Asus VivoBook S200E review
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.
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.
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.
|Warranty||2 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||303 x 200 x 22mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i3-3217U|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM76 Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Graphics card RAM||N/A|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||466GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Hitachi HTS545050A7E380|
|Optical disc technology||N/A|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.0mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||5hr 27min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||20fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.48|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.