Launched at the Computex and IFA trade shows last year, the new VivoBook S200 and S400 ultrabook series ensures ASUS a hefty slice of Windows 8 pie. The new models come with 11.6″ and 14″ touch screens, ASUS SonicMaster sound and the Instant-On function that allows the notebooks to resume work in just 2 seconds. In addition, ASUS provides each VivoBook user with 32GB storage space in WebStorage, free of charge, for 3 years.
With this new series, ASUS brings a new and pleasant experience in using an ultrabook, reflecting the Consumer Happines 2.0 standard, designed to provide a happy and rewarding lifestyle.
The VivoBook ultrabooks benefit from a simple, elegant and well defined design, similar to ASUS Zenbook. The aluminum housing is light weight and provides high rigidity to the ultrabooks. The chassis also incorporates a chiclet type keyboard with no backlight and an unusually large trackpad for the S200 model.
The strength of the two ASUS VivoBook models is the glass touch screen, which is optimized for Windows 8. The screen is surrounded by a wider bezel, which makes it possible to easily use all the gestures that the operating system is based on. All models use capacitive LED panels, with multi-touch technology and also incorporate generous trackpads with ASUS Smart Gesture technology, which is encouraging the use of the touch controls.
Although they look gorgeous, the displays that come with these models are not the best on the market. They have a glossy finish with high reflectivity. Combined with relatively low brightness, they are virtually impossible to use outdoors, in broad daylight. Also, the panels on both models have a 1366×768 resolution. A bit disappointing for the S400 model, which comes with a 14″ screen.
Another strength of the VivoBook is the SonicMaster technology that delivers quality sound, with wider range, deeper bass and a clear voice. VivoBook improves the quality of digital media, with the help of hardware and software optimization made by MaxxAudio processing tools. Moreover, VivoBook S200 is equipped with oversized speakers and resonance chambers to provide a higher sound quality than all other notebooks in the same category.
In terms of performance, ASUS VivoBook models feature Intel’s Ivy Bridge latest low voltage processors, that assure a longer battery life, which is able to provide up to 15 days in standby and up to 5 hours for avarage use.
The ultrabooks also come with 4GB of RAM and 500GB hard drives (depending on the model). The S400 model also incorporates a 24GB SSD for increased speed. Both models feature the Instant-On function, which allows them to resume from standby mode in just 2 seconds. The cold boot takes about 20 seconds. A bit slow for an ultrabook, but you must keep in mind that the VivoBook comes with normal HDDs instead of SSDs.
On the connectivity side, both models come with VGA and HDMI video ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, LAN, SD card reader and a 3.5mm combo jack. In addition to LAN, it also incorporates a single-band 802.11n wireless network module, capable of 150Mbps.
Although at first glance seems a little strange to have a touch screen on a notebook, you will definitely get used to over time. I personally do not see the point of a touch screen on a notebook, but given the nature of Windows 8, I would say that it’s mandatory. It will certainly open new horizons in interacting with these devices. Given the high sensitivity and accuracy of these types of screens, they offer enormous possibilities, especially for artists and designers. What in the past required a lot of equipment, it’s now possible in a single device.
This article was written for the blogwars.ro competition.