Asus ZenBook Flip 15 Review – A capable and premium 2-in-1 laptop
The exquisite brushed metal – US Military grade quality, allegedly – aesthetic makes a big impact as soon as you take the Asus ZenBook Flip out of the box. Read our Asus ZenBook Flip 15 Review.
The material makes for a solid machine, and its finish provides a subtle design aesthetic that is both sleek, and makes a nice change from the basic black and silver designs we often see in modern laptops.
This design aesthetic makes the Asus ZenBook Flip 15 one of the nicest laptops we’ve ever used. It feels very robust too; teamed with a decent weight the ZenBook Flip 15 feels like it could survive a knock or two – although we’d never want to risk denting that beautiful brushed metal.
The design houses a glorious 4K screen with an impressive 90% screen-to-body ratio. This is thanks to the ultra-thin 4.5mm bezels that surround the display and help maximise the amount of screen the laptop packs into its chassis. It’s impressive stuff.
Seriously, the screen is glorious, and made us genuinely gasp upon opening the laptop for the first time. The ‘other’ screen that’s key in the laptop’s design is that of the touchpad-meets- screen feature: the ScreenPad.
Above the ScreenPad is a keyboard that is stacked; it’s a full keyboard with a numpad to the right too. That’s quite the achievement on a 15-inch laptop. However, there’s a compromise to be made for getting a full keyboard and numpad and ScreenPad into the laptop: everything feels a little cramped.
The Zenbook Flip 15 tries to give you everything plus its own toys which means there’s a competition for space – we found it was easy to miss keys or hit the wrong ones.
Unsurprisingly, the Asus ZenBook Flip 15 is a high- performing 2-in-1 laptop. Whatever we use the machine for, it handles it; however we use the machine, it works and performs.
ZenBook Flip 15 is a high- performing 2-in-1 laptop. Whatever we use the machine for, it handles it; however we use the machine, it works and performs. And, genuinely, our criticisms are few and far between.
One of them, however, does reside in the layout of the keyboard. Because it’s so cramped, particularly toward the top rows of keys and the right hand side with the numpad, it is quite easy to smash the wrong button or flick the wrong keys to interrupt functions.
The delete key, for example, proves very easy to miss. Also, the power button is a little too indistinct and the actuation is poor, too.
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It’s also a bit of a shame that there’s no Ethernet port, but to be fair the ZenBook Flip 15 does counter that with very strong and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity and strong Bluetooth 5.0 support, the latter being a particularly solid and welcome addition.
The screen is a true joy to use, without fault. It’s a roomy, bright, crisp and clear display that is good for any function or task. Films and YouTube videos are vibrant and punchy; games are vivid, and even day-to-day software like Chrome and Microsoft Office look great. The 100% sRGB quality of the screen certainly helps with the top-notch image quality.
There is also something very satisfying in simply flitting between regular laptop touchpad and keyboard use, to scrolling down programs and opening up flies by using the touchscreen itself, with only a lazy change of arm position.
Thanks to the powerful components within, daily use of the laptop, which included running multiple programs and apps at once, was incredibly smooth on the ZenBook Flip 15. It has more than enough grunt to handle everything that work or medium productivity such as photo editing, word processing, spreadsheet and web browsing all at once.
Meanwhile, the gaming benchmarks we ran reveal results that are both expected and pleasantly surprising.
They are not cripplingly slow, as you might expect from the aging graphics card housed in the laptop, but the Asus ZenBook Flip 15 also doesn’t provide anything near a ‘good’ gaming experience.
Naturally, we ran benchmarks and played games at 1080p given it’s a modest card, which would in no way handle the screen’s native 4K resolution. However, the results do show you could still enjoy a bit of gaming on the go, albeit at lower settings and on with undemanding games.
The ScreenPad may seem like a gimmick, but it quickly became much more in our daily use.
You’ll quickly embrace the ScreenPad with its built-in technology that supports smart gestures; you’ll start to seamlessly rely on the IR camera’s facial recognition to log you in with Windows Hello
This ZenBook might not be a gaming laptop per se but it is a laptop that can play games… at a push. If only Asus had been able to work a 16-series card into this ZenBook then we would almost certainly have given it a higher overall score.
Away from the gaming performance, the ZenBook Flip 15 manages to feel so much more than the sum of its parts. While the components do a fine job of powering the laptop, it’s the extra features that really make it stand out.
In fact, the more you use it, the more true this becomes, and things like the ScreenPad, which many will dismiss as simply a gimmick or curio, start making a lot more sense.
You’ll quickly embrace the ScreenPad with its built-in technology that supports smart gestures; you’ll start to seamlessly rely on the IR camera’s facial recognition to log you in with Windows Hello; it’ll slip easily into your wider smart home setup through its built-in Amazon Alexa functionality; and swapping between tablet and regular laptop modes soon becomes second nature.
These features, backed up by the quality components under the hood means the Asus ZenBook Flip 15 is an all-round quality machine. Everything about the laptop performs really well – even the speakers are pretty good! If you can stomach its slight drawbacks, you absolutely will not regret acquiring one of these beauties.
A great do-it-all laptop that ticks a lot of boxes. It's a quality 2-in-1 device that will handle anything from work to light gaming, and features one of the best screens going on a portable machine.