Review: Asus ZenBook Flip UX360
Bending over backwards
There are a lot of thin and light laptops in the market now, easy to tote and move around. But there’s a reason why we don’t use it on our way, when we are out and about. Why do we always just use our phones to work on, while moving? The answer is the keyboard that comes in our way. So what’s the solution? A convertible/transformer laptop!
This is my first long term use of a flipbook, and let me tell you how my journey has been, using the Asus ZenBook flip!
|Asus Zenbook Flip UX360CA
|Screen||13.3″ (16:9) LED backlit FHD (1920×1080) 60Hz Glare Touchscreen|
|Processor||Intel® Core™ M 6Y30 Processor, (4 M Cache, up to 2.2 GHz)|
|Video||Intel HD 515|
|Memory||4 GB LPDDR3 1866MHz SDRAM|
|Storage||512GB SATA3 M.2 SSD|
|Connectivity||Integrated 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Ports||1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack (Audio-in Combo)
1 x USB 3.1 TYPE C port(s)
1 x USB-C Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
1 x micro HDMI
1 x SD card reader
1X AC adapter plug
|Baterry||3 Cells 54 Whrs Polymer Battery|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Size||32.3 x 22.0 x 1.39 ~1.39 mm|
|Weight||1.3Kg (2.86 lbs)|
|Extras||Backlit keyboard, Webcam,|
I carry my laptop with me daily, so weight matters a lot to me. The Zenbook Flip scores well here, coming in at a decent 1.3KGs. You see, it’s not difficult to achieve a very petite design on a convertible, as the hardware components need to be perfectly distributed in the Shell, the hinge needs to be really strong (ergo heavy) and of course, the display needs to incorporate all the touch screen mechanism.
Talking about the display, this has a 13” LCD panel with a FullHD resolution. The display felt a little subpar, because of the color accuracy and brightness. It was a dust magnet too which would get worse each time you’d touch the screen. Thankfully, the hinge was strong enough to not keep moving when I’d use it propped up. It’s a fine display to use indoors, but usage was a little more outdoorsy. The bezels were a little too thick for my liking, but gave the much-needed holding space when in Tablet mode, so it seems fair. There’s a webcam on the top bezel.
This might be debatable, but I think windows works really well for touchscreen use. On the software front, there’s not really much difference between this and other windows devices. Thankfully there’s not much bloat on the device. One software issue that I faced was that the display was always really warm and yellow. Even when I recalibrated it, it became warm after a few minutes. Let’s hope this gets fixed with software updates.
You know what’s perfectly good on this laptop though? The port selection! There’s every possible post on this machine! 2 x Full sized USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, Headphone-Mic combined jack, micro HDMI and a USB 3.1 type C! This makes it perfect for almost every person who does anything on their laptop. I am really glad they didn’t skimp on the ports. It might seem like a small deal, but as I have said earlier, you only miss it when you don’t have it…
Moving in, the outside is as you would expect from any recent Asus laptop, brushed aluminum cover with the signature concentric circles. It’s reasonably slim and the weight was well distributed, so that using it in tablet mode was comfortable. The Power and Volume keys are on the left, instead of above the keyboard, for easy access in all modes.
While switching modes, the keyboard gets deactivated once the top is opened beyond 180° to avoid unnecessary presses. During other times, the keyboard was great to use. Big keys with good travel. Might be squishy for some, but I found it to be really good. I wish it were backlit though. Under the keyboard is the spacious trackpad which was pretty smooth and accurate. And in other scenarios, it became second nature to just reach out for the screen and touch the elements as needed. All gestures worked as they should.
This laptop runs on a dual-core Sklylake M3 processor. M series chips are very power efficient, or as we call them, weak. It works well for all the normal tasks like multiple Chrome tabs, editing, sketching, MS Office and multi tasking. As a media consumption device, it suffices its job. For the spec junkies, this is a Dual core, 4 thread chip, clocked at 2.20GHz. These CPUs are well known for their efficiency and mid range performance, and it does justice to that.
long with that, there’s 4GB of RAM. Before you say that’s lower than your phone, understand that most Windows aren’t that demanding and things work. I was never bottle necked due to the RAM, in my usage that was mentioned above.
Our unit had a 512GB SSD in it, which gave really fast file management and transfers.
As a convertible, there are a lot of other factors that come into play, and usage changes accordingly. I got into a habit of reading content and browsing while on the go (and walking) with this tablet in my hand. I would put it in tent mode when I would want to watch a movie in bed. And it did all of this flabulously! The only little caveat I had was that the speakers don’t always face you, as they get turned around.
There are 2 speakers, under the keyboard, on either side. These are tuned by B&O audio and gave a good output, but the volume and loudness were lower than what you would need. Even a fan could overpower the sound from these speakers. Thankfully, the output via the Audio jack was always there to fill those boots.
If your usage isn’t something really powerful, but comfort and multiple options of use are on your radar, then shelling out around INR50,000 makes sense on the ZenBook flip. IT boils down to your need for a convertible and all its functionality, and how much you value those. For others, getting a traditional clampshell laptop is the solution.