Asus VivoBook S200E review

Price when reviewed

In fact, we found ourselves using the touchpad less frequently as we spent more time with the S200E. On a cramped train seat or at a desk, the Asus works just fine as a laptop. Both the Scrabble-tile keyboard and touchpad are really very good indeed, but when it comes to casually activating Windows 8’s screen-edge gestures, or flicking through a document or web page, all it takes is a mere stroke of a finger.

Connectivity is impressive for a tiny machine, too. Asus has squeezed in one USB 3 port, two USB 2 ports, HDMI, D-SUB and an SD card reader along the edges. The jaws of the Ethernet socket open downwards to provide a 10/100 wired connection, and wireless comprises single-band 802.11n and Bluetooth 4. There’s even a reasonable set of internal speakers; while not particularly loud or oozing with clarity, they manage to make music fairly listenable.

Asus VivoBook S200 - sides

The low price means that there are some fairly big compromises. The least severe of these is battery life: the VivoBook S200E expired after just 5hrs 27mins in our light-use battery test – no match for a fully-fledged Ultrabook. We can see why Asus has opted for a lightweight PSU that’s easy to carry around.

Much more disappointing is the display. There’s quite an air gap between the Asus’ glossy touchscreen layer and the panel underneath, and this means glare and reflectivity is a constant aggravation. The biggest issue, however, is the screen’s brightness, which we measured at a dim 183cd/m2. It’s usable in most circumstances, but bright sunlight and overhead lights overpower the Asus’s frugal LED backlighting.

Asus VivoBook S200 - front

The display is by no means awful, though. Asus has squeezed the absolute most from the modest TN panel with factory calibration, and while the 235:1 contrast ratio is what we’d expect from a budget model, the calibration delivers excellent colour accuracy, with an average Delta E of just 3.1. For editing the odd photograph or watching a movie, the Asus gives a passable performance.

Despite its flaws, though, we really like this laptop. Asus’ VivoBook S200E is compact, attractive and cheap, a combination Ultrabooks have so far abjectly failed to deliver. For just £450, this petite model is a compelling demonstration of how the traditional laptop and the touch features of Windows 8 can live in affordable harmony.


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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