Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (2018) Review
Flexible 2-in-1 design; Clean, stylish looks; Stylus included
Underwhelming performance; Uneven build quality; Poor webcam; Lots of bloatware
The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is a sub-$500 2-in-1 with a flexible design and clean looks, but its poor performance and awful webcam give us pause.
As a sub-$ 500 convertible, the Asus VivoBook 14 ($ 449) is basically attractive. The 2-in-1 laptop has a stylish and clean design that is practical and beautiful. But while it's an attractive package on the surface, ZenBook allows users to go down because of what's inside. A bland screen, a powerless processor and a bad webcam is too much to ignore. If you want a cheap laptop that can enter your tablet, we recommend that you avoid the Flip VivoBook 14. Fortunately, there are excellent alternatives to recommend instead.
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 has a clean, if somewhat bland. Rounded corners, gray and notched bases resemble the MacBook Pro, but the similarities end there. This 14-inch 2-in-1 has a large bezel below the screen, and the lid is thick enough. When closed, a strange-shaped laptop reminded me of an ice cream sandwich.
What stands out about the design of the VivoBook is its flexibility. Two hinges rotate the screen back 360 degrees, turn the machine into a tablet, or you can twist the laptop into tent mode to view movies or slideshows. A sparkling silver Asus logo centered on the cover and the SonicMaster brand image adorned the deck.
Even though the design is simple, the VivoBook doesn't look cheap. Its sleek, smooth curves and aluminum textured material make it look like a premium. I will not be ashamed to take him to school or work.
Its sleek, smooth curves and aluminum textured material make the VivoBook Flip 14 a deceptive premium look.
However, while we don't expect premium materials at this price, the quality of the build of the VivoBook Flip 14 is questionable. The deck was bent under pressure, and a soft knock caused the screen to falter. We also have concerns about engine construction. The hinges on our review unit are bent, causing the lid to be misaligned from the deck when closed. Asus sends us a replacement unit, and while it doesn't show the same problem, the lid doesn't sit flat with the sides of the base.
VivoBook Flip 14 is relatively lightweight, weighing 3.2 kilograms. Acer Spin 3, a sub-$ 500 other convertible, weighs 3.8 pounds. And at 12.9 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches, the VivoBook is more compact than 13.2 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches Spin 3.
The VivoBook Flip 14 has a variety of strange ports. On the left side there is a micro USB 2.0 port, something we have never seen on a laptop. Asus says this port is for data transfer with mobile devices, but we doubt anyone uses a micro-to-micro micro USB cable
A more useful feature is the SD card slot next to the volume rocker and the power button.
The right side of the machine includes micro HDMI, USB 3.1 Type-C port, headphone / mic jack and DC connector.
The 1920 x 1080-resolution touch screen display on the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 isn't that good, but we've seen worse at this price. When I watch the trailer for the upcoming Mile 22 movie, Mark Wahlberg looks rather bland. When the action starts, the screen weakness becomes clearer. What should have been an intense fighting scene with exploding colors was an unwashed battlefield.
I also want more contrast between the burning orange flame and the blue atmosphere in the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Fortunately, the 1080p VivoBook 14 panel is very sharp. I could clearly see the ruins left by the destructive monsters and the water droplets flowing in Kyle Chandler's face. When I visit my favorite news site, their white background is leaning red. I can correct white balance problems using Microsoft color calibration software.
Not surprisingly, the VivoBook Flip 14 only produces 69 percent of all sRGB colors. That's a little worse than the Acer Spin 3 70 percent and Lenovo Flex 6 71 percent. This is far from the mainstream laptop category an average of 91 percent or the Acer Aspire E 15 is an incredible 159 percent. It was very disappointing considering last year's model produced more than 100 percent.
VivoBook Flip 14 is also not too bright. This achieved a maximum brightness of 221 nits, which is only short of both Acer Spin 3 scores (226 nits) and the average mainstream laptop (231 nits). Lenovo Flex 6 (206 nit) and last year the Acer Aspire E 15 (215 nit) was even dimmer. The appearance also looks faded when viewed from an angle, and the glossy layer is very reflective.
I have no problems when tapping the touch screen to navigate the web or draw using the SketchBook application.
Keyboard and Touchpad
I don't want to write reports using the VivoBook Flip 14 island style keyboard. The keys are on the small side, and they feel soft and soft when pressed. At 1 millimeter, the trip key is shorter than our minimum 1.5mm preference. I found myself often out of the bottom, an uncomfortable situation where your fingers hit the bottom after you actually pressed the button. I also hope the keyboard is backlit.
While the keyboard wasn't comfortable to use for long sessions, the low actuation power of 61 grams helped me complete the 10fastfingers.com typing test at 109 words per minute with 96 percent accuracy. That's equal to my average of 109 wpm and right around my average 95 percent accuracy.
I have no problem using the touchpad to do movements, such as pinch-to-zoom or switch to task display by sliding three fingers up. However, I noticed a little lag when opening certain features, like Cortana.
- CPU intel Core m3-7Y30
- Operating System Windows 10 Home
- RAM 4GB
- RAM Upgradable to 8GB
- Hard Drive Size 64GB
- Hard Drive Speed
- Hard Drive Type eMMC
- Secondary Hard Drive Size
- Secondary Hard Drive Speed
- Secondary Hard Drive Type
- Display Size 14
- Highest Available Resolution 1920 x 1080
- Native Resolution 1920x1080
- Optical Drive
- Optical Drive Speed
- Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics 615
- Video Memory
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Wi-Fi Model Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377
- Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
- Mobile Broadband
- Touchpad Size 4.0 x 2.8 inches
- Ports (excluding USB) SD card slot
- Ports (excluding USB) Combo Headphone/Mic Jack
- Ports (excluding USB) Fingerprint Scanner
- Ports (excluding USB) MicroUSB
- Ports (excluding USB) micro HDMI
- Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.1 with Type-C
- USB Ports 4
- Card Slots SDXC
- Warranty/Support 1 year
- Size 12.9 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches
- Weight 3.22 pounds
VivoBook 14 loudspeakers are not too loud, but they do a good job of meeting small conference rooms. When I listened to "Lonely Town," Brandon Flowers's vocals sounded a little distant, but the clarity and separation of instruments helped reproduce the funky vibes of the 80s carried by the killer.
The VivoBook does a better job by bringing Drake's vocals to the forefront when I listen to "God's Plan," but a lack of bass is a severe drain on energy singing. The VivoBook failed to redeem itself when I listened to the Skrillex remix from Avicii's "Levels". Bass sounds like a frenzy of symbols colliding together, not low thuds.
With Intel Core m3-7Y30, 4GB RAM and 64MM eMMC storage, the VivoBook Flip 14 can handle basic tasks but buckles under heavy workloads. Laptops slow down significantly when I launch a dozen Google Chrome tabs and watch 1080p YouTube videos. Even certain Windows processes, such as activating Cortana or opening the Start Menu, are delayed.
In the overall performance test of Geekbench 4, the VivoBook Flip 14 scored 5,507. That number is far behind the Acer Core 3 which is equipped with Core Spin 3 (7,658) and the average mainstream laptop (8,423). However, the Core i3-7100U-equipped Acer E15 (5,408) and Lenovo Flex 6 (3,072) with Celeron N4000 CPU print lower.
With an Intel Core m3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, the VivoBook Flip 14 can handle basic tasks, but it buckles under a heavy workload.
It took the VivoBook 3 minutes and 35 seconds to match 65,000 names with their corresponding addresses in our Excel macro test. The Acer Spin 3 accomplished the same task in 2:31, and the mainstream laptop average is even quicker, at 2:01. The VivoBook did outpace the Lenovo Flex 6, which took a leisurely 5:56.
The VivoBook performed slightly better in our file-transfer test, duplicating a 4.97GB mixed-media file in 2 minutes and 53 seconds for a rate of 29.4 megabytes per second. The Acer Spin 3 took longer to duplicate the files (28.6 MBps), while the Lenovo Flex 6 (35.8 MBps) and Acer Aspire E 15 (36.6 MBps) were a bit quicker. None of these laptops' scores were anywhere near the mainstream category average (138.7 MBps).
Given the VivoBook Flip 14's low-end components, it's no surprise that this machine took almost an hour to transcode a 4K video to 1080p using the HandBrake app. At a sluggish 52:34, the Flip 14 was significantly slower than the Acer Spin 3 (34:59) and the mainstream laptop average (26:37).
GraphicsThe Asus VivoBook Flip 14's Intel HD Graphics 615 is only powerful enough to play web-based games or less-demanding titles at lower settings. It ran Dirt 3 at 30 frames per second, which matches our playability cutoff. The Acer Spin 3 powered the same racing title at 38 fps, while the Lenovo Flex 6 produced an unplayable 14 fps. The mainstream laptop average is 49 fps.
ConfigurationOur $ 449 review unit is equipped with an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage. You can double the amount of storage by $ 50 more.
The $ 449 VivoBook is one that must be passed. Despite having an elegant and flexible design, the 2-in-1 falls short in the most important place. The 1080p screen looks dull and dim, and a weak Core m3 processor struggles to run several tabs in our tests. Blurred webcams and uncomfortable keyboards also do not help the cause. In the end, we expect more, even at this price.
A better alternative is the Acer Spin 3. The Core i3 CPU offers faster performance, even though you get less battery life compared to Asus. If you can live on a smaller screen, you might like the Lenovo Flex 6 11, which lasts longer than the VivoBook 14. If you don't need a convertible laptop, we recommend the Acer Aspire E 15. At $ 349, the cost is even less than VivoBook but has a clearer display and a stronger battery life.
Overall, the VivoBook 14 looks pretty slim for money, but not enough to guarantee recommendations.