Asus ZenBook Flip UX560

Big, heavy and pow­er­ful, the ZenBook Flip UX560 is an in­ter­est­ing al­ter­na­tive to its light­weight ri­vals

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 -

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £850 (£1,020 inc VAT) from pcpro.link/277asus

How far can you stretch the terms ul­tra-thin and ul­tra­light? In the case of the ZenBook Flip UX560, Asus might be stretch­ing both to break­ing point: this 15.6in con­vert­ible, which is 18.5mm thick and weighs 2.2kg, is ar­guably nei­ther. We have our doubts about a con­vert­ible of this size, but the 360-de­gree hinged form fac­tor works for ad hoc pre­sen­ta­tions while in tent mode, or watch­ing movies.

The Flip looks good for such a big-screen lap­top, ei­ther in its sil­ver ver­sion or a me­tal­lic black. It feels bul­let­proof with an in­cred­i­bly ro­bust hinge, while that ex­tra size means it can cram in not just a USB-C port, but three full-sized USB 3 ports, an HDMI port and a head­phone/mi­cro­phone jack. The fly in the oint­ment? A huge bezel around the screen, reach­ing 17mm on ei­ther side, 23mm at the top and 35mm at the bot­tom. On the plus side, that top bezel in­cludes an in­frared camera, giv­ing you Win­dows Hello sign-in us­ing just your face.

The pic­ture in­side that frame isn’t quite so pre­mium. Bright­ness is just about on the right side of av­er­age at 276cd/m², and the same could be said of colour ac­cu­racy, with an av­er­age Delta E of 2.47 and sRGB cov­er­age of just 71.7%. The built-in Har­man Kar­don speak­ers have power on their side, par­tic­u­larly at the low and high end – sub­tlety is not their strong suit.

Still, there are other ad­van­tages to a big­ger lap­top, in­clud­ing a mas­sive, sen­si­tive touch­pad with in­te­gral but­tons and a full-sized key­board. We didn’t fall in love with its lack­lus­tre ac­tion, though, de­spite a re­spectable 1.5mm travel. At least the Asus storms ahead when it comes to horse­power. We tested a model with a Core i5-6200U, 12GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD, which achieved a bench­mark score of 60, but Asus has just up­graded to a faster, more pow­er­ef­fi­cient Kay Lake Core i7-7500U CPU. (Prices are likely to rise too.)

Throw in an Nvidia 940MX GPU and you have a lap­top that can even han­dle games like Forza Motorsport 6: Apex at smooth frame rates, pro­vid­ing you dial the de­tail lev­els down. Yet, de­spite this, it still does well for bat­tery life, near­ing eight hours of con­tin­u­ous video play­back. The Flip UX560 won’t be for ev­ery­one, but if it suits you then it’s ter­rific value.

BE­LOW A USB-C, HDMI and three full-sized USB 3 ports are all present

ABOVE The ZenBook car­ries the heft of its big screen well

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