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Event Coverage

ASUS 2018 ZenBook Series hands-on: Their lightest and sleekest ever!

By Kenny Yeo - 30 Aug 2018,4:03pm

ZenBook Flip 13 and 15

The ZenBook Flip 13 is impressively compact for a 13-inch convertible notebook. Note the thin bezels.

The  ZenBook Flip 13 and 15

Also new to the ZenBook family are the new ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 notebooks. These two notebooks have a lot in common with the above ZenBook 13, 14, and 15, such as the compact design and super thin display bezels. In fact, think of the ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 as the convertible versions of the ZenBook 13, 14, and 15.

The ZenBook Flip 15 is also very compact for a 15-inch convertible notebook.

The ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 both have NanoEdge displays with super slim bezels. The bezels are 10% thinner than preceding ZenBook Flip models, giving the new ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 an amazing 90% screen to body ratio, which allows for a much more compact chassis. In fact, ASUS claims that the ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 are now the world’s most compact convertible notebooks. These notebooks are relatively thin and light too. The ZenBook Flip 13 is 16.9mm thick and weighs 1.3kg while the ZenBook Flip 15 is 20.9mm thick and weighs 1.9kg. In the hand, they feel noticeably heftier than the non-convertible ZenBook notebooks but not by a whole lot.

The ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 have sturdy construction, this is evident in the hinge action.

The ZenBook Flip 13 is only available with a Full-HD display but the ZenBook Flip 15 can be spec’d with a 4K or Full-HD display. The display of the ZenBook Flip 15 is also PANTONE-validated and factory-calibrated for accurate colors. The webcam for both models are located above the display and they support Windows Hello for quick logins. Speaking of cameras, the two convertible notebooks can be equipped with optional ‘world-facing’ cameras for augmented reality applications.

Inside, the ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 are powered by Intel’s newest Whiskey Lake 8th generation Core processors. Core i5 and Core i7 options are available for the two. They can also be paired with up to 16GB of memory and up to 512GB PCIe SSD. The larger ZenBook Flip 15 can even be spec’d with an optional 2TB HDD. Unlike the non-convertible ZenBook, the ZenBook Flip 13 will have no discrete graphics option so users are stuck with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated GPU. The ZenBook Flip 15, on the other hand, will come with the GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q.

On the left of the ZenBook Flip 13, we have a single audio combo jack and a USB-C port supporting USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps). Note how slim the ZenBook Flip 13 is.

On the right, there's an additional two USB-C ports supporting USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Gbps). Note how the ErgoLift hinge lifts the keyboard up to make typing more comfortable.

Overall I/O connectivity is quite good but note that there will be two versions of the ZenBook Flip 13. The ports available depend on whether or not you opt for the world-facing camera. Essentially, the model with the world-facing camera loses the full-size USB and HDMI ports. Again, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 support is disappointing but it isn't necessarily a complete dealbreaker depending on one's needs.

Note that the unit photographed above is meant for the US market, which comes with three USB-C ports. The model for the Asia markets only two USB-C ports. Here are the ports available on the two versions of the ZenBook Flip 13 that will be available in our markets.

Option 1 (without world-facing camera)

  • 2 x USB-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x full-size HDMI
  • 1 x audio combo jack
  • 1 x DC in

Option 2 (with world-facing camera)

  • 2 x USB-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps)
  • 1 x audio combo jack
  • 1 x DC in

The ZenBook Flip 15 gets the following ports, regardless of whether or not it is equipped with the world-facing camera.

  • 1 x USB-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps, data only)
  • 1 x USB Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x full-size HDMI
  • 1 x full-size SD card reader
  • 1 x audio combo jack
  • 1 x DC in

The ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 both meet the MIL-STD-810 military standard for reliability and durability so you can expect them to be tougher and sturdier than most other convertible notebooks. Additionally, the hinges of these notebooks, dubbed ErgoLift by ASUS, have been put through a torture test of 20,000 cycles to ensure reliability. This is important because the hinges of convertible notebooks have the tendency to lose their tightness after sometime. When opened, the ErgoLift hinge also lifts the notebook’s keyboard up to give users a more comfortable typing angle. This also has the added benefit of providing better ventilation.

The new ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 are compelling options for the convertible notebook lover.

For fans of the convertible notebook form factor, the ZenBook Flip 13 and 15 are compelling options. Like the non-convertible ZenBook 13, 14, and 15, they are compact and light, equipped with the latest processors, have a good I/O connectivity, and have some interesting features like the world-facing camera and the virtual number pad. If you are looking to get a new convertible notebook, be sure to keep tabs on the new ZenBook Flip 13 and 15. Pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed but expect them to reach our shores in time for the year-end holiday season.

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