Review ASUS Zenbook Flip S – Intel Tiger Lake Arrives!

so this is the asus zenbook flip s and it’s actually one of the first finite light notebooks to feature intel’s new tiger lake cpus with xd graphics now given the branding flip s uh it actually is a two in one device so you can use it either in tablet mode like this or in laptop mode like that now i’m typically not a fan of two in one devices but i’m sure it has its own niche market so um it does have a few tricks up its sleeve so let’s take a closer look at the zambok flip s right after this just when you thought ssds are getting boring check out this new team group cardea ceramics c440 m.2 pcie gen 4×4 ssd in 1 and 2 terabyte capacities with insanely fast read write speeds but also with that unique ceramic plate for heat dissipation check it out below all right before i get into the details i do want to talk about intel’s evo branding which is where the zenbook flip has classified under remember project athena it was a program designed by intel to work closely with oem manufacturers to design thin and light notebooks that can meet the demands of real world users so that means a snappy performance extended battery life and also being able to get the most bandwidth out of a thin light form factor it was initially introduced in 2019 and so now we’re here in 2020 where the combined tiger lex architecture with uh that uh to basically come with the evil branding so according to intel the zenbook flip s meets all the requirements like supporting quick charge thunderbolt 4 wi-fi 6 instant wake functionality what does this really mean for the end user let’s find out starting with specs our sample comes with the core i7 1165 g7 it’s a quad core processor with eight threads 16 gigabytes of ram running at 4267

megahertz a one terabyte nvme ssd and a 13.3 inch 4k oled display and it costs 1 fifteen hundred dollars as for availability the zenbook flip s is exclusive to costco in mid-october and then it’s gonna be rolled out into other retailers later this month or perhaps even later than that something i should mention is that if you look at the ice lake i7 1065 g7 which is a quad-core cpu with a threads with iris plus graphics it can be configured between 12 watts and 25 watts with tiger leak any cpu with a zero at the end of its number can be configured between 5 watts and 15 watts depending on the system whereas any cpu with a 5 at the end of the number like the 1185 g7 from our preview video can go from 12 to 28 watts so all this means is the core i7 1160 g7 is a tiger leak cpu with four cores and eight threads and intel xc graphics with 96 execution units but much lower clock speeds okay so now let’s talk about the design and build quality and to be honest it looks a lot similar to the hp spectre x360 everything from the copper accent colors on the edges to the interior keyboard layout and the font choice i mean i personally don’t mind this but i would have preferred to see something unique from asus the top lid features this asymmetrical circle finish which is a zenbook staple but i have to admit this notebook is a fingerprint magnet it’s almost impossible to keep it clean so definitely keep that in mind the hinge is pretty smooth but it does get wobbly once you have it at a particular fixed location especially when you have this thing on your lap or on a desk i think this might have to do with the ergo lift design which basically lifts the keyboard at an optimized angle for a better typing experience but also if you need better

airflow that’s also one of the reasons why they implemented that design the other thing i should mention is that the rubber grommets underneath failed to keep the laptop in place it easily moves around which was a bit annoying especially when you’re typing on and off the keyboard at times the power button is located on the edge by the i o it doesn’t really have a tactile feel to it so every time i turn this thing on i would expect it to be on but it’s not because i have to give a little bit more force to get this thing to work i think it’s a terrible execution by acer they really have to fix that because it does get annoying a lot i also should mention that uh for size this thing is 13.9 millimeters thick and it weighs about 2.65 pounds so you can easily lug this thing or toss this in into a backpack and carry it with you to a coffee shop or maybe even a school setting the keyboard is okay it doesn’t have that distinct tactile feel that’s present with previous zenbook devices that we’ve looked at feels a bit mushy also i found the keys to be smaller for my big hands i constantly found myself making typos personally i think the layout feels vertically restricted even mike who has small hands told me that this was uncomfortable it’s also led backlit with three settings of brightness adjustments they do get the job done when you’re in darker environments the trackpad is fantastic you’re getting a glass surface so navigating within windows is very smooth the integrated primary left and right buttons have solid tactile feedback the integrated number pad is just like the one found on the zenbook 14 that we looked at not too long ago so if you press this button long enough it enables it and there’s a brightness adjustment right by the side as well you can still use the trackpad since the software does well at predicting when you’re trying to use the number pad so this is the webcam quality test on the zenfone 14.

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Uh the video quality looks pretty good it’s pretty nice and detailed so it should be good for skype meetings and all that stuff the microphone is not the greatest it sounds a little bit tinny but asus has built in some advanced ai noise cancelling features uh through the my asus app where you can go and tune the settings so we’re gonna go through just a couple settings to showcase what its true capability is i’m going to start off with the single presenter conference call setting that essentially isolates every other noise except for the person who’s sitting in front of the display so let’s go ahead and check that out so this is the single presenter conference call setting and in the background michael is actually on a phone call talking so it’s a good representation on how it actually isolates the noise he’s actually interrupting me right now i can’t focus on what i’m talking to but right now i’m also going to bring in a mechanical keyboard a this so you guys can tell how it works it’s pretty incredible it really is the speakers are bottom facing and they are custom tuned by harman kardon it sounds pretty good actually there’s good bass response and the vocals are well detailed so for general

media consumption and just you know listening to music or just for your day-to-day casual usage this thing will get the job done just fine port selection is decent for a notebook this size on the left hand side you get a full-size hdmi 1.4 port 2 usb type-c thunderbolt 4 ports switching to the right there’s a single usb 3.2 gen 1 port but guess what guys you don’t get a headphone jack i initially with the zenbook 14 that had the amd processor similar issue i was absolutely frustrated by that but they still managed to do the same thing with the flip s i don’t know why companies are doing this people use headphones they they this is like the most crucial thing that a lot of people use and not having that i mean sure they do include a 3.5 millimeter adapter in the box but if you lose that you’re kind of out of luck and let’s be honest bluetooth headphones and windows they do not go well with each other i’ve had terrible experiences with bluetooth headphones especially with windows notebooks so yeah you’re kind of left out of the blue it’s really frustrating and i really hope asus fixes that because they clearly do have the room for it it’s just that they chose not to moving on to the display you’re getting a 13.3 inch 4k oled panel at 60 hertz now i know what some of you might be thinking 4k on a 13 inch notebook is pointless but you know what guys after spending a good amount of time using this thing i’ve got to admit it’s freaking incredible the colors are absolutely beautiful as it covers 100 srgb 97 adobe rgb and 99 dcip3 so this is an excellent option for photographers who want to edit

photos on the go i should also mention that given that this is a two-in-one device asus does offer an pen an accessory pen that they don’t include on the box oddly enough because i mean this thing is 1500 they should have included in the first place but you can buy that pen as an accessory if you want to take your digital creativity skills to the next level but i think they should have included that with the laptop in the first place this is also a very bright panel it gets as bright as 600 nits so outdoor visibility is you know it’s perfectly fine you don’t have to worry about that so that’s awesome as for upgradability there’s not a lot going on over here the memory is soldered onto the pcb the ssd is user upgradable and the drive speeds are really fast over three gigabytes per second read my performance which is one of the fastest we’ve seen on a thin light notebook considering this laptop has one of the most power efficient versions of tiger lake and a pretty large 67 watt hour battery i was hoping for amazing things but that didn’t really happen on a web browsing test i mean sure 14 hours would have been a great result if there weren’t any ryzen 4000 use cpus on this chart it just seems like amd really nailed down idle power modes with zen 2 and intel’s still struggling to keep up but then again the 4k screen on the zenbook certainly doesn’t help here either but then switching over to battery life with a cpu that is actually working on tasks like photo editing and video conversion well this is super impressive but it’s also important to put it into context since the zenbook is only operating at an average package power of 12 watts in standard mode

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which gives it a pretty big advantage against laptops that’s set to 25 watts or even 30 watts okay so i do want to talk a little bit about how asus has set up the different power modes on these zenbook flip s their priority is to essentially run this thing at the lowest operating noise as well as chassis temperatures but there’s still some flexibility when it comes to overall performance so essentially there is a network of sensors underneath the laptop’s skin that identify surface temperatures and then it adjusts different fan profiles and limits cp package power so that your lap doesn’t get too toasty so what that means is whisper mode will be limited to 22 decibels with the cpu running at just 8 watts while the standard profile allows for a bit more noise and limits power to 12 watts finally performance mode pushes things a bit further with a 13 watt tdp which is still pretty low since the fans should stick to just 40 decibels so what does this all mean for overall performance well let’s take a look at an extreme example of an autodesk maya render to see what happens under full core load well it turns out that the clock speeds between standard and performance modes are pretty similar with the core i7 1160 g7 starting out at around 3 gigahertz performance hangs on to three gigahertz for a few seconds longer before throttling back uh while standard sees a gradual decrease but both end up hitting a pretty constant rate of around 1.9 gigahertz but standard mode

does end up being a lot more consistent whisper mode though well you’re going to see frequencies all over the place from just 900 megahertz all the way up to quick bursts of around 2.2 gigahertz the interesting thing here is that temperatures between all three modes were pretty similar other than the fact that performance and static modes allowed the cpu to operate around 93 degrees celsius for just over a minute but after that things settled down to the mid 70s and whisper mode was even hitting under 60 in many cases remember a lot of this is focused on surface temperatures but that also means the cpu has to run cooler as well finally there’s power and it looks like performance mode has a pl2 of around 27 watts for a short burst of time before it settles down to 13 watts while standard mode has a more gradual curve and eventually hits an average of 12 watts whisper mode ends up being super power efficient but each of the increases in frequency and temperature we saw in the last charts is reflected by a spike in power use something else i need to mention is the super high initial power spike in standard and performance modes it only impacts clock speeds for a fraction of a second and i’ve actually never seen a laptop cpu do this it’s almost like intel’s algorithm wants to do one thing while the asus bios just says nope behave yourself and listen to me before cutting things back the interesting thing here is that the difference between asus modes can’t really be seen in more single core focused apps like word meanwhile in long multi-core workloads standard and

performance are pretty close while whisper trails by a massive amount so what does this all mean well we did run our tests in the highest performance setting but personally i would settle for the lowest noise profile from the standard mode because there’s very little way in terms of usability on the other hand i would enable whisper mode if i take this thing to a coffee shop or if i open this thing up on a plane if that eventually ends up happening because we are currently in the middle of a pandemic now these surface temperature claims are pretty evident since the keyboard area keeps cool and even most of the base as well there’s a small hotspot right in the middle but even if it’s on your lap that won’t be too much of an issue due to its location in terms of acoustic performance in the performance mode the zenbook flip s is super quiet even when working away on a full core workload all right moving on to performance let’s start with the obvious now of course a low power 8 thread tiger lick cpu isn’t going to compete against a 16 thread 30 watt ryzen monster or even a 25 watt native 8 core ryzen 4700u but what’s really interesting is the i7 1160 g7 is able to convincingly beat the 25 watt i7 1065 g7 in multi-threaded workloads so it seems like the switch to this new architecture is a step in the right direction for intel and that’s a pretty big deal moving on from purely multi-threaded applications to more real-world uses for a thin and light laptop and we see

where tiger lake really shines i mean look if you’re gonna be using your ultra portable device for super intense content creation then something sporting a ryzen 4000 u is the way to go but with more general tasks the zenbook flip s is actually pretty impressive the same goes for premiere where quick sync video is able to take over while amd is still having driver hiccups with their hardware accelerated in code and decode algorithms gaming is a bit tough for the 1160 g7 even though it comes with intel’s super impressive new xc graphics core and 96eus its limited amount of power now has to be shared between the cpu and the integrated graphics and the result isn’t all that great i mean sure it can sort of beat the iris pro in the dell xps 13 but it’s taken to the cleaners by the super old vega architecture i’d really love to see how this stacks up to the 4500 u configured to 15 watts but we still haven’t been able to get our hands on one of those alright so i think it’s time to wrap up my thoughts on the zenbook flip s the first thing is of course the design i mean this thing is it looks exactly like the hp spectre x360 i really wish that asus did something different and unique with this laptop the second thing is of course i do want to talk about that tune on functionality i personally don’t see myself using this in laptop mode and tablet mode at the same time but if you find yourself doing that this is

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probably a great option because that display the 4k ola display is absolutely fantastic it’s bright it’s color accurate and if you watch a lot of movies and content consumption and if you edit photos this thing is gonna it’s gonna be an amazing experience i wasn’t particularly fond of the keyboard layout because to me it just felt like i was making a lot more typos compared to other laptops so that’s something that something that you should probably try out for yourself and see if you like it also the location of the power button it’s really not tactile i don’t like that implementation i wish if asus improved on that as well but i do have to mention that the ai noise canceling functionality with the webcam and the microphone is fantastic it works amazing and i hope other notebook manufacturers implement that on their laptops because you know we are living in a day and age where we’re working from home and we have a lot of things happening around us so having this functionality is definitely a bonus lack of a headphone jack is a huge deal breaker for me personally i don’t know what you guys think about it but this i mean i don’t know why asus did it they should definitely bring it back because it’s a crucial element that i personally do myself using a lot but yeah the performance it’s okay it’s tiger lake i mean i i really it’s definitely not gonna blow your minds compared to what amd still has with their 4000 new series processors but yeah let me know what you guys think about the zen book flip s is something that excites you are you impressed with tiger lakes performance uh let us know in the comments down below i’m eber with hardware canucks thank you so much for watching stay safe spend response me my friends spend responsibly spend responsibly and i’ll talk to you guys in the next one

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