ASUS makes some remarkably good PC notebooks. Their new ZenBook Flip UX360CA, reviewed here, is one fine example. This is a 2-in-1 device, a notebook with a screen that flips over 360° to convert into a tablet. It’s ultra-thin, ultra-light, yet comes packed with plenty of features that make this a very versatile device.
The ZenBook Flip sports the same ZenBook design language that has become quite familiar. It has an all aluminium unibody construction, with a concentric circle pattern on the cover, that feels very solid.
While the current design has worked pretty well, and perhaps ASUS feels there’s no need to change what works, I do find it has become a little old and could do with some refresh. The two halves of the basic clamshell design, the notebook part and the display part, are just two halves that don’t quite blend together as one body.
The ZenBook Flip measures 323 x 220 x 13.9mm, so it’s pretty thin. It’s also very light, coming in at 1.3kg including battery. The 45W power brick’s quite light and compact too if you need to bring it around.
The display hinge, while looking basic in design, is perfectly functional and works very well. It holds the screen in practically any position, and easily folds around the back so you can hold the ZenBook Flip like a tablet. You can easily position it in tent-mode too, if that’s how you prefer to use it.
In tablet mode, the keyboard faces outward so your hands may press on the keys or trackpad. The ZenBook Flip, of course, knows and disables those input. It probably doesn’t feel so good, but it works.
The 13.3-inch screen is gorgeous. With 3200×1800 resolution in 16:9 aspect ratio, the display is bright and vibrant, with 72% NTSC colour gamut. It supports 10-fingers multi-touch, and while it isn’t built for pen-input, it can detect a touch area of just 6mm, which is more sensitive than the 9mm industry standard.
The ZenBook Flip is quite sensible with its port offerings. It has some, or just one, of those forward thinking USB-C ports, but it also includes a variety of other legacy ones.
On the left side, you’ll find one of the two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a microSD card slot, physical volume rocker, and a power button.
On the right side, there’s a DC power input port, the other USB 3.0 Type-A port, that new USB Type-C (or USB-C) port, micro-HDMI, and a headphone jack.
I think this is a very practical offering of ports. Not only is there the USB-C port, but there are the more widely-used USB Type-A ports. I would offer the suggestion that ASUS should have gone with a second USB-C port in place of the DC power input port. That would be the most practical arrangement.
The keys on the ZenBook Flip’s keyboard are plastic, but in the champagne gold colour of the notebook I received, the keys are in the same colour, and the entire keyboard blends in seamlessly to the aluminium body around it. It looks really good.
With a spacious layout, and large keys that travel 1.5mm deep, the keyboard is very comfortable to type on. The keyboard, unfortunately, isn’t backlit.
The touchpad is spacious, about the size of that on the last generation of Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro. The smooth surface finish and accurate tracking make the touchpad a joy to use. The touchpad is clickable at the bottom, though nowadays clicking isn’t needed much anymore with tapping and other gestures support, all of which work perfectly well here.
Speakers on the ZenBook Flip are fitted on the underside of the notebook, so they are downward firing. It’s not ideal, but they work fine generally. Except that when in tablet mode, the speakers are sandwiched inside and fire against the underside of the display.
The ZenBook Flip UX360CA in this review is powered by Intel’s Skylake-based Core m7-6Y75 processor, the high-end of their ultra-low power processor, paired with Intel HD Graphics 515. It is fitted with 8GB of RAM and a large 512GB M.2 SSD.
Other specs on the ZenBook Flip include 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi with supporting speeds up to 867Mbps, Bluetooth 4.1, and a 720p webcam. The 54 Whr battery is rated for 12 hours.
The new ZenBook Flip UX360CA, with the 3200×1800 resolution display and Intel Core m7-6Y75, is a 2-in-1 notebook cum tablet device that offers great performance, versatility, and good design.
- Ultra-light, ultra-thin
- Versatile design
- Great performance for general use
- Offers USB-C and legacy ports
- No backlit keyboard