While Windows 10 is not, strictly speaking, a true tablet operating system, it is designed with a touch screen as a starting point. A two-in-one laptop is therefore quite a handy device. The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is such a laptop for a relatively competitive price.
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (TP412FA-EC369T)
price € 799, –
Processor Intel Core i5-10210U
Memory 8 GB
Screen 14 inch IPS (1920x1080p)
Storage 512 GB ssd
Dimensions 32.7 x 22.5 x 1.8 cm
Weight 1.5 kilos
Battery 42 Wh
Connections 2x usb 2.0, usb 3.1 (gen 1), usb-c (gen 1), hdmi, 3.5mm jack, card reader
Wireless Wifi 5, bluetooth 4.2
7 Score 70
- Smooth hardware
- extendable memory
- USB-C no video / loading
- USB 2.0 ports
- Plastic compressible
The VivoBook Flip TP412FA has been on sale for a while, but Asus regularly releases new versions with updated hardware. By the way, this isn’t the only laptop that Asus VivoBook Flip 14 mentions, so pay close attention to the model number. The TP412FA-EC369T we tested is one of the newest versions (it is not yet on Asus’ website) and equipped with an Intel Core processor from the tenth generation. Externally, the laptop is identical to TP412FA variants that were already on sale. The base of the laptop is made of plastic while the screen lid is made of aluminum. Despite being two different materials, Asus has gotten the gray color almost identical. What is striking is that the aluminum on the lid is very sensitive to fingerprints, while the plastic around the keyboard is fortunately not.
The laptop seems quite sturdy and does not twist, but you can press the plastic at the top around the keyboard and the palm rest noticeably far. As far as I am concerned, that does detract from the quality experience. Weighing one and a half kilos and thickness of 1.8 cm, this is not a super light or remarkably thin laptop. But I can’t call it very heavy or bulky either. The VivoBook has four USB connections, three of which are a-type and one of the c-type. It is a pity that the two USB ports on the left are only USB 2.0 connections, which shouldn’t be allowed in 2020. Unfortunately, the USB-C port does not support video output or charging. You connect a screen via HDMI while charging is via a charging connection. A USB-C port that supports data, video and charging is useful for docking stations or USB-C monitors, for example.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard has a pleasant touch and is equipped with key lighting that you can set to three brightness levels. Because the on / off switch is on the side of the laptop, so that you can also operate it when you flip the VivoBook to a tablet, the delete key for blind tickers is in a nice place. After all, with many laptops, the on-off switch is the last button of the row of function keys. The glass precision touchpad contains a fingerprint scanner in the top right corner that allows you to quickly log into Windows.
The term Flip in the product name is for good reason. The screen is equipped with a 360-degree hinge, so you can also use the laptop as a tablet. In addition, you can place it in different ways, for example with the keyboard down and the screen towards you. You can also set it up as a tent that takes up little space, which is handy for watching a movie in tight conditions. The hinge offers a nice resistance, so you can touch the screen without the screen changing position. Touching with the finger works smoothly and the tablet function on the couch on your lap is a useful addition. The screen has support for an active stylus according to the specifications and Windows 10. Unfortunately, the Asus Pen (which costs about 45 euros) is not included as standard in the packaging and was not supplied separately with our test sample. So I was not able to test this, an active stylus that I had lying around from another laptop did not work. If this works well (which I do expect), the VivoBook can be used to quickly take notes.
The screen is a 14-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The viewing angles are good, but it is not a special screen in terms of brightness or color reproduction. Like most touch screens, the screen has a glossy finish. This makes it difficult to use the laptop outside, for example.
In terms of hardware, the VivoBook Flip 14 with a tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor resembles the recently reviewed version of the VivoBook S14. The score of 3709 points in PCMark 10 is somewhat lower than that laptop, but in practice this difference is not noticeable. The laptop has 8 GB of ram that can be expanded according to the specifications. There is nothing else about this in the manual, so we opened the laptop. Something for which we did need a suction cup after unscrewing the ten screws to pull off the recessed bottom. Indeed, there appears to be an empty memory slot under a metal cap. This cover is clamped in hooks on the motherboard and can be removed by pulling it straight up. The already present soldered 8 gigabyte ram is also placed under the cover. In short, the memory is indeed expandable with some effort. The SSD is an Intel 660p with a storage capacity of 512 GB. A good SSD with a maximum read and write speed of 1743 and 978 MB / s. The battery has a capacity of 42 Wh, which is lower than the battery in the aforementioned VivoBook S14. Yet in practice you can count on about 8 hours of battery time during normal office work.
The VivoBook Flip 14 has a largely plastic casing and therefore feels less luxurious than similarly priced laptops with a metal casing such as Asus’ own VivoBook S14. It is a pity that you can easily press the plastic. On the other hand, you get a touch screen and the option to use it as a tablet in return. A hidden, but big plus of the VivoBook Flip 14 is that the RAM is easily expandable thanks to a free memory slot. Something that is becoming increasingly rare. The connections are a major drawback. A USB-C port without support for charging or video is a lot less convenient and USB2.0 ports are actually no longer possible in 2020.