The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is one of the most powerful convertible laptops you can buy today. It’s built like a tank but battery life could have been better.
- The ZenBook Flip 14 gets a Ergo Lift hinge design that goes around 360-degrees.
Asus commands great control over the laptop market with its unique offerings across various price points and .keeps coming up with solid laptops in the affordable segments and one of such laptop on Asus’ ever-expanding fleet is the ZenBook Flip 14.
As you might have guessed, the ZenBook Flip 14 is a convertible laptop but Asus differentiates it from its rivals by equipping it with the current generation core-i 7 or AMD Ryzen chips along with some beefy specifications. On top of that, Asus is proud to boast of its military-grade build quality as well as good battery life.
ZenBook Flip 14 is built like a tank
Ever since I have started reviewing laptops, I have always maintained that Asus laptops never disappoint in terms of build quality. Nothing changes with the ZenBook Flip 14 and that’s good for us. The laptop is certified with MIL-STD 810G for durability and that means it can survive a few drops out in the real world without impacting your work. Point me any other convertible laptop that offers this rating.
And when you hold it in your hands, the ZenBook Flip 14 feels like it’s built to last. A combination of metal and plastic for the chassis feels solid while the matte finish improves grip. On my silver colour variant, smudges were hidden efficiently but that may not be the case with the dark colour variants. At 1.6kg, it feels hefty but I would rather trade lightness for some extra durability.
What impressed me, even more, is that this laptop offers Asus’smart ErgoLift hinge design along with the 360-degrees rotating hinge. This lets you have a comfortable angle while working on documents in the laptop mode but the versatility of a tablet with better cooling when you don’t need the keyboard – the best of both worlds. The hinge is firm which means it doesn’t wobble while typing. The trackpad is decently big but it could have been slightly bigger for more comfort. And the keyboard is widely spaced out but it’s not meant for typing for long hours.
While it’s a solid and clever design, I wished Asus could have offered a bit more flair with the design. The bland lid design could have looked better with the classic Asus concentric circle design or some gradient schemes.
Great display for a convertible
Apart from the build, Asus also does a great job with the display and the ZenBook Flip 14 portrays another example. You get a 14-inch Full HD+ display with touchscreen input and very slim bezels all around. This is a very good display for a convertible laptop, with bright colours, high contrasts and great sharpness. In laptop mode, it’s a joy to use the display for either typing documents or browsing through the web. The reflective surface does hinder visibility but that’s given for any touchscreen display. In tablet mode, the screen can precisely register touch inputs. The wide viewing angles are a lot helpful while watching movies and there are no ugly colour shifts while watching at an angle.
On the whole, the ZenBook Flip 14 impresses with its display and in a convertible laptop, I don’t think you can find a better screen right now, especially under ₦700,000.
AMD Ryzen’s raw performance is impressive but battery suffers
The ZenBook Flip 14 is part of the updated AMD powered PC lineup from Asus and this one gets the highly powerful Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors. The unit that I had came with a Ryzen 5-3500U processor paired with the Vega 8 graphics accompanied by 2GB of graphics memory. Asus has coupled it with 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM and up to 512GB PCIe SSD storage. The whole system is powered by a 42WHr 3-cell Li-ion battery. These are promising specifications on paper and in the real world, it delivers as well, except for the battery life. I will get to that in a while.
Firstly, I have to talk about Ryzen 5’s performance. The Ryzen 5-3500U compares with the likes of the Intel Core i5 processor and it’s quite capable in doing what it’s meant to do. Everyday computing tasks such as web browsing, shuffling between multiple folders, watching movies, juggling between a few apps and more are easily handled by the ZenBook Flip 14. The SSD helps with faster loading times and whether you are working on documents or simply browsing around the web, this laptop is fast. I didn’t see it stuttering for once.
I even tried some casual gaming on the Flip 14 and surprisingly, it didn’t disappoint. The 2GB onboard graphics memory along with the Vega 8 graphics processor ensured smoother frame rates for PUBG LITE and Fortnite, albeit in medium to low graphics settings. That’s fine given that this isn’t a gaming laptop but a convertible laptop.
That means for most demanding users, the ZenBook Flip 14 is more than capable enough to handle anything.
However, the power does take a toll on the battery. Asus claims up to 9 hours on a single charge but with my moderate usage, I found the Flip 14 to last at most five hours before it died. That’s not good by modern laptop standards but given that the Ryzen 5-3500U is a powerful processor, a hit on battery life is expected.
However, the Flip 14 makes up for the sub-par battery life with a decent keyboard experience and good speakers with decent audio performance. The speakers are just good enough for binge-watching on YouTube or but if you are going in for movies, I recommend you should put on your headphones.
Convertible laptops aren’t without flaws and the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 naturally has some. But the negatives of the Flip 14 are highly outnumbered by what the ZenBook Flip 14 is good at. Of all the convertible Windows laptops I have used this year, the ZenBook Flip 14 is easily the best one that ticks all the right boxes. It’s built like a tank, has more than enough performance to handle all basic computing tasks and even some casual gaming, and is quite practical to use as a tablet. I wish the battery life could have been better but at Rs 64,990, it doesn’t make sense to complain much.
On the whole, the ZenBook Flip 14 is a great laptop that’s certainly recommended if you value a great and fuss-free computing experience with solid build quality.