Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: ASUS S400CA-DH51 14-Inch TouchScreen Laptop
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on January 25, 2013
I have used this computer for almost 2 months and it continues to grow on me. When ever I pick up one of my old laptops I'm surprised at how heavy and bulky they are compared to the ASUS S400C.

After a few days of working with Windows 8 I started to feel comfortable with the new icons and interactions. Sometimes I long for the simple days of XP but when I do return to using XP it seems limited and out of date. Windows 8 is the future so adapt now.

This computer looks good and works well. The sound is clear and enjoyable but not outstanding, still it is very good for a machine of this size. The screen is bright and clean. The i5 CPU is smooth and powerful enough for serious computational work. I added 4G of RAM. The install was easy and cost $22. A SSD allows the computer to wake up from its sleep mode in about 2 seconds which is very nice. Hibernate mode requires about 20 seconds to boot up which is still much faster than my last computer.

The touch screen is a pleasure to use and very responsive. My MAC user friends were impressed by this feature.

The touch pad takes some time to master. It seems that I have a habit of resting one finger on the pad which means things happen that I don't intend to happen. This is an issue of retraining on my part and not the fault of ASUS. Once you get use to all the different fingers gestures it is fine. It just takes this old dog longer to learn new tricks and unlearn old tricks.

Without trying to conserve the battery I usually get 4.5 to 5 hours of use. Recharge time is good so portability rating is high. My Toshiba netbook has much longer battery life but is also much slower and smaller. My Dell laptop has about half the battery life so this ASUS is a joy to use by comparison.

I like the keyboard. The key sizes, spacing and locations make it easy and efficient.

The wireless works as well as any other wireless network I have ever used.

The HDMI port worked without any problem the very first time I hooked it up. I have not run into any problems with any of the input/output ports this computer has to offer. There is enough space between them so that everything can connect.

The right angle power plug is a nice touch and I wonder why more companies don't do this.

I do have two negatives.

1. While I had the back off to install more RAM I noticed that there was a missing screw that attaches the motherboard to the case top near the bottom of the keyboard area. There seemed to be a slight misalignment between the motherboard hole and the case hole so perhaps they decided to not use this one. Another screw here would make the unit a bit more solid.

2. There is a little rattle in the touch pad when you tap it. This is annoying but can be fixed.

Over all this is a great little computer.
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on December 28, 2012
Great computer.
Right off the bat I want to say this. Any speed issues people are having with this computer is because of the 500 GB 5400RPM hard drive. This is what I did and I wanted to share it with everyone because its smoking fast now.

First, buy a slim SSD (solid state drive). You can get them for like 100 bucks. I got a 128GB one which I think is fine if your saving movies/music to external drive. Make sure the SSD is SLIM or else it wont fit in the computer*****

Unbox the computer and boot it (with the stock drive still installed) and create a windows 8 disk (or USB drive). Then shut down and swap out the SLOW 500 GB 5400RPM drive for your new SLIM solid state drive. Then put the disk or USB drive in and boot. WIndows 8 will reinstall to the new drive and ching ching, computer is now like 25 times faster.
How fast? My Vivobook literally boots in 3 seconds.

Just wanted to share that this, it's well worth doing and very easy.

Touch screen is very responsive and works like a champ with Windows 8. Battery life is fantastic. Computer sort of resembles my Macbook Pro (when open) so it's a really nice and sleek design. Does NOT come off as cheap or have a plastic feel.

If you are looking for a touch screen laptop with Windows 8, in my opinion, you get the most for your money with this package. I HIGHLY suggest the SSD swap.

Hope this helps!
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on June 1, 2013
Bought this little guy and upgraded RAM and HD. It was easy and intuitive. For your reference and suggestion, I've used the following 4GB RAM and SSD for the upgrade:

- Corsair Vengeance 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory (CMSX4GX3M1A1600C9) (amazon link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006EWUP4Y/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_2)
Just put it on the empty memory slot after remove the back of the notebook.

- Samsung 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) with Desktop and Notebook Installation Kit 250 sata_6_0_gb 2.5-Inch MZ-7TD250KW (amazon link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NHAF5G/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_7)
I'm amazed how easy was to migrate the system from the shipped Seagate HD to the Samsung SSD. I've used the Samsung installation kit for that. I've just plugged the SSD using the USB cable provided in the kit and installed the Samsung Magician Software (it is a very suitable name).

Worked like a charm and the computer is really fast now. The Windows Experience Index (which is a scale of 1.0 to 9.9) have jumped from 4.7 to 5.5 limited by the "Desktop graphics performance". But the "Disk data transfer rate" is 8.1 and the "Memory operations per second" is 7.4 \o/

I'm a Java developer and I'm using this ultrabook mainly for programming. I'm very happy how my developer tools are running fast (eclipse, JBoss, Android development tools and emulators).
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on December 24, 2012
Upgrade to Win 8 pro went smoothly. Didn't have too much garbage to uninstall prior to using (although, there is always some). Windows 8 is performing fine in an enterprise environment (70-person domain). This comp, in conjunction with Win 8, found all printers without downloading drivers, which was nice. Laptop boots fast and the touchscreen works well.

Two negatives: the touchscreen adds a little weight and thickness; the battery appears to be built in (non-removable).
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on November 1, 2013
This is a great deal on a thin and light ultrabook that has upgrade capabilities. The design is similar to the MacBook Air although not quite as thin and light. The tradeoff comes with 2 advantages -- upgradeability and touchscreen.

I bought the little brother of this machine (11" X202E) about a year ago and it has served me well. I appreciate the all-aluminum chassis, build quality, thin-ness, and the touchscreen. It is not quite an MBA, but very close. I upgraded mine with a 128GB SSD and it flies. The only downside is that it has 4GB soldered to the board with no SODIMM slot. I run VM's for work and really can't make do with 4GB RAM. I end up carrying 2 PC's when I travel.

I finally broke down and decided to consolidate, at which point I started researching this machine. My experience with the 11" ASUS Vivobook was so good that I wanted another. The 13" MBA was out the of question because I wanted touchscreen and at least 500GB of drive space. I guess I could get it, but it would run me a fortune to swap out the SSD and I still wouldn't have touch. With this machine, it is the perfect compromise -- I put in a 7mm Samsung EVO SSD, upgraded the RAM, and swapped out to a dual-band wireless card with embedded Bluetooth all for about $900 total (machine and all). I now have a sub-4 pound, aluminum case, touchscreen laptop with 500GB and 12GB of RAM. Granted the battery life is a bit lower the MacBook and it is about 2/10ths of an inch thicker, but I can't see paying the extra money for the differential. Plus, the MBA RAM is also soldered so you can't get to 12GB.

Here are the upgrades:

-Intel Network 6235AN.HMWWB Centrino WiFi Card Advanced-N 6235 Dual Band Bluetooth Retail
-Crucial 8 GB DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-pin 1.35V/1.5V for Mac (CT8G3S160BM)
-Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE500BW

I will also note there is a second Sandisk mSata 24GB drive in this machine. The original hard drive is a physical spinning disk. The Intel board allows you to take advantage of Intel Rapid Store technology to have one drive function as the cache for the second. You simply install the drivers and set the properties to make it work. Considering the Samsung replacement is an extra fast drive, I chose not to use the Sandisk since it might decrease performance. I might put that spare to use as a Linux drive.

Regarding the touchscreen -- in laptop mode, it is only 1366x768. However, it has an Intel 4000 graphics chip and can easily output a better resolution when using a normal desktop monitor. it has both a VGA and HDMI port, so you can dual-screen it very easily. I have two 1080p monitors and this little guy can drive them with no problems, especially after you dedicate 512MB of physical RAM to the graphics.

I paired my little guy with an Anker USB3.0 docking station. This allows me to plug 2 cables -- power and usb3 into the machine and get dual-monitor 1080p output and gigabit Ethernet. I use that setup as my daily driver when home and then obviously use the laptop display when on the road. The lack of 1080 lines doesn't bother me because I usually ramp down the display to 768 when I am using the built-in display anyway (old eyes). If you really do need the full HD, you can grab the Zenbook in the same form-factor, but it will set you back an extra $500.

Now that I have swapped over, I can shed my 7lb Dell brick and instead pack my bag with a USB powered monitor. Now I have 2 screens while on the road for the same weight as I was carrying before.
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on January 9, 2013
As a background I'm a computer engineer and I've had this computer for a month now.

This laptop is replacing my 3 year old 5.5lbs beast of a laptop so this laptop is very light compared to that and I am very happy about that. The battery life is great as well. The 4 hours advertised is more like the minimum usually it lasts longer than that. The keyboard looks nice and feels good (key presses are a little bit soft but all and all its a good keyboard) although it was slightly more compact than my previous keyboard which took some getting used to. The speed of this computer is great it boots up in under 30 seconds and I haven't ran into any programs/work loads that this computer can't handle. I played Civilization 5 and Starcraft II on this laptop and it worked great on both with no lag (put shading to low on SC2). Biggest weakness of this computer in my opinion is the touchpad which I think is slow to respond to the first touch (just like a millisecond or w/e) for example if I'm not using the touchpad for like 20 seconds then when I touch the touchpad I have to move my finger about an eighth/fourth of an inch before it recognizes it then once I start moving my finger the touchpad works great. Also the top centimeter of the touchpad doesn't work at all (not sure if mine is messed up or they are all like that), its not a big deal once you get used to it but at first it was annoying. I also suggest upgrading to more RAM. I used this computer for 2 weeks prior to upgrading the RAM and really I never had any speed problems without the extra RAM but with large programs my memory usage was at about 80-90% and I didn't want that to ever be a problem for this computer and RAM sticks cost like 25 dollars so it was a cheap upgrade.

Pros:
Price (I bought it for $665 and an extra 4gb RAM stick for 25 dollars)
Speed
Touchscreen is lovely and better responsiveness than the touchpad (easily) and great for windows 8. I used to wonder whether or not I would enjoy having a touchscreen but it is surely a plus to have considering they don't cost much to add to the computer.
Battery Life/Weight/Style.
Windows 8 is nice
Sound is good quality and I was impressed with how loud the little speakers get.
The SSD/hard drive combo is very fast, this is the one component that REALLY lags behind on most 2-3 year old computers but not on this beast.
The screen is only 720p but I think it looks great still. In my opinion its not worth the extra 100-200 dollars for 1080p since laptop screens are so small anyway.

Cons:
Touchpad
I wish there was a seperate button for turning off the laptop screen (for when I HDMI something or want to hide something quickly) instead of doing the fn + f7 or f8.
Hopefully I never have battery issues since the laptop must be opened (take out screws) to remove the battery which is kind of a pain (I believe most ultrabooks are like this though).
No back-lite keyboard is semi annoying (really only when I hdmi to my tv otherwise the light from the screen illuminates the keyboard just fine).

All and all I was very happy with this laptop
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on November 28, 2012
Update: This laptop died on me about two weeks ago. I've since returned it to Amazon and plan on purchasing another machine. The machine would randomly turn off for no reason. I googled around to search for solutions to the issue, but the hardware is too new to find much information online. I finally decided to return it when I was in a meeting with a client when my machine randomly turned off and then would NOT turn back on. Very embarrassing. I may have just gotten a dud, but considering I've never had this experience with my Dell or Apple notebooks in the past... I can NOT recommend this product any longer. See my original review below...

*****

I received my this laptop about 2 weeks ago. I've been using it daily ever since. Background: I'm a Mac OSX and Linux Ubuntu/Mint/Arch user regularly. I wanted to try out a Windows 8 machine since the new OS seems pretty innovative.

Most of my criticisms of this computer relate more towards Windows 8 than the actual hardware. The hotkeys being changed are a bit difficult to adapt to, and the e-mail interface by default is bulky. I use Gmail for all e-mail still. I'm trying to adapt to the new start screen. I like the aesthetics of it, but it's still not overall that intuitive. Regardless, the more I use the operating system, the more I adjust to like it. I'm going to stick with it for a bit.

Now - with that said - to the actual hardware. It runs incredibly well for the low price. The touchscreen is very intuitive. The speed of apps launching, and running multiple programs, is very impressive. The keyboard is not as great as a Macbook Pro, but very, very close. I'm actually more impressed with the keyboard than anything else. The overall case and hardware looks and feels very professional. Most folks won't believe you when you tell them the price is less than $1000. The sound is great - and surprisingly loud. The keyboard and speakers alone make this notebook worth the price. The touchpad is a little sensitive, but overall okay.

For hardware the only negative is the screen, but it's still not the worst on the market. It's very clear that this is where they cut the most to hit the price/cost. Again, the touch screen is intuitive, but the actual quality of the screen is fairly low. Not very bright during the day, and it just looks fairly cheap compared to the rest of the machine (you won't be able to watch movies/shows from odd angles).

Overall this is a very solid buy. Actually - for those looking to try out Windows 8 on a fairly low price touch screen laptop, this would be my top choice. I've played with both the Lenovo Yoga and Microsoft Surface and NEITHER is as good as this machine.
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on January 23, 2013
If you are in the market for a new laptop, and don't need a DVD player, then this might be the one.

Windows 8 takes time getting used to, but it's extremely fast. Once you get used to it, it's amazing. I have been holding out for a touchscreen ultrabook due to the higher cost. A touchscreen Ultrabook with hybrid SSD at 699 can't be beat!!! There are many that say, why would you want a touchscreen on a notebook or desktop. Trust me, as soon as you have one, it makes you quickly realize it's value. I use the laptop 75% of the time with touchpad or mouse, and use the touchscreen the rest of the time.

Pro's: Fast, touchscreen, price USB 3.0, well designed aluminum, thin and light, awesome sound, excellent battery life , I can play apps that I can play on tablets!!!!, I can do real work !!! Core I5 and Intel 4000, not a bad combo..

Cons: Wish it had a backlit keyboard, a true SSD would be nice display resolution is really good, could be better, bad part about a touchscreen, is that everyone want's to touch it ....fingerprints 😉

I upgraded to 8gb ram for 23.00 on amazon. I am thinking about swapping for an SSD, but the system is so fast and boots up quickly, I may not need it. The hybrid situation seems to be just fine. We shall see in time. I have run into those that have Mac Book Air laptops, and they bug me to see mine :)
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on November 13, 2012
Laptop is good, boots up very fast. Screen response to touch is excellent. Keyboard is not the best, but its not too bad either. Had initial hiccup with HD streaming videos being choppy (on both Netflix and YouTube). Removed Asus Power4Gear battery saver software, and now everything runs perfectly fine (This program throttled the CPU to conserve battery, the lower CPU speed caused HD streaming to be choppy). Also McAfee antivirus is unnecessary. I miss the dedicated volume keys, wish there was a function lock key.
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on March 25, 2013
Let me state this clearly, no ultrabook seems to have it all, at least not right for everyone. Some have touchscreens, some backlit keyboards, some optical drives or SSD drives. Keeping that in mind, some features are worth more than others for people depending on their needs or desires. However the Asus vivo book excels in many of its features. At then end i will cover how to install windows 7 on this ultrabook.

I research many webpage for almost a year before buying my next laptop. I research Sony, Acer, Toshiba, IBM Lenovo and Asus Notebooks. At first i wanted just a notebook for gaming, but then i realize how much more valuable and useful where ultrabooks. To be honest, this is neither the lightest ultrabook nor the thinnest. The major contenders where the Toshiba U845/U945 with Blue aluminum finish, Acer M5 Series Aluminum finish, Lenovo Yoga, Asus Zenbooks series, Asus Vivo Series and Sony ultrabooks.

Pros:
- Chiclet Keyboard, very nice response
-I5-3317U Processor 1.7ghz
-4gb DDR3 1600mhz/ Free Memory slot
-14.1" LCD Touchscreen
-24gb SSD Cache, Fast
-3 Usb Ports (2x 2.0 usb and 1x 3.0 usb)
-HDMI Port
-Battery life approx. 4-5 hrs
-Sonic Master speakers ( Incredible sound, really good and loud)
-Touch pad is very good, detect 4 finger features.

Cons: Like i said, not all laptops can have it all, and especially not cheap in price. These aren't necessary all Cons but what some might consider it or what I at least desire to have. I didn't go for sony because they are expensive and feel cheap, sad. Lenovo yoga very nice but read review were lcd break easily. Acer M5, almost went for it, but the vivobook finish is much better, almost like a macbook air. Toshiba, well i am a Toshiba tech and i got tire of them but if it wasn't vivobook it was Toshiba ultrabook u945 series.

-No optical drive (i dont care, some will)
-No backlit Keyboard (why i don't know, sigh it's all it needed IMO)
-No Bluetooth
-LCD is a little faint in color (You can fix this with Saturation or color Enhancement)
-4.4 pounds, not the lightest still really good ( pro or con, depends on person)
-Headphone Jack and Mic in the same port (Hmmmm)
Other Thoughts: Now this laptop has been as low as 578.99-640.00 in some webpages or stores. I got mine for 400 practically new. This notebooks is worth getting if all your looking for is for a laptop with Touchscreen, Good keyboard, Fairly light and thin, really fast ( specially with their 2 sec boot program) and very good Sound. Built quality is superb and feels like a high quality product. However, I suggest something's be upgraded.

1. SSD Drive, you will bring even more life and full potential to your laptop in speed, reliability and better battery life
2.Memory, at least another 8gb Ram 1600mhz ( recommend Vengeance Corsair Memory)
3. Wifi Card to Intel 6235 Dual Band with Bluetooth
I performed these upgrades as suggested by another reviewer. It's worth every penny. I already loved my laptop and now i love it even more. Yes i recommend this laptop and these upgrades on any ultrabook but best on Asus Vivo Ultrabook S400CA-DH51T.

*******How to Install Windows 7********

Now for those who would like to Downgrade/Install Windows 7 here is a how to and some things to keep in mind.
First your going to want to back up your drivers and software if you want to make it easier, or you can get
them directly from Asus webpage. Got to you C drive, and you will find a folder called "Esupport". Back up that whole
folder as it contains your Manual for your laptop and Your software and drivers which are compatible with windows 7.
Now that you have that back up, keep in mind that everything else will be just like any other windows 7 laptop, except you
wont have special features or guessture that wear meant for windows 8 (EX, Guesstures on your Touchpad for windows 8)Everything else that your laptop came with will work, touchscreen function perfectly at initial load up and so does usb 3.0. Also, you might want to use a different Drive and preferably a SSD while your at it. If you do use your Factory HDD, DON'T DELETE YOUR
FACTORY RECOVERY PARTITION (What if you fail or messed up or you want to go back to windows 8?) You can also try to make a recovery of your image within windows 8, just go to control panel, select the recovery option and build your factory partition to a usb or dvd's.

Now you will need a usb image with windows 7 or a usb dvd drive with a windows 7 OS Disc and Genuine key.

1. Enter Bios settings by holding down the F2 key at startup (when you see the asus logo)
2. Now in the bios switch to the Security Tab/Menu
3. At the very bottom you will see an option called "Secure Boot Control". Disable that.
4. Now, switch to the "Boot" menu
5. Under boot configuration you will see an option called "Launch CSM". IF you don't enable this you won't be able to see you Hard Drive.
6. Now save setting and exit by pressing F10
7. Insert your bootable usb copy of Windows 7 or use an USB External DVD drive (I used this)
8. At startup press the ESC key this will bring the Boot up Menu.
9. Select the boot device that contains windows 7 and let it load completely.
10. From here on it's the basics. Once windows installs, start updating or installing the drivers and activate your copy of windows 7. (If you decided to use the factory drive, do not delete the recovery partition as there is no way to recover this)
11.You can get the drivers from:
asus main webpage, just click on services and then support. Click on "Download Now" and Type your model "S400CA"
12. Once you're done installing all the drivers restart the laptop and enter the bios menu again.
13. In the Bios, select the "Advanced" Menu. Then select the "USB Configuration"
14. You will see an option called "XHCI Pre-Boot Mode", disable it, you don't need it for windows 7 and it will just keep show up in device manager as "Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller"
15. Now you can go back and if you back up the asus software folder installed any other software from Asus that you might like, except the Power gear one (it will slow things down and conflict with windows power options)
16. You're done and enjoy windows 7 on your new Asus Laptop.

Well if you have any question or comments leave below or email me: johnnykillertech@gmail.com
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