ASUS ZenBook Flip S OLED (UX371)
The ASUS ZenBook Flip S OLED is admittedly my first brush with convertible laptops, although I have seen many of them over the years.
On one hand, it offers amazing versatility with a delightfully vibrant 4K OLED screen; on the other hand, it does have some minor drawbacks, though these might be in the nature of convertible devices and not exclusive to the ZenBook Flip S itself.
Without further ado, let's take a look at this sleek little device.
Intel Evo certified
First of all, the ZenBook Flip S OLED is an Intel Evo certified laptop, which means it meets the minimum requirements set by Intel to be considered a premium device that serves the needs of a fast-paced lifestyle.
Among the features you can expect are an 11th Gen Intel Core processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, 9+ hours of battery life on a FHD screen, and sleep-to-wake under 1 second.
Needless to say, the Intel Evo badge provides assurance that you'll be getting a solid performer for everyday tasks.
Design and build
Designed for portability, the laptop weighs a mere 1.2kg and measures just 1.39cm thick. The aluminium alloy exterior is clad in a Jade Black finish featuring the ZenBook family's signature concentric circles, and accented with Copper Red diamond-cut bevels and logo.
The hinge allows for a full 360° swivel, so you can use the laptop in both tablet and tent mode, which is handy if you want to do some sketching or simply prop it up to watch videos. So far, the hinge feels very sturdy, balancing smooth operation with a decent amount of resistance so it stays open at whichever angle you set it. ASUS claims that it has been tested and certified for 20,000 open/close cycles, so it should last you quite a bit.
ASUS' Ergolift design is present, but the gap from the lift is noticeably smaller than on other laptops, though it's understandable since it has a 360° rotation to contend with. You still get a small amount of ergonomic improvement with the tilted keyboard, as well as a minute amount of space for better ventilation in laptop mode.
Overall, the build quality feels great, although it is undeniably a fingerprint magnet, which is a bummer for a premium device. You'll be spending quite a bit of time wiping the exterior down, along with the glossy display if you're using it in tablet mode often.
As for the power button, it's located on the edge of the chassis instead of next to the keyboard deck, which makes sense if you want to use it in tablet mode. However, the button is really soft and shallow, and makes you second guess if you've actually pressed it or not. Hopefully on the next iteration of their convertibles, ASUS will raise the button and add more tactile feedback.
Also, the power button is where the MicroSD card reader used to be on other ZenBook models, so it's a bit of a bummer if you need that feature. Personally I don't find a need for it so I didn't mind.
The display is undoubtedly one of the key highlights of this laptop. The 13.3" OLED panel boasts a 4K resolution with a Pantone validated 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and VESA certified DisplayHDR True Black.
By nature, OLED panels provide a much richer viewing experience, thanks to their ability to "switch off" pixels when not in use, producing a true black. Due to this unique quality, OLEDs also consume less battery power overall, especially when viewing darker content - this probably also explains why the ZenBook Flip S OLED ships with a dark theme out of the box.
Some may say that a 4K resolution is crazy overkill for a tiny 13.3" panel, but the more I used it, the more I enjoyed the crispness of the image. The extra power consumption from the high resolution is also somewhat balanced out by the OLED panel, so I'm not complaining. That said, I think a 1080p or 1440p display should suffice for most people, but the 4K display is truly a treat for those who enjoy watching movies or doing creative work.
The display is also TUV Rheinland certified, and emits up to 70% less blue light so your eyes will tire less easily. One thing to note is that the display is glossy due to its secondary function as a touchscreen, so you'll have to fight off glare if you're working in a brightly lit environment.