Laptops are evolving, and the current hot thing is a convertible notebook. They’re essentially a laptop and tablet built into one device. Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) is such a gadget, featuring a 13.3″ screen flipping 360 degrees and decent components like Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM. This kind of 2-in-1 solution should be ideal for travelers and road warriors, but are there other people who might benefit from it? We’ll let you know in a second…
What programs does it run?
The processor of Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) is called 5th generation Intel Core i5-5200U. The chip can be characterized as higher end one, after all it features a dual-core design, 2.2GHz clock speed and a turbo of 2.7GHz. The average CPU Mark score is ~3500, not bad, although it must be remembered this low-power CPU doesn’t quite reach the same performance level than regular i5s. Nonetheless, the i5-5200U is excellent for such a 2-in-1 hybrid, you can run all everyday programs without issues. And as a plus, the power consumption will be minimal and the processor won’t heat up easily.
The notebook comes with 8GB DDR3 (1600MHz) memory. I don’t think you can add more RAM so you’ll have to do with the eight – which is however plenty for a convertible notebook. The 500GB 5400RPM hard drive here doesn’t make a lot of sense here, but you can swap it for a SATA SSD if you want. That will most likely void warranty but it shouldn’t matter if you know what you’re doing.
Can you tell anything about the display?
Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) has a compact 13.3″ touch display with 1366×768 resolution. It’s always a subjective thing how good a screen is, but people generally left positive comments about this display. The screen will indeed turn flat 360 degrees, as such you can operate this machine as a laptop and tablet. If used on the tablet mode, keyboard will stop functioning so you won’t accidentally hit the buttons.
Is it any good for gaming?
These hybrids rarely excel in gaming. Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) shouldn’t be different thanks to its low end, integrated HD 5500 graphics card. It’s not horrible, many games are playable, but will in turn require lower details and resolution especially if it’s AAA title you’re playing. To name one, GTA V should get OK 20-25 frame rates on medium level settings and 1366×768 resolution. Web-based games, or titles such as Sims 4 and Minecraft, will also work here.
What things can I plug in?
Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) features one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, not a bad setup for this small and cheap notebook. HDMI output is available as well so you can use this computer with an external monitor/TV.
To access Internet there’s only a dual-band 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card. Ethernet adapter is missing, if you want to use cable you must get a simple USB dongle.
Obviously, there’s no DVD drive here, the unit is so small. If you need access to CDs or DVDs an external drive connecting to USB should be used. The laptop’s SD card might also come handy if you happen to have data on memory cards.
The notebook features a 1.0MP front-facing webcam, meaning video chatting with your pals is definitely possible.
Something else to consider?
The weight of Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) is 3.75 pounds. True, it’s more than “real” tablets weigh, but considering you’re also getting laptop functionality it’s acceptable. The unit comes with a 3-cell battery which people have been reporting to last for ~6 hours light use.
This thing has a backlit keyboard, typing in dark is going to be pleasant. No numpad is available on right, there wouldn’t be space for that.
Any Bluetooth stylus pen should be compatible with this Asus.
The bottom shell is made of plastic and the top is aluminum.
Asus Flip (Q302LA-BSI5T16) has received good user reviews, which I totally understand. The laptop comes from a very reputable manufacturer, it has an affordable price and there’s enough performance for day-to-day tasks and little more. The low-power Core i5 and 8GB RAM can indeed run some heavier-duty applications, but your best bet would be to use this rig for things like web surfing, paper writing and perhaps watching movies off Internet. You may also try some games, which will undoubtedly work, but not many on high details. The essential thing is of course the multifunction nature: you only have to pay for one device but you’ll actually receive two, a laptop and a tablet. If that excites you, this Asus might be something to think about.