It’s no secret Asus is focussing its efforts on selling more AMD-powered devices in India. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer has outfitted at least six of its 2019 laptops with AMD’s Ryzen processors. Just about the most recent devices to get this treatment may be the ZenBook 14 (UM431), which we reviewed simply a little before its official launch. You can read our overview of that model here. We thought it had been a fine notebook computer for everyday use with solid build and beautiful design. It looked especially good in the brand new Utopia Blue colourway.
Launched combined with the ZenBook 14 (UM431) in November this past year, the ZenBook Flip 14 (UM462) is actually a hybrid equivalent with an optional processor upgrade. Instead of the ZenBook 14’s AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, you might have the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U chip with up to 4.0GHz of boosted clock speed while retaining the same four-core eight-thread setup. In India, the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 starts at Rs 64,990, this means it competes directly with the Lenovo IdeaPad C340. If you’d like, you can read our overview of that convertible here before shifting to the ZenBook’s.
Our review unit of the ZenBook Flip 14 gained average scores on our synthetic benchmark tests. On PCMark 8’s Accelerated Creative test, the review unit bagged 3350 points, which is, quite interestingly, a couple of hundred points below the Lenovo IdeaPad C340’s score. Just which means you know, the IdeaPad C340 we tested employed an Intel 8th Gen Core i5 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce MX230 GPU along with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive. On 3DMark’s Fire Strike and Cloud Gate, the ZenBook Flip 14 managed 2340 and 13114 points, respectively. The latter score is really considerably much better than the score managed by the IdeaPad C340, which actually sports a dedicated graphics card.
The Ryzen-5 powered ZenBook 14 (UM431) fared very well on our daily performance tests and the Ryzen 7-powered ZenBook Flip 14 is no different. Our review unit handled multitasking on numerous applications across many virtual desktops without the signs of lag or stuttering. Everyday software such as for example Outlook, Word, Excel, Chrome, Photos, OneNote, File Explorer, and WhatsApp for PC opened and restored without the hiccups during a regular workday. Furthermore, I didn’t observe an individual stutter in the animation while switching windows or desktops. Playing vocals and videos on various websites too, happened without the hiccups. In conclusion, the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 is an excellent machine for everyday computing tasks.
Asus claims the ZenBook Flip 14’s non-removable 42Wh three-cell prismatic battery can power the notebook computer for 9 hours straight. On our tests, things were somewhat different. Our review unit found a satisfactory score on our standard battery benchmark test. It survived for 3 hours, 54 minutes about the same full charge, which is preferable to the IdeaPad C340’s score of 3 hours, 38 minutes on a single test with the same parameters. On our daily tests, however, things turned worse for the Asus convertible.
Using one test run, the review unit’s battery level from 97 % to 30 % in just a little over two . 5 hours. Through the run, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were both fired up and the screen brightness was set to 70 %. The notebook was tasked with heavy browsing. On another run with similar parameters, the laptop’s battery level fell from full charge to 30 % in three hours, thirteen minutes. I observed that the laptop’s battery drain rate increased sharply when I enabled the keyboard backlighting. In conclusion, expect about four hours of continuous use on the ZenBook Flip 14, which is honestly on the low side for just about any convertible laptop.
Display, Tablet Performance, Audio, and IO
The ZenBook Flip 14 has, obviously, a 14-inch touchscreen display with Full HD resolution. According to Asus, the display is with the capacity of reproducing 100 % of the colours in the sRGB colour space and gives a maximum viewing angle of 178 degrees. If you ask me, the display is both bright and colourful for everyday use. Colours appear natural without the signs of unnecessary saturation, as the panel’s brightness is enough for daylight use. If anything, the panel’s glossy finish becomes an impediment when viewing content under bright overhead lights. Overall, it’s an excellent display for viewing documents, webpages, spreadsheets, and videos.
Bright, colourful display
Being truly a convertible, the ZenBook Flip 14 sports a glossy touchscreen panel which can be pushed completely back to tablet mode. As the panel’s touch accuracy is i’m all over this, the bundled stylus isn’t well suited for drawing. If you ask me, the stylus doesn’t always register inputs on supported software such as for example OneNote and Paint 3D in the first go, thus demanding multiple strokes. Pressure sensitivity too, is just a little on the low side at 1024 levels. Having said that, it works fine for light scribbling work. You have to be able to take down notes and annotate documents without an excessive amount of effort. I wish the notebook computer was included with a dedicated storage silo for the stylus. That would’ve given the ZenBook Flip 14 a good edge over the IdeaPad C340.
The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 pushes out sound through two down-firing speaker grilles that are located near to the chin of the laptop’s base panel. The sound from these Harman Kardon-certified drivers is positively hollow, this means you’ll get the sensation the sensation the laptop’s playing music from in the well or cave. Highs and mids escape the grilles with some noticeable clarity however the same can’t be said of the lows. On the plus side, the speakers display a distinguishable degree of stereo separation. However, this pair is most beneficial used for speeches and everyday music playback rather than for full-blown entertainment. If you crave quality in audio, choose couple of good headphones.
Unlike previous ZenBook Flip models-like that one here, for instance-the ZenBook Flip 14 includes a good amount of mainstream connectivity options. On the left side of its body, we visit a round-pin power port, a full-size HDMI port, a USB-A 3.1 port, and a USB-C 3.1 port. On the proper side, we visit a microSD card slot, a USB-A 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio tracks jack for headsets. We also see on the proper side several status indicators and a little power button, which is frankly hard to find without looking at these devices. Also, it doesn’t help that the button sits flush with the frame and will be offering no feedback.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on the ZenBook Flip 14 is between the most comfortable I’ve seen on a convertible laptop. The large three-stage-backlit keys have ample travel and a satisfactory amount of resistance. The effect is a good, comfortable typing experience that’s well suited for long emails and documents. Having said that, I wish the arrow keys were a tad larger for added comfort. I also wish Asus had chosen a darker tone for the keycaps because it’s impossible to learn the letters on the silvery keys when the backlighting is enabled. Still, it’s an excellent keyboard for heavy typing.
Good keyboard setup
The touchpad on the ZenBook Flip 14 is today’s precision unit, this means it supports multi-finger taps and swipes natively on Windows 10 without needing a third-party driver or utility. The Mylar-covered touchpad surface is smooth and conducive to multi-finger gestures. Both click keys under the surface too, are simple to press. In general, it’s an excellent input device that’s a delicacy to use while browsing, editing spreadsheets, and moving files on File Explorer.