2-in-1 laptops are still not as much of a norm especially in the Kenyan market and we also haven’t gotten to review as many of suck kind. So you can imagine the excitement that we had once ASUS delivered one of its latest laptops meant to function beyond the traditional PC. The ASUS Zenbook Flip 13 would attract make anyone fall in love with it at the first glance and I did immediately after unpacking it. But what more does it have to offer?
Well, here’s the list of specs you get on paper:
- Intel Core i7 11th Gen @ 2.80GHz
- Intel IRIS Xe Graphics
- 8GB RAM
- 5ooGB SSD
- 13-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) OLED touch screen
- 1.3kg of weight, 13.9mm thin
- 11-hour battery life
It would be a total lie if we said that the ASUS Zenbook Flip 13 doesn’t look stunning. From first sight and touch, you can tell the Japanese tech giant wanted to show off its expertise in art and this piece does not disappoint. At just 1.3 kg, the computer is insanely light and no one would have a problem commuting to work or school with it.
What you also get to instantly notice is how impressively thin it is at only 13.9 mm while closed. The beauty gets even louder even further when you open and get to witness the base just show off the ports and chiselled edges.
Personally, I did not find the metallic brushed finish as impressive on the top but you forget all that once you get to the keyboard area. On the edges, you get 2 USB-C charging ports, an HDMI display port on the left side and one USB-A port alongside a power button on the right-hand side. Asus’s choice to leave out the headphone jack did seem bizarre at first although the laptop comes with a 3.5mm analogue audio jack to make up for that.
The whole look alone shouts that this laptop is certainly not common or cheap as it gives off that classy business high-end vibe.
Display and Keyboard
Opening up the laptop is a fairly easy affair although I did find it harder to do so with one hand. What you instantly notice is the ErgoLift Hinge that lifts up the keyboard slightly to give you that angle that you can use to type. Pushing the screen any further instantly gets the laptop to tablet mode since it is a convertible laptop.
However, what slightly irritated me was the cut feeling after having my hands placed on the chiselled edges after hours of typing.
Asus’ excellence in keyboard-design still shows in this laptop as the keys are fairly sized and have decent travels. Unfortunately, right-handed users like me would find themselves in a predicament with the left Shift key that I found smaller than usual as it is attached to a forward slash key.
The trackpad is fairly smooth and responsive thanks to Windows precision drivers. What you obviously get as a gimmick is the LED 10-key numeric keypad that lights up with a long press on the upper-right hand corner of the trackpad.
The 13.5-inch OLED screen does offer an impressive view with bezels that aren’t as thin but still don’t distract as much. What I did not appreciate, however, was the fact the display comes with 1920 x 1080 pixels as its maximum resolution. For such a good-looking laptop, it would have been much better to have a display that does not make one notice any kind of pixelation.
What makes you almost forgive this decision is the fact that Intel’s IRIS Xe Graphics help in upscaling whatever kind of content you are watching to about 2K resolution.
The touch-screen functionality would certainly be a gem for digital artists or anyone that loves spending time with the stylus pen which I did not find myself using as much. But as said before, the native resolution does not do this laptop any justice at all.
The top bezel is loaded up with sensor meant to work for Windows Hello which proved to be really useful in easily getting to unlock the laptop fast through face recognition.
Performance and Thermals
As much as the laptop brags of the latest version of Intel’s Core i7 chip, the unit is not built to be used solely for gaming. I obviously tried some light games from Microsoft Stores that ran fairly well without any graphical glitches. Nevertheless, it is clear that high-end games with heavy graphics would end up with a couple of visual flaws since IRIS Xe Graphics wouldn’t particularly cut it.
Thanks to 8GB of memory and the solid-state drive, apps open up quite fast and all stayed open without hanging or even forcing a blue screen.
Like all its siblings, the fans can get loud depending on the workload you expose them to although it did help a lot in keeping the laptop as cool as possible which is vital for anyone that spend hours on a computer.
On paper, the laptop is meant to offer you up to 11 hours of life. In practice, that would require you to certainly limit the amount of work you expose it to, the brightness levels and maybe even resolution. This kind of duration was possible for me when I cut the brightness by at least 50% which would leave me squinting my eyes.
On maximum brightness and regular workload, the battery left with about 15% juice left in 5-6 hours which is still ideal for anyone that doesn’t have to move as much.
The ASUS Zenbook Flip 13 is currently selling in Kenya from KES 145,000 at Elevetus Technologies Ltd. and for its beauty and performance, it would be hard to argue against the price tag. After all, where would you find an 11th gen Core i7 laptop cheaper than this?
However, it would still be difficult to explain to the common Mwananchi why a laptop costs as much.