ASUS VivoBook X202E Laptop
By Rafael Coelho on April 29, 2013
The ASUS VivoBook X202E is a compact laptop (a.k.a. netbook) with a 11.6” touchscreen, Core i3-3217U CPU, 500 GB hard drive, and 4 GB of RAM. It comes with Windows 8. Let´s take a look at this small notebook.
The highlight of this laptop is the touchscreen. Actually, Windows 8 is optimized for this kind of device, and the VivoBook is intended to take advantage of this operational system´s features.
The box of the ASUS VivoBook, shown in Figure 1, is small and made with recycled materials.
Figure 2 shows the accessories that come with the VivoBook X202E: just a pair of manuals and the 33 W power supply.
Figure 3 shows the ASUS VivoBook X202E. It measures 12.0 x 7.8 x 0.95 inches (300 x 198 x 24.1 mm) and weighs 3.1 lbs (1.42 kg). Being this light and slim, it can be easily transported anywhere. Its cover is made of aluminum.
At the left side of the laptop, you find the power supply connector, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI output, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, and a hole for a Kensington anti-theft mechanism.
At the right side, there is a MMC/SD card reader, an analog audio connector for microphone or headphones, one USB 2.0 port, and a VGA output.
The front and rear sides of the laptop have no connectors.
Figure 8 shows the ASUS X202E with its cover lift. It opens up to 135 degrees, which is disappointing since we expected that it could open at least 180 degrees. It would be great if the screen could open 360 degrees (or twist) in order for the computer to be held like a tablet PC.
The 11.6” screen is reflexive, which may not be good if you plan to work with light sources at your back. The screen resolution is 1366 x 768, which is reasonable for this size of screen. At the top of the screen is the webcam and the built-in microphone.
The keyboard has large and well-spaced keys, as shown in Figure 9. At its top-right corner is the power button. The multi-gesture touchpad is big and responds well.
The panel around the keyboard is made of brushed aluminum, giving a very good finish. At its bottom right edge are the indicative LEDs, shown in Figure 10.
Figure 11 shows the bottom of the ASUS VivoBook. There is no cover giving access to the components, so you have to remove the entire laptop bottom panel to reach the motherboard. Figure 12 shows the bottom cover removed.
The battery of the VivoBook is shown in Figure 11. It has a voltage of 7.4 V and 5,136 mAh of capacity.
Figure 14 shows the laptop with the battery removed. At the top left corner is the hard drive bay.
The hard disk drive drive that comes with the ASUS VivoBook is a Hitachi 2.5” model Z5K500-500, with 500 GB of capacity and 5,400 rpm. This is a slim unit, only 7 mm high.
Figure 16 shows the ASUS VivoBook with the hard disk and the cooler removed, leaving the motherboard visible.
Figure 17 shows the Wi-Fi card of the portrayed laptop. It is an Atheros AR5B125 card, recognized by the operating system as an AR9485 adapter, compatible with IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards, and supporting up to 150 Mbps data rate.
The Core i3-3217U (1.8 GHz nominal clock) and the system RAM (4 GB, DDR3-1333, single channel) are shown in Figure 18. They are both soldered on the motherboard.
The CPU cooler, which is merely a copper plate with a fan attached, is presented in Figure 19.
As we mentioned before, the ASUS VivoBook X202E comes with Windows 8 operating system. It also comes with a few programs installed, such as Skype, ASUS calculator, and ASUS temperature converter.
The Microsoft Office 2010 also comes pre-installed, and you can choose to buy a commercial version, insert your own key if you already have one, or use it as a limited trial.
There is also a trial version of the McAfee Internet Security.
The ASUS VivoBook X202E is really compact and feels very sturdy and well-made. It is slim and light enough for you to carry it around. The keyboard is comfortable and precise.
The touchscreen is also precise and we felt comfortable using it. However, it becomes quickly covered in finger marks, and we had to clean it frequently.
The combination of a low-clock CPU and the Windows 8 was a little enervating: sometimes, we felt the computer “sluggish,” taking too long mostly for launching programs. Maybe the speed of the hard disk drive also affected this.
The sound quality is surprisingly good for such a small laptop.
In order to check the battery life, we ran the Powermark program from Futuremark, which simulates the average utilization of the laptop (web surfing, text typing, video playing, and 3D graphics) and estimates the battery duration. Powermark estimated battery life at 2 hours and 48 minutes.
The main specifications of the ASUS VivoBook X202E which we analyzed (keep in mind that the manufacturer also offers this product with different configurations) include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this First Look article.
The ASUS VivoBook X202E is an excellent laptop, because it is slim, light, and has excellent building quality.
The touchscreen (allied to the Windows 8 functionalities) is nice to use while surfing the web, but we didn’t find it useful while working. Maybe it is just a matter of get used to it, but our personal opinion is that, if you want to surf the web using a touchscreen, a tablet is a better choice than a laptop with touchscreen.
If the screen could be twisted, in a way that the laptop could be held like a tablet, then the ASUS VivoBook would bring the best of both worlds.