Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA review: The low-cost hybrid you might actually want to buy
Tablets are great for when you’re out and about, but sometimes you need something a little more versatile to get some work done. The Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA is just such a device: a laptop-tablet hybrid with the option to flip the screen around the full 360 degrees.
The Flip TP200SA is the latest in a long line of Transformer Books, but this one has a particularly lightweight and compact design that puts it firmly at the tablet end of the hybrid device pool. And for a £200 laptop, it’s staggeringly light and slim, weighing 1.2kg and measuring 18.4mm with the lid closed. This A4-sized slab of brushed-metal-effect plastic can easily be stowed away in a backpack, and the 360-degree reversible screen hinge means you use it in a number of different modes.
The hinge itself feels reasonably robust, and should be able to hold up after multiple twists and turns. However, much like other 360-degree laptops we’ve tested – such as Lenovo’s Yoga 700 – the Flip’s screen had a tendency to bounce back and forth while I was using it as a laptop, so it may not be ideal for anyone who’s particularly heavy-handed when typing. You really notice it when you tilt the screen back, too, and the top-heavy screen visibly raises the edge of the keyboard tray off the table when you lift your hands away. It’s a shame, but I’m willing to let this one slide in the face of its rock-bottom price.
The screen can’t be detached from the keyboard, sadly, but the Flip’s built-in sensors can automatically detect when the screen goes beyond 180 degrees, at which point it switches itself into Windows 10‘s Tablet mode and locks the keyboard so that you don’t accidentally bash the keys when they’re underneath your fingers. You don’t necessarily have to fold it flat, either, as you can also position it in a kind of kickstand mode – handy if all you want to do is watch a film or take someone through a PowerPoint presentation.
Keyboard and touchpad
The Flip is an 11.6in laptop and relatively compact with it, so the keyboard is a little cramped and definitely best suited for those with smaller hands. Since its keys aren’t full-sized, I often found myself accidentally hitting the wrong keys when typing quickly, but this is something you’ll no doubt get used to over time. At least each key had a decent amount of travel, and they always felt very responsive.
Thankfully, the touchpad is on the large side, providing plenty of space to move my fingers around. Its integrated buttons have a positive click action, too, so using it shouldn’t prove too frustrating if you find yourself without a dedicated mouse.
Performance and battery life
Sadly, the Flip’s overall performance is where the TP200SA falls short. With only a dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor and 2GB of RAM at its disposal, this isn’t a machine that’s built for heavy-duty tasks. As a result, I ran our slightly less demanding 1080p benchmarks rather than our usual 4K tests, and it recorded an overall score of 31.
This is decent considering its price, but I experienced significant slowdown even when I was using it for basic word processing and web browsing. The Flip isn’t that great at multitasking, then, but if your daily PC routine only consists of browsing the web and writing the odd word document, then the TP200SA should be more than sufficient.
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