The Bottom Line
Mar 13 2013 - If you really want a touchscreen to make the most of the Windows 8 operating system, it is hard to find a better value than the ASUS VivoBook Q200E. The system does sacrifice a number of features and performance to include the touschreen feature but these are quite acceptable for many buyers. Performance is on par with a budget laptop but it falls short of low cost ultrabooks especially when battery life is considered. The biggest problem though is going to be using the screen outdoors where the brightness and smudges on the screen can make it very difficult to use.
- Very Affordable
- Good Touchscreen Function
- Screen Brightness Difficult To Use Outdoors
- Below Average Battery Life
- Slow Storage System
- Intel Core i3-3217U Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) Multitouch Display With 1.0 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- One USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.9" x 7.9" x .9" @ 3.1 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - ASUS VivoBook Q200E-BSI3T08
Mar 13 2013 - Laptop computers have been trending towards being more affordable even with the recent trend of high end convertible and hybrid laptops. The ASUS VivoBook Q200E is surprising because it takes an ultraportable system and gives it a touch screen at a very affordable price. The design doesn't look much different from more expensive ASUS laptops but it certainly doesn't feel quite the same. The materials while functional don't have that same feel of sturdiness.
Powering the ASUS VivoBook Q200E is an Intel Core i3-3217U dual core processor. This is somewhat surprising as many laptops in this price point tend to use the Intel Pentium instead. Now this is a low wattage version typical to ultrabooks so it does have less performance that puts it more on par with a Pentium but it does so with less power consumption. It should handle the needs of most computer users just fine. It just wont be as fast for more demanding tasks or heavy multitasking. Much of the multitasking capabilities it more restricted by the 4GB of DDR3 memory though.
One might mistake the VivoBook Q200E as possibly being an ultrabook because of its compact size and processor but the storage clearly distinguishes this from a true ultrabook. The system uses a standard 500GB hard drive that provides it with a good amount of storage space. The difference though is the speed. It uses a 5400rpm spin rate but does not feature any sort of solid state cache required to earn the ultrabook classifications. What does that mean? Well, expect the thing to boot in well over thirty seconds compared to ultrabooks that can do the same in less than half that. Waking from sleep can be even worse. If you do need additional space, it does feature a single USB 3.0 port which is nice considering that some laptops in this price range lack this port. Due to its small size, it does not feature an optical drive.
The big feature on the VivoBook Q200E is its touchscreen display. The screen does suffer heavily though because of its low price. The touchscreen function works just fine with only a minimal delay. The problem is with the screen itself. The 11.6-inch panel is relatively small and features a low 1366x768 resolution. The issue is with the brightness. It is relatively dim and combined with the glossy coating of the touchscreen makes this screen near impossible to use outdoors or in certain light. Expect to be cleaning the screen a lot if you use the touchscreen feature frequently. The graphics are actually somewhat surprising as the Core i3 processor uses the same Intel HD Graphics 4000 that are found in other more expensive processor. Sure, it won't be used for 3D gaming but it does offer a significant performance increase when doing video encoding with Quick Sync enabled applications.
The keyboard of the ASUS VivoBook Q200E is a bit more restricted than many laptops because of its small size. The keys are certainly smaller than 13-inch laptops but they do have decent spacing and a nice layout. It does have a somewhat soft feel though which is not uncommon for this price point. It is a decent keyboard but certainly not great for those that have to do lots of typing. The trackpad on the system is a nice large pad that uses integrated buttons. It offers decent responsiveness and supports multitouch gestures but with the touchscreen they are less important.
The battery of the ASUS VivoBook Q200E is a relatively low capacity 38WHr. In terms of running time, the laptop is able to run for four and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is decent for a standard class laptop but it certainly falls below what ultrabooks with a similar processor and no touchscreen can achieve. For instance, the Satellite U925t has the same size battery with a touchscreen but can achieve five hours.
With its price tag of under $500, there really isn't any competition for the ASUS VivoBook Q200E if you consider the touchscreen features. The next most affordable laptop in size range with such a feature is hundreds more. The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist can be found for just over $800 and features a convertible screen design to be used as a tablet as well. Performance is roughly the same but it has less storage space. Now there are ultrabooks that can be found for just a bit more which make for better comparisions. For instance, the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 can be found for under $600. It features better performance but is a larger 13-inch system.