ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T Review
How does the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T stand out in the crowded 14-inch convertible laptops market? First, it sports a premium, metallic construction that easily rivals Apple’s MacBook Air. Second, it rings a much lower price than Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10, but throws in strong performance thanks to an 8th Gen. Intel Core i5-8250U and a dedicated Nvidia MX150 graphics card that lets you play some games.
If you’ve always wanted to own a MacBook Pro but deterred by the limitations of Mac OS, and of course price, the Asus UX461UA-DS51T is definitely an affordable Windows alternative. For the price, it offers the flexibility of a 2-in-1 laptop with impressive battery life, adding to more reason you’ll love this device.
As a purely professional ultraportable, we still feel that Asus has a grasp of what pro users really want.
Our review unit, is the ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T, that features an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and integrated graphics. For the same model, there is the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN that upshifts to an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of memory, a dedicated Nvidia MX150 graphics card and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD).
Whichever configuration you choose, the design you’ll get is a gray aluminum unibody with black display bezels. The lid has Asus’s trademark ZenBook finish of concentric circles radiating outward from the chrome Asus logo. It measures 0.55 by 12.9 by 8.9 inches (HWD), slightly bigger than the Lenovo Yoga 920 (0.5 by 12.7 by 8.8 inches), but in the same ballpark as the largest 13.3-inch convertibles, including the Inspiron 13 5000 (5379), which measures 0.77 by 12.8 by 8.9 inches.
At 3.1 pounds, the ZenBook Flip 14 weighs less that the Inspiron 5379 (3.56), and slightly more than the Lenovo Yoga 920 (3.02 pounds). Like most convertibles, it’s quite heavy to hold in one hand in Tablet mode, but will comfortably sit on your lap. Its hinges allow the screen to pivot through the typical four positions –Laptop mode, Tablet mode, Stand mode and the inverted-V Tent mode, as well as allowing you to lift or tilt the back of the keyboard to a handy position in Laptop mode.
Display and Ports
The 1,920-by-1,080 resolution display offers wide viewing angles, albeit with somewhat reflections on its glossy surface. Brightness on the screen is adequate, with a couple of backlight options, but with good, well saturated hues and deep contrast. The touch-screen is smooth and accurate, but the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T comes with a handsome, battery-powered stylus that responds to 1,024 levels of pressure.
On the left side, there is a power button, a volume rocker, and a USB 3.0 port. There’s another USB 3.0 port on the right, alongside a USB-C port, an HDMI port, an audio jack, a microSD card slot, and a charging port for the AC adapter. Bottom placed Harmon/Kardon-tuned speakers produce above-average sound with rich tones. A webcam placed above the screen is average, too, and captures detailed selfies even in medium light.
Keyboard and Touchpad
It is a feature that is more helpful on a desk than on your lap, where the bottom of the laptop has a solid resting base. The keyboard has some amount of flex on both the lid and keyboard deck, but the ZenBook Flip 4 feels solidly built overall.
The illuminated chiclet keyboard has flat, smooth keys with three-level illumination, with a comfortable touchpad that houses a fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support.
The Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T boasts an Intel Core i5-8250U (Kaby Lake Refresh) quad-core processor, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. This combination is good enough among first placed collection of convertible and clamshell peers for office productivity. This built-in ULV processor (TDP:15 watts) supports Hyperthreading, meaning it can run two threads per core simultaneously. It is a 1.6GHz chip, but can increase up to 3.4 GHz in Turbo.
The Flip 14 utilizes the power of a Core-i5 processor, working memory driven in dual-channel mode and an SSD to deliver smooth performance for all your office applications and entertainment needs. For gaming, the Intel UHD Graphics 620 card doesn’t count for much, as such can’t offer the best gaming experience.
However, it can play some games smoothly, only if you limit yourself to low resolution and quality settings. Graphic-sipping games like The Witcher 3 can’t yield any impressive results here, you might have to look at something like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S – our Editors’ Choice for gaming ultraportables.
While the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T doesn’t raise any concerns over power consumption, it still gets the best battery life around. It surpasses the 2-in-1 convertible average of 9 hours 31 minutes, yielding almost 12 hours on a single charge. This is impressive, and enough to get you juiced through a workday, plus a few more hours for Netflix or light gaming. Still, it doesn’t beat the Lenovo Yoga 920, which delivers almost 22 hours of battery life.
At the end of the day, there isn’t anything with having a do-it-all office 2-in-1 like the ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UA-DS51T, and on-the-road machine that has power to provide peppy performance in productivity tasks and is equally suited for entertainment. With a fairly brighter display and speedy SSD, those are maybe, some of those things we’d be looking out for in an Editors’ Choice. A Thunderbolt 3 port would be better, but we’re OK with USB-C that ensures that the system remains affordable.
If Thunderbolt 3 is a must-have in your 2-in-1 of choice, its present in the Asus ZenBook Pro (UX550VE-DB71T), that even includes a discrete graphics card, double the RAM and SSD storage. As such, for those with modest pockets, the ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 is a good buy, a beauty to look at and a solid performer; that shines in its own right.