Introduction, Design, Features
If you’re on the fence between buying a Windows laptop and a tablet, then a 2-in-1 convertible laptop may be the way to go. Such a machine offers the familiarity of the Windows computing environment in a package that lets you flip the keyboard into various orientations, including one that resembles a tablet. If the price is right, in fact, even those who weren’t specifically looking for a convertible might figure, “Why not?” And with a price that’s comfortably under the thousand-dollar mark for an Intel Core i7-powered 14-inch laptop, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 TP410UA should attract the attention of both types of buyers.
Priced at $799, the Flip 14 TP410UA-DB71T we were sent to review came equipped with a 14-inch IPS touch screen with a full HD resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. It’s powered by a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U processor and comes with 8GB of memory, Intel HD 620 integrated graphics, and a 1TB hard drive. Other configurations are also available, some directly from Asus and some from resellers.
Design and Features
At first glance, the VivoBook Flip 14 looks like any other mid-range laptop. It offers an attractive two-tone design, with most of its body in gunmetal gray and a lighter-colored brushed aluminum finish used for the area surrounding the keyboard. The outside of the lid, when in laptop orientation, also sports a shiny Asus logo, breaking up the sea of darker gray.
The VivoBook Flip 14 measures 0.8 by 12.9 by 8.9 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds. And while it may feel a little heavy and unwieldy when using it as a tablet, it’s relatively compact (if not relatively thin) for a 14-inch laptop.
Pop open the lid to find the Flip’s titular 14-inch display, which features full HD or 1080p resolution. The glossy screen offers vibrant colors when viewed straight on, though we wished it could get a little brighter than its max. And things look decidedly less vibrant when viewing the display from an angle.
The glass covering the display runs edge to edge, with a thin bezel that measures just a quarter of an inch on the sides and a half inch at the top. In the middle of that bottom bezel, you’ll find another shiny Asus logo. And at the top, you’ll find a VGA Webcam. While we’ve come to expect mediocre Webcams being built into laptops, this one is another step or two below those.
Given the fact that this is a convertible, it won’t come as a surprise that the VivoBook Flip 14’s display can be, well, flipped all the way back into stand, tent or tablet modes.
Opposite the display is a full-sized, slightly recessed chiclet keyboard. Both the keyboard and the touch pad below it are comfortable to use, with the latter featuring a fingerprint scanner in its top-right corner.
Along the VivoBook Flip 14’s left edge, you’ll find a slot for a security lock near the rear of the system, followed by two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, volume rockers and a power button.
Over on the other side, you’ll find the port for the power adapter, followed by an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port with Type-A connector, another USB port with a Type-C connector, and an audio jack. And for wireless connectivity, the VivoBook Flip 14 offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 support.
At the bottom of the system, you’ll find the VivoBook Flip 14’s speakers, which produce perfectly acceptable audio. While they likely won’t impress audiophiles, the sound they emit is as rich as most would reasonably expect from a laptop.
And finally, it’s time to talk about the VivoBook Flip 14’s memory and storage. While some may wish that Asus had gone with 16GB of RAM, the 8GB that the VivoBook Flip 14 comes with will likely meet most users’ needs. But it’s decidedly harder to defend the system’s 1TB hard drive. Sure, having 1TB of storage space available seems great. But the constant thrashing from the VivoBook’s 5,400rpm hard drive quickly made us wish Asus had sent a configuration with a solid-state drive. And it isn’t just an issue of sound, though that is certainly annoying. Rather, it’s a matter of how much the system seems to struggle as you work with files and applications. We would gladly have given up the bulk of available storage space for an SSD. And we think most buyers would, too.
Software and Support
The VivoBook Flip 14 comes with Windows 10 Home as its operating system, along with a few utilities and trials. To its credit, Asus doesn’t go nuts with the trialware. And with a 1TB hard drive, you’ll still start out with a good deal of available space. Finally, the Flip 14 is covered by a one-year warranty.