The Asus Vivobook X202e is an entry-level notebook that sports a sleek Ultrabook look. But is it going to provide you the kind of performance as good as it looks? Find out by reading our full review after the jump.
Design and Build
Inspired by the Asus Zenbook, most of the Asus Vivobook X202e’s body is made of aluminum alloy with brushed metal finish. On the outside the lid has a dark purplish gray color with tapered edges while the inside is of silver gray. At first glance, it would look like as if it has an all-metal unibody design but the metal part only covers the interior up to the sides while the bottom is made of smooth durable plastic.
Located on top of the display is the HD webcam and microphone. Take a view from the left side and you’ll see the DC charging port, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. On the right side, is a VGA port, another USB 2.0 port, headset/mic jack, and an SD card reader. Hidden from plain view are two powerful speakers located on the left and right sides.
For starters you’ll get an 11.6-inch LED display with a resolution of 1366×768. Details look soft and colors appear less vibrant but not at all bad. It has good viewing angles but not that great. The X202e is not going to break any grounds in this department but it does offer you something other notebooks don’t have- a touchscreen display.
Scrolling web pages are easier using touch and you can use the pinch-to-zoom gesture when viewing images. You can tap on icons or select texts but you’ll sometimes have issues with accuracy especially if the icons or texts are really small. Overall, the touchscreen is very responsive and really handy especially when using the touch-optimized parts of Windows 8 but it certainly won’t replace the accuracy and precision of a touchpad or mouse. At least for now.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The X202e has plastic chiclet keys but doesn’t feel cheap at all. It’s not noisy, has the right springiness and depth and is comfortable to use. The keys are evenly spaced but if you’re used to using larger notebooks you might find the keys on the X202e a bit cramped. But once you get used to it you’ll find that it is easier to type on as all keys can be reached without lifting your hands. The only downside though is the lack of keyboard backlighting so typing in the dark can be a slight hassle.
ASUS was generous to give the X202e a large trackpad while leaving enough space on both sides for your palms to comfortably rest on, so accidental touches on the trackpad with your palms rarely happens. It is very responsive and smooth that it feels like you’re swiping on glass.
One of the best things about the X202e are the speakers. It is powered by SonicMaster and can deliver crisp and clear sounds with a 3D feel to it. This is something you’ll truly appreciate if you like watching videos, playing video games or simply listening to music. Overall, the speakers are a massive treat.
The Vivobook X202e model we’re using has an Intel Core i3 3217U Ivy Bridge processor clocked at 1.8GHz, 4GB of RAM, Intel HD 4000 graphics and a 64-bit Windows 8 OS. Windows Experience Index gave the processor a subscore of 6.3. Gaming graphics got a score of 6.0 followed by RAM and HD performance at 5.9. Desktop graphics performance got the lowest thus giving as an overall score of 4.4.
As for gaming performance I played Left4Dead in maximum resolution and settings. The game ran smoothly with no problems.
The X202e comes with Windows 8 out of the box with Asus apps pre-installed such as update managers and other tools. They’re not exactly bloatware as these apps are very useful and help keep the device running properly.
Booting up on Windows 8 took 27 to 29 seconds while shutting it down took 15 to 17 seconds.
The X202e promises between 3 to 5 hours of battery life depending on what kind of usage. My normal use involves constant connection to WiFi for Facebook and web browsing, some YouTube videos, light gaming and writing articles. That kind of activity got me a little over 4 hours of battery life which is good. But go heavy on games and movies on maximum display brightness and the battery lasted for just 2 hours.
I can definitely say that the Asus Vivobook X202e is a perfect work companion. It’s an entry-level notebook but packs more power than most netbooks. At 2.9 lbs it isn’t exactly feather weight but it isn’t tiring to carry around. Plus, it is only 0.85-inch (21.7mm) thin so it won’t take much space in your bag. Not to mention the Zen look that makes the X202e aesthetically pleasing. If you’re going to set this down together with other notebooks of the same caliber, the X202e will definitely standout.
As good as it may seem, it is not entirely perfect. I prefer the display to be sharper or more vibrant but I don’t consider it a requirement. The touchscreen display itself is already a major advantage so the functionality makes up for it. There’s also the lack of keyboard backlight and the absence of the optical drive but you do get a full set of ports.
From this stand point, Asus obviously skipped on a few bells and whistles but they were careful not to sacrifice overall functionality. To conclude, the Asus Vivobook X202e is a wonderful notebook and a pleasure to work with. It certainly has provided the right combination of looks and performance.
Asus Vivobook X202e specs:
11.6″ touchscreen LED display @ 1366×768 pixels
Intel Core i3 3217U Ivy Bridge 1.8GHz
Intel HD 4000 Graphics
4GB DDR3 RAM
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x USB 3.0 ports
30.3cm x 20.0cm x 21.7mm
Php26,995 (suggested retail price)
What we liked about the Asus Vivobook X202e:
* Great build and design
* Thin profile
* Touchscreen display
* Full set of ports
* Powerful speakers
* Good battery life
What we did not like about the Asus Vivobook X202e:
* Not so vibrant display
* No backlit keyboard