Asus VivoBook S200E review

Price when reviewed

Intel’s Ultrabook concept has seen all manner of gorgeous, slim-and-light laptops make their way through the PC Pro office, but one thing they’ve never been is cheap. Now Asus is attempting to right that wrong with its VivoBook S200E, a compact little laptop which crams in a Core i3 processor alongside Windows 8 and an 11.6in touchscreen.

As the VivoBook S200E measures a relatively chunky 22mm thick, Asus isn’t officially allowed to call it an Ultrabook. Regardless, we doubt anyone would describe this laptop as overweight. At 1.41kg, this 11.6in machine is a little heavier than most 13in Ultrabooks, though not by much, and thanks to the tiny, lightweight 148g wall wart power supply, you can pop both in a bag without too much shoulder strain.

Asus VivoBook S200 - front 3/4

While it lacks the razor-edge slenderness of pricier peers, this little laptop is still good-looking and solidly built. Sheets of alloy stretch across the lid and around the Scrabble-tile keyboard, making the S200E look like a chubby cousin to Asus’s 11.6in Ultrabook, the Zenbook UX21. The metal and plastic construction feels bombproof, and the whole chassis is stiff and flex-free. It’s outlandishly refined for a £450 laptop.

The modest hardware within does a good job of keeping Windows 8 feeling fluid and responsive, too. There are two VivoBook S200E models in the range, with the entry-level model featuring a basic Pentium CPU for £400, while the model we’re reviewing here has a dual-core 1.8GHz Core i3. Whichever you choose, there’s 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard disk. It isn’t a lightning-quick combination by any means, but the result of 0.48 in our Real World Benchmarks compares very favourably to even full-sized budget laptops. The only annoyance is the quiet whir of the cooling fan, although this is audible only in quiet surroundings.

Asus VivoBook S200 - keyboard

In some ways, however, the VivoBook S200E is quite out of the ordinary. It does everything you’d expect of a standard laptop, but the 11.6in touchscreen and Windows 8 make a fine pairing. We quickly found ourselves instinctively flitting between tapping at the keyboard and touchpad to prodding the screen directly. Here, the extra weight in the VivoBook’s base proves a real boon, preventing the laptop from tilting backwards too easily as you tap. It still doesn’t take much force to set the Asus rocking back on its hinge, but as the touchscreen responds to even the lightest of touches, it’s easy to adapt to it.


Warranty2 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions303 x 200 x 22mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.6kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-3217U
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM76 Express
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity466GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskHitachi HTS545050A7E380
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical drivenone
Battery capacity5,136mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed100Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)2
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationUnderside
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.0mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use5hr 27min
3D performance (crysis) low settings20fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.48
Responsiveness score0.57
Media score0.53
Multitasking score0.35

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 8 64-bit
OS familyWindows 8
Recovery methodRecovery partition

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