Manufacturers have found a brilliant way to combine two popular mobile devices, laptop and tablet. Just make the screen hinge work so that you can turn the display 360 degrees. Oh, and also include a touch support to the screen. The result is a hybrid model, good as a notebook or a heavy tablet. Such is ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T, a Core i5-powered Full HD laptop. We’ll tell you our opinion about it below.
The 5th generation Intel processors are taking over the older models. Also this Asus has a new Intel CPU, called Core i5-5200U. It’s clocked at 2.2GHz, but with turbo the frequency is increased to 2.7GHz. Compared to the older i5-4200U, this processor is around 8% faster according to CPU Mark test. Enough performance is guaranteed for most applications, even the heavier ones such as image editors and virtual machine software.
Appropriate for this price, ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T has 8GB DDR3 memory installed. It doesn’t look like you can add more, but to be honest, that shouldn’t be an issue. Eight gigabytes is a lot, and especially if you use the unit for web browsing and other lighter stuff, that RAM amount won’t ever become an obstacle.
It’s a conventional hard drive that brings you the storage in ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T. This time it’s 1024GB, so huge space is guaranteed. As an example, an avid photographer or vacation goer could put approximately two hundred thousand images there (assuming 5MB per photo size). Of course, some people don’t want a lot of storage but performance. In that case, SSD would be a much better choice. You can install solid-state drive yourself, by removing the hard drive first.
Display and graphics
The display of ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T is multifunctional. It’s a glossy 15.6″ touchscreen, the same size than most laptops are. Compared to tablets, it’s definitely big (and heavy). To remind you, it turns further than a normal notebook’s display, so using it on a tablet mode is otherwise effortless. The panel type is TN (Twisted Nematics), so you might get less than great viewing angles. However, resolution is 1920×1080 so techies and digital artists will be satisfied.
A Broadwell-based Intel HD 5500 is the graphics unit of this laptop. It’s integrated to the processor, and in terms of performance, offers an upgrade from the previous HD 4400 model. Demanding games such as Battlefield 4 will reach decent 30FPS on low details. Games with easier on the system, like League of Legends and Minecraft, will get much more than that. The same goes for Steam-based titles and sports games.
Three USB ports are available, one them being USB 3.0. There’s also an HDMI output, meaning HDTVs or PC monitors are supported. Webcam is attached on top of the screen, although it doesn’t offer great quality with its VGA resolution.
For networking, you can utilize Gigabit RJ-45 port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (no A/C) and Bluetooth 4.0.
If you want to work with CDs or DVDs on ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T, you only have one choice: to use an external drive, one connecting to the USB port. There’s no built-in optical drive in this laptop. Alternatively, the SD card reader can also be used. Downloading essential software from Internet is a good idea, too.
What other things to consider?
ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T weighs 4.6 pounds, less than 15.6″ laptops, much more than regular tablets. The 3-cell battery is good for five or six hours – again, better than most notebooks, but compact tablets often run longer. Anyway, such a hybrid model is always a compromise, and I’d say ASUS did a decent job with the weight and battery life here.
As many people have found out, this model doesn’t sport a backlit keyboard. Personally I don’t mind, but know that many people like illuminated keys because they use computer in dark room. A 10-key pad is located on the right, giving quick access to number keys.
The operating system is Windows 8.1 64-bit. There should be very minimal bloatware pre-loaded if user reports are to be believed.
ASUS Flip TP500LA-AS53T looks like a useful hybrid laptop. Performance-wise, it offers a beefy 5th gen Core i5 CPU and 8GB RAM – something that power users and professionals appreciate. For gamers, there’s an upgraded HD 5500 unit. It’s not perfect, but will run most games provided you don’t turn much eye candy on. Full HD screen is always an advantage, although with the TN panel you might not get wide viewing angles. Connections are pretty much everything one needs, perhaps some might argue A/C WiFi is a must. All in all, it’s a solid convertible with powerful components and essential features. If you get the ASUS, chances are high you’ll find it a keeper.