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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the price suggests
Firstly, I'm a fan of Win8 but having run the pre-release and consumer preview on a non-touch laptop, I realised it's limitations on non-touch hardware. So I've been waiting for Win8 (not Win-RT) tablets/keyboard convertables (I need the keyboard for work) to appear since Win8's launch. Availability has been shockingly poor up to now and what's out there is stupidly...
Published on 30 Jan. 2013 by R. Clayton

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Good Value Product Let Down by Poor Support...
Let me begin by stating that I bought my 14" S400CA specced with a Core i5 CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD and 24GB SSD cache in Canada around 6 months ago, and paid much less than the price above. This review will be based on the RRP of £499.99.

The Notebook

Pros:
Conforms to Intel Ultrabook standard
Lightweight and very portable
10 point...
Published 18 months ago by Connor


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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the price suggests, 30 Jan. 2013
By 
R. Clayton "Not another iPod user!" (Cirencester, Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i5 3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
Firstly, I'm a fan of Win8 but having run the pre-release and consumer preview on a non-touch laptop, I realised it's limitations on non-touch hardware. So I've been waiting for Win8 (not Win-RT) tablets/keyboard convertables (I need the keyboard for work) to appear since Win8's launch. Availability has been shockingly poor up to now and what's out there is stupidly expensive when compared to other OS or form-factor offerings. Then comes along Asus and their VivoBook range. Whilst I wasn't looking for an Ultrabook format, the price and spec of this range just can't be ignored. So I took the plunge and ordered the i5 (Ivybridge) version. At a little over £500 for an i5, ultrabook style AND touch screen (you need to pay almost a grand for this type of spec on a convertable), my expectation were quite low as to quality of materials. I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The VivoBook uses a combination of aluminium and quality plastic to deliver a very pleasant, quality feel. Performance is excellent - Win8 is silky smooth - and the capacitive touch-screen very responsive and at 14" gives a very nice viewable landscape on Win8. This just works!

I'd have given this a 5-star rating but for the LED screen. In normal internal use this is bright and not at-all washed out as some reviews have suggested. Response is excellent with no discernable ghosting when watching video and blacks a fairly dense. However, this is NOT an IPS screen so viewing angles are limited and take it outside and the combination of the screen tech and the glossy finish make it less than perfect. I mention this because some need to use these outside but given I mostly use this in my office or home this is not an issue for me. Battery life is more than acceptable with somewhere around 6-hours on mixed use - much like any ultrabook. Whilst ultimately I will buy a dockable tablet when prices are sensible, this is an excellent stop-gap. Recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 16 April 2014
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This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i5 3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
I was looking for ultrabook type of laptop which didn't break the bank. I did some research before I cam across the Asus and it appeared to fit the bill. I read the reviews on here and them seemed to be positive so I went ahead and brought it. I have not used windows 8 before and have only heard bad things about it. However I had the my device configured and had a normal windows 7 desktop installed and now use both versions. I must say the touch screen is great for all sorts of reasons.
I initially had some issues with the touch pad which is very sensitive but you get used to it and I have downloaded gesture controls which allows you to do a lot more with the touch pad. The keyboard on the whole good, although the keys are shallow I would like them to be a bit deeper but that is my only one issue with the keyboard. The start up is also quick. my main issue is with the display, it is not a good as a expected and is a bit washed out, I have set it and dark as possible but its still lacking, which is a shame considering all the good things. I use the device for work on the whole and find it is great, and also very portable, sleek and looks great. My colleague asked me which type of Air book it was! it does look good and much more expensive then the £500.00 price tag. On the whole excellent value for money. You can pay a lot more and get something really similar but why can you save the money! anyone looking for a light compact laptop you should seriously consider this device.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am glad I bought this, 27 April 2013
By 
J. DOYLE "Noisy" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i5 3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
I've only had the machine for a day and I'm impressed. It looks superb, I even like the keyboard, a first for me on a laptop. When it arrived I thought the package contained the carrying case I had also ordered it was so light. The screen is crisp and sharp. Booting the the machine is a delight, it's so fast. it takes seconds.

A key thing for me is the heat generated, after all a laptop should be usable in your lap. It's been on for over 4 hours and the base of the machine is barely warm.

My only gripe is the keyboard, not the use of it. It has the best response and feel of any laptop I have used and I've used a lot of them. The problem is that while there is space for a proper numeric keypad it doesn't have one.

Now even though this a separate issue I would like to say something about windows 8. What the hell, have Microsoft finally got it right? It's so easy to use. I have have an android tablet and boy is the OS rubbish, but Win8 is a doddle, it's intuitive and whats more I've loaded old Vista software and it works without having spend hours fiddling with settings, compatibility modes etc. Next to try is installing some old XP software I have

All in all an excellent package that I can thoroughly recommend
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit., 27 Sept. 2013
By 
Err1 (Leicester) - See all my reviews
Bought this from PCWorld for £450. Was after a replacement for my dell i3 which died after 1.5 years of use. :(. Anyway, first thing i did was to add more RAM (which is very easy to do: youtube...) . Installed, devstudio 2012, office 2010, Oracle virtualbox etc. Dont care much for the touch screen, in fact i'd. rather do without it. Dont like Windows 8, but Start8 makes it fun to use.

Note, the processor is a dual core i7 (bottom of the range i7) but it scores only .6 behind a £900 Lenovo quad core i7 laptop. :)

-ve points: Pointless touch screen, small hdd 500gb (partioned into C and D Why???.), no CD/DVD drive.

+ve points: very light,, good battery life, remains cool to touch even after 8 hours of constant use, good keyboard, build quality ( much better than dell), usb3 port on right hand side,
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Good Value Product Let Down by Poor Support..., 10 Jan. 2014
This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i5 3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
Let me begin by stating that I bought my 14" S400CA specced with a Core i5 CPU, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD and 24GB SSD cache in Canada around 6 months ago, and paid much less than the price above. This review will be based on the RRP of £499.99.

The Notebook

Pros:
Conforms to Intel Ultrabook standard
Lightweight and very portable
10 point multi touch display at a very reasonable price point
Comfortable keyboard with no noticeable flex
Good build quality with nice brushed finish
Palm rest and keyboard remain cool during intensive use
Excellent, crystal clear sound, even though it could use a bit more bass
Capable of running resource intensive applications such as 3D modelling and simulation software with ease (Autodesk Inventor Professional 2014)
Capable of running Linux OS

Cons:
Battery life could be better
The display is significantly heavier than the main body so the notebook often tips over if you use it on your lap, be careful!
The display is like a mirror at low brightness
Preloaded with bloatware from Asus
No keyboard backlight
Both the glossy display and brushed lid are fingerprint magnets
Screen resolution is on the low side but acceptable
Asus only allow access to unit to change HDD, so RAM upgrades could potentially void your warranty unless done by a verified Asus service centre/technician
The HDD is partitioned into two drives, OS (C) and Data (D). This seems bit pointless to me, since windows saves all files to the C drive by default. Unless you manually save files to the D drive, it will not be used!

After Sale Support

This notebook gives excellent value for money and is (was?) one of the cheapest Windows 8 touch screen ultrabooks on the market. The notebook alone is worthy of 5 stars, however it is let down by poor support from Asus and their choice of UK service centre, Let Me Repair UK (LMR). If I knew of the incompetence and negligence of this company, I would have thought twice about buying an Asus laptop. It took them three attempts to replace the keyboard; on the first two occasions it was returned damaged, as well as unsuccessfully repaired. In the first few months of the owning the laptop, I was either without it or customising Windows, removing all the bloatware and reinstalling all my programs and apps, since the OS was reinstalled after every repair attempt (for reasons unknown to me). After my notebook was eventually repaired successfully, I inspected it thoroughly for damage inside and out, and found that both screws which secured the cooling fan were missing. I called LMR a couple of days later to ask if they could send out the screws, only for them to tell me that the issue should have been reported within 48hrs and that even if it was, they couldn't do anything claiming that users shouldn't open the unit as it would void the warranty, which is completely untrue.

Bottom line is, this is an excellent piece of kit as long as you do not have problems with it. If you are unlucky enough to encounter an issue, I recommend returning it to Amazon (or the retailer) for a refund or replacement. I chose not to as it would have involved incurring an £80 shipping charge to send it back to Canada. I for one will not purchase another Asus product because of the inadequate service offered by Let Me Repair UK, or buy another laptop overseas....

UPDATE: 28/04/2014

I had a problem with my keyboard not responding and was again sent to LMR for an RMA. It turns out that the keyboard cable had become disconnected from the motherboard, which was a quick and simple fix. My notebook was returned within 3 days, which I was quite happy about.
However, I noticed almost immediately that there was damage to the Asus logo (nearly half of it was missing!). This resulted in another RMA and the replacement of the entire LCD back cover, since the logo is integrated into it. This repair took over a week, but this was mainly due to the Easter weekend bank holiday.
At the end of the day, I was without my laptop for nearly 2 weeks, mostly due to negligence. As you would expect, I was not at all happy, and very frustrated as I use it every day!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like it, 2 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA 14-inch Touchscreen Laptop - Silver (Intel Core i5 3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, BT, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
Machine is great. Windows 8 takes some getting used to though. Having said that the touch screen is a must to get the best out of it so the Asus represents tremendous value for money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, good quality but with quirks., 2 Jan. 2015
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I've been using this for about a year and have a few minor problems, but would generally say I quite like it. I purchased the i7 version for about £600 and it has been good for everything which I use it for. At the time of purchase I wanted something quick and relatively cheap, I looked elsewhere at the Acer S7 which for a similar spec. (albeit with a Haswell chip) I was looking at well over £1000, then you're getting into Mac Book Air price territory and although I was tempted, being a student I couldn't warrant spending the additional £300-500.

I use the machine for light programming for Uni, plus internet browsing and using it as a wireless media centre to a smart TV which it has never struggled with and once updated from Windows 8 to 8.1 it has been great with a little tinkering with the Windows settings. The keyboard does take a bit of getting used to and the mouse pad is quite bad, but if you uninstall all the Asus bloatware which comes with it, including the 'gestures' program it becomes much better and again you quickly get used to it.

I have recently installed a 840 Evo SSD and another 4Gb ram and it is much musch quicker than when I purchased it.

I also recommended this laptop (albeit the i3 version) to my girlfriends sister who has been using it for about 9 months and she has been very impressed also, there also doesn't seem to be a massive speed difference in general use than mine (prior to installation of the SSD.

The touch screen I do feel to be a bit of a novelty and very rarely use it, so unless you are someone who needs one I wouldn't buy this laptop purely for this feature.

The battery life is pretty good, with about 4 hours on full performance and brightness, and up to about six on the minimal settings. The 'instant on' and sleep functions are also very good, and just shutting the lid puts the laptop into sleep mode and will preserve the battery without having to switch it off and will pretty much load instantly up once opened again.

Overall I do like this laptop, like I've said it does have its quirks and it very aesthetically pleasing (My metal case is still in very good condition, with only one scratch), if you're looking for perfection then spend the extra money and go with the apple or whatever the most recent Acer is, otherwise I'd recommend this, unless there is something else better at this point in time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful design, almost faultless, 28 Oct. 2013
Pros:
- Beautiful, lightweight, thin design that makes few compromises.
- Keyboard may not have a numerical pad, but that allows the keys to be spacious and a joy to type on. Never come across a better laptop keyboard.
- 3rd Gen Core i7 chip keeps it running smoothly.
- Touch screen is very sensitive and works well in Metro apps.
- The USB 3 port works brilliantly.
- Touchpad is large and spacious.
- Runs almost silently most the time without generating much heat, if any.

Cons:
- Touchscreen attracts loads of fingerprints. Not noticeable indoors, but when outside it is quite distracting.
- Doesn't have a DVD drive, but really, if it did, it'd be much heavier and thicker.
- Touchpad, whilst spacious, is let down by the bad software that comes with it. You'll often find yourself accidentally bringing up menus. Turn this off with "ASUS Smart Gesture".
- Windows 8 is a massive compromise between a PC and a tablet and touch doesn't work particularly well in the desktop.

Overall, the ASUS VivoBook S400CA is a joy to use and I'd highly recommend it. It is a beautiful design and is only let down by a few petty details. For another decent touchscreen laptop, you'd be paying upwards of £1000. Brilliant value, brilliant machine.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking and the touchscreen is great., 9 April 2013
By 
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This is a great package. The touchscreen works well and I really like Windows 8. I'm using it plugged in to a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse so haven't used the keyboard etc. much. However, I would rather be able to use the keyboard on the laptop because it has a much nicer feel than my separate keyboard.

I think my only change would be to add a bit more RAM. I usually have lots of apps open and would like a bit more headroom on the memory. However, that's about my only complaint; I've had it a bit over a month now and it's going great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a few niggles., 14 July 2014
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It ships with Windows 8.0, so you'll spend about 48 hours downloading upgrades and updates to get 8.1.
I find the combined mouse pad / mouse buttons annoying. You position the mouse over a tick-box, but the slightest movement when you go to "click" and the mouse will move. Separate buttons would be a lot easier.

Other than that, a nice PC (good to have an old fashioned VGA port, not everyone has HDMI yet)
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