The VivoBook Flip 14’s build is adequate (though not a standout like some alternatives), it includes useful ports, and the battery life is in the ballpark of 10 hours. There are no major flaws here, but the Flip doesn’t quite reach the heights of the simply better Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14. While the Asus does come out on top in performance, there’s a good bit of flex in the keyboard deck, its battery doesn’t last as long, and it costs $100 more. The Lenovo retains its Editors’ Choice, but if you’re a performance-first budget shopper, consider the VivoBook Flip 14 too.
A SLICK, COMPACT CONVERTIBLE
The construction and design of this laptop’s exterior are pleasing enough. The chassis is made of plastic, but it does not feel cheap, and it’s lightweight at 3.31 pounds. The paint is a nice black color that looks a bit dark-blue in certain light; officially, it’s “Bespoke Black.” Black is, as always, slimming.
The lightweight design is underpinned by a compact footprint, measuring 0.72 by 12.8 by 8.7 inches (HWD). This combination makes the Flip plenty portable, easy to slip in a bag or carry under your arm to a meeting or between classes. Fitting a 14-inch screen into this size makes it a useful productivity machine once you get where you’re going.
Considering how inexpensive the laptop is, this is a nice package overall. The IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is the same weight and a touch thicker, while the HP Envy x360 13 is a tad lighter at 2.9 pounds.
The physical shape is supported by some important design features. One of these is the hinges, which allow you to fold this laptop’s screen all the way back into tablet mode or to stop at any point in between. It folds easily, and the hinges are secure. They may be a bit too tight, in fact, as this laptop does not pass the one-finger screen-lift test: You’ll have to hold the body down as you pull open the screen from the closed clamshell position, lest you lift the system off the desk.
The hybrid design adds a lot of versatility for different use cases, whether used as a tablet to draw or write more easily, held as a tablet in one hand as you move around, or set up with the keyboard facing down and screen pointed toward you for an airplane tray table or a demonstration.
Asus VivoBook Flip 14 (2020)
PROS Compact 2-in-1 design with 14-inch screen. Ryzen 7 processor faster than similarly priced peers. Good port selection and a 512GB SSD. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth.
CONS Too much chassis flex on and around keyboard. Lacks a standout design element or feature to separate it from the pack.
BOTTOM LINE The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 does a lot right for a convertible laptop, delivering top performance in its price tier, but its build and feature set fall behind some less expensive alternatives.
The other feature is also related to the hinge but not to the convertibility. Asus’ ErgoLift hinge is deployed in this laptop, which means the bottom of the lid lifts the keyboard deck off the desk as you open the screen. This creates a slight incline for the keyboard, resulting in a more comfortable typing angle and allowing air to flow better. The latter is more useful in heat-throwing gaming laptops, but the tilt does make typing feel a bit more natural.
THE KEYBOARD, THE DISPLAY, AND THE REST
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