Portability, power, battery life, entertainment and different usability are traits not often achieved by conventional laptops. Those are also the very important characteristics that most people who's always on the go like me wants to have. Is that even achievable without shelling out Macbook Air high like of cash?
|The beautiful brushed aluminum cover of TP301|
Just few days ago, Asus Philippines announced the VivoBook Flip 301 series, machines that goes with up to Intel Core i5 6th gen type of processor. Will this be the answer to our dilemma? Let's all find in this two part review.
Asus VivoBook Flip TP301UA vs Asus VivoBook Flip TP301UJ Specs
|Display:||13.3 Inch HD IPS 1366 x 768 LED screen w/ 200 nits brightness||13.3 Inch HD IPS 1366 x 768 LED screen w/ 200 nits brightness|
|CPU:||2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U processor (3M Cache)||2.3 GHz Intel Core i5-6200U processor (3M Cache, up to 2.8GHz)|
|GPU:||Intel HD Graphics 520||NVIDIA GeForce 920M (2 GB)|
|RAM:||4 GB||4 GB|
|ROM:||500 GB 5400RPM 2.5 Inch HDD SATA||1 TB 5400RPM 2.5 Inch HDD SATA|
|Battery:||55 WHrs 3 Cell Li Pol Battery||55 WHrs 3 Cell Li Pol Battery|
|OS:||Windows 10 64 Bit||Windows 10 64 Bit|
|Connectivity:||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI 1.4, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type C||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI 1.4, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type C|
|Others:||1x audio jack, built-in speaker and built-in array microphone||1x audio jack, built-in speaker and built-in array microphone|
|Dimensions:||322 x 227 x 19.9 mm||322 x 227 x 19.9 mm|
|Weight:||1,750 g||1,500 g|
|Price:||28,995 Pesos||40,995 Pesos|
Note: There are two VivoBook Flip TP301 variants in the country, first the i3 edition called the TP301UA and the more powerful i5 powered TP30UJ. The only difference between them are the internals, bu they're very similar in build, ports and design.
For this review, we have the higher end TP301UJ. Let's begin!
Unboxing / Accessories
|The easy to carry box|
Surprisingly, the VivoBook Flip didn't come in a huge box. It's small enough with a carrying case like of design that's easy to hold and carry. Upon opening the box, you'll be greeted by the VivoBook Flip immediately in a well presented manner.
Upon digging further you'll get the a wall charger and paper documentations. I liked that aside from the regular laptop package, Asus decided to include some FREE items such as the cable tie / strap and microfiber cloth.
Build Quality / Design
|A view below|
In terms of materials used, this is one of the finest midrange to upper midrange laptop / tablet I ever used. It's mostly made of durable looking brushed aluminum in the cover, frame and hinge portion that adds more confidence in its durability. The LED screen is truly made out of glass and it appears to have some sort coating that prevents light scratches. The chiclet keyboard is made out good plastic that also presents great improvement over the hard to touch keyboard of our old T100.
|Buttons and ports on the left|
|Buttons and ports on the right|
|Fan on the top back|
|The tough looking hinge|
|The nice to touch near full keyboard and generously sized track pad|
The keyboard intelligently turns off in tablet mode too!
Being a flippable like device, it's expected that the hinge of this will be abused when switched to tablet or tent mode. Fortunately, Asus followed the same proven 180 hinge degree design of Lenovo's lower end Yoga series. Aside from that Asus improved on it by a little as this one feels tighter compared with the Yoga 500 we have for review.
There are also 4 rubber stoppers below that prevents the laptop from falling in slippery surfaces.
In terms of design, this ultra portable resembles the very clean look of Apple's Macbook which is a proven and effective design. It has that smooth semi rounded rounded top and buttom edges, fan at the back and two down firing speakers below.
Another surprising aspect that we discovered here is this ultra portable features plenty of mostly properly placed ports. You'll see the power button, volume rocker, SD card card and 1x USB 2.0 port on the left. On the right side you'll find the headphone / microphone jack, 2x USB 3.0, 1X USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI and DC in ports.
It also boast a slim profile at just 19.9 mm which is at least 4-5 mm slimmer than conventional laptops that's not heavy at around 1.5 - 1.7 kg.
To nitpick, I find the volume rocker a little hard to press and the power button awkwardly placed on the left as I find it harder to reach. I would also like it better if the speakers below is located in front for that front firing effect to sound wider. As I said, that's just nitpicking on my part and it' really not that much of an issue.
As a result the VivoBook Flip TP301 series is a looker that should attract a lot of people who wanted a machine with great looks and usability. Lastly, Asus made sure that it's refined and excellently forged that won't make you worry on having unwanted QC issues such as sharp edges and etc.
The different modes
|Laptop mode (For work and play)|
|Tablet in landscape mode (great for presentations)|
Will still test if it works in portrait mode
|Tent mode (perfect to use while watching movies)|
|Flat 180 degree mode|
(Yes, there are people who prefers this mode, especially those who lived using PC setups in the past)
As of the moment
A great experience so far. This Asus ultraportable laptop is an easy to love device even on first try. Why? It nearly has all the recipes needed to be a successful workhorse on the go that we wanted to see for now. We'll be taking this to a spin further in the next few weeks to fully check out its other capabilities and report it to you guys