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