Whichever model you choose, you'll get a gray aluminum unibody with Asus's trademark ZenBook finish of concentric circles radiating outward from a chrome Asus logo on the lid.
Like most convertibles, it's a tad heavy to hold in midair in Tablet mode, but perfectly comfortable on your lap. Its dual hinges not only let the screen pivot through the usual four positions—Laptop mode, Tablet mode, easel-like Stand mode, and inverted-V Tent mode—but also lets you lift or tilt the back of the keyboard to a handy typing angle in Laptop mode. That last feature works better on a desk than on your lap, where the bottom of the lid can dig into your knees.
There's a tiny amount of flex in the lid and the keyboard deck, but the ZenBook Flip 14 feels solidly built overall. The power button, a volume rocker, and a USB 3. Another USB 3. The webcam above the screen is above average, too, capturing detailed selfies even in mediocre light.
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The 1,by-1,resolution display offers wide viewing angles, somewhat obscured by reflections on its glossy surface. Brightness is merely adequate—I kept the backlight at its top couple of settings for most of my work sessions—but colors are good, with saturated hues and deep contrast. Touch-screen operations are smooth and accurate. There's no cubbyhole or place in the laptop to store it, but the ZenBook Flip 14 comes with a handsome, battery-powered stylus that responds to 1, levels of pressure.
It kept up with my swipes and scribbles, but I suffered a few stray marks where palm rejection faltered. The keyboard lacks dedicated Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys they're teamed with the Fn key and cursor arrows , but is otherwise well laid out. Its 1. The chrome-trimmed touchpad takes just the right amount of pressure to produce a click; it has a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader in its upper-right corner. The ZenBook Flip 14 we tested boasts a 1. The combination was good enough for first place among a collection of convertible and clamshell peers in our PCMark 8 office productivity test, with a stellar score of 3, anything above 2, is fine for Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
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The system also topped its Lenovo Yoga rival in our processor-intensive Cinebench test, as well as Handbrake video-editing exercise with versus for the latter , though it was a few seconds off the pace in our Adobe Photoshop image-editing workload. Nor could it match the Lenovo Yoga's remarkable battery life of more than 22 hours in our video playback loop, though its time of close to 12 hours is more than enough to get you through a workday, plus some after-hours Netflix or light gaming. But it's the gaming benchmark scores that you want to know about, and that's where the unit's Nvidia GeForce MX graphics card showed its worth: The ZenBook Flip 14's score of 1, in the demanding 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme test was nearly triple that of systems with the same CPU's integrated graphics.
And it easily cleared the 30 frames-per-second fps hurdle for smooth gameplay in Valley and Heaven at medium-quality settings and resolution.
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Yet the Nvidia MX card is built for light to moderate, not full-bore, gaming. The ZenBook Flip 14 fell short of 30fps at its full p resolution at Heaven's and Valley's top-quality settings. And when we loaded a favorite Steam game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, at p, we had to choose the Low preset to average Its scores in Medium and High modes were Still, there's nothing wrong with having a versatile office and on-the-road machine that can provide peppy performance in casual gaming. With a slightly brighter display and a Thunderbolt 3 port for up-to-date docking solutions and peripherals, or maybe just one of those things, we'd be looking at an Editors' Choice contender.
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As such, we prefer the Lenovo Yoga for its lighter weight, faultless keyboard, Thunderbolt 3 port, and the extra show-off value of its design we're thinking of the Lenovo 's famous "watchband" hinge. Bottom Line: A inch screen and dedicated graphics make the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 convertible 2-in-1 a rarity worth checking out, though don't expect to play the latest titles at the highest-quality settings. Dell Inspiron 13 2-in-1 Formerly editor-in-chief of Home Office Computing, Eric Grevstad is a contributing editor for PCMag and Computer Shopper, where he earlier served as lead laptop analyst and executive editor, respectively.
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