While Asus currently ranks number 4 amongst the main laptop manufacturers in the world it's certainly not for a lack of trying. The company has taken the world by storm with its Zenbook series and it's latest flagship promises to consolidate the company's position even further.
We're talking about the Asus Zenbook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T, a relatively inexpensive ultrabook that comes packed with stellar features such as a Full HD touchscreen, last generation Core M processor and massive SSD storage.
Finally, a true contender for Apple's own ultrabook lineup that's worth your money and then some. Now without further ado let's get to know this laptop in excruciating detail as we unravel our in depth review of the Asus Zenbook UX360CA-DBM2T.
Pros: 512GB SSD, Skylake Core M CPU, 8GB of RAM, stunning design, 12 hour battery life.
Cons: No DVD tray, no ethernet port, not suitable for gamers.
Asus Zenbook UX360CA-DBM2T Full Review
A provocative and inspired design
I believe that the "retina screen" is widely overrated and if a consumer had to look at a Full HD display vs a retina laptop display without knowing which is which he/she would hardly know the difference.
While we don't typically use the word "sexy" to define a laptop, if we had to call one laptop "sexy" this would be the time to do so. With an exquisite craftsmanship, the Asus UX360CA-DBM2T feels like a premium device from the get go. We've got a stunning unibody aluminium design that when coupled to a very thinning 0.5 inches and a very lightweight 2.8 pounds it's clear we're dealing with a flagship product.
The display, while not in the "retina" category, boasts a Full HD resolution over a 13.3 inch IPS touchscreen display. Honestly I'm gonna be the oddball here and say that I believe that the "retina screen" is widely overrated and if a consumer had to look at a Full HD display vs a retina laptop display he/she would hardly know the difference.
The only con we can find when looking at the design is that the keyboard is not backlit, a feature many users appreciate and quite honestly it's a bit surprising that Asus didn't add this feature though surely it was a sacrifice made in the name of thinness.
That said, we love the design of this laptop and while the flip screen seemed a bit pointless at first we've actually grown quite fond of it after a while, especially when you wanna watch a movie in bed and don't really "feel like typing".
Is it just a pretty face or is there something underneath?
Overall this is a great CPU for basic and advanced computing. Stuff like surfing the web, watching Full HD movies, coding, image editing and prepping presentations should run smoothly and without any hiccups.
Of course all the design efforts in the world would be pointless if we were looking at a device that couldn't function properly. With that in mind Asus made sure that they created an ultrabook that set the bar for all ultrabooks. In charge of performance we've got a 6th generation Intel Core M3-6Y30 processor working at 0.9 GHz and managing a cool 2.2 GHz when working on more demanding software.
This is a 64 bit processor built on 14nm technology working with two cores over 4 threads with 4 MB of Intel's smart cache. If you're not a big geek like us then we should point out that this processor would be a more "mobile version" of a 4th generation Intel Core i5.
When we say it's a more "mobile version" what we mean is that it's smaller, more energy efficient and doesn't overheat therefore there's no need for a fan (which this laptop doesn't have). Overall this is a great CPU for basic and advanced computing. Stuff like surfing the web, watching Full HD movies, coding, image editing and prepping presentations should run smoothly and without any hiccups.
RAM is also great on this laptop which has 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM working at 1833 MHz. As we always say; 8 GB is the perfect amount of RAM for 99% of user cases. If you're a light user then you'll be thankful you have the extra RAM down the road and if you're an intensive poweruser you probably won't actually use all 8 gigs but you would surely need more than 4 if you're the kind of user that's handling dozens of programs at any given time.
An impressive battery life and unprecedented storage
While most companies seem very cheap when it comes to SSD storage, only delivering between 128 to 256 GB of storage at best, Asus wanted to break the mold and so for the Asus Zenbook UX360CA-DBM2T they've taken us by surprise with 512GB of SSD storage.
Finally a laptop that doesn't ask us to compromise or choose between storage capacity and storage velocity. Now we've not only got super fast storage but also a decent amount of storage that will actually allow us to store all our media library without having to continually monitor how we're doing on the storage front.
But if you thought the massive SSD was as good as it got then you've got another thing comin because battery life is also astounding, managing a full 12 hours of untethered power per charge. Even if we where cynical enough to assume that real usage would have us down to 10 hours that's still a pretty great number that very few laptops can compete with on the upper end of the market.
What's the word on gaming?
Gaming is not what the UX360CA-DBM2T was designed to do and therefore it's not really an option. Under the hood you'll find an integrated Intel HD 515 graphics card which can deliver decent results on 2014 titles that aren't very demanding but it will hardly go beyond that if you're serious about gaming. Overall, it simply wasn't built with gaming in mind.
What are my connectivity options?
As we reach the end of the line in our detailed review of the Asus Zenbook UX360CA-DBM2T it's time to take a quick look at the connectivity options where we've got a standout USB Type C port which also can charge your phone or tablet with an increased speed of up to 50%, two USB 3.0 ports which are also compatible with USB 2.0 devices, an SD card reader, HDMI output and an audio jack.
As expected, it comes with the latest WiFi ac standard which delivers up to three times better download speeds and Bluetooth 4.1. Absent from the connectivity options is the DVD tray, something that if needed could easily be bought separately as well as an ethernet port.
It should also be noted that this laptop is Cortana Voice-Premium certified which means that it can understand your commands from a distance of up to 4 meters even if the ambient sound conditions are less than optimal.
Final statements: Is it a hero or a zero?
We absolutely loved reviewing this laptop from start to finish. It's the perfect consumer laptop at the best consumer-friendly price we've seen thus far. If you're looking for a lightweight ultrabook with a serious storage option, ample battery life and great performance across the board then this laptop will likely fit your needs.
It's not however a gaming laptop nor was it designed for graphical designers who will need a dedicated graphics chip to get their job done. However, for virtually anyone else who can afford it and value design as well as performance then this is a great investment for a laptop that will be useful for several years to come.