ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 review: a portable 2-in-1 for budget users

The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is an interesting, affordable 2-in-1. Here's our review

Taiwanese electronics giant ASUS is a household name when it comes to laptops and PCs. The company’s VivoBook lineup has especially resonated with a lot of budget-focused users requiring a machine that can take care of their day-to-day work. With the new VivoBook Flip 14, ASUS has utilised an AMD chipset for processing needs, and for its asking price of Rs 59,999, the device offers a touchscreen display, Ryzen 5 CPU, and speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. Let’s find out in this review how good the VivoBook Flip 14 actually is.

The lowdown

  • From the outside, the VivoBook Flip 14 is very much designed to give a premium appeal to users. The chassis is relatively thin and the charcoal black colour scheme resonates well with me. The portability of the device is also a non-issue with the laptop weighing just about 1.5kgs, packing up very easily inside my backpack. A signature feature of the laptop is its well-made hinge mechanism which may be slightly stiff but allows 2-in-1 functionality with 360-degree movement of the lid so that the display can be propped up at any angle comfortable to you. Holding and using the laptop in tablet mode is slightly cumbersome as the keyboard shifts towards the back, which doesn’t provide a good resting space for your hands. ASUS also provides a stylus to get your creative juices flowing on the device’s 14-inch touchscreen. In terms of ports, the device offers a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type- A port, a USB 2.0 port, USB C, HDMI 1.4, a microSD card slot, and a Kensington Lock port. Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ and Bluetooth 5.0

  • On the display side of things, ASUS has skillfully crammed in a 14-inch panel in a compact chassis that looks more in line with 13-inch laptops. The IPS LCD panel on the VivoBook Flip 14 is not particularly colour rich or the brightest, but it will get the job done. Its touch response is good enough to offer a decent tablet experience and the 82 percent screen-to-body ratio just gives you a lot more real estate. The glossy display does sometimes make legibility hard when a light source is shining right behind you, and viewing angles are average too. I believe the display, while good for normal work, should have been better seeing that it is one of the laptop’s main selling points.

  • The keyboard is pretty decent for the price. It’s hard to go wrong with a traditional chiclet-style six-row setup and I’m quite satisfied with the typing experience provided by the laptop. The enter key has a green highlight around it to make it distinguishable from the right shift key. Backlighting can be adjusted by three levels and is ample for low-light typing. The trackpad has a small surface area but is quite responsive to touch. Windows Precision drivers help in easy gesture controls and multi-finger input. There is also a fingerprint sensor embedded at the top-right of the trackpad, but it’s a bit slow and can be a hit or miss at authentication. Definitely an area for improvement on the VivoBook Flip 14. 

  • As far as performance goes, AMD Ryzen 5 5500U is one of the most capable chipsets present in the market for this price bracket. The VivoBook Flip 14 is a machine meant to handle regular workloads, which in my case, entails a dozen or more Chrome tabs open across multiple windows, Microsoft Office, light photo editing using Adobe’s suite of apps and so on. The integrated Radeon graphics don’t leave much scope for intensive gaming or 4K video encoding and editing. As a matter of fact, I played some Valorant on the device and even at the lowest graphics, the device heated up quite a lot leading to excessive throttling. Below are some benchmark numbers which show the VivoBook Flip 14 as a capable everyday workhorse but not being adept at handling heavy graphical load. You get 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage on the device but the read and write speeds could be better. Also, the speakers tuned by Harman Kardon sound quite good but unfortunately, there are no settings to adjust the EQ.
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  • In terms of battery life, the VivoBook Flip 14 has a 42Whr battery that has the ability to last for about 5-6 hours of continuous usage. In my case, this included operating the RAM-intensive Chrome, playing Spotify in the background, and a couple of hours of streaming Amazon Prime. I have to say I had high hopes for the device’s battery as the segment does offer much more. Anything in the ballpark of 8-9 hours would have been optimum but the laptop’s battery can’t keep up even with screen brightness levels set to 50 percent. Charging up the laptop takes about 100 minutes or just under two hours.

Final Verdict

I feel that the VivoBook Flip 14 is a well-made product with its thin and light design. The touch functionality is very much a rarity in this price range and gives the laptop a distinctive edge. AMD’s Ryzen chip powering the laptop is also quite efficient at performing moderate to easy tasks. However, the not-so-impressive display and battery life can play spoilsport. Buy the VivoBook Flip 14 for its great form factor, touchscreen capabilities and overall decent performance.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros:

  • Nice lightweight design
  • Decent performance
  • Touchscreen functionality 

Cons:

  • Display could be better
  • Battery life is underwhelming
  • Fingerprint scanner is iffy