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The Asus VivoBook S400 - Goodness Of An Ultrabook Touchscreen

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Price: $1,080

Ratings: 4/5

First impressions

With a slew of Windows 8 powered devices, Asus is planning to capture a much bigger piece of the market share than it has. Not just here in India, but worldwide. With well-built laptops and great performance for the buck, they have been on target so far. So, will the Vi­voBook S400 with its 14" of HD awesomeness manage to take the Asus ship where it plans to go? Let's find out!

Asus VivoBook S400

Asus VivoBook S400

Review

Powered by the 3rd gen Intel Core i7 pro­cessor, the Asus VivoBook S400 has a slight chunk in its armory. Even though for regular gaming and basic multimedia it is great, even for intense hogging apps like Adobe Photoshop and the likes - the only problem is the fact that the U series (3517U in this case) are all powered by dual-core processors. Which meant that the benchmarks were a bit of a mixed bag, even though we had a 4GB of DDR3 RAM in support to the processor and an onboard Intel Graphics HD 4000 GPU. Heavy gamers might not readily go for this configuration, though most games we tried ourselves worked fairly well - with only a few dropped frames on some really high end graphics intensive games. Multimedia viewing and multi-tasking with resource hogging apps was fairly good too, but things could've been a lot better with a dedicated graphics card instead of the on-board one. The display on the 14" LED screen is quite bright and sharp, though the glare factor is a bit annoying. Plus it is prone to fingerprints - and since it's a touch­screen Windows 8 device, you might be doing a lot of cleaning on the screen. Windows 8 in itself is a mixed bag, and the performance on the S400 was as good as any Ultrabook we've tested so far. Connectivity options are well covered with an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a card reader slot, a VGA port, an Ethernet port and headphone/mic port. The keyboard on this wide VivoBook is nicely laid out and really comfortable to use, with the trackpad following suit. The only downer seemed to be the audio output on speakers (which are on the side panels, on the lower side) - which were rather average, even though they are powered with the SonicMaster technology.

The keyboard on this wide VivoBook is nicely laid out and really comfortable to use, with the trackpad following suit.

The keyboard on this wide VivoBook is nicely laid out and really comfortable to use, with the trackpad following suit.

Verdict

It's quite hard to easily recommend this Ultrabook to everybody, but at an asking price of 60K, it still is one of the cheaper options available in the market. It's got almost everything to please every kind of user, with a few disappointments that also exist in other devices in the same price range. So, is the S400 going to take Asus all the way to the top? Perhaps not, but it's laying a sol­id foundation for other devices at a premium price to build on!

Specifications

·         Intel Core i7-3517U

·         14" LED Backlight HD screen

·         Windows 8

·         4GB DDR III RAM

·         Intel HD 4000 GPU

·         500 GB HDD

·         WLAN 802.11b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.0

In the same league

Lenovo Ideapad U510 Ultrabook

Lenovo Ideapad U510 Ultrabook

Lenovo Ideapad U510 Ultrabook

·         Windows 8 Price: $1,090

·         3rd Gen Intel Core i5

·         4GB RAM

·         1TB 24GB SSD

Samsung NP530U4C-S03IN Ultrabook

Samsung NP530U4C-S03IN Ultrabook

Samsung NP530U4C-S03IN Ultrabook

·         Price: $1,115

·         3rd Gen Intel Core i5

·         6GB RAM

·         1 TB

·         Windows 8

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