The Good The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 places discrete graphics in a slim and light two-in-one laptop. Other system components are better than you would find in competing models at the same price.
The Bad Its USB-C port is not a Thunderbolt 3 and cannot be used to charge a laptop, the keyboard can change settings, and there is no memory for the handle.
The Bottom Line Asus has amassed a lot of value and discrete graphics in the slim ZenBook Flip 14, making it a great choice for more productivity and portability in two-in-one design.
Asus is currently making the world’s thinnest 13.3-inch discrete graphics notebook, the ZenBook 13 . If you want to take advantage of two-in-one flexibility, Asus also has you covered with the ZenBook Flip 14.
Although the Flip 14 is slightly larger, thanks to the 14-inch display with a resolution of 1 920×180, it is almost the same thickness as the ZenBook 13 in 0.5-inch (13.9 mm). This, at the moment, makes Flip 14 the slimmest selling integrated graphics for a more powerful, discrete GPU, in this case entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150.
Although integrated graphics are more energy efficient, run cooler and cost less than a single discrete graphics chip, they also eat in your system memory and cannot handle more demanding graphics tasks such as photo and video editing or games. The Flip 14 is not a full-fledged gaming laptop or graphics workstation, but games are smoother and faster, and it can make things faster with tasks you might not even consider on other thin and light convertibles.
Asus ZenBook UX461UN-DS74T
|Price as reviewed||$1,299|
|Display size/resolution||14-inch, 1,920×1,080 touch display|
|PC CPU||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz|
|Graphics||2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 Graphics|
|Storage||512GB NVMe PCIe SSD|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
For $ 1,299, the ZenBook Flip 14 fits well into your favorite two-in-one premium, Lenovo’s Yoga 920 . It may not be as polished as Lenovo’s offer, but compared to the 920’s configuration for a similar price, Asus puts in a faster processor, twice the amount of memory and storage and includes its active pen for drawing and writing on screen. And you get the Nvidia graphics chip; Lenovo simply uses Intel’s integrated graphics for the 920 model (ZenBook Flip 14 is not available in the UK right now, but the price is around £ 945. Australians can buy Flip 14 without discrete graphics for $ 1,998).
If you value mobility and a two-in-one design, then Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U the best option. It’s smaller, lighter, has a slightly better battery life and costs $ 300 less. There are differences in performance between the two, as the Flip 14 has twice the memory and faster processor, but the differences are not huge. (You can see how they compare in the benchmarks at the end of this review.)
The ZenBook Flip 14 does look part of a premium laptop, but like the ZenBook 13, there are few things that take away some of the gloss of this model. The all-metal body is nice, but the way the top and bottom are combined together is not even and takes away from the overall feeling.
I really like the hinged design that holds the screen in any position you want, but also tilts the back of the laptop up to improve ergonomics of text input. However, keys do not have a lot of travel, so heavy printers may find that this job is in a bang (at least I do). The accurate touchpad works fine and feels good, though it may upset some to find the laptop’s fingerprint reader built into the top right corner of it.
The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is a slim 2-in-1 with graphical enhancement by Joshua Goldman01:41Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is a slim 2-in-1 with a graphics boost AutoplayOnOff 00:00 01:41 Settings
The laptop has a good range of ports, including two USB 3.0 (Type A), a combo headphone / microphone jack, full-size HDMI 1.4 output, and a microSD card slot. It also has a USB-C port, but it’s USB 3.1 (gen 1) rather than Thunderbolt 3, so data transfer speeds and display support are more limited and it doesn’t support laptop charging.
The screen is turned on by the handle, and Asus includes its active handle that supports 1024 pressure levels. It works quite well with a slight delay, but Asus does not contain any way to store a pen with a laptop. If you need better sensitivity, the Lenovo Active 2 Active Pen, available with the Yoga 920, supports 4 096 pressures and at least comes with a pen holder that fits into its USB port (which is also not great, but it’s better than nothing) .
The unexpected power of graphics
The combined performance of the 8th generation quad-core Intel Core i7 Zen Core Flip 14 processor, 16GB of memory, 512GB of PCIe NVMe SSD and 2GB of Nvidia GeForce MX150 did not disappoint. Like the ZenBook 13, going through daily activities such as streaming video and music while using Google Chrome with dozens or more tabs open did not slow it down.
The laptop also handled basic high-speed 4K video editing and large raw images with relative ease. Playing this 4K video was also not a problem, and it wasn’t when I tried to do the same on a older laptop with a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor and integrated HD Graphics 620.
As I mentioned earlier, the entry-level MX150 graphics chip isn’t about to blow you away with its gaming performance: it’s not a gaming laptop. Frame rates will not be fast enough for a nice game in high-detail settings with new graphically demanding games. However, this is a clear improvement over the Intel UHD Graphic 620 integrated GPU.
Asus ZenBook Flip 14
The chip did hit the frame rate of Bioshock Infinite at high detail settings, but midrange was a better experience. Playing Overwatch at medium settings in native native resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels was fast and smooth, and even with Wi-Fi it was delayed. Both the laptop and the power source heat up under heavy load, so you want to make sure you give so much air.
As for the battery life, it was also great. In our streaming video test, it lasted 10 hours 29 minutes. I managed to complete an 8-hour music and letter broadcast in Google Docs with performance and brightness settings of up to 50 percent. It also recharges fairly quickly. However, in our tests, the Yoga 920 battery lasted 12 hours 50 minutes.
The whole journey is spectacular
The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is not the first we have seen with discrete graphics, but it is the slimmest and at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) – one of the lightest. In addition, Asus has packed it with other components that competitors do not offer for $ 1,300. The design is literally rough around the edges, and some other aspects may be better. However, if you want a slim, lightweight two-in-one with better than integrated graphics, put the ZenBook Flip 14 in your short list.
|Asus Zenbook US461U||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce M150 Graphics; 512GB SSD|
|Asus Zenbook UX331U||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce M150 Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Samsung Notebook 9 Pen||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga 920||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|HP Elitebook 1040 G4||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 630; 512GB SSD|
|LG Gram 15||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; (2) 512GB SSD|
|Asus VivoBook Pro||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; 512GB SSD|
|Asus ROG Strix Hero Edition GL503V||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|