Asus Zenbook Flip 14 UX461UN – Hands On Review

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The computer hardware giant, Asus is getting in shape to produce some ultra slim top-notch laptops that are not only good-looking but also offer great performance. Recently, the company unveiled the all-new ‘Asus Zenbook Flip 14’ which is the slimmest laptop available in the market that has a discrete GPU. It is a 2-in-1 convertible touchscreen laptop that makes almost no compromises and packs some beastly specs under the hood.

There are two models available; we were able to get our hands on the $1,299 model which comes with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and a discrete GPU. The $900 entry-level model is powered by the 8th Generation Core i5-8250U and does not include a discrete GPU in the package.

Design

First, let’s start with the design of the device. The ZenBook Flip 14 has really pleasing aesthetics with its smokey-gray and Asus’ signature concentric pattern on the lid. It has an all-aluminum chassis with the matte finish that feels really premium in hands. The Asus logo and the hinges have a glossy finish, the keyboard deck provides a nice metallic surface for wrist rest. The build quality also seems pretty solid, the display despite being thin still manages be quite stiff.

The ultra-slim ZenBook Flip 14 measures at 0.5 inches thick and weighs about 3.3 pounds. The bezels could have been slightly smaller to make the device even more portable but overall it provides a much better tablet design and is light enough to take it with you on the go.

Image: CNET
Image: CNET

Display

The display is one of the best things about this laptop, it features a really colorful and bright 14 inch 1080p IPS panel which produces really great and crisp images. The viewing angles are also excellent and it also offers a great range of hue and saturation as it produces 115 percent of the sRGB spectrum.

Watching videos and TV shows on this device is a really pleasing experience. The display also gets fairly bright and is visible in direct sunlight, it emits 287 nits of brightness which is pretty decent. The touchscreen is very responsive and accurately tracks down the taps.

Keyboard And Trackpad

The typing experience on the ZenBook Flip 14 is really comfortable with its backlit keyboard. The keys are a bit shallow but it still delivers pretty decent key travel. You will also get really nice and positive tactile sensation. Now let’s talk about the trackpad; you are provided with a 4.0 x 2.8-inch surface area to interact which supports all the latest Windows 10 gestures. There is a fingerprint sensor on the top right corner of the trackpad which is pretty mediocre and mostly fails to recognize.

Image: CNET
Image: CNET

You also get the Asus pen included in the package which features 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, the only down point of the pen is that its tip doesn’t feel secure when pressed by the side of the pen against the screen and fails to register input when we tried to draw fine lines.

Hardware And Performance

The laptop is powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U paired up with 16 Gigabytes of RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD. The discrete GPU included is the 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 which really boosts up the graphics performance and benchmark scores, you can easily use apps like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere Pro without any lags. It is not a beastly gaming laptop but you can still play some lightweight titles like Counter Strike Global Offense and Dirt 3 at a decent frame rate.

The overall performance of the laptop is really great and the experience is really smooth, there is no lag even while multitasking or using it in split screen.The cooling system is also pretty impressive and stays quiet even under heavy load.

Audio

The Harman/Kardon engineered speakers are pretty mediocre, they are placed at the bottom which muffles the audio when you place the laptop on a surface like your bed. There is an AudioWizard sound app which offers different presets that mostly cranks up the vocals to help clarify the audio a little.

Webcam

The 720p 0.9 megapixel webcam produces really rainy images but is fairly serviceable for casual video confrencing. The image quality is far from sharp and the colors seem to be washed out.

Battery Life

The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 offers excellent battery life and is claimed to last up to 13 hours on moderate usage. In our heavy usage, the laptop provided 10 hours of battery life in which we played a little games and watched some videos. The Laptop lasted  9 hours and 27 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at a fixed brightness over the Wi-Fi.

Final Verdict

Overall this is an ideal laptop for people who are in the market for a thin and light Windows 10 convertible 2-in-1 that offers all the impressive features and great performance without breaking your bank. The key feature of this laptop is that you get a dedicated GPU which makes this laptop perfect for both; work and play. The only down point of this laptop is that it lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port which other manufacturers offer in the same price range.

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