Review of ultrabook-transformer ASUS ExpertBook Flip (B7402FE)

By LapTop-master

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Review of ultrabook-transformer ASUS ExpertBook Flip (B7402FE) - FoxLaptop Review of ultrabook-transformer ASUS ExpertBook Flip (B7402FE) - FoxLaptop

Delivery set

  • Notebook
  • 65W power supply
  • Stylus pen (optional)
  • RJ-45 adapter (optional)
  • Documentation

 

Specifications

Operating system Windows 10 Pro
Processor Intel Core i5-1155G7, 4 cores / 8 threads, 2.5 GHz (max. 4.5 GHz), 10 nm manufacturing process
Intel Core i7-1195G7, 4 cores / 8 threads, 2.9 GHz (max. 5.0 GHz), 10 nm manufacturing process (reviewed version)
Video card Intel Iris Xe Integrated
Screen 14″ Touchscreen, IPS, 1920×1200, 16:10, 215 ppi, 500 nits peak brightness, 60 Hz refresh rate, anti-glare, 100% sRGB color gamut (reviewed version)
14″ touchscreen, IPS, 2560×1600, 16:10, 215 ppi, 400 nits peak brightness, 60 Hz refresh rate, anti-glare, 100% sRGB color gamut
RAM 64GB 3200MHz DDR4
16 GB, 3200 MHz, DDR4
Hard Drive 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD

1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 Performance SSD (reviewed version)

Connectors 2x USB Type-C 4.0 (Thunderbolt, charging, data transfer, DisplayPort support)
2x USB Type-A 3.2 Gen2
1x Mini Display Port
1xHDMI
1x micro HDMI
Nano SIM slot, smart card reader, 3.5mm combo jack, Kensington Lock
Wireless Interfaces Wi-Fi 6 802.11a/b/g/n/ax, 2.4GHz/5GHz, 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G support (carrier support required) and LTE
Battery Li-Ion, 63 Wh, fast charging support (Type-C)
Optional Military-grade MIL-STD 810H security, power button fingerprint sensor, waterproof keyboard with NumberPad virtual numeric keypad, 720p webcam, Windows Hello IR camera, TPM 2.0 module, Harman Kardon audio
Color Black
Dimensions and weights 32 x 23.4 x 1.9 cm; 1.44 kg
Cost from $1,900 depending on configuration

 

Positioning

At first glance, it is not so easy to understand all the variety of ASUS laptop lines, some of them can be called related. On the vendor’s website, in the section with laptops, it is suggested that you first select the main potential use case and only then – the specific tasks and form factor of the device.

According to this classification, ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip falls into the category of premium 2-in-1 work laptops, because the laptop can easily be used as a tablet. There is a caveat: the model is being promoted as a solution for business, the models will appear both in retail and as available for customization in the format of corporate orders.

In its line, the test model is somewhere in the middle in terms of its characteristics, only the flagship model with a QHD + screen is higher, the manufacturer also announced the presence of a nominally younger version with an Intel Core i5 processor. Ergonomics has been rethought in the model, while retaining many of the ExpertBook branded features.

 

Appearance, ergonomics

I don’t know about you, but over time I realized that in the appearance of laptops, minimalism is closer to me than some kind of visual flair and the presence of pretentious elements. This is probably why, from the very first minutes of my acquaintance with the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip, I learned zen from the exterior of the laptop. The rather thin chassis is made from the familiar magnesium-aluminum alloy from previous reviews of the series, which gives structural strength and allowed the laptop to pass the US military standard strength certification.

If we compare the test version with standard models, not transformers, then here the lid is not so strong, it is thinner, we can feel its movement when twisting. At the same time, the weight balance is preserved, and you can still open it with just one finger, quickly and smoothly. The material of the body and cover is matte, with small inclusions, softly gleaming in the light. The manufacturer’s logo is traditionally located on the lid, in the corner there is a glossy insert with the model name. Closer to the edges of the bottom panel of the lid, the screen hinges gleam.

There is a minimum of visual elements on the main body: a neat ASUS ExpertBook inscription in the center above the keyboard and the Sound by Harman / Kardon inscription almost merging with the color of the metal under the “arrows”. The smooth recess for the keyboard is marked with straight lines, it looks strict. Under the touch panel located in the center of the body is a rather large “chin”.

At first, I did not appreciate this decision, because in previous office laptops from ASUS, the touch panel is located almost on the edge of the bottom edge of the main body panel. But already in operation, the solution turned out to be quite convenient: when working with the touch panel, the thumb rests against the bevel, it turned out that it is easier to use the trackpad.

For a laptop-transformer, the only correct solution for the location of the connectors is the side ends. With a set of ports, there is a complete order: on the left are two Thunderbolt 4.0 ports, HDMI and exotic MicroHDMI, high-speed USB-A and a wired headphone jack.

Much more interesting is the situation on the right. In addition to another rare guest in the face of Mini DisplayPort, a second USB-A and Kensington Lock, there is a slot for a SIM card, a top-end solution for a business laptop, the owner will definitely not be left without a network, except perhaps where there is no coverage at all.

The great solutions don’t end there. There is also a power button on the side, combined with a fingerprint scanner, and a double “rocker” for volume control that protrudes slightly above the panel. The convenience of such an arrangement of these controls is difficult to overestimate. In my opinion, such a concept is ideal, and not only in a hybrid form factor, but also in standard ultrabooks. My personal respect to ASUS engineers for such a solution, I would like to see it in other models.

If you look at the bottom panel, then the slot for reading smart cards adjoins the right end, an additional means of authentication, in addition to Windows Hello and a fingerprint. A peculiar zest, and neatly inscribed and at first glance not attracting attention.

The overall impression of design and ergonomics is as positive as possible, we are pleased with the strength and, if not record-breaking, but the light weight of the case, the matte surface, the aforementioned location of the keys on the side, ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip just got into all my “Wishlist”.

 

Display, multimedia

With the screen, the situation is not so obvious. There are no questions about the operation of the sensor, everything works without problems: zooming, scrolling, managing small elements, dragging and dropping files and folders. But when you work with your fingers, unpleasant marks remain on the screen, they can be quickly erased, but the overall impression deteriorates. The verdict is that a stylus will definitely not be superfluous here.

In the test version, the resolution is 1920 by 1200 pixels. With an adequate peak brightness of 500 nits and a 16:10 aspect ratio, the screen is a pleasure to work with, it fits a little more content than devices with a 16:9 display geometry. With color coverage, everything is at a good level, if you wish, you can work with graphics. If the diagonal is small, then the laptop supports image output to three 4K displays at the same time, remember about the ports.

There were some controversial moments, in my opinion. Apparently, the potential use of the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip as a tablet played a role and gave quite tangible frames around the display. With the lower frame, everything is, in general, familiar, as with the upper one, a camera with a physical shutter is installed here, so you can somehow understand. But the side frames, for my taste, could be thinner. Again, this is a subjective point, but it blurs the overall picture and the premium design.

The display hinge in the laptop gives a 360-degree opening angle, that is, it turns the laptop into a tablet that can be used in different ways. Someone likes the usual tablet format, even if the body is a bit thick, someone puts the device vertically and works with a stylus or just watches websites or videos. Whatever the scenario, the hero of the review can do anything. The movement of the hinge is smooth, the rigidity is average, when you enter text on the keyboard, it shakes a little, the text does not float.

For the sound, as you can already understand, the speakers are certified by Harman / Kardon. They are located on the bottom panel, the sound both resonates inside the case and is reflected from the work surface or lid, if it is fully opened in tablet mode. Surround sound pleases, as well as the volume margin, decent quality for a premium laptop.

 

Keyboard, touchpad

The ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip keyboard has a white backlight with one level of brightness. In the test version, Cyrillic is not printed on it, in versions for our market it will certainly be. Quiet and shallow stroke and key spacing contribute to productive work without typos. The letter keys are almost full-sized, traditionally the keys of the F row and the “arrows” have become smaller.

The number pad is physically inaccessible, but when you click on the icon in the upper right corner of the trackpad, a virtual NumPad appears, duplicating it.

In this mode, the touch panel also serves to work with the content on the screen, except that sometimes clicks are accidentally registered and numbers may appear in the same text where they are not needed. The trackpad cover is moderately smooth, the panel is pressed to the click. Standard element, stable working accuracy.

 

Performance, autonomy, cooling

The eleventh generation of Intel processors continues its expansion in current laptops, different in format and purpose. So, in the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip, the Intel Core i7-1195G7 chip from the Tiger Lake family is installed in the top. The processor was released at the end of May 2021 and, in fact, is the flagship among the Tiger Lake-U quad-core mobile solutions for thin laptops. Depending on load and dynamic TDP settings (from 12 to 28W in different devices), the cores can run at up to 5 GHz in multi-threaded mode.

Intel Iris Xe graphics on the Gen 12 architecture are also in place. It copes well with resource-intensive applications, in games the integrated nature of the adapter does not allow running AAA games at maximum speeds, but you can play the same “tanks” quite tolerably at low or medium settings with FPS around 100 – 150. We also boldly bring simple indie titles and good old games of yesteryear here. For those who want more, a solution with an external video card is suitable. As an option – cloud gaming services, the same GFN.

Benchmarks

  • Cinebench R23: CPU 4816, single-core 1371
  • Geekbench 5: single-core 1535 / multi-core 5114
  • PCMark 10: 5257 (Basic Operations 10713 / Productivity 7036 / Digital Content Creation 5232).
  • 3D Mark:
    • DirectX 12 in games, Time Spy: 1774 (1623 graphics, 3779 CPU)
    • DirectX 12 General Test, Night Raid: 15,213 (19,499 graphics, 6775 processor)
    • DirectX 11, Fire Strike: 4525 (graphics 5172, physics 10875, combined test 1069);
    • Wild Life Extreme cross-platform test: 3291
  • CrystalDIsk Mark: Read 3475 MB/s/3414 MB/s write.

According to synthetic tests, it can be seen that there is a tangible increase compared to other 11th generation chips, there is nothing to say about the 10th generation, the indicators are even more confident. Interestingly, the performance in some places even leaves AMD 5000-series desktop chips out of work. It is worth remembering that the test laptop has 64 GB of RAM, this amount is enough for the eyes to ensure smooth operation even in the most productive tasks. The volume of SSD can be increased up to 2 TB, one slot.

Everything is fine with cooling, the left half of the bottom panel heats up under load, the fans are very quiet. To ensure better heat dissipation, a metal heat spreader on the fan is used, a new hybrid cooling system is used, the performance of which has increased by 55%.

Putting the laptop into power-saving mode with additional tricks (turning off the backlight, activating airplane mode to turn off the SIM, lowering the brightness) will give up to 12 hours of work without an outlet. The supplied Type-C adapter is compact, but quite powerful and will allow you to quickly charge your laptop, which takes a little over an hour. The device will definitely not be afraid of business trips and field work. QHD+ version may experience lower performance due to higher display power consumption compared to FHD versions.

 

Extras

The business audience has increased demands from the position of laptop security, this could not be ignored by ASUS. The company already described means of user authentication (Windows Hello, fingerprint, smart cards) is the ability to put a password on the hard drive. Additional data security is provided by the TPM 2.0 module, which stores encryption keys in a secure form, the option to set passwords for booting and setting up the BIOS, Computrace technology, which determines the location of a stolen laptop over wireless networks and remotely erases information on the disk.

The MyASUS app is also in place, in which the user can configure important laptop settings, such as the screen color profile and fan mode, determine the nature of the battery charge in order to extend its life cycle, activate microphone noise reduction and clipping noise in videoconferencing, and much more. Useful and handy utility.
 

Competitors

The start of sales of ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip is expected in the near future, the cost is from $ 1900 for the version on Intel Core i5 with 512 GB of permanent memory and 16 GB of RAM. Despite the fact that there are no other laptops with these processors on the market yet, there are many competitors with 11th generation chips from Intel. Among them, we can distinguish models such as Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, Dell Inspiron 5410, various variations of the HP Specter x360 and the same ASUS ZenBook Flip S.

Of course, when comparing, it is important to choose according to the ratio of price and characteristics, not everywhere ExpertBook will look more interesting.

 

Impressions

Nevertheless, the novelty from ASUS confirmed its premium status, at least during testing. In addition to a number of subjective design issues, there were no questions. Convenient, functional and productive convertible laptop definitely deserves the title of flagship, including thanks to a powerful processor, fast SSD, top-end set of ports and support for LTE / 5G. Yes, the cost is rather big, Intel is not cheap now, on the other hand, ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip has a confident reserve for the future. The start of sales will be announced soon.