZenBook Flip S 2020 runs the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors. In the ZenBook Flip it uses a Core i7 running Intel Iris Xe graphics, Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4. There’s 16GB of RAM on-board and a 1Tb Samsung NVMe drive.

The shining star of the new ZenBook Flip S 2020 is the new 11th Gen Intel CPUs – codenamed ‘Tiger Lake’ – announced overnight. Intel says the new platform offers ‘up to 2.7x faster content creation, more than 20% faster office productivity and more than 2x faster gaming plus streaming’.

In practice the processor is fast, and really handled everything I could throw at it, from games to video editing it was a really nice experience.

On the hardware design side, the focus of the Zenbook Flip S when you open it is the 13.3″ OLED 4K UHD touch screen. The screen is PANTONE Validated offering a wide 100% DCI-P3 color gamut – put simply the screen looks great and the array of colours is amazing.

The bezel around the screen is minimal, but Asus has still managed to include a Windows Hello compatible webcam in there. The minimal bezel still gives you some room to grip the laptop when you flip the screen into tablet mode.

That ErgoLift hinge is just awesome too, it holds the position of the screen in laptop mode, but flips around into tablet mode easily enough when you want it to. The hinge doesn’t quite let the screen lay flat against the chassis in tablet mode, but I didn’t notice it too much as you hold it closed in this position anyway.

The ErgoLift hinge also helps with cooling, with the vents hidden at the top of the body, and underneath. Not that the laptop runs hot, in fact I was hard pressed to hear a fan kick on, even after extended use.

The chassis is in itself an interesting design with a lovely Black finish that includes Asus’ signature concentric circle design embellished on the lid, and Red Copper diamond-cut highlights along the periphery of the body and the Asus Logo on the lid. There’s also a nice brushed-aluminum deco bar at the top of the keyboard which adds a certain premium look to the design.

The keyboard is almost full-sized, making the ZenBook Flip S a joy to type on. This is due in part to the ErgoLift hinge which while lifting the rear of the laptop to cool it, also creates an ergonomically comfortable position to rest your hands in naturally while you type. The edge-to-edge keyboard design which makes the keys nicely spaced and there’s just enough travel in the keys to make them give decent feedback when pressed but aren’t too hard to hit. The backlit keys are nicely lit in white making it easy to type in low-light.

Though the keyboard is almost full-sized there’s still no numeric keypad, but that’s Ok for Asus laptops with the ScreenPad 2.0 numpad built into the trackpad. You can turn it on and off with a touch of the capacitive switch in the top right of the ttrackpad. Frankly this is a favourite feature of mine on the Asus laptop range, it’s just so convenient and smart to turn the trackpad into a dual purpose device. When it’s not in use as a numberpad, the trackpad itself is lovely, offering a nice smooth input option.

I’ve come to expect a full array of I/O on Asus laptops and I wasn’t disappointed. Asus includes two USB-C ports which support Thunderbolt 4. as well as a full-sized HDMI port and a USB-A port as well. In short you can plug most things into it which is nice to see in a sea of laptops offering dongles to make up for a lack of ports.

In terms of power, the 4-cell 67Wh battery gives you up to 15 hr battery life according to the Asus press release. The reality is pretty much on par with this, and the USB-C charger supplied tops you up rather quickly when needed.

Wrap up

The ZenBook Flip S 2020 is an awesome addition to the Asus range. It looks great with those diamond cut red copper highlights, while still being light and comfortable to hold.

The ZenBook Flip S upholds a lot of what Asus has been building in their branding. It’s a lean, great looking machine that absolutely drips with power thanks to the new Intel chips, and the inclusion of top of the line internals.

There’s plenty of power there in the configuration supplied by Asus and it comes down to the pricing when it comes on the market – which Asus Australia tells us will be around November.

Asus ZenBook Flip S 2020: First Impressions
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