Ever since Apple announced the iPad, tech geeks and productivity “experts” have been falling over themselves imagining how it would revolutionize laptops and productivity. Apple themselves have half-heartedly tried to make the iPad a laptop replacement, but it is never quite worked and even Microsoft’s excellent Surface line of Windows tablets must be used with their keyboard covers to be truly effective as a laptop/tablet hybrid. The next best solution is to create a touchscreen laptop that folds in half and switches to a tablet mode.
The Asus Zenbook Flip S is just such a laptop but is not a simple black business box. Oh no, this is a premium laptop with care taken in almost every aspect of the industrial design. On the outside the lid is adorned with a simple Asus logo, but embossed in copper. Around the edges of the lid and the deck is a copper strip to accent the aluminium materials. The lid features a brushed pattern, but no ordinary pattern haphazardly placed on the lid. Instead, the pattern is a series of concentric circles like the rings of a tree and the Asus logo is placed dead centre in the pattern. This is exquisite attention to detail and makes it clear that the laptop is aimed at the executive who cares about appearance as much as function.
Unfortunately, the attention to detail and premium materials does not extent to the underside of the chassis which looks and feels like plain old plastic instead of a unibody aluminium or magnesium design. This is a curious oversight by the design team and was likely a cost saving measure, but this is a premium ultrabook and cost should not matter as much as form since any buyer is already paying a premium. The hinge design is suitably stiff, maybe too stiff out the box. For a thirteen-inch laptop I could not raise the lid one-handed. Maybe this will ease over time and use and because the lid flips back for tablet mode it needs to be as tight as it is.
...the laptop is aimed at the executive who cares about appearance as much as function.
The palm rest areas do not flex ensuring that there are no accidental left and right clicks on the touch pad.
Being able to use the pen to annotate and sign PDFs is a gamechanger.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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1 November 2020
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