ASUS VIVOBOOK F202E: Value for money

Jan 24 2013, 11:18 IST
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SummaryItís the age of the mobile worker. The workplace is no longer confined to oneís workstation.

A reasonably light laptop, value-packed for Windows 8 on a budget

Itís the age of the mobile worker. The workplace is no longer confined to oneís workstation. Businesses require that their employees are connected to their offices in a way that allows for quicker, smarter and more efficient information exchange. These road warriors need work machines that are lightweight, rugged and reliable. Taiwanese technology company ASUS has long promised these qualities in its laptops. It has now debuted its VivoBook, which brings Microsoft Windows 8 touch gestures on a ultra slim profile.

Computer PC makers are trying their best to beat back the tablet mania, that is eating into their sales. Many of the portable computers launched in recent months are hybrids or convertiblesómorphing easily between portable tablets and full-powered laptops with a keyboard. With the release of Microsoftís touch-centric Windows 8 platform in October and more power-efficient chips from Intel, PC makers are trying to spark growth by focusing on creating slim laptops with touchscreens that convert to tablets and vice versa.

Sometimes you really need a full laptop keyboard, that you would like to couple it with a Windows 8 touch experience. The VivoBook from ASUS is exactly trying to meet this: it is an excellent 11.6-inch notebook PC that includes a multitouch, capacitive touchscreen for all the cool new gestures built into Windows 8. Marketed as an inexpensive Windows 8 computer, the ASUS VivoBook looks to provide decent touch-connectivity for Windows 8 without the high price that other computers will offer.

Truth be told, the VivoBook has what it takes to be a solid ultra-portable laptop. The keyboard is excellent for touch typists. Battery life is a reasonable five hours or so and the power charger adapter is relatively small. The sound quality of the speakers is surprisingly good. And it weighs only 1.6 kg. Whatís more, the ASUS VivoBook F202E is available at an affordable price point of Rs.39,999.

For the design, ASUS appears to have taken an approach that retains the sleek angled chassis we saw on the Transformer tablets, and to an extent, the Zen series of laptops ASUS released last year. Thereís no metal in the build here, replaced with plastic on this computer, although it does have a brushed metal look. The bottom of the computer features a soft-touch plastic that offers a decent grip, and even though the top of the computer is slick when collapsed,

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