Pros: Core M3 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, Full HD touchscreen, 10 hour battery life, plenty of ports, competitive price.
Cons: No DVD drive or ethernet port.
When Apple launched the Macbook way back in 2015 they didn't just launch a new laptop, they introduced a new standard in regards to how thin and light a laptop could be. Many have come out and imitated the design of the popular notebook but what many of us really wanted was to see improvements rather than copycats. More specifically; affordable improvements. Such is the case of the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T.
With Asus's latest venture onto the ultra-ultrabook segment we got everything we where hoping for and then some. It's new laptop arrives with a very attractive price whilst also boasting several ports on a convertible laptop that can go from notebook to tablet with the flick of a screen. Now, lets get to know this model in depth as we dive onto our review of the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T.
Review of the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T
Spectacular design with an even better display
Measuring at less than half an inch and weighing just short of 3 pounds, Asus has really outdone itself with its latest model. The design is truly exquisite and while many might think that the smaller form factor will affect the key travel we're glad to say that this model features a 1.5 mm key travel which makes all night typing sessions feel rather effortless. What's more; we also get an extra wide trackpad that could easily rival Apple's very own trackpad.
The display itself takes up 13.3 inches and features a Full HD resolution on an LED backlit panel with anti glare technology and a 72% NTSC. As we stated previously, it also has touchscreen capabilities and the fact that you can bend the laptop 360º means that this model also doubles as a 13 inch tablet.
At this price point we're used to seeing laptops with a good CPU and good RAM. However, what's more uncommon is finding a laptop that excels not just in those segments but also places a firm bet in the storage department. Hopefully it's becoming clear by now that this is no ordinary laptop.
In that regard, the Asus UX360CA-UBM1T packs a powerful Intel Core m3-6Y30 dual core processor clocking in at 2.2GHz (with turbo speed) and 0.9GHz at its standard performance with 4 logical threads and 4MB of Intel's smart cache.
In case you've never used a Core M processor then you should know that in terms of performance it's pretty much on par with a 5th generation dual core i5 CPU. It should be pointed out that this CPU wasn't designed for gaming and therefore if you're looking for a laptop that's suitable for gaming you should look elsewhere.
That said, it's still a pretty awesome processor which consumes very little power while still delivering a high end performance on tasks such as programing, streaming high definition video and working with virtual machines.
RAM is also going strong on this model with a single 8GB DDR3L unit working at 1833MHz. Personally I believe that 8GB is the sweet spot in terms of performance since you don't get any lag on your day to day activities and can run several apps at a time without crashing. For power users 8GB is a must and while Asus could've placed a bit more RAM the truth is we'd hardly use it if they did.
Finally, another very strong point when it comes to the key specs of the UX360CA-UBM1T is storage. In this department Asus decided to go all out and gave its latest ultrabook a 256GB SSD storage unit.
This means you don't have to compromise between storage speed and storage capacity since you get both plenty of storage capacity as well as a massive speed bump if you come from a more conventional hard drive operated laptop.
What does the SSD do for you? In short; it saves you a lot of time. Everything from booting the system to launching apps and searching for files will be done much, much faster than a regular drive. It also contributes to increasing battery life, something we'll talk about on the next segment.
Battery life and graphical performance
Let's get one thing out of the way; this laptop is not suited for heavy duty gaming or anything in between. Packing an Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU, it can barely run your light gaming needs. That said, this doesn't mean that it's not a great machine for stuff like picture editing and streaming video, it's just not fit for gaming.
Moving onto battery life, the Asus UX360CA-UBM1T sports a 3 cell battery that can deliver up to 10 hours of battery life with moderate to mild usage. Obviously these numbers fluctuate depending on your usage but with brightness set at 75% whilst surfing the web and editing docs (no videos) battery life should be around that frame which is pretty good if you ask me.
Extensive connectivity options
Finally, to further differentiate itself from Apple's MacBook, Asus chose to go all out in the connectivity department. In that sense we've got 1 USB Type C port that can transfer data at an amazing speed (up to 5GBps), a couple of standard USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, SD card reader and an audio jack. Because of its size there's no DVD drive or ethernet port but that goes with the territory when dealing with an ultrabook.
We've also got the latest WiFi a/b/g/n/ac standard with WiDi support that delivers up to three times faster a connection speed vs your standard b/g/n connectivity as well as Bluetooth 4.0 support and an HD webcam for videocalls.
What's the verdict? Is the Asus UX360CA-UBM1T a worthy laptop?
It's time to give our closing arguments in this review of the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360CA-UBM1T and honestly we can't be more thrilled about this model. Portability, high end performance, long lasting battery life and exquisite design are all staples of this laptop. Couple that with an extremely low price point and you've got yourself one of the best deals of the year.
Obviously this isn't a gamers laptop and if you're looking to do some extensive graphical design this might not adjust to what you need but for every other power user in the market this is an excellent choice that won't disappoint.