For every product, the premium shelf is the most competitive, and this is especially true for expensive 2-in-1 computers. With a flexible laptop/tablet form, a weight low enough to qualify as an ultraportable, and a powerful Intel 12th Generation Core i7 processor, the Asus Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED ($1,490) demonstrates how close the competition has grown. And that’s before we even get to the OLED screen, the built-in pen, the touchpad that also functions as a number pad, and the incredibly robust magnesium alloy body. The Asus Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED has a large list of advantages, including a battery life of almost 14 hours, but it still isn’t the quickest, the most durable, or the greatest value, so it doesn’t receive an Editors’ Choice designation. That shouldn’t deter you from choosing this laptop, though, especially if peak display quality is something you pay close attention to.
Magnesium-Alloy Magic: The Concept
The Zenbook Flip establishes itself in the ultraportable laptop and 2-in-1 categories by combining a thin, lightest design with a convertible hinge that opens up normally and continues to fold back for a tablet mode. While adding only 2.43 pounds to your laptop bag, the lightweight design features a magnesium-aluminum alloy shell that is strong and long-lasting.
This Zenbook is thinner than several of our favorite ultraportables, like the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 (2022) and the HP Spectre x360 13.5 (2022), but it doesn’t do so at the expense of connectors or functionality. It measures just 0.59 by 11.67 by 8.26 inches.
Amazing OLED display with touch and pen support
The 13.3-inch OLED display on the Zenbook is unquestionably one of its most stunning features. It has all the bells and whistles. Features include Dolby Vision HDR support, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage (including Pantone-validated color), and a Corning Gorilla Glass coating to guard against scratches. A Dolby Atmos stereo sound system that offers respectable sound quality and volume joins the display.
The 2,880-by-1,800-pixel resolution of Asus’ OLED panel is combined with touch and pen capability, and it comes with an Asus Pen 2.0 with four interchangeable tips and 4,096 pressure levels for comfortable, intuitive writing and drawing.
This pen also has two undesirable characteristics. The first is the absence of any onboard pen storage. The chassis lacks a storage compartment or barrel, and neither the frame nor the pen has any magnets to attach it. The second problem is charging. Although the pen does not require you to change out tiny batteries, the charging process is not perfect. You can charge the pen by plugging it into your laptop or another USB-C port, which is revealed when you slide out the pen’s back end. The good news is that a full charge lasts more than 140 hours. The drawback is that you will then need to keep in mind where you put the 6-inch charging wire that is provided.
The laptop’s touchpad, which spans nearly the entire spacebar to chassis lip, is a good deal wider than average, measuring a full 5 inches across. It also has a sneaky trick in its sleeve: If you press the touchpad’s top right corner, it turns into a numeric pad and illuminates, a feature we’ve seen on the Asus Zenbook 13 from 2021 and many other Asus models. The second-screen touchpad on certain other Zenbook models, such the Asus Zenbook 13 from 2020, is more eye-catching, but this one is still a good alternative.
The Zenbook S 13 Flip boasts a 1080p webcam from Asus that has an Infrared capability for safe Windows Hello facial recognition logins. The laptop also has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button if you want something comparable but without the facial recognition, which makes security simple.
Trackpad and keyboard
With this laptop, Asus included a complete keyboard and a sizable glass clickpad with NumPad capability. These are some of the nicest inputs currently available in a 13-inch ultrabook.
I had anticipated this keyboard to feel exactly like the one on the ZenBook S13 clamshell, but it provided firmer feedback and a faster, more dependable typing experience overall. In calm areas, the typing experience could draw unwelcome attention because both the Space key and the main deck of keys are somewhat loud.
The layout has all the necessary keys, and everything is scaled and spaced correctly. Even the power button has been relocated to the top-left key, leaving the Delete key in the top-right area.
There are three brightness settings for the white LED-backlit keys. Overall, the LEDs are bright enough to carry out their intended function, especially when used in conjunction with the black keycaps. The system times out after 30 seconds and may be restarted by swiping over the clickpad. Here, uniformity is still a little hit-and-miss because some of the lights in the top row of keys are brighter than others. There is also quite a bit of light coming from behind the keycaps, especially under those more illuminated keys in the top row.
The 13.3-inch 16:10 glossy OLED 2.8K touch version of this laptop is also available. There isn’t any other panel choice, hence there isn’t any IPS variant at all.
Well, this is going to be a great display as long as you’re okay with your laptop having an OLED touch screen. It is an OLED display with exceptional viewing angles, contrast, and black levels. It also has a 10-bit panel with stunning colors and 100% DCI-P3 spectrum coverage.
First off, this is fairly dim, with a peak SDR brightness of just 350 nits, making it suitable mainly for indoor use and insufficient for any bright-light conditions, especially when taking into account the glare effect. The digitizer layer also contributes to the graininess that these touch OLED displays exhibit on white backgrounds. When browsing and modifying texts, which is what I do most often on my laptops, I personally find this to be really irritating. However, this screen supports pens, and an Asus pen is included by default.
Benchmarks and performance
We now move on to heavier loads, and we begin by gauging the CPU’s efficiency with the Cinebench R15 loop test.
The Core i7-1260P CPU in Performance mode briefly peaks at the 38W PL2 setting before swiftly dropping and stabilizing at roughly 30W of power, operating at temperatures in the low and mid-90s Celsius, and producing 42 dB of fan noise. They lead to consistent Cinebench scores of 1450 points or more.
The technology restricts the fans on Standard at substantially lower noise levels—36 dB. The CPU eventually stabilizes at 20W and 76–78 C temperatures. However, the performance suffers significantly as the scores hover around 1000.
The ZenBook S Flip, the most recent incarnation of the 2022 generation of ZenBooks from Asus, is currently among the best 2-in-1 ultrabooks on the market because to extensive redesign and improvement work.
This model has a more appealing design and a more sturdy construction than its predecessors, as well as unrestricted inputs, a stunning OLED display, better power specifications, and an improved cooling system.
You must, however, accept the lack of non-OLED screen alternatives and the USB-C only IO (+ audio jack) without full-size connections.