Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (2021) review: A quick, low-cost laptop
“The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is a powerhouse price range laptop regardless of a disappointing show and construct high quality.”
- Excellent productiveness efficiency
- Principally engaging aesthetic
- Energetic pen is bundled
- Upgradable RAM and storage
- Mediocre construct high quality
- Lackluster show
- Under-average battery life
Everybody likes an excellent price range laptop. They won’t appear as thrilling as the most recent and biggest, however budget-oriented laptops have their place. Not everybody has the sources or want for a laptop that prices properly over $1,000, however everybody deserves one thing nice. Finding a diamond within the tough might be plenty of enjoyable.
Most producers have a definite price range lineup, and within the case of Asus, that’s the VivoBook. Just lately, the corporate launched the up to date VivoBook Flip 14, an AMD-powered 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 that’s meant to supply stable efficiency and an thrilling expertise at a price range laptop value.
I reviewed the $629 VivoBook Flip 14 configuration (when Asus gives it on their web site, it can retail for $600) that features an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and a 14-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show within the more and more old-school 16:9 side ratio. You may also. That’s a lovely set of parts for the worth, however does the VivoBook Flip 14 reside as much as its worth promise?
The VivoBook Flip 14 is usually plastic, with aluminum alloy lining the lid. You don’t must get plastic at this value, however it’s not unusual. Sadly, the construct high quality wasn’t as much as the same old Asus commonplace, with a lid that bends with too little drive and may trigger LCD distortion, fairly a little bit of flex within the keyboard deck, and a chassis backside that offers in to stress. The equally priced Acer Swift 3 is extra solidly constructed, and for $300 extra or so, you’ll be able to seize the HP Envy x360 13 that’s additionally much better constructed — unsurprisingly, each machines are on our record of finest price range laptops. You don’t discover many 14-inch 2-in-1s at this value degree, and so I can’t consider a direct comparability that we’ve reviewed.
Aesthetically, the VivoBook Flip 14 is a bit more spectacular, if a bit odd on the similar time. It is available in a “Bespoke Black” coloration scheme that covers 99% of the chassis. There’s a brilliant silver brand on the lid and a few chrome trim across the touchpad, however that’s principally it. What’s odd is that the Enter secret’s lined and lettered in lime-green, standing out fairly boldly — however I’d say garishly on the similar time. And it’s the one ingredient on the laptop to sport that coloration, so it’s not a part of a theme.
When you sometimes have issue discovering the Enter key, then the daring coloring will assist, however I normally don’t run into that predicament, so the coloring detracts from the aesthetic for me. Even so, I discover the VivoBook Flip 14 to be higher wanting than the Swift 3 and on par with the Envy x360 13. It’s whilst engaging as a extra expensing laptop just like the MSI Status 14 Evo and has a extra distinctive look than the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 2-in-1, which can be about $300 dearer.
The bezels are a bit of massive, with a screen-to-body ratio of 82%. Extra premium laptops have a tendency towards a 90% ratio or higher, however the VivoBook Flip 14 isn’t dangerous for a price range machine. That does make the chassis a bit of bigger, and it’s not the thinnest or lightest 14-inch laptop at 0.72 inches and three.31 kilos. The Yoga 7i is available in at 0.69 inches and three.09 kilos, whereas the MSI Status 14 is 0.63 inches thick and weighs 2.85 kilos.
The Acer Swift 5, one other 14-inch clamshell, is a mere 0.59 inches thick and fairly mild at 2.31 kilos — it’s additionally twice as costly. our price range competitors, the Acer Swift 3 is 0.63 inches thick and weighs 2.65 kilos, and the HP Envy x360 13 is 0.65 inches thick and weighs 2.92 kilos. Clearly, the VivoBook Flip 14 doesn’t win the thin-and-light battle.
Asus included its ErgoLift hinge into the VivoBook Flip 14, which is a pleasant contact given the final complexity of the 360-degree hinge. It really works properly, lifting the keyboard deck to a extra snug typing angle and theoretically giving extra room beneath for airflow — besides there aren’t any vents on the laptop’s backside. Quite, air is drawn in by way of the keyboard, and so there aren’t the same old thermal advantages. Anyway, the hinge is a bit stiff, and the lid requires two palms to open, however it does a decent job of holding the show in place in clamshell, tent, media, and pill modes.
Asus additionally inbuilt some upgradability. The SSD slot is instantly accessible if you wish to improve storage in some unspecified time in the future, and of the review unit’s 8GB of RAM, 4GB is soldered on the motherboard, and the opposite 4GB plugs in. So, you’ll be able to swap that out for an 8GB chip if wanted and enhance your RAM to 12GB. The utmost accessible is 16GB, which after all should be configured when ordering the laptop.
Connectivity is sweet, with one USB-A 2.0 port, a USB-A 3.2 port, a USB-C Gen 2 port, a full-size HDMI 1.4 connection, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. A proprietary connector supplies energy, and given the AMD chipset, there’s no Thunderbolt assist. Wi-fi connectivity is a bit behind the instances, with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.
The VivoBook Flip 14 outfitted the primary six-core Ryzen 5 5500U CPU that we’ve examined, and I used to be wanting ahead to seeing the way it compares to Intel’s varied Tiger Lake variants and the Ryzen 7 line. I got here away impressed.
It didn’t dominate in Geekbench 5, with the decrease single-core rating and extra aggressive multi-core consequence typical of AMD chips. It got here in third within the comparability group, behind the Asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA with an eight-core Ryzen 7 5800U that dominated and the MSI Status 14 Evo with its quad-core Intel Core i7-1185G7. In PCMark 10, the VivoBook Flip 14 got here in second behind the ZenBook 13, and it scored notably properly within the Content material Creation portion of that take a look at. In line with these outcomes, the Ryzen 5 5500U is aggressive with Intel’s Core i7 and far quicker than the Core i5.
In two notably CPU-intensive apps, Handbrake and Cinebench R23, the VivoBook Flip 14 was notably spectacular. Within the Handbrake take a look at that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Asus was 31 seconds quicker than the Status 14 Evo and solely seven seconds behind the ZenBook 13. The outcomes have been related within the demanding Cinebench R23 take a look at the place, a minimum of in multicore mode, the VivoBook Flip 14 got here in a detailed second to the ZenBook 13 and was considerably quicker than the Status 14 Evo. And the Ryzen 5 5500U is an actual step up from the earlier era, making the VivoBook Flip 14 a powerful price range performer.
As with all of the latest Ryzen laptops we’ve reviewed, the VivoBook Flip 14 excels at CPU-intensive duties and can churn by way of the everyday productiveness workflow. It may sort out inventive purposes as properly, though its Radeon Graphics gained’t supply a lot in the best way of boosting purposes that may make the most of the GPU. That’s additionally true of Intel’s Iris Xe built-in graphics, after all. On this comparability group, solely the HP Envy 14 with its Nvidia GeForce GTX-1650 Ti will carry actual worth to these purposes. In all places else, the VivoBook Flip 14 will carry out exceptionally properly, particularly given its $630 value.
|PCMark 10||3DMark Time Spy|
|Asus VivoBook Flip 14
(Ryzen 5 5500U)
|MSI Status 14 Evo (Core i7-1185G7)||1593/5904||162||1479/6680||4866||1465|
|Acer Swift 3 2020 (Ryzen 7 4700U)||1120/4831||152||N/A||N/A||975|
|HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen 5 4500U)||1101/4485||176||N/A||N/A||902|
|Asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
|HP Envy 14 2020 (Core i5-1135G7)||1398/4741||190||1343/5028||5178||3147|
One space that gained’t impress is gaming. The 3DMark Time Spy take a look at consequence isn’t something to put in writing dwelling about, and the VivoBook Flip 14 was a weak performer in Fortnite. It managed simply 25 frames per second (fps) at 1080p and medium graphics, according to laptops outfitted with Intel Iris Xe graphics. It hit 15 fps in epic graphics, once more equal to Intel’s built-in GPU. Merely put, the VivoBook Flip 14 isn’t a gaming laptop at any value.
Spend $630 on a laptop, and also you’re going to offer one thing up. Often, a significant compromise exhibits up in show high quality, and the VivoBook Flip 14 is not any exception.
First, it’s not very brilliant, at simply 230 nits (we wish to see 300 nits or extra). That’s nearly an identical to the Acer Swift 3’s 233 nits, and so the VivoBook Flip 14 isn’t alone amongst price range laptops in having a dim show. The distinction can be poor at 720:1, beneath the Swift 3’s 770:1 and properly beneath our most popular 1000:1 threshold. The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 was even worse at 690:1, demonstrating that it’s not simply true price range laptops that endure from poor distinction.
Subsequent have been the VivoBook Flip 14’s colours, which have been extremely slender. Protection of the Adobe RGB gamut got here in at simply 50%, and of the sRGB gamut at simply 66%. That’s properly beneath the 70% and 95%, respectively, that we sometimes see at the least with midrange and premium laptops — and the HP Envy x360 13 that’s on our greatest price range record hit 71% and 96%, which is significantly better. I’ll observe that, once more, the Swift 3 was in the identical class because the Asus at 48% and 64%. The VivoBook Flip 14’s coloration accuracy was higher at a Delta E of two.62 (1.0 or much less is taken into account glorious) than the Swift 3’s 4.76, whereas the Envy x360 13 managed a decrease 2.26.
Subjectively, the VivoBook Flip 14’s show wasn’t horrible, however it wasn’t nice, both. It’ll do for net shopping and productiveness apps, however that’s about it. Watching media on the 2-in-1 wasn’t a horrible expertise both, regardless of the poor colours and distinction.
Two downward-firing audio system present audio with Harman Kardon tuning. The audio system get loud, however in addition they get distorted, with crackling at any quantity above 80%. Highs have been blown out and mids have been subdued, giving a tinny sound. In fact, there was no bass to talk of. You’ll be okay with system sounds and the occasional YouTube video, however for anything, you’ll need headphones or a pair of Bluetooth audio system.
Keyboard and touchpad
The VivoBook Flip 14’s keyboard is eerily harking back to HP’s Spectre keyboard, which is an effective selection if intentional. It enjoys good spacing, massive keys with engaging and legible lettering, and a row of House, PgUp, PgDn, Finish, and Fn keys on the very right-hand aspect. Sadly, whereas it might appear like a Spectre keyboard, it doesn’t fairly really feel like one. There’s loads of journey and a pleasant click on to the switches, however the bottoming motion is simply too abrupt. There’s no crisp bounce such as you get from HP, and the general typing expertise isn’t practically as snug. I’d price this keyboard a number of steps behind the Spectre and Dell XPS keyboards and method behind Apple’s Magic Keyboard on the most recent MacBooks. I’ll observe that the three-step backlighting is even and helpful.
To place it bluntly, the touchpad is method too small. There’s a lot room left on the keyboard deck for a bigger model, and the small dimension is exacerbated by the fingerprint reader caught up within the right-hand nook. The touchpad is a Microsoft Precision model, so it really works properly with good assist for Home windows 10 multitouch gestures, however it’s simply tiny.
The show is contact enabled, after all, this being a 2-in-1, and an Asus lively pen is included within the field. It helps Home windows 10 inking properly, with clean strokes and exact response.
The aforementioned fingerprint reader supplies Home windows 10 Whats up passwordless login assist. It was quick and correct throughout my testing, and it was welcome on such an affordable laptop.
Asus solely packed 42 watt-hours price of battery into the VivoBook Flip 14, which isn’t so much for a 14-inch show, even at Full HD decision, and a strong CPU. I wasn’t anticipating nice battery life.
Beginning with our net shopping take a look at that loops by way of a sequence of well-liked web sites, the VivoBook Flip 14 lasted for 9 hours. That’s rather less than common for this class of machine however not a horrible consequence. The Acer Swift 3 managed simply eight hours, whereas the HP Envy x360 13 made it to a bit of over 9 hours. In our video take a look at that performs a Full HD Avengers trailer till the battery dies, the VivoBook Flip 14 went for 12 hours, once more a bit lower than common however not too disappointing in comparison with the Swift 3’s 10 hours. The Envy x360 13 beat out each at 13 hours.
Within the PCMark 10 Gaming take a look at that pushes the CPU and GPU, the VivoBook Flip 14 lasted for simply over two hours, which is common for the take a look at. The Lenovo Yoga 7i made it to simply over 2.5 hours, and we didn’t take a look at both the Swift 3 or the Envy x360 13 with this benchmark. Within the PCMark 10 Functions take a look at, which is the very best indicator of productiveness battery life, the VivoBook Flip was — once more — beneath common at simply over 9 hours. That also beat out the Yoga 7i’s 8.5 hours.
General, the VivoBook Flip 14 was only a hair behind the pack by way of battery life. It would doubtless final you a full day of labor in the event you don’t push the CPU too arduous, however it positively suffers from the small battery. Once more, although, it is a price range laptop, and so the outcomes are fairly good when the worth is saved in thoughts.
The VivoBook Flip 14 is actually, actually quick for a $630 laptop. Its construct isn’t the very best, its battery life lags, and its keyboard isn’t amongst my favorites. However a laptop that performs like this for thus little cash shouldn’t be disregarded.
If in case you have a demanding productiveness workflow or use the occasional inventive software, then the VivoBook Flip 14 will provide you with the efficiency you’re on the lookout for. And nothing else is so dangerous concerning the laptop that try to be dissuaded from giving it critical consideration.
Are there any alternate options?
I’ll begin with the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325UA. It’s not a 2-in-1, however it’s simply $170 extra for a color-accurate OLED show, a quicker AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive. In case your price range isn’t so tight and also you don’t actually need a 2-in-1, then the ZenBook 13 is a good choice.
When you want a 2-in-1 and your price range is restricted, then the HP Envy x360 13 is a stable different. It’s additionally a bit dearer, however you get higher efficiency, higher battery life, and a greater show. What’s to not like?
How lengthy will it final?
The VivoBook Flip 14 isn’t essentially the most solidly constructed laptop we’ve examined, however it’s not dangerous for a price range machine. It gained’t stand as much as excessive abuse, however it ought to final for a number of years given the conventional put on and tear of dwelling and workplace use. You gained’t be shocked by the restricted one-year guarantee.
Must you purchase it?
Sure, in the event you don’t want a color-accurate show and also you’re strapped for money. The VivoBook Flip 14’s excellent efficiency makes up for lots of its flaws.