Asus VivoBook S200E review

Asus VivoBook S200E

The 11in  VivoBook S200E certainly doesn't look like a budget laptop – in fact its brushed metal finish and slim, lightweight design could give Apple's far more expensive MacBook Air a run for its money.

Admittedly, the S200E is slightly heavier than the 11-inch version of the MacBook Air, weighing 1.45Kg to its rival's 1.1Kg. Even so, it's still an extremely light and portable laptop, and with a thickness of just 22mm you can slip it into a backpack or shoulder-bag and barely notice the weight when you carry it around with you.

It's quite solidly constructed too, with good support for the screen panel and a sturdy keyboard that feels comfortable when typing – although the relatively small keys might be a little tricky for rugby players with chunky digits.

The S200E even manages to include a touch-sensitive screen for Windows 8, which is certainly good value for a laptop costing less than £500. The screen does have its flaws, though. It's not spectacularly bright, and while the horizontal viewing angle is quite reasonable we found the vertical viewing angle more limited – something that wasn't helped by the glare on the highly reflective screen coating – and it was often necessary to tilt the screen to just the right angle in order to improve visibility.

That's only a minor complaint though, and worth putting up with in order to benefit from the VivoBook's compact, lightweight design.

Asus VivoBook S200E: components and performance

Asus VivoBook S200EThe original S200 that we reviewed earlier this year cost about £350 with a Pentium processor, but this current model includes an Ivy Bridge i3 running at a respectable 1.8GHz along with 4GB of memory and 500GB hard drive. You can't buy it direct from Asus, but online prices are typically around the £430 mark.

Performance is comparable to that of other low-cost laptops using the same processor, with a score of 2100 when running PCMark 7. That should be perfectly adequate for web browsing or running Microsoft Office, although it will struggle with more heavy-duty tasks such as video-editing or 3D gaming.

Battery life has improved slightly since the last version, managing just over four hours (255 mins) when streaming video via the built-in wifi. You can probably eke that out to over five hours for lighter work, giving you the best part of a day's work when you're out and about. See also: best budget laptop.

Asus VivoBook S200E: Specs

  • 1.8GHz Intel Core i3-3217U
  • Intel HD 4000
  • 11.6-inch glossy, 1366x768, touch-sensitive LED
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 500GB HDD (5400RPM)
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 10/100
  • HDMI, VGA
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 720p
  • Built-in mic
  • Headphone/Mic combo
  • 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC
  • 105x45mm, two-button
  • 33W, 38Wh, Lithium-Polymer, non-removable
  • 303x200.5x22mm
  • 1.45Kg
  • 1.8GHz Intel Core i3-3217U
  • Intel HD 4000
  • 11.6-inch glossy, 1366x768, touch-sensitive LED
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 500GB HDD (5400RPM)
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 10/100
  • HDMI, VGA
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 720p
  • Built-in mic
  • Headphone/Mic combo
  • 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC
  • 105x45mm, two-button
  • 33W, 38Wh, Lithium-Polymer, non-removable
  • 303x200.5x22mm
  • 1.45Kg

OUR VERDICT

Our only real complaint about the S200E is the annoyingly reflective screen. Performance and battery life are respectable rather than outstanding, but the S200E offers an attractive, lightweight design and build quality that are rarely seen in laptops costing less than £500.

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