You might see the title of this review, and be forgiven for thinking that you'd read it before. Because on Creative Bloq we've also recently had reviews of the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED and the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED. What's different about this similarly named model, though, is that key word: 'Flip'. This means that it's not just a touchscreen, but it's a convertible laptop with a hinge that allows you to put it in 'tent' mode for watching content, and bring the screen round a full 360 degrees for a tablet-like experience.
Other highlights include the all-metal chassis, light (1.5kg) weight and high-end OLED display. Plus it comes with a purpose-built stylus, making it not dissimilar to a drawing tablet. So is this the best laptop for your needs? Does its tablet mode make it one of the best iPad alternatives? I got hold of a review model to find out how it performs in practice.
ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip: Key specs
|CPU:||Intel Core i7-1360P (12 cores, 16 threads)|
|GPU:||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Display:||14.0-inch, 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED 16:10 aspect ratio|
|Connectivity:||1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 2x Thunderbolt 4 (supports display / power delivery), HDMI 2.1 TMDS, 3.5mm combo audio jack|
|Wireless:||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Dimensions:||12.26 x 8.80 x 0.63 inches (311 x 223 x 15.9mm)|
|Weight:||3.3 lbs (1.5kg)|
ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip: Design and build
As the name suggests, the ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip is essentially the convertible cousin to the ASUS Zenbook 14x OLED. That means it has the same futuristic, angular styling on the back, and the same sophisticated-looking, all-metal chassis. There are, however, three main differences. Firstly, it's a bit heavier, at 1.5kg to the 14x's 1kg. Secondly, it has an all-glass panel at the front that makes it look and feel more like a premium laptop. And thirdly, it has two hinges that let you rotate the screen through a full 360 degrees.
I found this just the right degree of stiffness, which meant I could reconfigure it easily, but not accidentally. It felt nice and stable in tent mode, and more natural than many convertible laptops I've used in tablet mode. Personally, it still feels a bit weird having the keyboard on your lap, but from a functional point of view, I had no problem doing almost everything I needed to do with the touchscreen and virtual keyboard.
It's not a perfect experience, though. For example, there's no power button on the side, only on the keyboard. So if you're using it in tablet mode and it goes to sleep, you have to turn it back to laptop mode, which is most annoying.
I also got into trouble when I took the laptop out of tablet mode and put it back in laptop mode, but the trackpad remained disabled. I tried rebooting a couple of times, but that didn't make any difference. Finally, after some frantic Googling, I realised I just had to press F6 to unlock the trackpad. However, that was half an hour of my life I'm never going to get back.
The physical keyboard, meanwhile, offers a good level of keyboard travel, three levels of backlighting, decent-sized keys, and a nicely oversized trackpad. Note, though, that there's no fingerprint sensor.
There's no numberpad either, but press on the top-right corner of said trackpad, and a virtual one opens up on it. It's a clever idea, and one that anyone who has to type a lot of numbers into spreadsheets will really appreciate. Best of all, it's near-impossible to activate accidentally.
One other thing that might surprise you is despite this being an ultrathin laptop, it still offers military-grade durability, to the US MIL-STD 810H standard. And while 1.5kg isn't the lightest laptop in the world, it's worth noting that the supplied power adapter and cable only weigh 333g, which evens things out when it comes to portability.
ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip: Screen and sound
The 14x Flip's screen is one of its main highlights. This 14-inch, 2880×1800 OLED touchscreen, with a 16:10 aspect ratio, provides a very beautiful display indeed.
The 2880×1800 resolution is often referred to as 2.8K or QHD+, because it's actually quadruple an HD+ resolution. So if you're used to merely an HD screen or lower, you'll really notice the difference in terms of picture detail. And because it's an OLED, the look of the thing is also a cut above.
This display covers 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, but also 99.9% of DCI P3 and 97.4% of Adobe RGB. In plain English, that means you get wonderful rich, vibrant colours and deep, inky blacks. That makes this laptop great for viewing or editing video and images, and you'll also find general web browsing a more premium experience, visually speaking.
The 90Hz refresh rate also makes for smooth scrolling, animation and gameplay, although you’ll need to turn it on in Settings: it's set to 60Hz by default. Up to 550 nits of peak brightness means it pretty decent for use outdoors, too, although you may struggle in bright sunlight.
Finally, the superior display means this laptop is a good option for a bit of digital drawing. An Asus Pen 2.0 stylus, which offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, is included in the box, and I found it sat in the hand nicely and felt nicely responsive on the screen.
The stereo sound system is Harmon/Kardon certified and supports Dolby Atmos. It has a full, bassy sound that contrasts sharply with the trebly audio you get from most laptops. I have to admit, it wasn't my cup of tea (a little too much bass to my ears), although pretty much every other reviewer seems to love it, so I'm clearly in the minority with that.
ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip review: Performance
My review model of the ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip comes with an Intel i7-1360P processor, 16GB RAM and runs Windows 11 Home. This isn't the fastest processor on the market, but it's not far off, and for most tasks, the laptop felt fast and responsive.
The one exception was resource-heavy 3D work, which is unsurprising given the lack of a discrete graphics card. Plus it's not really a great at running the latest AAA games, so I wouldn't describe this as a gaming machine, although it's fine for older titles and casual games.
For everything else, though, from office software to creative software like Photoshop to web browsing with a ridiculous number of tabs open, it was lovely and speedy. The only niggle was that I did find the fans kicking in a lot, which led to some distracting noise, although this was during June-July 2023, which has been unseasonably warm for the UK.
The ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip comes with a 75Wh battery and claims 15 hours of battery life with mixed use, which was pretty much my experience. I found that doing my normal work, which I spend around seven to eight hours a day on, there was usually at least 50 per cent battery life left at the end of the day. In my standard test running a movie on a loop through headphones and at 50 per cent brightness, it managed eight hours and two minutes, which isn't amazing but will be okay for most people.
ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip: Connectivity
Ultrabooks are notoriously light on ports, so if we're grading on a curve, the ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip does pretty well in this respect. On the left, there's just one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port.
But on the opposite side, you'll find 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports, both of which support power delivery or an external display, along with an HDMI 2.1 TMDS slot, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack.
That said, because desk is set up with the power socket on the left, I personally found it annoying that you can only plug this laptop in on the right. I can't be alone in this regard.
Should I buy the ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip?
The ASUS Zenbook 14x Flip has a lot to offer. A beautiful OLED display, a powerful processor, a long battery life, a slim and lightweight convertible design, a great keyboard and trackpad and a decent set of ports. We wouldn't recommend it for heavy-duty 3D work or similar resource-intensive creative work, and it shouldn't be considered a gaming laptop. But otherwise if you value a high-end display, portability and the flexibility of a convertible touchscreen laptop, you won't go far wrong here.