Asus ZenBook Flip 14: Lightness And Graphics Performance Above Average
Nvidia dedicated graphics card, thin and lightweight convertible design, superior components to competing models at the same price
Asus has managed to combine power and finesse in this convertible notebook ZenBook Flip 14 which includes a premium integrated graphics card.
Currently, the world’s thinnest 13.3-inch notebook PC with a dedicated graphics card is Asus ( ZenBook 13 ). And if you’re looking for the same features in a hybrid format, Asus also has what you need with the ZenBook Flip 14.
Although it is slightly larger because of its 14-inch screen (1.920×1.080 pixels), the Flip 14 is as thin as the ZenBook 13 (13.9 mm). This makes it the world’s finest convertible notebook PC with the world’s finest Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card.
Integrated graphics chips are more energy efficient, heat less and are more affordable than dedicated graphics cards. But they encroach on the central memory and generally do not perform well with demanding video games and photo or video editing applications. Be careful though, the Flip 14 is neither a gaming pc nor a workstation. But games run smoother and faster and can accomplish certain tasks faster.
The ZenBook Flip 14 is very well suited to our favorite hybrid that is the Yoga 920 of Lenovo . It may not be as refined, but assuming a similar 920 configuration, Asus offers a faster processor, twice as much memory and storage, and a stylus. And of course the Nvidia graphics card while Lenovo is content with an integrated Intel chip.
If for you mobility and price are the two key criteria then better to go for the ZenBook 13 (UX331U) . It is smaller, lighter, its autonomy is higher and it costs less. There are still differences in performance compared to the Flip 14 which offers more memory and a faster processor, but they are not huge.
Despite a satisfactory level of finish, the Flip 14 is missing some small details to make it a high-end machine. Its case all metal is attractive, but the connection between the screen and the keyboard lack of homogeneity. The hinge is well designed. It keeps the screen in all positions and raises the keyboard for a better typing position. But the keys are not very deep and those who have a little heavy fingers will not necessarily appreciate. The touchpad works well but some might not like to find a built-in fingerprint reader.
The connection is correct with 2 USB 3.2 type-A, a headphone jack / microphone, a HDMI 1.4 output and a microSD player. There is also a USB-C port but it is not compatible Thunderbolt 3, which does not load the machine.
The touch screen can be used with the original supplied stylus that detects 1,024 pressure levels. It works properly without much latency. Too bad that Asus has planned no storage on the laptop. If you are looking for a better stylus, the one that Lenovo offers for the Yoga 920 detects 4,096 levels of pressure and comes with a sleeve that is taken on one of the USB ports (not great as a system, but better than nothing).
Unexpected Graphic Power
With its 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card (2GB dedicated memory), the Flip 14 did not disappoint us performance level. Like the ZenBook 13, a common use of streaming video or music with web browsing on a dozen open tabs in Chrome passes without a hitch.
We were also able to do basic editing on Ultra HD videos and large raw image files. UHD video playback passes without difficulty, which is not the case on machines equipped with the previous generation Core i7 processors and an integrated HD 620 graphics chip.
As we said in the preamble, the MX150 graphics card does not make the Flip 14 a gaming machine. You will not have very high frame rates on a maximum level of detail with the latest games. But the improvement is still noticeable compared to an Intel UHD 620 chip.
With Bioshock Infinite, we were able to play with a high level of detail, but the result was still better when we went back to an intermediate setting. Overwatch with midrange settings at native screen resolution (1.920×1.080 pixels) was fast and smooth. You should know that the machine and its power tend to heat in these conditions of intensive use, so plan a good ventilation.
Regarding the autonomy, it is excellent: 10h29mn to our endurance test. We were able to spend a full 8 hours working on Google Docs, listening to streaming music with 50% performance and brightness settings. The charge of the battery is also fast. That said, the Yoga 920 does even better with 12h50mn in our test.
The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is not the first hybrid notebook to ship a dedicated graphics card, but it is the thinnest and one of the lightest (1.5 kg). As a bonus, Asus has provided components that the competition does not offer the same price. The design could be a little more refined and some details deserve to be improved. But if you’re looking for a lightweight convertible notebook with above-average graphics performance, the ZenBook Flip 14 is a great candidate.