Asus Vivobook Flip 14 (2021) Review: A Fast, Cheap Laptop

“The asus VivoBook Flip 14 is a powerhouse budget máy tính despite a disappointing display và build quality.”
Outstanding productivity performanceMostly attractive aestheticAffordableActive pen is bundledUpgradable RAM & storage

Everyone likes a good budget laptop. They might not seem as exciting as the latest và greatest, but budget-oriented laptops have their place. Not everyone has the resources or need for a máy tính xách tay that costs well over $1,000, but everyone deserves something great. Locating a đá quí in the rough can be a lot of fun.

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Most manufacturers have a distinct budget lineup, & in the case of Asus, that’s the VivoBook. Recently, the company released the updated VivoBook Flip 14, an AMD-powered 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 that’s meant to lớn offer solid performance & an exciting experience at a budget laptop price.

I reviewed the $629 VivoBook Flip 14 configuration (when hãng asus offers it on their site, it will retail for $600) that includes an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and a 14-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display in the increasingly old-school 16:9 aspect ratio. You can also get a version with a 256GB SSD for just $529. That’s an attractive mix of components for the price, but does the VivoBook Flip 14 live up to lớn its value promise?

Design

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The VivoBook Flip 14 is mostly plastic, with aluminum alloy lining the lid. You don’t have khổng lồ get plastic at this price, but it’s not uncommon. Unfortunately, the build quality wasn’t up to the usual asus standard, with a lid that bends with too little force and can cause LCD distortion, quite a bit of flex in the keyboard deck, and a chassis bottom that gives in lớn pressure. The similarly priced Acer Swift 3 is more solidly built, & for $300 more or so, you can grab the HP Envy x360 13 that’s also far better built — unsurprisingly, both machines are on our danh mục of best budget laptops. You don’t find many 14-inch 2-in-1s at this price level, & so I can’t think of a direct comparison that we’ve reviewed.

Aesthetically, the VivoBook Flip 14 is a little more impressive, if a bit odd at the same time. It comes in a “Bespoke Black” màu sắc scheme that covers 99% of the chassis. There’s a bright silver logo sản phẩm on the lid và some chrome trim around the touchpad, but that’s mostly it. What’s odd is that the Enter key is lined & lettered in lime-green, standing out quite boldly — but I’d say garishly at the same time. & it’s the only element on the máy tính to thể thao that color, so it’s not part of a theme.

If you typically have difficulty finding the Enter key, then the bold coloring will help, but I usually don’t run into that predicament, so the coloring detracts from the aesthetic for me. Even so, I find the VivoBook Flip 14 lớn be better looking than the Swift 3 & on par with the Envy x360 13. It’s even as attractive as a more expensing máy vi tính like the MSI Prestige 14 Evo & has a more distinctive look than the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 2-in-1, which is also about $300 more expensive.

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The bezels are a little large, with a screen-to-body ratio of 82%. More premium laptops tend toward a 90% ratio or better, but the VivoBook Flip 14 isn’t bad for a budget machine. That does make the chassis a little larger, and it’s not the thinnest or lightest 14-inch máy tính at 0.72 inches và 3.31 pounds. The Yoga 7i comes in at 0.69 inches và 3.09 pounds, while the MSI Prestige 14 is 0.63 inches thick và weighs 2.85 pounds.

The Acer Swift 5, another 14-inch clamshell, is a mere 0.59 inches thick & quite light at 2.31 pounds — it’s also twice as expensive. Looking at our budget competition, the Acer Swift 3 is 0.63 inches thick & weighs 2.65 pounds, & the HP Envy x360 13 is 0.65 inches thick and weighs 2.92 pounds. Clearly, the VivoBook Flip 14 doesn’t win the thin-and-light battle.

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Asus incorporated its ErgoLift hinge into the VivoBook Flip 14, which is a nice cảm biến given the general complexity of the 360-degree hinge. It works well, lifting the keyboard deck lớn a more comfortable typing angle và theoretically giving additional room underneath for airflow — except there aren’t any vents on the laptop’s bottom. Rather, air is drawn in via the keyboard, & so there aren’t the usual thermal benefits. Anyway, the hinge is a bit stiff, and the lid requires two hands to lớn open, but it does a respectable job of holding the display in place in clamshell, tent, media, & tablet modes.

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Asus also built in some upgradability. The SSD slot is readily accessible if you want lớn upgrade storage at some point, và of the đánh giá unit’s 8GB of RAM, 4GB is soldered on the motherboard, và the other 4GB plugs in. So, you can swap that out for an 8GB chip if needed & increase your RAM to lớn 12GB. The maximum available is 16GB, which of course must be configured when ordering the laptop.

Connectivity is good, with one USB-A 2.0 port, a USB-A 3.2 port, a USB-C gene 2 port, a full-size HDMI 1.4 connection, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. A proprietary connector provides power, và given the AMD chipset, there’s no Thunderbolt support. Wireless connectivity is a bit behind the times, with Wi-Fi 5 & Bluetooth 4.2.

Performance

The VivoBook Flip 14 equipped the first six-core Ryzen 5 5500U CPU that we’ve tested, and I was looking forward to lớn seeing how it compares khổng lồ Intel’s various Tiger Lake variants & the Ryzen 7 line. I came away impressed.

It didn’t dominate in Geekbench 5, with the lower single-core score and more competitive multi-core result typical of AMD chips. It came in third in the comparison group, behind the asus ZenBook 13 UM325UA with an eight-core Ryzen 7 5800U that dominated and the MSI Prestige 14 Evo with its quad-core Intel vi xử lý core i7-1185G7. In PCMark 10, the VivoBook Flip 14 came in second behind the ZenBook 13, & it scored particularly well in the content Creation portion of that test. According to these results, the Ryzen 5 5500U is competitive with Intel’s bộ vi xử lý core i7 & much faster than the core i5.

In two particularly CPU-intensive apps, Handbrake and Cinebench R23, the VivoBook Flip 14 was particularly impressive. In the Handbrake kiểm tra that encodes a 420MB đoạn clip as H.265, the hãng asus was 31 seconds faster than the Prestige 14 Evo and only seven seconds behind the ZenBook 13. The results were similar in the demanding Cinebench R23 kiểm tra where, at least in multicore mode, the VivoBook Flip 14 came in a close second to the ZenBook 13 and was significantly faster than the Prestige 14 Evo. And the Ryzen 5 5500U is a real step up from the previous generation, making the VivoBook Flip 14 an impressive budget performer.

As with all the recent Ryzen laptops we’ve reviewed, the VivoBook Flip 14 excels at CPU-intensive tasks & will churn through the typical productivity workflow. It can tackle creative applications as well, although its Radeon Graphics won’t offer much in the way of boosting applications that can utilize the GPU. That’s also true of Intel’s Iris xe pháo integrated graphics, of course. In this comparison group, only the HP Envy 14 with its Nvidia GeForce GTX-1650 Ti will bring real value lớn those applications. Everywhere else, the VivoBook Flip 14 will perform exceptionally well, especially given its $630 price.