When my colleague reviewed the ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo, I mostly hovered over her shoulder while she was acclimatising to the different form of the laptop.
Safe to say, that was the extent of my experience with a non-mainstream laptop… until the ASUS ExpertBook B7 Flip fell into my hands, that is.
From the outside, the B7 Flip looks like your regular laptop, without any extra screens or trackpads pushed to a side.
Yet, this is one laptop that welcomes you to push it to its limits.
Embodying serious business on the outside
The external build of the B7 Flip is simple and understated, with an air of elegance to it. Covered in a dark bluish matte coating, it also boasts sharper, daring edges, as opposed to the soft curved edges I’m more used to seeing.
Clocking in at 14 inches and 1.47kg, when you consider what it can do, you might marvel at how compact ASUS has made this military-grade device catered toward working professionals.
There are a lot of ports on either side of the laptop, which is great especially if you use external accessories and devices a lot.
In total, it has two USB-C ports, a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports, a combo audio jack, smart card reader, Nano sim slot, and more.
Proving the “flip” in its name, you can fold the B7 Flip’s screen 360 degrees to become what looks like a tablet.
(Yes, this technology has been around for years, but let me have my moment, it’s my first time experiencing it.)
An optional stylus that’s sold separately is available for those who want to make full use of the B7 Flip’s productivity features. For storage, it can be attached magnetically to the short edge of your screen.
The hinge of the B7 Flip is solid and not too tight that it’s hard to flip open or closed. I wasn’t able to figure out how to open it 360 degrees in a less clunky way though.
I’ve outgrown built-in laptop keyboards, opting to go for external mechanical keyboards instead, but the B7 Flip’s keyboard was still comfortable to use by most standards.
It had decent space that acted as a palm rest, but one thing I noticed when using the keyboard was that I would often trigger the NumPad on the trackpad. Still, the trackpad being centralised is preferable to the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo’s off-to-the-side position.
Overall, the build of the B7 Flip inspires confidence in its durability. With its externals and aesthetics covered, let’s explore its performance and usage.
Efficient performance for ideal productivity
One of the B7 Flip’s USPs is its 5G connectivity capabilities, but with how sparse 5G coverage in Malaysia still is for now, I personally feel it’s not yet a major selling point for most customers here.
Plus, its performance still impressed on WiFi 6. Speed and stability were always present, with no lag whenever I was switching between windows and tabs.
Even when it ran low on battery, it kept up its sharp performance. The only time I felt it lacked optimal performance was when I tried gaming on it.
As usual, I booted up Genshin Impact, but couldn’t play for long as it became obvious that the B7 Flip wasn’t built with gaming in mind.
It could run the game decently, much better than a lot of other non-gaming laptop models in fact, but there was still a slight delay that irked me, especially because I’ve seen how nice the game can be on a proper gaming laptop.
When it comes to the screen, you get a matte finish that does tend to pick up fingerprints, but it’s worth it for the nice feel.
This is especially because the B7 Flip has touchscreen capabilities that can be used whether it’s functioning like a regular laptop or with the screen opened at a complete 360-degree angle.
I quite like how the screen is capable of auto-rotation too (from landscape mode to portrait mode, and vice versa), which is useful if you’re utilising it like a tablet.
Though I can’t say that I’m a fan of the on-screen keyboard, it probably just required some getting used to.
Further catering to working professionals is the laptop’s Private View mode, which, when turned on, fades out your screen to a 45-degree viewing angle. It comes in handy if your work involves sensitive data and you’re often working on the go.
Thus far, it should be clear that the B7 Flip has excellent performance (gaming aside), but with a laptop this powerful, battery life can sometimes become an issue.
Thankfully, ASUS’ claim of it being able to last about 11 hours without charging appears to hold true. I was able to utilise the laptop for pretty much an entire work day each time without needing to worry about plugging it in.
When my team and I were at the Wild Digital SEA 2022 event that spanned three full days, the B7 Flip’s lasting power was a blessing, since I didn’t have to scramble for already limited plug points in order to continue my work.
Of course, the battery life might differ based on what applications you have opened. Had I used Google Chrome and not Microsoft Edge, the battery might have drained faster, for example.
While I was actively using the B7 Flip for work for hours on end, I noticed that it stayed pretty cool throughout, likely thanks to ASUS’ Advanced Hybrid Cooling System and its ErgoLift hinge.
I didn’t test it folded 360 degrees for long periods to see if the heat generation would increase, though.
Those who often find themselves in video meetings at the office, or who exclusively work remotely, will be glad to know that the B7 Flip comes with several features to ensure that those meetings go smoothly.
There’s the two-way AI Noise Cancelling Audio, which lets you switch between four different modes including Single Presenter or Multi-presenter, with AI ensuring you can hear and be heard clearly.
When you’re on a call, a small, bright red indicator implying “do not disturb” will activate on the top cover. This can be activated manually as well if you aren’t on a call but just want to focus on your work.
The B7 Flip’s webcam is equipped with AI and is of good quality too, with added features like Lighting Optimisation, Background Blurring, Eye Tracking, and Motion Tracking.
When not in use, just slide the integrated privacy shield over the webcam for peace of mind.
All things considered, the B7 Flip was an efficient machine for getting work done, and its sleek look and performance just made the experience all the more enjoyable.
One catch for many might be the price though. It starts at RM8,499 and comes with customisable specifications on top of its Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.
So, while it’s probably not the type of laptop you’d see supplied by a company for its employees, it’s one that would highly benefit remote workers and digital nomads who need a powerful, reliable laptop.
|360-degree flip capability that caters to different working needs and styles||High price tag|
|Long-lasting battery and privacy features for those working on the go|
|Great webcam and audio features for efficient virtual meetings|
|5G connectivity capabilities|
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.