It's official; you're out of excuses for not buying a high end laptop/convertible. Asus has unveiled its newest and most promising convertible to date, a model that's so advanced yet so affordable that you simply can't afford not to buy it. We're talking of course about the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T.
Asus's latest flagship comes with all the best features you'd expect and quite a few you wouldn't. We're talking about a Full HD display, 512GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM and the latest generation Core M processor amongst many, many other advantages. Care to know more? Then come on down as we explore everything there is to know about this notebook in this in depth review of the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T.
Pros: 512GB SSD storage, Core M3 6Y30, 8GB of RAM, Full HD IPS touchscreen, Cortana Premium Voice certified, up to 12 hours of battery life, under 3 pounds, USB type C port.
Cons: No ethernet port.
ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T Review of the best convertible on the market
Lighter, thinner and simply better
While most 13 inch convertibles still struggle to offer a weight below 3.5 pounds, Asus has managed to pull off what seemed impossible for mid to high end notebooks and the company has developed a laptop that weighs less than 3 pounds and measures less than half an inch. For reference, most 13 inch laptops measure at least 0.9 inches so this is actually a huge development for Asus.
The display, one of the DBM1T's most attractive features, is a Full HD IPS LED screen with a 178º viewing angle and a 13.3 inch diagonal with anti glare technology.
What does this mean? Well it basically means you can use this convertible anywhere and you'll still manage to have good visibility, what's more, thanks to its wide viewing angle you'll be able to share what you see with anyone around you.
As for the convertible part of this notebook, we're looking at a model that can handle the 4 basic positions that most convertibles brag about; laptop mode, tent mode, stand mode and the infamous tablet mode for you to use this device as a high end tablet.
The only drawback we can think off when looking at the design of the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T is the fact that the keyboard is not backlit, but considering the very tight thickness that's a sacrifice we're more than willing to make.
Core M CPU + great RAM equals amazing performance
While many convertibles still rely on the standard Intel processors, Asus decided to go in another direction with its latest flagship and featured an Intel Core M3 6Y30 processor. This is a 6th generation Skylake dual core processor that doesn't need a fan to function properly and therefore is significantly more efficient when handling heat issues.
As for the raw numbers; this CPU performs at a base frequency of 0.9GHz and can stretch things up to 2.2GHz for more demanding tasks. With 4MB of cache and 4 threads, this processor is ready and capable for just about anything you throw at it.
We're not gonna lie here, a Core i7 would deliver a better performance on really heavy duty software. However, when doing stuff like coding, using virtual machines, editing video and so forth you're not very likely to notice a difference in terms of performance.
RAM is also a big deal on this convertible, not only because it's packing an 8GB module of DDR3 RAM working at 1833MHz but also because that's a tad faster than the typical RAM you'll find on most laptops which work at 1600MHz. That said, the difference isn't all that noticeable in everyday tasks yet it's still good to know its there.
Overall, this set of specs mean that we're looking at a powerhouse laptop and not just your run of the mill convertible that also happens to double as a laptop. What we mean is that you can do some serious work on this machine and you don't have to worry about demanding too much from it.
Amazing Storage and incredible battery life
Who the hell wants a MacBook when you can get an ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T with 512GB of base storage for roughly half the price of your base MacBook? Seriously who? When all's said and done, 512GB of SSD storage is a massive upgrade that we previously only found on laptops that would cost twice as much as this one and that's if we were lucky.
512GB of SSD storage mean you truly get the best of both worlds; massive storage capacity as well as a great storage velocity. Everything from booting the system to opening heavy programs will be done much, much faster than they would with a conventional hard drive. With most convertibles offering a maximum of 256GB of SSD for quite a bit more money I believe it's pretty safe to say that Asus totally took us by surprise here.
Moving on to battery life, this is another department where many convertibles have struggled yet it seems pretty clear from the get go that battery life should be a priority for a device that's meant to be portable above all things. Especially when you take into account that they're designed to double as productivity tablets. However, many convertibles struggle with this and most of them offer anywhere between 5 to 7 hours with few exceptions in between.
That said, battery life on the ASUS UX360CA-DBM1T is one of the laptops biggest pros by delivering up to 12 hours of unplugged performance. Obviously these numbers will depend on usage patterns but even if we'd set the bar down to 10 hours that's still an impressive number that will be hard to beat for most of Asus's competitors.
Not a gaming laptop
The one thing that Asus doesn't do better than most convertibles is gaming. As you might've guessed by now, convertibles are not designed for gamers and so far not even the most expensive models feature a dedicated graphics chip. The ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T in review is no exception to this rule as it packs an Intel HD 515 graphics chip.
This is an integrated graphics chip that will deliver a good performance on games such as World of Warships and Dirt Rally (under low settings) but anything more graphically demanding than these types of games will result in "unplayable frame rates".
What's left to know?
Setting aside the lack of a dedicated graphics chip as a problem that's general to convertibles, this notebook still packs a mean connectivity bundle. I mean, we've got everything from a USB type C port to a couple of traditional USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, as well as an SD card reader and your typical audio jack. There's also super fast WiFi ac connectivity and the latest Bluetooth 4.1 standard in case you want to use a Bluetooth mouse or a bluetooth speaker.
We should also mention that this is the first Zenbook to be certified with Microsoft's Cortana Voice Premium which means that Cortana will hear you even if you're up to 13 feet away in a busy kitchen or office with loud sounds in the background. That's pretty neat!
Bottom line: Should I buy this convertible?
Forget about the fact that this is a convertible, even if it weren't we'd still be looking at one of the most amazing consumer laptops in the market right now. Rivaling Apple's very own MacBook but with a much lower price tag, our review of the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM1T exposes Asus's latest offering to be one of the best laptops/convertibles in the market.
The only thing it doesn't have is a dedicated graphics chip, bar that and you've got yourself an impressive notebook with a Full HD display that has massive SSD storage, an ultra light design, powerful internals and a battery life that will allow you to forget all about the charger. If you're looking for a great laptop that's very portable and also affordable then this is the way to go. You can check out pricing and availability here!