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Asus VivoBook – Screen, Specs, Value and Conclusion

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



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Asus VivoBook Screen

As with most laptops and nearly every affordable Windows 8 device, the VivoBooks sport a 1,366 x 768 resolution. On the 11.6-inch model, this really is plenty to be getting on with, though on the 14-inch model it’s a tad on the low side.

The screen is, unfortunately, where Asus has cut the most noticeable corner. Rather than the IPS panels found in most of the Windows 8 tablets and Asus’ own Vivo Tab, the cheaper VivoBook uses a TN panel, and viewing angles suffer accordingly.

Asus VivoBook 9

However, it’s important to remember that the screen of this Asus is no worse than that found on many laptops at twice the VivoBook’s price. Especially on the sub-£400 base config, it’s perfectly acceptable thanks to a nice brightness, punchy colours and decent enough blacks.

Asus VivoBook Specs

The £399 Asus VivoBook will come with a dual-core Pentium processor, backed by 4GB of RAM and a 500GB, 5,200rpm hard drive. To be honest, we’re quite envious of the US configuration, which swaps the latter for a hybrid 320GB HDD/32GB SSD instead.

Asus VivoBook 3

Adding £50 to the base price will get you a dual-core Intel Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz with the same base specs. Meanwhile the 14-inch model will come with your choice of Core i3- Core i5 CPUs. To be honest, we found the Pentium base model nicely responsive, except for those bits where the traditional hard drive slowed it down. We can’t wait to see if you can fit your own drive when we get a VivoBook in for full review.

Asus VivoBook Battery Life

Only battery life is an unknown factor at this stage, though the VivoBook’s 500mAh/38Wr unit seems a little on the low side. Still, we’re hoping for at least five hours of regular usage.

Asus VivoBook 1

Asus VivoBook Value

The 14-inch VivoBook starts at £499 for the Core i3 version, while the Core i5 model will set you back £599 and the i7 one costs £699. However, it’s the 11.6-inch Asus VivoBook that truly represents one of the bargains of the decade, easily on a level with Asus’ Google Nexus, which offers the same kind of ‘too good to be true’ value.

Asus VivoBook 4

For £399 (or £449 for the Core i3 model) you’re getting a Windows 8 touchscreen laptop that’s built like a gorgeous brick with a design that wouldn’t shame an ultraportable costing twice as much. Quite how Asus crammed this much quality into its chassis for so little money is a mystery, though the pinch can be felt just a little with the slow hard drive and TN screen.

Asus VivoBook Final Thoughts

Based on our hands-on time with the VivoBook, Asus has a real winner on its hands. Especially the 11.6-inch model offers astonishing value, giving you the kind of metal build and attractive finish that puts many more expensive ultraportables to shame – especially when combined with the glass screen front and soft-touch base. The Asus VivoBook also offers good usability, decent connectivity and adequate specs, all of which makes it a veritable bargain.


October 24, 2012, 10:26 pm

any ETA on this ? We messaged regarding the Eurocom 11.6 laptop previously

and was intrigued enough to wait for the new set of touch Win8 laptops.
This is good value enough for me to consider jettisoning the gaming capability depending on battery life and if I can add my own SSD to the mix


October 24, 2012, 10:29 pm

update - I've just found it in stock at Comet


M. Long

October 25, 2012, 3:35 am

Damn, I want one! Shame we're not getting the SSD in the UK though. (Is the battery replaceable, by the way?)


October 25, 2012, 1:39 pm

i like it, i really do, but:

1. Why on earth put an enormous VGA port on it?
2. Wouldn't it be lovely if there was an option for a 25W AMD Trinity A10 chip?


October 26, 2012, 12:20 am

Thanks @Cliche for finding the answer, today was a little hectic so I'm late answering comments.

@M. Long:
That's the base model, maybe it will make its way into higher specs - also, it's not a pure SSD in the US model.

Re the battery, not really, though if you had a screwdriver to hand...

1. Some people still own VGA-only monitors, sad but true.
2. It would indeed - who knows what a few months on might bring though?


October 26, 2012, 4:37 am

These cos. make good products that sell for less than Apple's laptops,have glossy colored ads that make the product look good,but the service is terrible.Wait a long time to speak to someone who speaks with an accent that is hard to understand.Why doesn't anyone ,as far as I know, talk about service?


October 28, 2012, 4:44 pm

It looks nice but it's disappointing that now that it's released, it's not the £399 price the reveiw states it would be. The cheapest I've seen for the base model with the Pentium is £442 at Pixmania.


October 29, 2012, 12:04 am

I picked up the i3 version a couple of days ago at Comet. It is indeed a very nice little machine for the price. Two caveats however:

1) battery life is pretty indifferent "up to 5 hours" is probably 3-4 hours in real life

2) a major annoyance - the cooling fan kicks in on startup and runs constantly so the machine is pretty noisy compared with any other laptop I have. I was wondering if this was perhaps a BIOS issue, but there are no updates available (yet) for download. The fan is churning away whatever power profile is chosen in Windows 8. I also tried running Ubuntu on it out of curiosity. It works well, but the fan is still annoyingly active.


October 29, 2012, 12:26 am

aha - I found a BIOS update (205) and it is quite a bit quieter with this.....


October 29, 2012, 6:08 pm

please let us know if it improves. i was thinking of buying the i3 version ???


October 30, 2012, 1:46 pm

My i3 version is definitely quieter after the 205 BIOS update - I don't think it is my imagination...

Other thoughts after a couple of days' use:

The keyboard is very usable

The touchpad, while not quite up to Apple standards, functions well enough

Windows 8 makes much more sense with a touchscreen

Battery life is fair to middling at best

For the price the build quality is amazing, actually for any price.

Good connectivity, especially compared with some much more expensive ultrabooks.

The screen is pretty decent for colours/visibility

I actually use the enormous vga port :)


October 31, 2012, 4:04 pm

Thanks for your great contributions!
These are the kind of useful comments we love to see most :)
Glad your findings gell with my experience of the device. Interesting about the BIOS update too.

Indeed, build quality/design is simply stunning - not sure how Asus managed it at this price point...

"I actually use the enormous vga port :)" LOL, good for you.
Is that because you have a VGA-only monitor or one where you are already using the HDMI port? And if so, have you considered a £12-ish HDMI splitter?


November 2, 2012, 6:13 am

Would you be able to post where you got the bios update? I have been looking around for it and havnt been able to see anything from the ASUS website. Thanks


November 7, 2012, 3:32 pm

It's a bit obscure finding the BIOS update download - it doesn't link off the main product page. This is where I stumbled across it:


Choose Windows 8 64bit on the OS pulldown, then the BIOS is listed (as is the BIOS flash ultility)


November 7, 2012, 3:33 pm

Re: HDMI splitter
- The fewer dongles I have to lose the better :)

VGA out is useful for projectors for lectures and seminars still.


November 9, 2012, 8:02 pm

True beans :)

On VGA, indeed, and it's still dominant in many business environments.

Thanks again for your engagement.


November 30, 2012, 7:29 pm

I picked mine p today from Comet and got 20%off so bought the purchase price down to £359.99, an offer oo ood to miss on such a highly rated Windows 8 notebook with a touchscreen :O) Well chuffed!!

Two questions:

1) Can you purchase an upgraded battery in the UK for this?
2) Can anyone recommend a good carry case that's a snug fit nd not too feminine?


August 17, 2016, 3:13 pm

Can you print from this laptop? (Forgive my ignorance)

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