Lightweight, slim laptops usually leave a favorable impression on me. While I love using bigger laptops to work at home, taking one around when I’m out in the field always requires that bit of effort and energy. It’s just too heavy to carry around. So, when the ASUS S 13 Flip OLED arrived for review, it made me excited to take it out for remote work. A few weeks with it and it ticked many of my basic requirements for a work machine.
But I had to put focus on its slim and light form factor because it is one of the key points of this laptop. And that’s the main reason I enjoyed my time with it. But this portability isn’t my only favorite thing about the ASUS S 13 Flip OLED. Let’s explore this feature and more below.
All about being compact
ASUS boasts about how the ASUS S 13 Flip OLED is its lightest 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED convertible laptop. It comes in at 1.1kg, with a side profile of less than 15mm. It’s light enough that I can carry it in one hand. This convertible laptop has a body made out of magnesium-aluminum alloy. ASUS offers it in a matte finish in Ponder Blue with the simple ASUS logo on the lid.
The finish is easy to wipe when it gets a tiny scratch or dust on it. While I’m definitely more attracted to fun color options from the gadgets I carry, the simplicity of the blue has its own merits, too. It means serious business. But at the same time, it isn’t your typical black or silver laptop. We have enough of those out there. ASUS includes a nice-looking, black laptop sleeve, among the other accessories you get with this laptop. And I love that it stores the laptop and the included ASUS stylus.
I love that its size makes it easy to slip into a big tote-size laptop bag. It doesn’t cause as much strain as my personal laptop when I bring it around with me. I don’t have to make many compromises for remote work either. This device lets me do everything I can on my machine.
It also doesn’t seem to sacrifice that full keyboard experience. It has a 19mm pitch, which is typical for full-sized keyboards. Pitch is the distance between the centers of each key. It measures whether a keyboard feels roomy or cramped. And it’s relatively independent of a keyboard’s actual, physical size. So, even in a smaller chassis, typing is a comfortable experience. Its key travel is at 1.4mm, which isn’t particularly outstanding. But I don’t have any issues with the typing feel on the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED. The keyboard is backlit (with adjustable brightness), so I can see the keys even if I’m working in a dark room.
Of course, there are still compromises, like smaller, hard-to-hit navigation keys. Although, there are still dedicated hotkeys for features like adjusting keyboard brightness, capturing the screen with a single tap, easily switching the webcam on/off, or locking the system in an instant for extra privacy. And it inherits ASUS’s 360-degree ErgoLift hinge design. It positions the keyboard at a comfortable angle on a desk, but it also helps with heat management.
I’m not too fond of the feedback I get from the trackpad, though. So I end up using it with a mouse for most of my review period. The ASUS S 13 Flip OLED also has some rather pointy corners that aren’t too comfortable when it’s used on my lap. I have to put some layers between the laptop and my legs sometimes.
The ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED’s stunning display
One easy way to tell how proud ASUS is about the Zenbook S 13 Flip’s display is in its name. And it’s definitely worth boasting about. The 16:10 2.8K OLED panel is Pantone Validated for color fidelity and supports cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. One of the only times I wasn’t too fond of its screen size was when I was watching movies on it.
I was marathoning all the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films lately and the contrast between how my laptop and this ASUS laptop showed off the visuals was so stark. It was so much easier to watch the darker scenes. The blacks were black and the colors looked like they popped. I have its other display tech and features (like VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and HDR content support) to thank for the enjoyable experience. And this was possible even without tinkering with the display settings.
But that option is available to you through ASUS’ MyASUS app. It offers a customizable color gamut function that lets you switch between sRGB for creating web content and browsing, DCI-P3 for cinema content, and Display P3 for movie-grade colors for everyday viewing. If you do a lot of color-intensive projects, this will be a good option for mobile work. ASUS boasts that its OLED laptops have around 60% higher color volume, offering better color performance at any brightness level. It maintains great detail even at lower brightness settings. I’ve typically kept it at around halfway while I worked during the day. The only times I cranked up the brightness was when the sunlight filtered into my office and was shown on the reflective touchscreen. But I was still able to see what I was doing clearly.
ASUS tries to prevent burn-in (or when certain pixels on display may age and degrade colors) to make sure you enjoy years of use out of the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED. It employs methods like shipping Windows in Dark mode, dimming the screen after five minutes at idle, and using Samsung’s OLED burn-in refine technology. That last one detects aging pixels and enhances the current passing through these pixels. This enables the degraded pixels to display brighter colors, and as a result, shows accurate perceived colors. And if you suddenly see this colorful screensaver after being away from the machine, this specially designed screensaver kicks in to protect the display from visible color shifts over time. It significantly reduces the chance of burn-in by making sure all the pixels are illuminated and darkened equally.
The audio isn’t quite as loud as I’d hoped, but the sound is full even at max volume. The dual speakers are Harman Kardon certified and tuned by the ASUS Golden Ear team. So, if you’re watching in a smaller room alone or with someone, you may not need to use external speakers to boost the volume. These speakers support Dolby Atmos, so you get a wide range of equalizer settings you can custom tune or select one of the presets available to get the sound you want. The ASUS S 13 Flip OLED has a smart amplifier and DSP chip that helps enhance the sound while preventing long-term damage to sensitive speaker voice coils.
Keeps me productive
If I did an EDC (everyday carry) post on social when I was reviewing this laptop, it would probably be the first item I’d show off. My personal laptop took a little hiatus during my testing period because the ASUS S 13 Flip OLED was more than enough for the work I do. It unsurprisingly handles my needs as a writer and editor, helps me get social media posts up, and meets my photo and video editing requirements without issues. It’s more than an adequate machine for a content creator like me.
The S 13 Flip OLED runs on a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 P-series processor (12th-gen Intel Core i7-1260P), supports up to 16GB of LPDDR5 memory, 1TB of PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD, and Windows 11 Home. That last spec is a bit disappointing given the premium nature of this laptop. ASUS, let’s start shipping these kinds of machines with Pro versions of Windows, yeah? And I understand that ASUS needs to include some apps to help manage different settings on its devices, but I could do with fewer preinstalled apps.
I was happy to see the NumberPad make its way to this laptop. It specifically gets the ASUS NumberPad 2.0 with ErgoSense. It came in handy for my budget tracking or anytime I needed to input more numbers in a document. It’s one of my favorite things that ASUS popularized on its laptops. Even with that added use out of the trackpad, ASUS promises “excellent wear and tear resistance,” smoother feedback, and easy cleanup. And I like that you don’t have to shut off the NumberPad to use the scroll function.
As a convertible device, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED lets you turn it into a giant tablet with the screen on top of the laptop. With support for the ASUS Pen 2.0 Stylus, you can write, scribble, sketch, and more on this laptop’s screen easily. I don’t tend to use Windows convertible laptops this way, but the stylus support and this form factor make it so convenient for signing documents or scribbling notes on articles or designs. It’s more “a nice feature to have” than a “must-have,” but I’m sure it could be an important feature for some of you.
One useful, must-have feature revolves around video conferencing. I was impressed with how this laptop held up during my online meetings. I took a risk during one meeting by not plugging in a mic or external webcam for a session. And I wasn’t disappointed. There was even a fan blowing in my direction during the meeting and I could hear and be heard rather clearly by those I was in the meeting with. That is thanks to the 4-mic surround array with AI Noise-Canceling Audio on the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED. I didn’t even need to tinker around with the built-in noise cancellation settings, but I’d imagine those would enhance the experience further.
I didn’t have any connectivity issues either. This laptop supports ASUS WiFi Master Premium technology, which has a built-in, dual-band W-iFi 6E wireless network for faster wireless transmission. It also has an ASUS-exclusive Wi-Fi SmartConnect feature, which provides greater distance stability and seamless wireless network experiences for users.
Quick to charge
With everything I need to do for work, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED puts up with that workload by lasting around six to seven hours on battery before I need to charge. It typically takes around two hours to fully recharge if I leave it alone. It supports USB-C Easy Charge and works with any Power Delivery-certified charger so you can use it with a wide range of standard USB-C chargers (including power banks).
Aside from the USB-C port, this machine also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports (to connect external 4K displays, storage devices, and expand connections), an audio combo jack, and a microSD card reader. Because this is a smaller laptop, you will get fewer ports. And I’d imagine if this was my laptop, I’d have to carry around some dongles with me. There’s a supplied USB-A-to-USB-C one in the box, which I needed to connect my hard drives into.
What’s lit and what’s not about the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED
What’s lit about it?
- Light and compact build
- Useful accessories included (like the laptop sleeve and stylus)
- Almost full-sized keyboard with access to the typical keyboard shortcuts
- A crisp, beautiful OLED panel perfect for watching content on (and doing color-intensive work)
- Reliable work companion
- Handy NumberPad
- Convertible form factor with stylus support
- Impressive mic and camera tech for video calls
- Supports fast charging and comes with a compact fast charger
What needs the extra spark?
- Small navigation keys
- Trackpad doesn’t feel as clicky or responsive
- The edges of the laptop are a bit sharp
- Could ship with a better version of Windows
- Still too many unnecessary apps
- A smaller form factor means fewer ports
- Get ready to shell out some serious cash
Final thoughts about the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED
It’s been a delight using the Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED for work and play. As with any device, there are pros and cons to it. But for my use case, the pros have outweighed the cons. Its portability and power help me breeze through my tasks, while its stunning display lets me enjoy my downtime. And that’s more than enough for me. Of course, all this laptop has to offer comes at a price. And this one is on the expensive side.
If it is an investment you’d want to make, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED retails for PHP 109,995 (around USD 2,022).
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