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Asus Zenbook Flip 14 OLED review: An absolute sensation thanks to AMD and OLED

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As has been shown in previous reviews, such as that of the Asus Zenbook 14x , Asus is beginning to standardize OLED panels so that not only high-priced devices can enjoy the advantages, but also the mid-range. With the Asus Flip 14 OLED, another interesting convertible appears on the market that comes equipped with a powerful AMD 5800H as well as an integrated RX Vega 8 iGPU. The OLED panel offers a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a resolution of 2880×1800 in a wide 16:10 format, which includes HDR and Pantone certification. Last but not least, the case is not only very robust and stylish, but also comes with an integrated digital calculator in the clickpad. The competition also offers good devices such as the Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 or the Lenovo Yoga 9i , both of which offer powerful Intel hardware and equally good displays. Is an OLED display sufficient as a reason for purchase? What other differences are there? We clarify these questions in the coming review. The case of the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 is very study and the build quality solid. It consists of an aluminum chassis, which is unfortunately very susceptible to fingerprints. The palm rests become slightly warm when using the device. The convertible can just about be opened with one hand without it slipping away, and also offers magnetic closing. The 360-degree hinge remains stable during operation, but wobbles a little when typing. A fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button. The Asus Zenbook Flip 14 is the lightest device in our comparison field. It is on par with the Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 in terms of size. The range of ports is limited by the cooling system here: Three elongated cooling outlets are positioned centrally on each side of the unit. There are six ports in total. Instead of Thunderbolt 4, the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 has two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports with Power Delivery and Displayport support. The ports have been positioned with sufficient distance to each other so that there are no restrictions in use. The device does not have a Kensington lock. A LAN connection and additional USB ports require a dock here. In terms of available ports, Dell’s 9420 2-in-1 with Thunderbolt 4, and the HP x360 with a Thunderbolt 4 and two USB-A ports are better off. Compared to the Dell 9420 , however, the HP does not have Power Delivery or Displayport support. The somewhat older Dell Inspiron 14 7400 fares worse next to our convertible because it has older ports. The Yoga 9i 14 has fewer ports, but comes with a stylus and dock. The performance of the SD card reader, tested with our AV PRO microSD V60, is only just above average. The inbuilt Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 achieves very strong performance values and shares first place with the Lenovo Yoga 9i . A well-known problem with notebooks is the quality of the webcam. At a resolution of 720p, the webcam here is barely sufficient for everyday applications. Taking pictures of documents is out of the question because a second webcam on the back is lacking and the image quality of the front webcam is quite blurry and noisy. Furthermore, you should look for a good light source because image quality is insufficient for video calls in low light. Like other notebooks, the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 has TPM as standard. A fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button. In addition to the notebook, delivery includes a power supply unit and the usual documents. A stylus is not included here. The case of the Zenbook Flip 14 can be opened by removing ten Torx screws of equal length. It is imperative to use a T6 screwdriver and to remove the screws at the correct angle, as some are screws are slightly crooked. The baselid is held tightly in place and must be removed carefully. When opened up, the SSD and Wi-Fi card can be replaced and the fans can be cleaned. The warranty for the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 is 24 months in Germany. Terms and conditions may vary in other countries. The typing feel of the keyboard is acceptable, while the layout is clear and well thought-out. The keys themselves are a little wobbly and have a short key travel. On the other hand, key spacing is sufficient, and key noise during use is not perceptibly annoying. The surface feel is solid and the keyboard has three levels of back lighting, including the special characters. The gliding properties of the touchpad on the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 are good and its size is also adequate. Response times and precision are good. In addition, the touchpad is enhanced by an backlit number pad, which can be activated and deactivated quickly by touching a symbol in the top right corner of the touchpad. Moreover, by moving the finger downwards in the left-hand area of the touchpad, the frequently used calculator can be activated without delays. The numberpad is also automatically activated when starting up the laptop. The touch screen is very precise and reacts very quickly to input. The highlight of the convertible is the display. Asus convinces all across the board: a 16:10 format on 14 inches with a resolution of 2800×1800 ensures razor sharp images. Moreover, this is an OLED panel with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. In addition to our review device, there is another variant with a 4K OLED panel, which is supposed to be even brighter and equipped with HDR-500 certification instead of HDR-400 certification as in our review device. On top of OLED-typical qualities of very fast response times, excellent contrast and black levels, the panel offers a solid brightness value of 366 candelas. Almost all color spaces we tested are fully covered and the factory calibration is also sufficient for professional users who rely on colour fidelity. HDR-400 and Pantone certification are also available. We could not determine any PWM flickering in testing. If we compare our panel with the competition, they perform worse in almost all categories, except for brightness, where the Asus Zenbook falls into in the midfield. Further adjustments to the display can be made via the MyAsus software. For example, you can make the colors appear even more vivid or even strengthen the blue light filter with the “Eye Care” setting. No PWM for brightness reduction was detected during the test. Only DC dimming is used here, as is usual with OLED panels, which starts at 50 percent brightness. Sensitive users should not have any problems with the display. For outdoor use, the brightness is insufficient to compensate for a reflective display. As can be seen in the photo, you have a tough time even in indirect sunlight. The combination of a reflective display and insufficient brightness simply makes outdoor viewing unsuitable. Thanks to the OLED panel, there are no distortions, even at very wide viewing angles, and there is also no display bleeding, as the pixels turn off when the display content is black. Our review device is equipped with a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800H. But those who want even more performance also have the option of purchasing the device with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX. The TDP of the AMD 5800H is set at 45 W, which is also reached in Performance mode via the MyAsus software. In tablet mode, Performance mode is automatically disabled and power consumption is limited to 15 W. We selected Performance mode for the review. With the inbuilt AMD 5800H, there is enough power under the bonnet to beat the competition: In the Cinebench R15 multi sustained load test, you can see that the performance of the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 averages 1,823 points over the entire test period. The Dell Inspiron 14 follows in the midfield with an average of 1,282 points. The HP Pavilion, the Lenovo Yoga 9 and the Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 fall in the range of 584 to 866 points on average and bring up the rear here. The Asus Zenbook Flip 14 is dominant in system performance with the exception of PC Mark 10: In the Essentials category, the Dell 9420 2-in-1 is slightly above the Asus. The latency test (web browsing, YouTube 4K, CPU load) confirms that the convertible is suitable for real-time video editing. No frame drops were detected. This applies to our test configuration with the current drivers, but this can be subject to change depending on the driver and hardware updates. Compared to competiting devices, the Asus Zenbook’s SSD performance falls into the middle range. Striking is the fact that the SSD does not deliver consistent performance in the tests, but weakens in some areas and shines in others. For more details, please refer to the individual benchmarks. The 3DMark performance of the inbuilt AMD Radeon Vega 8 4000 is able to keep up with HP x360 ‘s Iris XE Graphics with 80 EUs (Execution Units). Competing devices like the Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 and the Lenovo Yoga 9i , which are equipped with Intel Iris XE Graphics with 96 EUs, beat our iGPU by 17 to 27%. This is also reflected in gaming performance: here, the Iris XE is ahead by 8 to 53% with 96 EUs. The only exceptions, however, are GTA 5 and Far Cry 5, where the RX Vega 8 is slightly ahead of the Iris XE with 96 EUs. The Zenbook Flip 14 is thus only suitable for gaming in undemanding titles at low to medium details. When idling, fans are silent. This essentially corresponds to Whisper mode, which is one of the three possible adjustable fan profiles. In Standard mode, the fans operate dynamically, speeding up and down depending on the load, which is hardly bothersome in everyday use. The entire review was carried out in Performance mode – here, fan characteristics were similar, but with the difference that the fans ran continuously at very low speeds during undemanding tasks such as surfing or working with Microsoft Office. As soon as you run several tasks simultaneously and play videos or music, the fans become louder with increasing load. When gaming or running more demanding programs such as Photoshop, the fans quickly reach their maximum, but still behave dynamically. In such a scenario, the two fans are clearly perceptible because we found the dynamic behavior more annoying than when the fans ran at a consistent speed. The palm rest and the underside of the Zenbook Flip 14 become noticeably warm during gaming in laptop mode. Therefore, operation on the lap is not recommended in such a scenario. The keyboard and touchpad remain unaffected, and no heat development is noticeable during gaming in tablet mode. However, the performance of the device in tablet mode is automatically throttled down by over 50% under factory settings and access to the performance profiles is blocked. For everyday work, on the other hand, operation on the lap is possible without any problems, both in laptop and tablet mode. In the stress test, the CPU reached a maximum possible value of 4.4 GHz and a peak temperature of 93 degrees Celsius. The clock speed then dropped to just under 3.7 GHz, which the review device can maintain. The CPU fans run at maximum speed and the device stays at the 80-degree Celsius mark of the installed Ryzen 7 5800H. The specified TDP of 45 watts can therefore be maintained even in extreme scenarios. If the CPU is fully utilized via Prime 95, the GPU clock of the installed iGPU AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 drops from 2,000 to 1,550 MHz. In The Witcher 3 , the installed RX Vega 8 can maintain its maximum clock speed of 2,000 MHz and settles at 62 degrees Celsius. The AMD 5800H is rather lightly loaded here and shows clock frequencies of 3.2 up to 4.2 GHz, depending on the load of the core. Also noticeable here is that power consumption is only 34 watts instead of 45 watts. One thing is clear: the iGPU installed here is running at its limit, but the processor is not. In short: both the the CPU as well as the GPU are throttled. Then again, this extreme scenario is hardly ever played out in everyday use, so there are no disadvantages to fear here, as seen in the completed benchmarks. The speakers of the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 emit acceptable sound, but they could use more volume and bass. The mids and high tones are balanced. The speakers are also sufficient for video and streaming services. However, if you like to listen to loud music and are a bass lover, you should go for the Dell 9420 2-in-1. Although the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 has the largest battery with 63 Wh, it also consumes the most energy. The OLED display is responsible for the general higher consumption of the Asus Zenbook Flip 14, especially when idling. The Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 consumes over 30% less while idling, which is also noticeable in the battery life. Under load, there is still more than 20% difference in favor of Dell’s device. The HP Pavilion x360 performs even better with an average of 40% less consumption due to the inbuilt i5, among other things. With 522 minutes in our WiFi test, the Zenbook delivers good results. The Flip 14 can be fully recharged in less than two hours with the quick charge function. Nevertheless, Dell dominates here with both test devices. The Latitude 9420 2-in-1 delivers peak values of 699 minutes in the Wi-Fi test. Asus has brought a solid convertible onto the market with its Zenbook Flip 14 OLED, which scores with an excellent OLED panel in 16:10 format and a 90 Hz refresh rate. Moreover, all tested color spaces gave excellent results, so the 14-inch device is suitable for professional users who rely on true colours. The high-quality and elegant case manages a 360-degree balancing act from laptop to tablet mode without complications. The touchscreen responds very quickly to all inputs, and the clickpad comes with a built-in digital calculator. The well-designed layout of the keyboard matches the size of the convertible very well and offers a solid input experience. The AMD 5800H delivers high system performance and thus dominates the competing devices. However, the Zenbook Flip 14 is not for gaming fans, because the built-in Radeon RX Vega 8 is very limited in its suitability for gaming. Unfortunately, high performance comes at a cost, which is clearly noticeable from the noise and waste heat. In addition, we would have liked a greater variety of ports. Those needing a lot of ports thus may have to resort to a docking station. Futhermore, the case is extremely susceptible to fingerprints and heats up very strongly under high load. We would also have liked more volume and bass from the speakers. Those wishing to use the convertible outdoors will have to find a shady spot, as the already highly reflective display does not have enough brightness. Asus gets a lot of things right with the Zenbook Flip 14 OLED, especially in regard to the excellent display in combination with high system performance and portability. However, the convertible also has a few weaknesses, which shouldn’t pose a problem for some users. The Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 is definitely the better choice for those looking for a longer battery life and wanting to occasionally play games in acceptable details and FPS, as long as you can do without an excellent OLED screen. If you prefer a 4K panel and would also like to use it outdoors, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 4K would be more suitable here, especially since Lenovo offers dual Thunderbolt 4 ports and also packs a stylus and USB hub on top. At the time of publishing, the Asus Zenbook Flip 14 OLED was available via Amazon US for US$ 1,099.99.

DTN
DTN
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