ASUS has started to sell its new entry-level convertible laptop, based on an Intel 7th generation Core m3 processor (Kaby Lake-Y) SoC. Convertable in this case means the rotation of the hinge, allowing the notebook to 'convert' into a tablet. The combination of a relatively affordable price point ($549) with a very energy-efficient Core-based processor has a potential to make the VivoBook Flip 14 TP401 popular among customers with budget constraints seeking for a hybrid mobile PC.

Convertibles are believed to be a growing category, on the otherwise declining PC market, because many people want to use their devices both as laptops and as tablets. Historically, large computer suppliers positioned convertibles as higher-end machines worth a premium and charged accordingly. Last year Intel proposed to use its low-cost/low-power Atom platform for convertibles to make them cheaper but without compromising battery life. Since then, a number of companies have introduced appropriate products to address the entry-level segment of the market. At the same time, PC makers are trying to lower costs of convertibles based on Intel’s high-performance Core microarchitecture to address the mainstream segment and traditional customers who buy $500 - $700 PCs. Earlier this year Acer introduced its Switch 3 detachable machine based on a Kaby Lake Celeron SoCs, and that device started at $399. Now, ASUS has started to sell its VivoBook Flip 14 TP401 that features a higher-performance SoC, but serves the same purpose: introduces Intel’s high-performance microarchitecture to an inexpensive convertible laptop.

The ASUS VivoBook Flip TP401 is 14” hybrid notebook based on Intel’s Core m3-7Y30 SoC with up to 4.5 W TDP. The model in question (TP401CA-DHM6T) is equipped with 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory as well as a 128 GB eMMC storage solution. For connectivity, the convertible uses an 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 wireless module, has one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one Micro USB 2.0 port, a micro-HDMI display output, a 3.5mm TRRS audio jack, an SDXC card reader and so on.

Unlike many entry-level systems, the ASUS VivoBook Flip TP401 comes in an enclosure made of an aluminum alloy that gives a feel of a premium product. This premium feeling is somewhat spoiled by the screen resolution (1366×768 pixels) that seems to be low by modern standards, but it does have wide viewing angles suggesting this is a reasonable panel (i.e. not TN). The 360° multi-gear hinges are made of stainless steel and can handle 20,000 open-and-close cycles, according to the manufacturer. The hinges support notebook mode, tablet mode, 'tent' mode, and an 'entertainment' mode.

As for physical dimensions and weight, the VivoBook Flip TP401 is 15.4 mm thick and weighs around 1.5 kilograms, which is slightly thicker and heavier when compared to higher-end laptops, but is good enough considering the price of this convertible and its screen size. For some reason, ASUS does not specify for how long the unit can work on one battery charge, but only says that the TP401CA-DHM6T comes with a 39 Wh accumulator and "lasts for a day".

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP401 Convertible
  TP401CA-DHM6T
Display Resolution 1366×768
Panel 14"
178° viewing angles
SoC Intel Core m3-7Y30
2C/4T
1.0 GHz base
2.6 GHz turbo
4 MB LLC
4.5W
Intel HD 615
RAM 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage 128 GB eMMC
Camera VGA webcam
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.1
I/O ports 1 × USB 3.0 Type-C
1 × Micro-USB 2.0
1 × SDXC Card reader
1 × micro HDMI
Audio 2 × Speakers w/ ASUS SonicMaster
1 × TRRS 3.5-mm jack for headset
Dimensions Width 327.4 mm / 12.89"
Depth 226.5 mm / 8.92"
Height 15.4 mm / 0.61"
Weight ~1.5 Kg / 3.3 lbs
Battery 39 Wh
OS Windows 10 Home
Finish Light Gray

The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP401CA-DHM6T is available immediately for $549 directly from ASUS as well as from retailers like Amazon.

Related Reading

Source: ASUS

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  • CoreyWat - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Why is 720p still a thing, I could see on a $349 laptop but not a $549 one. Smh Reply
  • Drumsticks - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    The price still seems a little high for it, but I can live with a 768p *IPS* panel in 2017 at reasonable sizes. It'll keep battery life down, and as long as the viewing angles and contrast are good, it's manageable.

    If anybody releases a 768p *TN* laptop in 2017 though, the entire stock of laptops need to be tossed into the fire.
    Reply
  • ianmills - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Who would use pen input on a 768p SCREEN? such a waste Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    Kids. Reply
  • HStewart - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    One thing that I believe a lot of mislead by this machine is that Core m3-7y30 does not equal Atom or Pentium or Celeron CPU chips - yes it is SOC but it's architecture is closer i5 series - it has same CPU functionality - dual core hyperthreading and same processor extensions as i5 / i7 like 256 bit AVX2.

    What will be interesting is Intel creates either 8xxx generation of this CPU with quad core and hyperthreading or when Cannon Lake comes out.

    Yes it will idle at lower speed - but it has same abilities as the higher end cpu's - but this cpu only runs at 5 Watts of power. I am typing this on Intel Compute Stick which can fit in my pocket - and smaller than Desk\top cpus (alone).

    CPU supports 4k and also 3 monitors - the chip for Intel alone is $281

    https://ark.intel.com/products/95449/Intel-Core-m3...
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, October 23, 2017 - link

    That price should fall. We all know how business works... Flood the bottom end with a cheaper version which pushes up the price of what was, previously more or less the lower end (i3).

    Business. Fool consumers into thinking they're getting something much better.
    Reply
  • peevee - Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - link

    Say, I have 2008 15" laptop with 4GB RAM, Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, upgraded with 512GB SSD. How is this thing with 1GHz 2-core CPU and 128GB eMMC any better? Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - link

    Well, in CPU alone, a 2008-ish Core 2 Duo like the T9600 has an average Passmark score of 1928 whereas the Core m3 scores 3579. In addition to a quicker processor, it's got faster RAM, a faster iGPU (probably quicker than a dGPU in a 2008-era laptop if you've got one of those), uses less power, weighs less, is thinner, is passively cooled, includes a Type-C USB connector, and can be used as a tablet. You C2D notebook has a larger screen and a faster plus larger SSD. You also already own your current laptop so if you're happy with how it works, then don't feel like you're missing out or are somehow compelled to make a purchase just because Anandtech posts an article. Reply
  • 4K user - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - link

    When I read the resolution on an ebay ad, I thought it was a typo. Then I came here to confirm. Unbelievable. ASUS cred affected, didn't think they would do moves like that as a company. Agree with all the exasperations here about screen res. Screen res like that shouldn't go with a quality metal housing as this, and a convertible at that!

    True to a post here the price has gone down and they are around $345 new on eBay now. Was considering getting one until I saw this post. I already have an ASUS E402 with that resolution an it fatigues and hurts my eyes, especially when reading or using for an extended amount of time. The workaround is to look at the screen from about 2.5 feet, defeating the purpose of a laptop screen. So thus the $345 price now. That said they've had the better 1080p Zenbook same hinge .7" screen smaller for about $550 on Amazon for a while now, so why buy the other one?
    Reply

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