Review of the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 (UM462): A regular laptop is preferable to a convertible.

Review of the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 (UM462): A regular laptop is preferable to a convertible.

It’s no secret that Asus is concentrating its efforts in India on increasing the number of smartphones powered by AMD. At least a half-dozen of the Taiwanese electronics company’s 2019 laptops use AMD’s Ryzen processors.

The ZenBook 14 (UM431), which we reviewed just before to its official release, is one of the most recent devices to receive this treatment. By clicking here, you can read our evaluation of that model.

We thought it was an excellent laptop for everyday use, with a robust frame and an attractive design. It stood out even more in the new Utopia Blue colour.

The ZenBook Flip 14 (UM462), which launched with the ZenBook 14 (UM431) in November, is essentially a hybrid with an optional CPU boost.

Instead of the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU included in the ZenBook 14, you may go for the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U CPU, which features a higher clock speed of up to 4.0GHz while preserving the same four-core, eight-thread design.

The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 starts at Rs 64,990 in India, placing it directly against the Lenovo IdeaPad C340. Before continue to the ZenBook’s review, you may read our review of the convertible.

Performance

Our review unit of the ZenBook Flip 14 achieved mediocre scores on our synthetic benchmark tests. The review device earned 3350 points in PCMark 8’s Accelerated Creative test, a few hundred points less than the Lenovo IdeaPad C340.

To summarise, the IdeaPad C340 we examined was powered by an Intel Core i5 8th Gen processor, an Nvidia GeForce MX230 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive.

In 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Cloud Gate tests, the ZenBook Flip 14 earned 2340 and 13114 points, respectively. Indeed, the latter result is significantly greater than that of the IdeaPad C340, which does include a dedicated graphics card.

The ZenBook 14 (UM431) powered by Ryzen 5 fared brilliantly in our everyday performance tests, while the ZenBook Flip 14 powered by Ryzen 7 did the same.

Our tester unit multitasked various programmes across numerous virtual desktops without experiencing any lag or stuttering.

Throughout a normal workday, applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, Chrome, Photos, OneNote, File Explorer, and WhatsApp for PC opened and restored flawlessly. Additionally, I noticed no lag in the animation when switching between windows or desktops.

Numerous websites likewise played background music and videos without problem. In conclusion, the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is an outstanding general-purpose computer.

Battery

According to Asus, the ZenBook Flip 14’s non-removable 42Wh three-cell prismatic battery can power the laptop for up to 9 hours straight. Our testing revealed some discrepancies. Our evaluation unit performed admirably on our standard battery benchmark test.

On a single full charge, it lasted 3 hours and 54 minutes, which is longer than the IdeaPad C340’s 3 hours and 38 minutes on the same test with similar conditions. The Asus convertible, on the other hand, scored poorly in our everyday testing.

In one test, the battery level of the review unit decreased from 97 percent to 30% in little over two and a half hours. Throughout the run, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were active, and the screen brightness was set at 70%.

The laptop was tasked with the obligation of conducting extensive surfing. Following a similar attempt, the laptop’s battery level went from 100% to 30% in three hours and thirteen minutes.

When I engaged the keyboard backlighting, I observed a significant increase in the laptop’s battery drain rate. In summary, the ZenBook Flip 14 provides around four hours of continuous use, which is below average for a convertible laptop.

Display, Performance of the Tablet, Audio, and Input/Output (IO)

As expected, the ZenBook Flip 14 features a 14-inch touchscreen display with Full HD resolution. According to Asus, the display is capable of reproducing 100% of the colours in the sRGB colour space and has a maximum viewing angle of 178 degrees.

The display, in my opinion, is sufficiently bright and colourful for daily use. Colors are accurate, with no signs of oversaturation, and the panel’s brightness is sufficient for daylight use.

When seeing data under bright overhead illumination, the glossy surface of the panel becomes an impediment. In general, this is a fantastic display for viewing documents, websites, spreadsheets, and videos.

The ZenBook Flip 14 is a convertible laptop featuring a glossy touchscreen display that can be flipped back into tablet form completely. While the display’s touch accuracy is superb, the included pen is unsuitable for drawing.

In my experience, the stylus does not always recognise inputs immediately in compatible programmes like as OneNote and Paint 3D, forcing many strokes. Additionally, pressure sensitivity is a bit low at 1024 levels.

It is, nevertheless, sufficient for little scribbling work. You should be able to effortlessly take notes and annotate documents. I wish the laptop included a dedicated stylus storage place. That would have significantly favoured the ZenBook Flip 14 over the IdeaPad C340.

The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 produces audio using two downward-firing speaker grilles situated on the laptop’s base panel’s chin. The sound produced by these Harman Kardon-certified speakers is deceptively hollow, as if the laptop is playing music from within a well or cave.

The highs and mids are rather clear through the grilles, but the lows are not. On the plus side, the speakers produce audible stereo separation. Nonetheless, this duet is more suited to casual music listening and conversation than to full-fledged entertainment. If you want high-quality audio, invest in a great pair of headphones.

In comparison to previous ZenBook Flip models, such as this one, the ZenBook Flip 14 comes equipped with a slew of conventional networking options.

On the left side of its body, a round-pin power port, a full-size HDMI connector, a USB-A 3.1 port, and a USB-C 3.1 port are located. On the right side, there is a microSD card slot, a USB-A 2.0 connector, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headsets.

Additionally, on the right side, we observe a set of status LEDs and a little power button that is difficult to spot without gazing at the gadget. Additionally, the button is flush with the frame and provides no feedback.

The ZenBook Flip 14 eschews fingerprint authentication in favour of face recognition through an integrated infrared camera. It works in combination with Windows Hello for sign-ins. Unfortunately, face unlocking does not always work, or at least not as rapidly as fingerprint scanning.

For instance, if you attempt to sign in to Windows with your face at an unusual angle or while wearing your backup pair of glasses, Windows Hello will fail after a few seconds and urge you to enter your password. The ZenBook Flip 14, on the other hand, wins points for its functionality

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard on the ZenBook Flip 14 is one of the most comfortable I’ve used on a convertible laptop. The enormous lighted three-stage keys provide enough travel and resistance. As a result, you’ll have a nice, comfortable typing experience that’s great for writing lengthy emails and documents.

With that stated, I wish the arrow keys were somewhat larger for added comfort. Additionally, I wish Asus had chosen a darker tone for the keycaps, as the wording on the silvery keys is difficult to see with the illumination on. Despite this, it’s a wonderful keyboard for prolonged typing.

The touchpad on the ZenBook Flip 14 is a modern precision device, which means it naturally supports multi-finger taps and swipes on Windows 10 without the need for a third-party driver or software.

The touchpad’s smooth Mylar-covered surface is great for multi-finger gestures. Additionally, the two click keys beneath the surface are simple to operate. In general, it’s an excellent input device that’s enjoyable to use whether surfing, editing spreadsheets, or navigating through files in File Explorer.

Construct and Architect

As with the ZenBook 14 (UM431), the ZenBook Flip 14 is manufactured entirely of metal, with an aluminium top cover and a magnesium alloy base panel. As a result, the laptop’s shell is robust and smooth, making it both pleasant to hold and visually appealing.

The laptop’s single Light Grey colouring is elegant and professional, yet it lacks intrigue. Dark chrome is used on the back edge and hinges, which I predict will be a hit or miss with today’s users. However, the top cover’s signature ‘Zen-inspired’ spun-metal finish is lacking.

Additionally, it is missing the company’s new offset Asus logo. That is understandable, as it is well-built, and that is what important.

The top of the ZenBook Flip 14 is a two-handed affair that reveals a glossy touchscreen surface with fairly substantial black bezels on all four sides. Asus promises a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent with the 4.37-millimetre ‘NanoEdge’ bezels.

With a weight of 1.6 kg, the laptop is on the heavier side. This becomes apparent when the device is used as a tablet. On the positive side, it feels somewhat lighter than the Lenovo IdeaPad C340 in the hand.

I genuinely wish Asus had reduced the device’s weight and incorporated a container for the supplied pen, as this would have made the ZenBook Flip 14 a more attractive package for heavy tablet users.

Verdict

With a contemporary AMD CPU, 8GB of RAM, and sufficient solid-state storage, the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 performs as a typical laptop. Additionally, it features an excellent keyboard and touchpad arrangement, as well as a bright and colourful display.

However, it falls well short of being a truly exceptional tablet. This is due to the device’s hefty design and annoyingly short battery life. Additionally, the linked pen may benefit from enhanced on-screen sketching response and increased on-board storage capacity.

Even if the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 does not surpass the Lenovo IdeaPad C340, it does not fall below it. The ZenBook Flip 14 is an AMD-powered competitor to the Intel-powered IdeaPad C340, however it lacks discrete graphics and is significantly more expensive at Rs 64,990.

The ZenBook Flip 14 is a good option for those looking for a standard laptop but also want to experiment with flexible computing. On the other hand, the ZenBook 14 (UM431) is a better option for users who are certain they do not want a hybrid tablet. Additional information is available here.


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