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Showing 1-10 of 276 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 336 reviews
on November 3, 2012
I have been using this laptop for the last few days and my initial impressions are highly positive. I bought it as a gift for my wife but I had to take some time with it before giving it up. She was using an older 17" Dell and was tired of carrying around an 8 pound laptop so I started my search. With Windows 8 coming out I knew I wanted a touch screen and the only model in my price range was this Asus. I have had plenty of experience with Asus motherboards and video cards and they have always been great products so I decided to take the plunge. So far it has been a wise decision.

When I opened the box I was impressed with how thin and light the laptop is. Compared to my Dell XPS 15 this thing is tiny but packs a screen just 1.3" smaller. While it is light weight it still feels very solid in your hands. The laptop weighs about 4.0lbs by my scale. Surprisingly the power brick is tiny as well, measuring about 3"x3"x1" and weighing 1.2lbs. My wife wanted something smaller to carry around and this fits the bill perfectly.

Opening the lid reveals a 14" touch screen with 1366x768 resolution and the keyboard/touchpad combination. The screen is bright and clear and the viewing angles are very good. Love it or hate it Windows 8 is included and having a touchscreen makes it even better. The screen responds well to your touch and the only time I see fingerprints on it is when the screen is off. The top of the laptop however shows more fingerprints than the screen. I was initially concerned with the lower resolution but on this size of screen it works well and my wife actually prefers it over the HD resolution of my Dell as it makes text easier to read.

The laptop has a Chiclet style keyboard that is not backlit. I have read about people having issues with the space bar on other Asus models but it appears to have been resolved because every key has been very responsive. The touchpad works well and supports multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom and two finger scrolling. After some use I like the touchpad and buttons. The touchpad and buttons are all one piece with the buttons slightly elevated to provide a click when you press them. You do not have to press very hard on the buttons and they do not feel stiff or mushy. In the center of the buttons is a line to show you left and right. I prefer the touchpad on the Asus over my XPS.

On the left side of the laptop are two USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader and the microphone/headset jack. On the right side there is 1 USB 3.0 port, a full size HDMI port, a VGA port, an Ethernet jack and the AC jack. There is no optical drive but with high speed memory sticks and the internet I don't see this as a problem. If you really need it there are plenty of small, cheap external drives available.

We have had the laptop for a few days day now and the battery life is very good. Over the first few days we used it quite a bit and only charged it once a day. Tonight I unplugged the laptop from the charger (it was at 93%) and watched Netflix for the next 3 and a half hours and the battery meter says it still has 1 hour or 21% of the battery left. The brightness was set to about 30% for my test. I would guess 4 to 5 hours of battery life will be average.

Sound on this laptop is good but not to the level of my XPS 15. There are two speakers on the bottom of the laptop to the left and right sides, angled to bounce the sound off whatever surface the laptop is sitting on. I cranked up some music and the sound is clear at any volume with no distortion but lacked a little fullness in the low and mid-end. I listen to a lot of music while at work and I certainly would not complain if I had to use this laptop to do it.

The included wireless N adapter has good performance with speeds up to 7 MB/s when transferring files to and from my HTPC in the living room over 40 feet away. It connected to my wireless network right away and reconnects almost instantly when resuming from sleep. The wireless radio only operates on the 2.4mhz band and while Asus' webpage says that Bluetooth is included, I don't believe it is. I can't find anything in Device Manager for Bluetooth Devices.

Performance has been very snappy thanks to the dual core I5 processor and 24gb SSD caching drive. Applications launch quickly and boot times are minimal. Even my wife has noticed how much speedier the computer is than her old one. I have not done any gaming on it yet but will amend my review when I get a chance. I will note that there is some bloatware installed on the machine such as McAfee that you should get rid of as soon as you can. Windows 8 includes Defender by default so why Asus loads McAfee is beyond me. Asus Updater was also showing an error in the desktop when I booted but that cleared up after Windows 8 installed some updates.

Overall this is a fun little computer and using the touchscreen with Windows 8 has proved to be a great experience. This review has been my opinion so far but after finally giving the computer to my wife it doesn't look like I will get it back any time soon. Now that she can play Bingo Blitz with the touchscreen it looks like I will have to get one of my own! She summed it up to me in two enthusiastic words, "It's Fun!" And here I thought this was a work PC...
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on November 27, 2012
I'll keep this short, and just put what I consider relevant. My first computer had a cassette drive, and my first laptop wasn't much more advanced, so I've had a lot of experience with this type of technology.

My opinion of this product is that it's the finest built laptop I've ever handled, with one exception - the wi-fi. To be fair, it might be a Windows 8 thing, a driver thing, or a hardware thing, but the wi-fi goes out randomly every hour or two. Disabling the wireless and re-enabling brings it back.

Other than this, and again I don't know it's the laptops fault - this is perfect. If you like the feel of a Macbook, but not the price, this will make your day. Aluminum chassis, excellent touchscreen (which brings Windows 8 to life, without it, Windows 8 is garbage), the weight, and the thickness (under an inch) are matched only by the quality feel and operation of the product as a whole.

In short - this thing rocks, buy it.

UPDATE: I contacted Asus, and although I can't explain why, their fix worked. Uninstall the wireless adapter from device manager, restart, reinstall, and bam - I no longer randomly disconnect. 5/5 now

Update #2: Asus website, and support, insist this product is not sold without bluetooth. The amazon page does not list yes or no for bluetooth. Long and short - somehow the system I received from Amazon has no bluetooth. Asus support insists that's defective hardware, as they only sell it with the Qualcomm Atheros Bluetooth. They (Asus) gave me an RMA number to ship it back, and they will send me one with Bluetooth correctly functioning. Big hassle - and for this I took off a star.

Update #3: So I got my Vivobook back, after only 6 days, which was impressive, with a note which read "This product does not come with Bluetooth"...

That after 2 techs told me (pre-rma) that it did, the specifications page on their website still says it has Integrated Bluetooth 4.0. Removing a star.
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on November 10, 2012
This is one of the cheapest 14" touch screen laptops available (<$800 total). While this is the first touch screen laptop I used, I have/had several other laptops: Acer, Dell and Toshiba. I can say this Asus is the best among them.

The screen's display quality is good and the text is clear and easy to read.

The stereo speakers have good and enjoyable sound for music and movies.

The laptop is thin. This makes it possible to slip it into a thin bag.

Fan spinning is noticeable but still pretty quiet.

The keyboard is good and easy to type, with no problem so far.

The microphone picks up voice well. It does have slight echo and a little muddy for voice but voice is loud and clear enough.

Windows literally takes only a few seconds to boot. I have never seen it this fast.

I get battery life of 4.5 to 5 hours, not the best. But the charger is compact so it is easy to carry.

The BIOS has password settings for restricting access to HDD and IO ports. The password can protect HDD content so that others cannot easily assess data even if the drive is taken out of the laptop when stolen/lost.

While only one of the three USB ports is USB 3.0. This can be extended by using a USB 3.0 hub if more Super Speed ports are needed.

The touch pad does cause the cursor jumping around but it's easy to disable by FN+F9 keys. With touch screen, I rarely need touch pad.

There is no internal DVD drive. This makes laptop more compact and reduces the extra space and weight for something rarely used. For occasional use of DVD, there are many choices of cheap USB DVD drives.

A small enhancement could be made to allow the FN to be sticky or ON by default so that volume and other controls can be done by single key press. These controls are more frequently used than the function keys. Hopefully Asus will make this possible in their keyboard filter driver.

There is no built-in Bluetooth. So a USB Bluetooth adapter is necessary.

Despite a few limitations, the laptop is well built. Windows 8 is fast. And the touch screen works really well.

Updates

1. Sometimes the system was unresponsive with very jittery mouse pointer movement. This happened multiple times a day, lasting maybe a minute or longer. I tried uninstalling and re-installing Asus utilities, and found the problems mostly went away after uninstalled the Asus Power4Gear Hybrid Utility.

2. I added a 4GB memory module (DDR3 4GB 1666MHz for $30). This is a really worthy upgrade as it improved system performance noticeably by eliminating memory swaps to disk and by caching files in RAM for quick (instant) relaunches.

The whole back cover is hold in place by 10 screws or so and they need to be removed. Once the back cover is removed, you should be able to see the open memory slot for installing the RAM module. After installing it, I can see the Windows Task Manager reports "Memory 8.0 GB DDR3".
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on February 2, 2013
Great Product, sturdy, great feel, extremely fast, and Windows 8 is a whole new fund world.

I've owned an Apple, Toshiba, and and HP Pavilion dv7. My employee currently uses Dell. I did a ton of research on all-in-one computers aka convertible computers; actually had my mind set on the HP Envy. However after reading numerous professional and consumer reviews I decided to try the ASUS S400CA. I leaned this way because I have the HP to use in my home office, I have a Sumsung Tablet (my wife claimed it now because I have the ASUS), so I thought why not buy a notebook that has the capability of both a touch screen and a computer.

This computer is blazing fast, very responsive with the touch screen, and as I mentioned above Window's 8 is a great platform to use for the touch screen experience. Most of the apps that I was using on the tablet I had are available in the Window's app store. I like being able to have access to Microsoft Office (the touch version is awesome), and use the ASUS when I go on trips, or just bringing it upstairs when I sit down in the living room.

The only negative thing I have to say about the ASUS VivoBook S400CA is that the battery life isn't as good as the Tablet, but it definitely last longer than my HP off of the power cord. The longest I have run the ASUS on battery has been about 4 hours and 20 minutes.

In short, If this is what kind of product ASUS puts out, then all my future purchases are going to be from them. Extremely happy to have all of the features of a convertible computer with a price tag of under $750.00.
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on March 29, 2013
I can’t say enough good things about this laptop. Sure there are a few minor glitches, but for less than $700 I am shocked at how good this laptop is. Let me start by explaining my expectations when I choose this laptop. I have a big bulky Dell laptop for work, and a small netbook for travel. The Dell was too big, and the netbook was too slow, so I only used them when I had to. A year ago my wife convinced me to buy her the new MacBook Air. We keep it at home on the coffee table and she lets me use it. I’ve never been a big Apple fan, but after using it for the past year I am convinced that it is some of the best hardware out there, period. Although I love the hardware, I absolutely can’t stand the OS. I almost bought an Air for myself and loaded Windows on it (you can do that in several different ways) but after reading many reviews that was glitchy at best. Besides that, it would be a very costly package at $1300 for the laptop, and then you still have to buy Windows separately. Bag that idea.

So I started looking for a comparable PC laptop to the Air. Throughout my extensive research, I realized that if I was going to get a PC, it would come with Win8, and to really get the true experience out of this OS you need touch-screen. I used Win8 at work without touch and it’s awkward at best. As I researched and researched I stumbled upon the Asus S400CA, but at only $670 I thought there was no way it would perform anywhere close to my Air. I decided to take the chance and buy it after further research and long story short, it does. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some differences, and on a bench test I am sure the Air would produce better numbers, but the Asus machine is so darn close in side-by-side comparisons (literally) that I hardly notice the difference. A few milliseconds here, meh, no biggie. Besides, the Asus was nearly half the price of my Air!

So let’s talk specifics on the Asus. First off it is sleek, compact, and feels solidly built. It is slightly bigger than the Air, but considerably heavier. Even still it is small and light in comparison to a standard laptop. The boot up time is extremely fast, and if you set it to sleep-mode rather than shutdown, it wakes back up in less than 2 seconds. If you are using it at home and don’t need routine security on it, turn off the "require password on wake-up" and it comes to life even faster and is ready to go. That is super nice to be able to grab it, flip open the top, and be working almost right away. This feature is one of the things I really loved on my Air. The touchpad is smooth and precise, but a bit shakier than the Air. The huge 500GB usable total storage is split into two partitions, one for programs, and one for storage. Be careful though, by default the Docs storage location is set to the "programs" partition out of the box, so if you dump a bunch of pictures, music etc. in here by default, it will fill up the programs partition too fast. It’s easy enough to change to point to the storage partition though, just do it before you copy all your stuff onto the new laptop.

So, a couple of minor issues that should be noted. No matter what all the websites say, Amazon says, and even Asus says, this laptop does NOT come with Bluetooth as other reviewers have mentioned. And, it only has a single band (2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi. At first I was annoyed, but then I found a combined dual-band Wi-Fi & Bluetooth internal card on Amazon for only $22! I ordered it, installed it in about 5 mins and now I have dual band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I also bought another 4 GB of ram for only $29! I installed it at the same time I did the Wi-Fi, and it was also super easy. Now I have 8 GB of ram which makes things much snappier. Total cost $721.

The battery life is not so great, I only get about 3 hours tops of continuous use out of a charge as compared to my Air which gets nearly 5. I imagine this may have to do with the extra power requirements of the touch-screen? As long as you are at home or near an outlet, it won’t be a problem. And if you set it to sleep after 10-15 minutes of non-use, the battery will last for days unplugged. The screen isn’t the best because the glass is a bit too shiny, and in high-light situations it produces too much glare. Minor but annoying, and again it may have to do with the touch screen? Last thing, I wish this laptop had a backlit keyboard, for times when you are working in low light. The Air has one, which I really liked.

So overall I love this machine. Sitting on the couch next to my wife with her Air, me with my Asus, I like to poke fun that I have touch-screen, 4 times the storage (her Air has the 128 GB ssd), twice the RAM, and still nearly $700 in my pocket. The only thing she comes back with is how cool the little light-up Apple is on her lid.
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on December 31, 2012
This laptop is thin, it feels very solid, it has good specs for the price, the performance is impressive while using common home and business programs, and it boots very quickly. The VivoBook will be hard to beat at this price.

I mainly bought this laptop because I wanted to evaluate Windows 8 with a touch screen. This touch screen works well and I am very pleased with it. The screen has a solid glass feel and it is sensitive to the touch. It is easy to swipe from screen to screen or reach up to touch something. This is sometimes more convenient than sliding the pointer via the touchpad. I am somewhat surprised to find that I do not use the touch screen as much as I thought I would because I do not care for the "New UI" in Windows 8.

This laptop was my first exposure to a hybrid drive and it is impressive. I was going to install an SSD, but I may not unless I am worried about shock when travelling. The hybrid drive is a Seagate, which is a negative for me (this is going to upset Seagate fans). I work with computers for a living and Seagate quality is very questionable, in my opinion. I have replaced many failed Seagate drives and I do not expect a long life out of this drive. I will be sure to keep everything backed up.

The laptop came with 4GB of RAM, but it was easy to add an additional 4GB of RAM in the only available slot. The RAM slot required more pressure than usual to get the RAM properly seated, but once seated it was recognized without issue at first boot. Windows 8 likes RAM, so I recommend adding a 4GB stick. At less than $30 it is a worthy upgrade.

Accessing the RAM was rather easy. There are ten screws to remove and then the entire bottom of the laptop comes off easily with a few snaps. This provides access to the RAM slot and other components, such as the hard drive. I like the design because some laptops cab be very difficult to open to access various components.

I like the large multi-touch touchpad and rarely find myself using the actual physical mouse clicks. Tapping the touchpad works well as left or right mouse clicks (two fingers for right-click). When I do need to physically mouse click they are stiff since there are no actual buttons and you press down on the bottom of the touchpad itself. I find the mouse clicking a bit stiffer than my Macbook that uses a similar style touchpad. The physical clicking is annoyingly stiff when there is much of it to be done, such as when I am using remote desktop.

The touchpad does seem a bit inaccurate and will seem to wobble when trying to do precise tasks, such as cropping photos. I do not have this problem on my four other laptops. This is should not be a deal breaker unless you need to do very precise work and will not be using an external mouse or other pointing device. The accuracy issue may be corrected with future software updates.

One major hardware issue for me is the keyboard. I almost removed the added RAM and restored the operating system to return the laptop because I find the keyboard is extremely disappointing. If I were to describe it in one word, it would be "sloppy." This laptop has a chicklet style keyboard, which I do not care for, but this is not the bad part. The key press pressure is very soft and it seems like keystrokes sometimes do not register unless you press the keys dead center. At first I thought it was me or a software issue, but I am thinking it is actually a hardware design problem. Perhaps this would not be such an issue if it were not a chicklet keyboard and the keys were closer together. However, the keys should not have to be closer together to make the keyboard function properly. I have a lot of keystrokes not register and this makes a long document take much longer than usual. I tried immersing myself in the use of this laptop since purchasing it almost two weeks ago and I have spent several hours typing articles on a friend's new website. The immersion did not improve the problem very much. Your experience may vary from mine, but you may want to reconsider the purchase of this laptop if you do a lot of typing.***

Another major issue with ASUS are their websites. I have been using ASUS products for years but always found their websites disappointing. It is common to have pages fail to load and very slow download speeds, but the latter seems to be improving. I often find myself locating device drivers so I am critical of manufacturer support sites.

The website issues became painfully clear when trying to register this laptop. ASUS includes free Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) for this laptop, if you can get the website to complete the registration process. I tried to register using three different web browsers on three different computers a few time over the two week period. I even tried different versions of the three browsers (IE 9 & 10, Chrome stable & beta, and Firefox beta).

I finally called ASUS support and it was a difficult experience because of the very poor phone connection to whatever part of the world the call center was located. I was told to try the website again later in the day and if it does not work to try again the following day. I doubt it will work since I have already tried to register a few times on different days. I also located other complaints about their registration website in online forums. I was aware the phone call to support would not accomplish much, but I wanted the case number in case I cannot get this laptop registered before the expiration period. I even emailed ASUS about the issue to evaluate their response.

This paragraph is purely opinion. The final issue is not an ASUS issue and I will not dwell on it too long, but Windows 8 is rather disappointing. Maybe it is a necessary step in the evolution of the operating system (OS), as some say, but I do not agree. The desktop OS should stay a desktop OS and Microsoft should make a separate mobile OS (in my opinion). Many people will have a difficult time transitioning from prior versions of Windows to Windows 8. A recent comment by a Microsoft employee had statistics about how many weeks it takes to adjust to Windows 8. I do not have the exact quote handy, but it was something as long as six weeks. A consumer should not need to spend [up to] six weeks determining they do or do not like Windows 8, especially if they have the common thirty days to return a computer.

To summarize: Great build, specs, performance, and touch screen for the price. Questionable touchpad with potential for improvement, a very disappointing keyboard, and poorly implemented/maintained website. If you type a lot and need support, this may not be the laptop for you. If you need a casual use laptop that is easy to carry when travelling, this is a good deal.

Update 1/2/2012
It only took a few days, but ASUS replied to my email about the Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) and advised it was registered and I did not need to take any further action. I am pleased with the turnaround time and now my laptop is protected.
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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 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 December 20, 2012
I've had an old computer that was 6-7 years and was screwed up because I broke the cd drive and downloaded Windows 8 consumer preview without realizing that I will no longer be able to use Vista. As a result, I had no writing documents besides wordpad or google drive to write essays, and my computer could not connect to my printer which was a pain every time I need to print. I decided it was time to get a new laptop, and when Windows 8 came out, I wanted to try out a new touch screen laptop. This is one of the cheapest option that satisfied my needs, and it does not disappoint. I do not play games on my computer or make videos or any of that sort, so I only needed a laptop that was capable of watching youtube videos and doing school work. This laptop is great for its price point, and it works perfectly for my school needs. I am a high school senior about to go to college this coming autumn. These are the reasons why this is perfect for school use.

Great build quality:
Asus has been known for their great build quality on their products, and this laptop is well built. The aluminum build is very pleasing to the eye and is comfortable to rest your palms on. The keyboard works well and does not stick and does not feel mushy. The touchpad is large and gestures are simple and efficient to use. I've had little problems with the keyboard and touchpad. The only problem I had was when the touchpad stopped multitouch gestures when you wake it from sleep, but after a software upgrade, that problem went away. I love typing on the keyboard. The sound it makes is pleasant and the responsiveness feels pleasant as you type as well. It is not backlit, but if you already learned how to type, you shouldn't need to look at the keys to know what you're typing. People have told me that this looks like a macbook, and it does resemble it.

Touch screen:
I made having a touchscreen a requirement when choosing a new laptop because Windows 8 feels incomplete without it. Although I don't use it that often, the touchscreen comes in very useful. When I'm working on a project with my friends, they can use the touchscreen to switch between Word and Powerpoint or scroll up and down while I control the touchpad and keyboard. It's easier than everyone trying to reach for the touchpad at once. I also use the touchscreen when I feel like being lazy and slouch on the couch. The touchpad is in an awkward position to use, so I just use the touchscreen instead. The touchscreen is also much nicer to use when on the start screen. You can also impress your friends by showing them that your laptop has a touchscreen, although this glory is short lived.

Weight and size:
The 14 inch screen size is good enough for me. For school purposes, you can probably buy the 11 inch model, but I chose the 14 inch model because I prefer a larger screen and it has a faster processor. I carry it to school when I need to work on my laptop, and it's not too heavy to carry. Although 4 pounds is heavy for an ultrabook, it's still lighter than most regular laptops. The 11 inch model is lighter if you prefer that. This ultrabook isn't the thinnest either, but it easily fits into my backpack when I'm carrying it. It also doesn't feel heavy when you use it on your lap. The laptop doesn't get very hot and the fan is quiet so I don't hear it unless I'm trying to hear it.

Speakers:
The speakers are location on the side of the bottom pointed downwards. Although they appear to be small, the speakers work quite well. It's loud enough to watch videos without distorting the sounds. Music sounds good and videos are loud and clear. Video chatting also works well, although I've only done it once for a short while.

Battery:
Here comes the part that's not so good. The battery on this things lasts somewhere from 3-5 hours depending on how you use it. If you're constantly watching a video not in full screen mode, it should last you 3.5 hours from a full charge. If you watch in full screen, it will last a little less than that. If you only type essays and work on powerpoint, the laptop should last 5 hours. If you just browse the web and don't watch videos, it should last 4 hours. The battery could be better, but at least the charger it comes with is small and portable.

Other:
Other small things that may be good or bad. For the good, the laptop starts up really quickly. When you turn it on, it'll be on in about 10-15 seconds. When you wake it from sleep, even less than that. It's very useful when I'm in school and I don't want to wait that long to start working. Now for the bad. The WiFi connection occasionally stops for a few seconds then reconnects. I don't know if it's my WiFi or the laptop that's the cause. Either way, it gets annoying, but by clicking on your WiFi, it should reconnect again. This laptop also comes with Asus Power4Gear installed. I find that this makes internet connection unbearably slow when not plugged into the charger, so if you uninstall that, all should be well. That's all the complaints I have so far.

Overall, I had very little problems with this laptop. All technology has their hiccups and problems, but this has been relatively problem free. I could connect this with my printer and I can print whenever I want to now. Ever since I got this laptop, I've been bringing it to school around half the time. It's great for school work and the minor problems are things that I could deal with that I couldn't with my old computer. Now if you're a gamer or edit videos and photos, I would recommend getting laptop with better specs.
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