703 of 734 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
For roughly 550.00 this can hardly be beat for a small laptop that has windows 8 and a touchscreen. At first I was a little aggravated with the touch pad but, I installed the drivers from Samsung's website that are supposed to be for a series 5 laptop. This laptop along with several others have the same Elan touch pad in them. Once you install this driver it is a night and day difference in the touchpad.
The link for the drivers is in the first comment. Amazon won't let you link to an external website in the main review.
So go to the comment and get to the link then follow what is below.
You then need to click on the Manuals and Downloads link, then click Driver.
After that scroll down and click on the ZIP link for the Touch Pad driver 18.104.22.168
If you have the sorry Asus Smart Gesture installed, uninstall that first and reboot, then install this software. I have had various Macbooks for the better part of the last 7 years and this is my first PC laptop in a while. I was almost ready to return this laptop until I found these drivers. I would say the touch pad is 95% of a Macbook touch pad now and whether you like Apple or not, you have to admit they know what they are doing when it comes to track pads. Aside from all of that I'm extremely happy with the operation of this laptop now.
I am coming from a laptop that had an SSD drive in it so it does seem a little slow in some areas but, others it is working just fine. I have an extra SSD drive that I plan on putting in this machine as well as removing the half height mini PCI atheros wireless/bluetooth combo. I purchased an Intel Centrino 6235anhmw Mini Pci Express Bluetooth 4.0 to replace it with and based on my research I should be able to enable Intel Wireless Display on this laptop after that install. The card only cost me 30.00 bucks and I figured it was worth the gamble to see if it would work. I'll update this review once I get the card in a couple of days to state if it worked or not.
The sound coming from this laptop is actually quite good and I would say better than a lot of the previous laptops I am use to.
The touchscreen is extremely responsive and I haven't had any missed touches or erratic behavior out of it. I have played several touch based games and it worked flawlessly.
Last but, not least this thing is solid, the build quality on it is exceptional for something this cheap.
Okay, now for the bad which again considering this is a cheap laptop with a touchscreen really isn't that bad.
The fan runs constantly and while it is not overly annoying it does seem to run even when not doing much on the system. That is really my main complaint about the machine at this point. The second complaint is that the viewing angles on this machine are pretty poor but, again don't expect any machine at this price point with a touchscreen to have great viewing angles. Although viewing angles are bad, brightness is very good. I think with the brightness turned all the way up you could possibly do permanent damage to your eyes(a joke of course).
The keyboard is a little cramped but, really not all that bad. I would say I have slightly above average hand size but, again it isn't to bad and I'm able to kick out a reasonable speed without to many more mistakes than I usually make. Expect some adjustment if you are coming from a full size keyboard with large hands.
Again, the stock hard drive is a 5400rpm drive and it does seem a little slow for me but, if you are coming from another mechanical drive then you may not really notice it as a problem. I've been using SSD drives for some time so it does bother me a bit.
These might be major problems for others but, for me they are minor annoyances that I can live with on a cheap machine like this. This is basically an 11.6" Macbook Air that is missing the SSD(entry level is 64GB SSD), backlit keyboard, viewing angles aren't as good for the ASUS and fan runs more often than Macbook Air. However the Macbook Air doesn't have these features: touch screen, 500GB HDD that can be upgraded to a small or large SSD if you like and the Air cost about 450.00 more for the entry level. Granted the Macbook Air is considerably lighter but, it also makes your wallet lighter.
Sorry for all of the Macbook comparisons but, I have come from many years of having Macbooks and decided with Windows 8 to give PCs a try again. I'm glad I did.
I installed the Intel wireless card I mentioned above, then installed the latest drivers for the card from the Intel website as well as the latest video drivers from the ASUS website. Then I installed the Widi display software and was able to connect to my Belkin Screencast. It took several tries and then it finally updated the software on the Belkin. After that it has been connecting perfectly with no problems. So I paid 40 bucks on Amazon for a refurbished Belkin Screencast and 32.00 for the intel card. Now for 72.00 bucks I'm able to use my 55" HDTV at 1080p as a second screen.
I finally got around to installing an SSD drive and replacing the mechanical drive. The drive that came in it was a Hitachi HTS5450A7E380 which is a 7mm thick drive. Unfortunately the SSD I had was a typical 9.5mm and was too thick to work at first. Luckily I was able to remove part of the casing on the SSD drive I used and that made for a perfect fit. So if you plan on swapping out for an SSD make sure it is no thicker than 7mm or it won't fit. I had some trouble where the laptop kept booting into the BIOS. when I went in and disabled fast boot as well as turned of drive security or something like that. I can't remember exactly now but, when the option is enabled you can go further into the BIOS and see PKI keys and DDB keys and a lot of other keys. I just disabled that portion and then it started recognizing the hard drive. This may not be a problem if you clone the hard drive to the SSD before you swap but, I did a fresh install. Laptop is blazing fast now as it boots into windows in about 10 seconds.
476 of 498 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2013
April 2014: Graphics update. The new updated Intel Graphics driver does NOT allow for customizing brightness, contrast and gamma. Many X202e users including myself have found that setting the brightness to -20, contrast to 51 and gamma to 0.9, makes for richer colours. The default settings look a bit washed out as compared to these custom settings. If you cannot make these changes, it's because you have the newer Intel Graphics driver. Thankfully, you can uninstall it and go download the original driver from the Asus website. This is the version to download, VGA_Intel_Win8_64_Z917102843.
This review is to dispel any incorrect info in the "User Reviews".
I'll quickly explain that I am a technician and have been modifying all the non touch Win 8 machines, to look and run like 7. It's a 2 minute job that requires a small program like Classic Shell or iobit's Start 8.
As I give tech advice on some forums, I felt the need to get some experience on Win 8's touch interface, Otherwise, how could I help others, if I've never even used it.
So let's get down to business and set the record straight of what it is, and what it isn't.
Those folks who have wifi connectivity problems, have a defect. If they reinstall the OS from the partition that is provided for that purpose, and then it still has wifi problems, then it's time to return the machine or get it fixed, or even get another wifi card. Anyone who thinks that it's inherent to this machine and has decided to put up with it, is mistaken and being inconvenienced unnecessarily.
Those who find that the touchpad is wonky, are either palming it while typing, or have a defect. The same applies as above. Try installing the OS again and if it is still acting up and you're 100% sure that you're not palming the touchpad, then it is defective and needs to be returned or repaired. This is NOT a normal condition.
BUILD & SCREEN
This laptop is well built with premium quality materials. Anyone who feels their screen is weak, should return it. It is NOT a normal condition for this machine, and for those who complained about the bezel being too wide, it is built that way to be structurally strong enough. A touchscreen receives light impact from being touched, thus it needs to be built a bit more solidly than a normal screen.
Complaints about the screen being shiny are valid in a sense. It is truly shiny, but it's a necessary evil. Matte surfaces get dirty faster and are harder to clean.
The keyboard is neither exceptionally good or bad. Everyone has a different concept of what a keyboard should be, so there's no right or wrong. It's just an individual's preference. If the keyboard doesn't work perfectly, the machine should be returned or repaired.
We've heard a wide range of claims, from 2 to 7 hours. Obviously, someone is wrong. Most of the User Reviews, have it straight, when they claim approx. 4 hours. Even if you dimmed the screen and avoided multitasking, you'd still be hard pressed to get 5 hours out of it, and it's unrealistic to expect that, as the screen would be hard to see, at that low brightness. Those who have claimed 3 hours or less, may be running power consuming programs, like watching video/movies at full brightness, in which case, it is 100% true that it will only get 3 hours or less, under those conditions.(See Suggestions below for some revised info)
Yes, it is true, that it's horrible. If you are not in a brightly lit area, the image will be grainy. It is certainly way below the quality of the average laptop webcam.(see SUGGESTIONS below for a revised evaluation)
POWER & SPEED
Those who find that this notebook is slow, or it hesitates/stutters or freezes up, have a defect. Redo the system as mentioned above and if it persists, it is a defective machine. Even with all the bloatware running, this Vivobook has ample power, to handle all the normal use, without ever hesitating or freezing up.(See SUGGESTIONS below for additional info on power plans for better performance)
Yes it is true that it will be substantially faster and more responsive, if you swap out the hard drive for an SSD. Any and all laptops will benefit, but it is not necessary to swap the hard drive out, as it performs just fine as it is. It's a luxury to go with an SSD. I have swapped the HD out for an SSD in this machine, because I wanted to know how much of a difference it would make, and not because it ran poorly with the included 500 gig hard drive.
While on this subject, those who feel that it is difficult to remove the backplate to access the hard drive, are mistaken. Yes, it is firmly in place and it requires the right tool to pry it apart, but that is entirely normal for almost all laptops. Swapping out the hard drive on this unit, is a breeze.
I got lucky and received the Silver model (looks like champagne to me) as the silver lid does not show fingerprints as much as the black version. Again, this is normal. Black brushed aluminum laptops, are fingerprint magnets and they need to be cleaned everyday.
The sum total of this Vivobook's exceptional build with premium materials, slim and light, great performance, decent battery life, all the necessary ports, good wifi reception and a very decent touchscreen, make it a real bargain at $500 or less.
COMMENTS, CONS & COMPLAINTS
The webcam is very poor.
It would be wonderful to have a backlit keyboard, even though it would shorten the laptop's battery life.
This unit is slow to charge. From bone empty, it may take as long as 4 hours to get to 100%. This may inconvenience some folks (not me), but on the positive side, the internal battery may last several more years than if it were fast charged.
A few users have suggested changing graphics setting to -20 brightness, 51 contrast and 0.9 gamma, and I agree that it looks better that way.
I ran a timer since turning the laptop on at 100% charged and it is now up to 2 hours and 7 minutes, having used 44% of its battery life, so that would come out to a potential 4 hours and 48 minutes, however the machine will shut down before reaching 0%, and it should be noted that I was only running this webpage and the timer, nothing else, so it would be unrealistic to expect that much battery life under normal circumstances.
The Win 8 touch interface is vastly superior to iOS (iPad), Android, webOS or any after market ones. It is true that the store does not have very many apps, but that will come with time. You'd be hard pressed to find any high quality free games, so don't get your hopes up, YET!
1) Download an app called "Show Me", which will give you detailed visual explanations of everything you can do in Win 8's touch interface. Even if you think you know it all, I bet you'll learn a few new things.
2) Clean the screen around the webcam area and you may discover (as I just did) that the camera is a lot better than it was, presumably a bit dirty from top of the screen swipes.
3) If your machine hesitates, stutters or freezes while on battery but performs well when plugged in, you may have to change your power plan to "High Performance". The Power4Gear system, halves the CPU, ram graphics and Wifi power. If you do go to High Performance while on battery, you may want to turn down the brightness a bit, so as to improve battery life.
4) If you use the Powe4Gear power plan while on battery, it is possible to reach 5 hours of usage, provided you are not running many processes in the background, and are not playing games or viewing video.
5) After updating your Vivobook with Asus' Live update program, uninstall it, to stop it running in the background (it can't be stopped otherwise). If you need it again in the future, you can download the installer from the Asus website.
6) If you run Windows Defender, there is no need for any additional Anti Virus programs, as Defender in Win 8, is a full Anti Virus program that is reputed to do as good a job as any other free AV program. If you are running another AV program, either uninstall it and use Defender, or keep it and turn Defender off in "Services". Running both at the same time will seriously slow down your computer.
352 of 385 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
I'm an IT professional, and have dealt with a few ASUS laptops, which I now prefer to Dell.
If you take remove the 9 phillips screws on the bottom, you have access to some of the internal components.
You will need to tug a little, as the case is still held in place by little plastic clippies all around.
You might break a nail, so be careful.
The memory is soldered into the board, so 4GB is all you will ever have. Period.
The HDD is a Hitachi HTS5450A7E380 (7mm 2.5") and can be replaced with another "Low Profile" 7mm SSD or HDD. You simply remove 3 screws that hold the cage in (the 4th screw is already removed from removing the back panel), remove the cage, remove 4 screws holding drive in cage, replace with a SATA II/III drive. (It is a SATA 3 6.0 GB/s connection).
I recommend the Samsung 840 series, as they are 7mm 2.5" and very low on power usage. When you remove the old HDD, it has a plastic backing glued on it with two rubber foam strips.
Don't worry with removing it from the old HDD. An SSD doesn't need the shock absorption and will be mounted securely with the screws.
The Atheros AR5B225 Half Mini PCIe WiFi/Bluetooth 4.0 module is replaceable.
I am replacing mine with Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 so I can use WiDi and Dual Band Wifi.
It was as easy as removing the two antenna wires from the Atheros, popping in new card, reattaching two antenna wires to the Intel 6235.
The 5136 mAh 2 cell battery is replaceable, albeit proprietary. Not sure what this means for the future.
MY GENERAL OPINION OF THE LAPTOP and Windows 8:
I have been using Windows 8 at work for a bit, and as an OS, it's hard and confusing with a dual monitor desktop power user setup (as I have no need for the Metro interface there, and I feel like I'm fighting it). I had to tweak it to get my start menu back (Open source utility called "Classic Start"). However, with a touch screen laptop, it is very easy to use. I've been thoroughly been enjoying it as a tablet replacement. I admit, I did install an SSD in it, and it is SO much more responsive now (and shaved some ounces on weight as well has dropping at least a watt of power draw). I also have access to a Windows 8 volume license key, and mine is running Windows 8 Enterprise.
135 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2013
The form factor, specs, and cost all made the Vivobook a product that I was excited to have and to recommend to whoever I came across. Of course, the highlight was the touchscreen which is VITAL if you're using Windows 8. Adding to that was the excellent workmanship (metallic palmrest) and the perfect size and weight (liked it better than the Zenbook or MacBook Air).
But less than 2 months later, it all turned into a nightmare.
I can give the conclusion from the very beginning: Swap out the 500GB HDD for a 256GB SSD as soon as you take it out the box. I'm convinced that Asus put in a cheap part (HDD) in order to keep the cost low. But you will pay dearly for that error.
1. During normal usage, the dreaded "Click of Death" came, which is when the head/arm in the HDD touches the platter (disk). I tried to shut it down as soon as possible. But the next time it turned on, the OS wouldn't load and only the BIOS screen would appear. The machine was effectively dead.
2. Asus's warranty would replace the HDD but wouldn't recover the data, all while taking 2 weeks to return the machine to you. And just opening the machine to swap the HDD yourself would void that warranty.
3. Upon opening the HDD, I found that the head was defective (after just 2 months) and tried everything to recover the data. The pros would charge approx $2,400 (no exageration) to repair this kind of HDD problem. After 3 days, this became a lost cause and I knew I'd have to start from scratch.
4. I installed a 256GB SSD.
5. Asus wouldn't give me an ISO image of the factory Vivobook. They told me I also had to get the OS from Microsoft directly, who in turn said they couldn't get me a full version Windows 8, but only an upgrade from Windows 7. This meant I had to install Windows 7 first, then upgrade to Windows 8.
Now I'm stuck because the BIOS won't let me set the boot order to the USB drive. And, yes, I've flashed it to version 206. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THIS, PLEASE COMMENT.
In spite of all the headache, my only advice is to swap for a SSD immediately. 95% of my docs were backed-up but I didn't make an ISO image of the whole system, so I'm paying for it.
In the end, I still think this is a good machine which just had 1 cheap part which went bad very quickly. (BTW, the floor model at the store also had the same problem.)
66 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2012
Firstly, some reviewers have referred to this laptop as a netbook. I have nothing against netbooks, but this is actually an ultraportable notebook. In fact, if it had even a hybrid SSD it would meet ultrabook specs. It certainly has the build quality of an ultrabook.
- As I said, excellent build quality including the very responsive touchscreen. People have been guessing that I must have paid at least $800 for this machine based on its look and feel alone. It looks and feels like something between a Macbook Air and Pro.
- Remarkably thin considering that it has built in VGA and ethernet ports, and yes, some people still need those!
- It's fast. Obviously with a Core i3 and 4GB of RAM it's not the most powerful device on the market, but if you're not a gamer or into heavy multimedia editing it runs like a breeze. It boots up faster than ANY computer I have ever seen not equipped with an SSD. I guess Windows 8 is to thank for that.
- Speaking of Windows 8, this is a review of the machine not the OS, but I'll just say that it's basically Windows 7 with a better start menu and some handy touched based functionality. On a touchscreen device like this one, I don't see any reason to complain about it.
- Incredibly compact power cable. No brick. It's like a tablet charger. You can literally coil it up and carry it in your pocket.
- Battery life is indeed about 4-5 hours... that is, with careful power management and light use. Not stellar, but I guess it does deliver the "up to 5 hours" promised.
- A little heavy for its size, certainly not so much to be tiring to carry.
- Some reviewers have complained about the trackpad. I haven't updated any drivers and I don't find it to be terrible by any means, but it can be a hair too sensitive at times, sometimes registering a single tap as a double.
I'd actually give it a 4.5 if I could. I've looked into a lot of alternatives, and I don't believe there is currently a better laptop for under $600 on the market right now. Certainly not in the 11.6" form factor, where the alternatives are either netbooks of inferior build quality and specs, or an ultrabook/Macbook Air for hundreds of dollars more.
45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
I haven't bought a PC laptop in years. I build my own desktops, but when it comes to laptops I stuck with Apple. But lately I began to realize that while the MacBook Pro was a good computer it delivered more horsepower than I actually needed. So I decided to sell it and find a Windows replacement. I needed a basic system that I could take with me on the job and transfer video from an SCHC card to a hard drive. I didn't need a powerhouse laptop. After a bit of searching I settled on the X202E.
The main reasons was it was a system taking advantage of the latest technology Windows 8 touted: touch screen. The price was also very reasonable. I got mine used, though Like New, for $470 through a seller here on Amazon. Add a case and an anti-glare screen protector for a grand total of $500. Not a bad price at all for what you get.
The touch screen is vibrant and responsive. While not an exceptionally fast system it gets the job done well enough. This is definitely what Windows 8 set to revolutionize and it does it well. I was never a hater of the Metro UI, but didn't see the point on a desktop system with a 20+ inch screen. For a laptop however... it's very nice. I can only imagine how a tablet would be or a Windows 8 phone.
The system is minimal input ports: 3 USB, and HDMI, an ethernet port and a VGA port. Why this thing comes with a VGA port is beyond me. For as advanced as the laptop is this port is a pimple on an otherwise beautiful face. If you need an optical drive you're out of luck. This slender thing doesn't have one, so you'll need an external drive if you want/need one.
Speaking design it is fairly lightweight and has a nice modern design to it. I actually think it has a nicer design than the MacBook Air, though not quite as thin.
I have only two minor issues: the touchpad is extremely sensitive. Even with the updated drivers from Samsung another reviewer recommended, the touchpad will easily misinterpret what you want to do. I'm getting better at it, but it will take a little time to get used to it. Also, you have to press the touchpad buttons a bit harder than you should have to. My other issue is the keyboard isn't backlit. Not a deal breaker, and I realize Asus needed to make sacrifices to keep the price down, but how much would a couple of LED's actually cost? As I said, it would have been nice but not a big deal.
One thing to note: I haven't bought a Windows computer in years, but I remember you generally got an activation code with the system, either as a sticker on the computer somewhere or a postcard in the package. Neither were present in this purchase. I contacted the seller and he doesn't remember seeing one either. I'm not sure if this goes for all units or just mind, but this problematic in the event you need to re-install the OS and need the activate it. I managed to get my code using a small program that tracked it down in the registry for me, but you shouldn't have to do this. I'd be curious to hear if others who bought the system new experience the missing activation code. It could also be the way Windows 8 is handled on new systems. I don't know.
All-in-all, this is a terrific system, especially for the price. If you want a sleek, modern Windows system you can't go wrong with this one. The 11" screen doesn't feel small in the least, and I'm very happy with my purchase.
UPDATE (11/22/2012): I received word from the seller, as well as independently confirmed with ASUS, that this system does not come with a Certificate of Authenticity. From their support site: "For Windows 8, activation is done with a new process. There is no need for Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker or entering product key."
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
Where do I start?
First of all, at this price is impossible to beat this machine (at least in this moment). It is one of the cheapest (if is not the cheapest one out there) wich has the same quality than any other 11.6" ultrabook... and by "quality" I mean the overall performance, materials and aesthetics. Actually if you compare it with any other ultrabook side by side, you won't see any real difference or disadvantage. Yes, there is other little ultrabooks (not notebooks) wich may look "better", but probably at twice it's price.
The experience with this notebook is just amazing. I've only used it for one week, but it's enough to recognize the potencial that it has. I'll clarify that I changed the HDD for a SSD (Samsung 840 120gb, wich is one of the fastest SSDs out there right now)... this is probably one of the major changes that you would have to consider once you get this machine. There is nothing bad with the normal HDD, and actually it performed really well when I tested it the first day, but SSDs nowadays is another world (boots in less than 8 sec., maybe less if you don't set any password hehe)
I did a little bit of everything so far, from multitasking, HD movies, and light gaming. You can play without problems some light game engines, like Source... at the cost of lower details of course. And I can say that everything worked much better than I expected.
Now you may think: why should I take a notebook with touch screen capabilities?... Well, at first I thought about this, and only 2 things changed my mind. One that it has Windows 8, and Metro is designed for touch (no problem with mouse, but you will experencie a better feeling using the touch screen) And the second one the price... the cheapest one out there wich also has touch (I said "why not then...") And I'll say that I'm not a real lover of touch screen devices, but I'm totally happy that I picked this one... One example of good utility: I was in my bed laid down watching a movie with the notebook over my belly and I couldn't reach or see the keyboard properly... no problem! now I have a touch screen keyboard, cool.
For everyone out there wich has problems using Windows 8 because you don't understand how to use it... simple, go to youtube and look for some tutorials about Metro interface and new desktop.
- Build quality
- Design, I love it.
- Light, even with charger and a wireless mouse in the bag .
- Lots of ports for this size (2 usb 2.0, 1 usb 3.0, sd card, rj45, normal hdmi, audio/mic jack in one port, even VGA! incredible)
- Big touch pad (and with proper updates it works just fine)
- Nice keyboard layout and size
- Battery life may or may not be a good thing for everyone in this notebook, but if you upgrade bios and tweak the power saving settings you will get a good amount of battery (3 to 4hs at high performance tasking, or 5 to 6hs at light performance tasking).
- Touch screen!
- Decent TN panel wich has nice color contrast and brightness (and also viewing angles are not that bad)
- Sound quality is very nice! I was impressed the first time I listened to a song.
- Some people have changed the wifi adaptor for better range or stability. I didn't, and so far it worked well!
- Probably some other thing that I'm skipping right now hehe
Now, you will say... why this guy put 4 stars instead of 5 if it is that good and he is so happy? haha
Well, nothing in this world is perfect and I'm a picky person (even more with technology) BUT listen, nothing of this cons are major drawbacks, and actually are minor details wich some can be solved by simple ways.
- Glare screen. Yes, it is glare and it may be difficult to read with excesive light. Easily solved by some anti-glare protective lcd screen.
- It takes finger prints easily.
- It takes some time to be fully charged (battery).
- No illuminated keyboard. At this price we can't argue about this, I know it... but I always want more hahaha.
- No replaceable battery.
- No memory upgrade capabilities.
Well, that's it!
And the last thing... some technical comments to be ready:
As I said, I changed the HDD for a SSD. No problems with this, just deactivate boot protection in bios. I used Acronis True Image 2013 (burned into a cd, and I used an external dvd that I have) to clone HDD into SSD, be careful here because not every software works with my SSD or this bios. With Acronis 2013 I had no problems!
This comment and any other aspect of the technical part are commented in other reviews.
Go!!! What are you waiting for? Go and I pick one! hahaha
Greetings and happy 2013
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I knew going into the purchase of this system, which I must admit I didn't make with Amazon (unfortunately, the rewards that my credit card company offered were from another retailer, and were enough to help me choose where I would make the purchase of this device at), that I wasn't going to be getting the fastest or absolute best ultrabook system. At the same time, I also knew I wasn't going to be spending the kind of money that I'd have to spend for such a system.
After finally getting a chance to showroom one of these systems - which admittedly I had to do a few times since one of the stores that I saw one in had one that needed to be reloaded (which scared me a little) due to Windows system issues, and another had fairly poor wireless network coverage which meant part of the testing that I wanted to do couldn't be considered completely successful or utterly failed (the third time was the charm as I was able to get in what I considered a full suite of testing of streaming video in both SD and HD from UltraViolet partner sites, as well as some YouTube video and local (sample) file video playback as well; all of which passed with flying colors) -- I was left assured that the performance on one of these nice little systems was going to be where I wanted it to be at.
A couple of negative comments, from co-workers as well as my own, as I've demoed my nice little device to them a few times:
* the screen isn't that great when viewing from the side. Looking at it head-on, it's fine, but viewing from a bit of an angle, it isn't as clear as one might like.
For me, that's a minor concern, as I wouldn't normally be viewing from an angle. My machine, me using it, I'll be looking at it head-on. Apparently the touchscreen does make the side angles a little less clear (a bit of interference so to say) but again, not enough to really bother me when I can focus head-on at the screen.
* battery life isn't as long as one might hope.
Again, not that big a deal for me. Unless I were seated on a cross-country flight, I don't expect that I couldn't find power somewhere to plug into. Worst case, I have solutions for the recharging needs that I can rely upon to get me through a longer period if necessary. 4+ hours, which is relatively easily achieved here, is good enough for my needs in almost all cases.
While not as long as an iPad or other tablet device might offer, or as long as higher-end ultrabook devices could offer, this is certainly good enough.
* CPU performance isn't overly impressive.
Probably not, as some people will always want faster and better, but certainly good enough for my needs.
* Memory can't be upgraded/expanded to add more.
True, and that is disappointing. ASUS opted to go with soldered in memory so the 4GB that this device has installed is all it'll likely ever see (since I'm not likely to get the installed memory removed by someone with appropriate soldering skills). I wish it had another few GB of RAM installed or at least that it was possible to add a couple more GB of RAM to it, but for most usage, 4GB is plenty.
* It comes with Windows 8 basis, not Professional.
See additional comments/thoughts on this below. (For most people, likely not an issue.)
* No built-in Optical drive.
True, but this really isn't an issue at this point as portable optical drives are readily available and the use of optical media continues to be marginalized more and more. Unless I wanted to play DVDs with it, I don't know that I'd be concerned at all as so many things are now sold in downloadable digital form, or in streaming form so the need for actual physical media is nearly nil.
* The bezel is a little large, making the entire system a little bigger than one would expect in a device with "only" an 11.6-inch screen.
True. This is likely also necessary to account for the touchscreen components and it offers the side benefit of making the device big enough to feature a full-sized keyboard rather than having to go with something smaller and more cramped.
What this little system does well for me is:
* It's inherently portable while still offering a nice size screen for viewing videos on
* It has the touchscreen so I can use touch and gestures within Windows 8 when and where I would want.
* It has a full-fledged and full-sized keyboard built-in so I need not be stuck using the on-screen keyboard.
* It has a touchpad built-in so I can use that if I'd prefer instead of using the touchscreen (or in conjunction with the touchscreen).
* It includes USB 3.0 support, with one built-in USB 3.0 port.
* It has plenty of storage capacity built-in so I can easily hold a good sized library of digital copies within iTunes (for example)
* It plays videos, including within iTunes, perfectly well so I can use this device as a media consumption device instead of using an iPad or other tablet device while still having full blown Windows installed for my own use of just about any Windows PC program that I might ever want to run.
I would note that this device comes with Windows 8, not Windows 8 Professional. I did go back and upgrade the device to Windows 8 Professional so I could add the Media Center components that Microsoft decided to split out from the basic system. In doing that I was able to configure this device to use a tuner from my Windows 7 desktop system with Ceton InfiniTV card installed to turn this system into, for me, the ultimate media device within my home. Thanks to it's adequate CPU speed and overall horsepower, I can watch TV on it via the remote tuner, watch streaming movies/TV shows, or use it to do, well, what others would call real work via Microsoft Office.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
Update 26-Jun-2013: Hurray! The touchpad issues have been normalized with a driver update from ASUS. I downloaded and installed SmartGesture_Win7_8_VER201 from ASUS website. It fixes the issues with the touchpad. However, I still prefer turning off all features in ASUS Smart Gesture except for single touch "Select" and "Activate". Also, I prefer, in Control Panel->Mouse->Pointer Options, select "Fast" in pointer speed and check "Enhanced pointer precision". These have been a major improvement so I've raised my rating to a full 5 stars.
Update 18-Mar-2013: Wanted to specifically mention that battery endurance is impressive for my usage. I can get up to four hours of web surfing if I needed it. I find that I'm more productive with this computer because the processor and SSD (user upgrade) are quite fast. My morning web surfing episodes are noticeably shorter.
Update 15-Mar-2013: I improved the touchpad by installing ASUS touchpad driver from their website and customizing features. The current driver is named SmartGesture_ASUS_Win7_8_VER1036.zip. Once installed, double click the ASUS SmartGesture icon in the taskbar (usually bottom-right on desktop). My preference, YMMV, was to uncheck all features except Select and Activate. I still don't like the touchpad but now it's more predictable. I also changed Control Panel->Mouse->Pointer Options->select-a-pointer-speed a couple notches faster.
The ASUS X202e (ASUS S200e) is an excellent value despite its flaws. Here's some tweaks to share. Some require hacker-level experience. I use the X202e mainly for web surfing. Your tweaks may vary with use case.
1. Replace the hard drive with an SSD for much faster speed. The processor is quite fast for web surfing but you'll really appreciate the added speed of an SSD. I only need a 60GB+ SSD for my usage. Be sure the SSD is a 7mm height drive such as a Samsung 840.
2. I hate bloatware. I reinstalled Windows 8 from a generic 64-bit Windows 8 DVD. No activation key was needed. The only driver I needed beyond what Windows 8 installed was the audio drivers for the microphone. I downloaded from ASUS support web page. I installed using a generic USB DVD drive.
3. The default screen settings make the display a bit washed out looking. To fix, right click on the desktop->Graphics Properties->Display->Color Enhancements. Change Brightness to -20, Contrast to 51 and Gamma to 0.9.
4. I use Ninite.com to quickly install many often used programs.
5. I swear the touchpad has been improved by an initial cleaning. I used window cleaner.
6. I haven't found a better touchpad driver than the stock Windows 8 driver. I'm open to alternate drivers. Please make recommendations in comments but please, document any non-standard settings.
7. I reset the BIOS to defaults and then chose "Optimal Settings". Don't assume the manufacturer installed with optimal settings selected.
8. I love Windows 8 but only when with the Windows 7 shell, so I installed EX7FORW8 software. Recommended. Touch continues to work.
With these tweaks, you'll get a much better X202E experience. I'm hoping a new driver will improve the too touchy touchpad. Yes, the screen could be a bit better but it's acceptable. Battery life is ample with my usage. I get about 4 hours web surfing -- more than expected and more than needed for my usage.
67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
I bought mine from the Microsoft store a couple days ago. This review does not cover my experience with Windows 8.
I've been looking for a new machine to carry on trips and to do presentations with to customers. So, it has to have the ability to do emails, browsing, pdf display, have a vga out connector, and a usb connector for the remote.
I've used larger laptops on trips, and smaller ones. This one seems about just the right size and weight. I've always hated the touchpads on them, and would use a plugin external mouse. To my pleasure, the touchscreen interface eliminates most of the problems with the touchpad.
The machine does all that I require, and exceeds my expectations with a giant disk drive. I'm surprised by how much I like it. It feels solid and well made. It boots and shuts down faster than any other machine I've had.
On the downside, I would like to have the retina display, and the machine isn't silent - there's the fan and the rotating disk drive which makes a little noise when you tilt the machine. I'd rather have an SSD, but I did not take any stars off for these issues because they would have added considerably to the price.