Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED review: Flexible but capable
Till the pandemic drove us all home, I was a dual OS person. I used to work on the Mac at home and switched to Windows while at work. But over the past two years, I have rarely used Windows, becoming a full-time macOS user in the process. Now as we slowly go back to the office, I have been reduced to working with the MacBook in front of my old Dell workstation.
Every time I try and use my old desktop, frustration creeps in as my fingers hit the wrong keys. Everything I do now has a good mix of CTRL+Z as I struggle to fight the muscle memory that has been rewritten in the past two years. This is why I wanted to test the Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED, not just because it is a Windows device, but also because it is one of these devices pushing newer ways to work.
Asus Zenbook 14 Flip specs: 14.0-inch (2.8K OLED 16:10 aspect ratio) touchscreen | AMD Ryzen 9 5900H with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage | USB-C, HDMI, USB-A to RJ45 gigabit ethernet adapter | 63 Whr lithium-polymer battery | 1.4 kg
Asus Zenbook 14 Flip review
The Asus Zenbook 14 Flip looks like a compact 14-inch laptop at first sight. But it is actually a convertible and can become a tablet with its display folding back. That means it also has a touchscreen. There is more here though. The laptop is compatible with the Asus Pen Stylus. Plus it has the Asus Numberpad 2.0, a trackpad that can convert into a numberpad in one touch.
But let’s start with the stunning 14-inch OLED display that lends its name to this laptop. I say stunning because the moment you open the clamshell the colours pop at your face from the desktop, but in a soft kind of way. The display offers stunning blacks and vibrant colours all across. This should appeal to those who want to use their laptops for consuming streaming content and also for editing their photos and videos.
This Zenbook has a decent size backlit keyboard. As someone who likes to work early mornings before the sun is really out, I loved the adjustable backlighting. The keys offer the right amount of travel, though coming from the MacBook, they do feel very different. One good thing that is common is the fingerprint scanner at the corner to log you in.
There is also the Numberpad, which is great for those who have a lot of spreadsheet work or use the computer for data entry maybe. But as a writer, I didn’t really find a use for the extra-large convertible number pad. Yes, the same works well as a trackpad but it can come in the way of other work if you forget to switch off the numbers.
I did use the Asus Pen Stylus to scribble and annotate screenshots. But having just reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with the S Pen and being a regular user of the Apple Pencil, this new pencil was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping this will be as good as the Surface Pen but is not. But then this device is meant for those who might turn to this stylus occasionally at best. And for that, it serves the purpose.
The version of the Zenbook 14 Flip that I reviewed was powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with 16GB RAM. This meant the device was capable of handling everything I could throw at it from my extra loaded data sheets and even some quick video compression. The Zenbook was able to handle this well. The dual fans help the model to keep cool. Though it does not heat up, you do feel warmth around the fans with some kind of activities.
The battery life is decent and can last you a full day with regular use. There is battery saving mode that can extend the juice by a bit more when you are in trouble.
Asus Zenbook 14 Flip review: Should you buy?
At Rs 1,34,990 and above, the Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is among the most versatile devices you can buy. This is well in the space of the SurfaceBook and appeals to a lot of pro users because of the specifications and accessories. But, yeah it is a pricey device and those considering it should also consider if they really need the extra features.