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Asus VivoBook review – Hands on – S200 and S400

Slender touchscreen laptop from only £399

[UPDATE] Full reviews now online:

Asus VivoBook S200 review

Asus VivoBook S400 review

Asus’ line-up for this week’s Windows 8 launch is enviable. The company seems to have every base covered, from the slightly-insane Asus Taichi, to the tablet-and-dock Asus Vivo Tab plus straightforward Ultrabooks models. The new VivoBook fills the only hole, being a traditional laptop with a touchscreen added.

Asus VivoBook

There are two models in the range, the Asus Vivobook S200 and Asus Vivobook S400, with 11.6in and 14.1in screens respectively. With prices starting from £399 inc VAT these are very much mainstream laptops and the specification are largely humdrum, see below.

Asus VivoBook
The S200 is pretty slick-looking, especially given the price

The designs are pretty smart, though, with both being almost Ultrabook thin, at 21.7 and 21mm respectively, and weighing a respectable 1.4kg or 1.8kg. The upper surface has a metallic finish, while the bottom panel is a textured grey plastic. The keyboard on the smaller S200 felt identical to that on the more recent ZenBook models, which is a good thing. The S400’s keyboard is more spacious, but we felt that the keys didn’t have the same level of feedback as its smaller sibling. Both Trackpads are big, good for multi-touch gestures, though that isn’t critical here due the touchscreen.

Asus VivoBook
The S400’s keyboard was curiously underwhelming

With Windows 8’s touchscreen capabilities being pushed to the fore, so it’s a logical idea to try adding a touchscreen to an otherwise conventional device. Unlike some smaller devices, both of these laptops are heavy enough that prodding the screen doesn’t cause the whole device to tip backwards.

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