on 19 February 2013
I was looking for an Ultrabook so I had something fast and lightweight. However, my budget meant I had to aim for slightly cheaper - so I found this. After some deliberating, I took the plunge and bought it, having had a good look in-store. I am a tech novice so cannot go into very much spec critique, but these are the reasons I bought it and why I still love it after 2 weeks.
- The touch screen element was not something I was initially looking for but it works brilliantly and now I would not be without it. Windows 8 was designed for the touchscreen and it is so easy to get to grips with once you learn the tricks. I can alternate between touchscreen use for games and internet and then normal mouse for Office applications. It is a small screen, so if you have clumsy fingers like me it is great to have the choice. I don't think there is anything much else on the market for this price but this does not detract from the brilliance of this VivoBook.
- The processor is I3 and I wanted at least this for my budget. So far, so good. I'm no big gamer so it suits my internet browsing and Office needs.
- I am not going to review Windows 8 - but I love that all of my favourite things are together on one home screen. I can switch easily between this and a more traditional desktop. Takes some getting used to but the touchscreen really does help as it and Windows 8 love each other!
- The screen size seems teeny to me as I'm used to a larger laptop but I'm quickly getting used to it and it is funky, light and quick to put to sleep/wake up.
- I do a lot of word processing so a good-sized keypad was needed. This is fantastic on this notebook. Loads of space for the keys and mouse pad.
I love this so much! I did not buy it off Amazon so cannot comment on their service relating to this product.
on 19 December 2012
I've had my Vivobook for less than a week, but I'm already loving it.
Until the Vivobook, I've been running Windows XP - primarily because I've enjoyed using my netbooks, but also because Vista and Windows 7's bloat meant that I couldn't upgrade any of my current laptops or desktops. With XP reaching the end of its life in early 2014, moving to Windows 8 has become a bit of a necessity. Recent experience on a friend's new laptop (a 15.6" non-touchscreen Toshiba) made it clear that Windows 8 is not particularly friendly on non-touchscreen devices. We had a very poor time getting it set-up for our hardware, and learning how to use it. The "tile" interface is a particular hindrence to non-touchscreen computers.
The Vivobook costs a little more than I wanted to spend, but I was sold on the touchscreen. I come from netbooks, so the 11.6" size actually feels a bit large to me but it's much more convenient, and lightweight, than my friend's monster of a 15.6" heavy laptop (which has the same resolution as the Vivobook).
The Core i3 & 4GB RAM is probably why it feels nippy in most circumstances and running several programs side-by-side does seem much smoother than on my previous machines, but typical use of opening programmes and apps doesn't feel much different (although it is faster than my netbook!). For the same price, you could probably get an i5 processor, larger screen, and more RAM, but you wouldn't get the touchscreen. Having used Windows 8 both with and without a touchscreen, I am more than pleased with my choice of sacrificing the faster processor, larger screen, and extra RAM in favour of the touchscreen. Without a touchscreen, Windows 8 feels like it's getting in your way. With a touchscreen, it feels far more intuitive. That said, I'm not a gamer, nor do I run "heavy" software like Photoshop and video editing. If I was, this laptop would probably show its limitations. I'll probably look at upgrading the hard drive at some point in time to something faster but it's okay for now.
Build quality is particularly good, with the aluminium frame keeping it sturdy. If I hold the 15.6" laptop by the edge while open with my finger and thumb, not only is it too heavy to carry but it also feels like it's about to bend over on itself - neither is true of the Vivobook. It looks and feels like a quality laptop.
With the Vivobook, you get three years free of Asus Cloud Storage (32GB worth). While it's nice to have extra cloud space, it seems to take forever to upload. It's not going to replace Dropbox, or Box, or any of the more mainstream cloud services - but it is 32GB free for three years.
If there are any negatives, they have more to do with Windows 8's incompatibilies with some software and hardware (given that I come from Windows XP, so that's what all my stuff runs on) and the way Windows 8 works differently, but that's all part and parcel of a new OS.
For battery life, I did a test with WiFi on, screen at lowest brightness, and the Vivobook compressing MPG2 files to DivX. It lasted 3h 10m before reaching 5% and shutting down. In normal use, it's probably going to last longer.
I've not had any issue with fan "noise". It comes on occasionally, but it's not exactly noisy. When on battery power, the CPU will throttle back to half-speed (viewed through Task Manager) when necessary - which probably reduces the need for the fan while extending battery life.
Beware that there are different configurations of the Vivobook. PC World are currently selling it at £399 - but that's with a dual-core Pentium CPU, not the Core i3.
on 12 May 2013
I bought this for my fiancee for Christmas, as she has a 17" laptop that just isn't portable. I'm a programmer, and personally do not enjoy Windows 8 at all. I also need a high-spec machine to work with the cutting edge technologies I work on.
So why did I buy this?
Well it's got a touch screen. I'm all for touch-screen devices. They do work really well with the new operating system. Navigating through the Windows 7 Start bar has been annoying at best with touch devices in the past - but now it's all optimised for the finger! I've had a play with it, and the fact that an 11" screen can still have a good amount of content yet feel easy to navigate and use is a great thing. The present went down well, and she's even sometimes accidentally trying to use her larger Win 7 laptop like a touch-screen too.
Still - it's not hugely fast. Definitely don't buy it as a replacement computer, it's just not going to be able to perform in this role. It's not really any good at video playback, and it's slow at multi-tasking. Instead use it as your portable extension. With a service like dropbox, you can constantly share your files between computers. Use your main PC at home, save to dropbox and then take your VivoBook on the train, start it up and continue where you left off - it's that easy.
+ Small and REALLY lightweight.
+ Sturdy, good looking build quality.
+ Touch screen is really intuitive, and has multi-finger support (eg. pinch-to-zoom).
+ Long battery life.
+ Nice compact charger.
+ Seems to get a LOT of admiration, even from my co-workers who are used to extremely powerful machines.
- Not hugely fast.
- Not overly good at multi-tasking.
- I personally don't love Win 8.
- Touch screen occasionally stops working and the device needs a reboot.
- Comes with some useless ASUS bloatware.
on 7 August 2014
Take my advice & don't buy an Asus laptop. I bought one for my wife and the power adapter failed after 5 months. Asus subcontract repair work to LetMeRepair and that's where your troubles will start. LMR asked me to sign a note granting permission to them to reinstall the OS. I said no to that (it wasn't backed up because it had no power...all I wanted was a new power adapter) and I augmented the note specifically asking them NOT to reinstall the OS. They collected the laptop to repair & returned it a week or so later.
New power adapter. Great. New Hard Drive. Not so great. I called and they said there were bad sectors so they replaced it. When I mentioned my request to NOT reinstall the OS they said they ignored that (clearly).
I could however get my old HD back for £15 and £100 deposit. Which I paid. When I re-installed it & ran the tests (even the tests LMR said they use) no bad sectors. None. Perfect.
I asked LMR what was going on and they basically told me to get stuffed & more annoyingly that I had to return my original non-defective HD! So I've got to copy the old HD image onto the replacement HD and then send LMR my original perfect HD to get my £100 back. Perverse.
Asus themselves were pathetic and hid behind T&Cs saying they were not obligated to get LMR to refund my money or even collect the replacement HD.
LMR are the most obnoxious company (really) and Asus don't care about you as a customer once you've bough their kit.
Honestly - save yourself some grief and don't buy Asus.
on 2 December 2012
I believe that this is currently the cheapest laptop of it's type on the market, it is a good looking laptop that is well specified for the price.
. Light, slim and good looking laptop, similar in style to an Ultrabook but a little thicker.
. The touchscreen enables Windows 8 to be used as it was intended.
. It has an Ethernet port and VGA connector which set it apart from most slim laptops.
. Great for basic web surfing, email and word processing.
. This isn't a particularly powerful laptop (PC Pro magazine give it an overall Real World Benchmark score of 0.48 which is similar to a full size budget laptop) but changing the internal hard drive for an SSD will improve performance.
TIP: If you buy this laptop you can create a recovery USB memory stick (16GB memory stick required) to recover the computer if the hard drive fails - Insert the USB memory stick, Open Control Panel, choose View By Large Icons, click Recovery then click Create Recovery Drive (be sure to tick Copy The Recovery Partition From The PC To The Recovery Drive).
on 22 May 2013
I'm an IT professional, running a web design company www.totalsurf.net and bought this laptop while I was working away from the office.
I wasn't expecting much, but it's an amazing machine! I have swapped out the standard drive for a 250gb SSD and it is SO fast - boots in about 6 secs, runs word, excel, photoshop, dreamweaver, chrome, outlook etc. ALL at once, with no issues.
I was worried 4GB ram wouldn't be enough, as I ran 12GB on my desktop, but it is fine (the SSD helps with pagefile access!) - shame you cannot upgrade the RAM though.
It's so good that I have now replaced my desktop machine with it and use this plugged into my monitor as well as on the go.
I can strongly recommend it. I just wish it had an SSD installed as standard - if it did, it would get 5 stars, but I will give it 4 until they upgrade the spec.
on 30 December 2012
As a professional IT buyer it can be sometimes a bit of a challenge buying for yourself and especially my daughter where it is going to be a first laptop / main present.
High in my mind therefore was:
- Will it be Future proof
- What will her mates think of it
- Will it be good value
On the 'Mates think of it' point, this is not always something you necessarily consider as a business buyer, but lets be real as Tech Envy surely exists and why the Apple brand is so well regarded. I have seen this increasingly as Apple expands into the workplace although telling users to get it fixed at their local Apple store is not the business service they have been used to.
So in terms of Future proofing: 1. Windows 8, its here and will be around for a number of years for sure. So a device with Windows 8 was a must.
Useability: Windows 8 is designed around touch screen and this device has it. Seeing as my daughter already has a BB which is both touchscreen and buttons, then this type of hybrid device is going to work well if your little darling has been evolving along a similar technology path. And as I write this I really see my daughter using the touch screen, keyboard and mouse like a duck to water.
My main concern actually on most laptops is how good is the built in mouse device. I really like the fact that the mouse device is a good size (approximately 40% of base area). I have used it myself and like the feel over my current Dell and Lenevo's I have used in the past - thats whay I always end up never using the inbuilt mouse (waste of space IMO).
Tech Envy / What do mates think: My daughter has already taken it around to a friends and they think it is cool. It looks sleek and well built. ok, it doesnt come in white, but it is still cool enough. Perhaps Asus to Apple, as Samsung is to Sony. Like some of these examples, the smaller player some times takes the lead when the big boys arent looking / paying attention.
Lastly value for money: There are plenty of non-touch screen laptops out there with better Screen size, CPU, RAM, Drive etc, but they dont have the touch screen and if they do they are £300 more, so given the above plus the current price. I think it was a good buy - so far so good
on 8 July 2013
Living in the Netherlands, were amazon is not available, I decided to buy this product via amazon uk. Result: an adapter and keyboard set to UK standards. Especially with the adapter this is a pain, since it doesn't fit European sockets.
But anyway, I suppose I could have expected this.
The laptop itself is great. I thought I might have some issues getting used to Windows 8, especially after hearing a lot of bad stories about it, but the touchscreen is actually really great and intuitive to use, once you have located some of the settings. The size of the screen is not too small to e.g. watch movies, but the whole laptop is light and small enough to carry around easily.
The keyboard is bigger than I expected, which makes typing just as easy as it was on my 15.6 laptop. The keys also have a good feeling while typing.
A small problem I've ran into is that the laptop sometimes lags a bit when I scroll through websites with a lot of (moving) content, but other than that it's surprisingly fast, both in starting up and once it's started.
on 15 June 2013
EDIT: To update from the below review. The machine I received was faulty (which is pretty poor really). It was returned to Asus using their very convenient courier returns system and returned to my within about ten days with a fixed, and mercifully quiet fan.
The machine has been great ever since. Ignoring the initial blunder in sending me a faulty machine I'd score the laptop at 4/5, marking it down for the screen glare. I've given Windows 8 a try but have given up on it, finding the more familiar traditional Windows desktop much more to my liking. However, I still find the touchscreen a great feature and use it all the time.
Laptops are becoming cheaper but, right now, this one is very good value for money.
ORIGINAL POST: I've had this laptop for 10 days now. On day 1, having had the computer running for about an hour, I called Asus customer service to ask about the fan noise - it is on constantly, audible in a café setting and downright oppressive when working in an otherwise silent setting.
I was told that, as the laptop was released in October 2012, there would be numerous software updates that it would work to install and that these updates would take one or two weeks. After that, the fan issue would go away.
It's been 10 days now and still the fan whirrs constantly. If it doesn't stop soon the machine is going back.
The laptop has some good features for the price. But not much use if I can't face turning it on because of the racket.
on 10 June 2013
I bought this laptop only a couple of days ago and I love it! It is amazing to type on the keys are comfortable. The size of it is perfect it sits nicely on my desk without using up too much room. It is light and easy to carry which is the main reason for my purchase. As a student this laptop is perfect I can do my work easily whilst browsing and online shopping. Speakers are good quality and the screen is good, i even managed to work outside in the sunshine. It doesnt get hot. The only reason i havent given this product 5 stars is that the battery life seems to be slightly less that 5 hours which for me is fine. If you are looking for a good quality laptop that is easy to carry around and doesnt cost too much this is perfect for you. Plus the touchscreen is a brilliant feature that you can brag about ;)