I know what you are going to say, and I have the perfect answer for you; yes, the Asus Vivobook is not classed as an Ultrabook because it doesn’t quite meet strict Intel size requirements. So why does it have a place on this here Ultrabook blog? Well avid readers as you are about to find out, sometimes an Ultrabook is not the best device for you.
Fantastic build quality, super low price
Prior to last week I had not heard of the Vivobook line from Asus. When I went in to Currys / PC World last week however I stumbled across an 11.6-inch laptop which looked a lot like an Ultrabook, due to its fantastic design, however was astonished at its price tag.
Marked up at £399.99, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Vivobook is built almost entirely from aluminium, its keyboard is island style and beautiful to use, and it looked remarkably thin and clearly built for those who savoir portability.
The machine I saw was an 11.6-inch Vivobook sporting a dual-core 1.5Ghz Pentium processor. I played on it for quite a while, threw a few Angry Birds at some castles, panned around Windows 8 and overall I was impressed at its responsiveness. The Pentium version of the Vivobook is second lowest upon configuration, below it is a dual-core 1.1Ghz Celeron option (not recommended), however for a little bit more you can opt for Core i3, i5 or i7 versions. Here are the full configurations on offer:
Intel Core i3-3217U
Intel ULV Pentium 987
Intel ULV Celeron 847
It’s bigger brother, the 14-inch S400, is available in Intel Core i7-3517U, Intel Core i5-3317U, Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel Core i3-2365, Intel ULV Pentium 987 and Intel ULV Celeron 847 configuration. Plenty of choice for budgets, then.
It had been quite a while since I had played on a Pentium powered machine, however I was impressed with it. On top of the above, this machine also features a touch-screen display. I know!
It has a touch screen, at this price!
The display on the Vivobook I tested was an 11.6-inch panel however there is also a 14-inch 16:9 HD ( 1366×768 ) option. Like its bigger brother, the 11.6-inch versions sports 768 resolution however viewing angles were fine and most of all the touch screen worked wonderfully, allowing awesome navigation of Windows 8 in all its tiled awesomeness.
Overall then I really enjoyed the Vivobook S200 during my short consumer time with it. It sported great build quality, a touch screen display, Windows 8 Pro and a wealth of connectivity options. The best part? It was on sale for £399.99. That’s a fantastic price for a machine which looks so darn’ good.
Hard to find, for now
The Asus Vivobook is not easy to buy online. In fact, many technology websites list it as not even being released yet. Well I found one at Curry’s, so they are clearly being distributed, slowly. Expansys currently has the i3 and Pentium 11.6-inch models on pre-order.
Check out the official Asus product page for further reading.