ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (TP410UA-DB71T) Review

     
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4.55

An ultrabook tablet, that must be a real multi-use device, eh? You get the performance and compactness of a true ultrabook, and just by flipping the display, the other device – a tablet – will be at your disposal. This is exactly where ASUS aims for with its new VivoBook Flip 14: to offer something for everyone. Is this is a good goal or is the company spreading itself too thin? Let’s take a look at their TP410UA-DB71T model, and try to determine its value for you.

Display Operates on Several Modes

This VivoBook trusts on a smallish 14 inches display. Thus, one can call this laptop an ultrabook – its weight also stands at a reasonable 3.3 pounds. The resolution adheres to today’s standards with 1920×1080 being maximum; that is the perfect resolution for a 14-inches screen if you ask me. The display has a glossy coating, probably to make it more handy in outdoors situations. The tablet functionality is brought to life by the hinge that rotates 360 degrees. This is not a new concept anymore, although it has been well received by folks.

Continuing on to the graphics section, there is nothing particularly interesting there. No dedicated graphics card is available on this notebook; instead, Intel HD 620 integrated chip takes care of the graphics. For everything that is not gaming, such as watching videos or editing on Photoshop, the Intel HD card is enough. Gaming can be tolerated as well, although you will need to use lower settings on many games, and some of the heaviest ones (like The Witcher 3) won’t probably even run.

Fine Performance for Software, but why HDD?

Despite some shortcomings in the graphics section, the processor department seems to be in order with VivoBook Flip 14. Intel Core i7-7500U is a competitive 7th generation Intel processor with dual-core setup, 2.7GHz base clock speed and 3.5GHz turbo boost. These are not bad numbers at all, considering this is a compact ultrabook, not a gamer’s laptop. Essentially, combined with the 8GB DDR4 RAM you are getting, the performance is rather solid with this ASUS.

But, there is one but. The storage drive is not a solid-state drive which I find rather odd. It’s most often an SSD you indeed find in these convertible models, or ultrabooks in general. Now, the piece you are getting is a 1TB hard drive – yes, the conventional drive with moving parts. To make things even slightly worse, its spindle speed stands at the slower 5400RPM, so performance is nowhere near a solid-state drive. This will, mostly, be seen in programs and Windows start-up times. As others have said this is not a catastrophe; and you can even upgrade to SSD if you know what you are doing.

Hands-on Video

Ports: Not Surprising, but Decent

VivoBook Flip 14 (TP410UA-DB71T) offers a few ports. There is nothing special – very rarely there is – but all the basics seem to be covered. The amount of USB ports is four, which allows you to plug in (at least) four different USB devices in at the same time. The configuration is two USB 2.0, one USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 Type-C. The latter, while not a novelty anymore, might prove itself valuable in 2018 and onward. Be advised there is also a single HDMI output, which essentially allows you to connect an external monitor and use the laptop through that.

There are some things you won’t find in this ultrabook. One of them is an optical drive. Heck, you can not find one in most laptops anymore – although exceptions exist, even from the very same manufacturer. Another thing that is non-existent is the Gigabit Ethernet port; the way to connect to Internet via cable. However, all of the things that are “missing” can be fixed with an USB adapter.

Talking about Internet, there’s still a Wireless card allowing you to access Internet. Supporting the 802.11ac standard, you should not have problems with signal strength as far as the laptop is concerned. It works with Bluetooth 4.1 as well, allowing for connection of mobile devices and such.

A Few Other Things For You to Ponder

Ultrabooks are often touted as having very good battery lives. I have no reason to believe otherwise here. Well, it’s true that a 42Whr 3-cell battery is not the strongest one you could get, however the components on this unit are not very energy-sucking, either. I’d expect the battery to last a maximum of eight hours when the laptop is used for web surfing and similar. I don’t think the battery can be easily replaced as it is integrated on the system.

The VivoBook has a backlit keyboard, and you can adjust its brightness (although not colors) freely.

Pros:
Versatile - From ultrabook to a high-end tablet, this ASUS will offer you all that. By rotating the screen with your hand you can set it to different positions: laptop, tablet and tent mode, at least.

General performance - Save the hard drive, the components in this ASUS rock. There is Intel Core i7 processor, the flagship of Intel's, along with 8GB DDR4 memory taking you through tight spots in complex software.

Cons:
HDD - Do you like to see a hard drive (yes, the old technology one with moving parts) in 2017? Well, with this laptop, you get one. It's nowhere as fast as a solid-state drive. However, it will also offer more storage space, so there is at least some advantage.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (TP410UA-DB71T) is a “jack of all trades” notebook. Indeed, its strengths lie in the versatility, as one can use it as a full-blown laptop or a high-performing tablet. Indeed, the core components are mostly in check, although the old school hard drive is not something many would like to see in a 2017 laptop anymore. Yet all in all, using this laptop will feel snappy, and you don’t need to bother buying a tablet separately.

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