Asus stepped up their game in the world of ultraportables by introducing the ASUS VivoBook E200HA-US01-GD. This is a lightweight 11.6 inch display laptop with a stylish design and decent specs for casual users. This is a windows laptop that comes with Windows 10 thereby taking care of users who may not prefer a Chromebook for the same price. There is also a year’s free access to Microsoft’s Office 365. It is powered by an Intel Atom Z8300 processor clocked at 1.44-1.84GHz coupled with a 2GB RAM and 32GB of RAM. The laptop comes with good connectivity features and promises a long lasting battery for users on a budget. The 11.6-inch display flaunts an LED backlit screen with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels with an Intel HD graphics display. This mini-laptop cannot be pushed too hard with demanding tasks but it is a good companion for running Microsoft office and other simple applications. You can be sure of streaming videos, emailing, browsing the internet, document editing and doing other basic stuff with this entry level laptop.
The ASUS VivoBook E200HA-US01-GD comes with a plastic body with a nicely textured plastic frame and lid. The chassis comes in a range of colors including blue, white and pinky bronze but ours was Aurora Gold. The downside of the plastic shell is that it is easily scratched hence calls for proper handling if you care about the looks. The laptop measures 7.6 x 11.3 x 0.7 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds make it that kind of a machine that you can drop in your small rucksack easily and walk around with it without feeling the burden. The 2-cell, 38wh battery should give you up to 13 hour of video playback and slightly lower than that with internet browsing. It gives an average of 10 hours of usage time on basic computing tasks.
Under the hood, the E200HA houses an Intel Atom Z8300 processor clocked at 1.44 but can run up to 1.84GHz with turbo boost technology. It combines with a 2 GB RAM thus making it unable to handle complex multitasking, but it is okay to handle basic tasks. Asus have since doubled the RAM to 4GB with the introduction of the latest ASUS VivoBook E200HA-UB02-GD. The laptop replaces the Asus X205TA which also had similar specs save for the Intel Atom 3775F processor and windows 8.1 that it came with. We expected them to double the storage capacity in its new iteration but they faltered and kept it the same at 32GB. This is part of the misgivings in the Asus considering that it is pre-installed with Windows 10 so you got less space for your use. You can however expand the storage space by purchasing a 64 GB memory card to store your music, photos, movies and documents. Additionally, Asus offers 500 GB of free cloud storage through their Asus web storage service. An external SSD can as well work for you by connecting with a USB and enjoy accessing your files and programs stored in it at high speeds.
This is not a gaming machine in any aspect but you can get away with light gaming thanks to its Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail). I f you check your gaming expectations, then you can play titles such as Minecraft and newer titles like Nuclear Throne, Hearthstone and Axiom Verge on low settings. The gaming drains the battery much faster and being a fan-less laptop it stays cool most of time but it does warm to the touch during extended gaming.
In terms of connectivity, the Asus makes a number of sacrifices but it still affords to provide the basic ports for connection. It feature a single USB 2.0 port and a 3.0 USB port for faster transfers speeds and connection to other devices. It includes a micro-HDMI output port for extending your display to larger screens. It comes with a Micro-SD Card reader slot that can as well be used for expanding the storage space. The slim design of the Asus compromises on the presence of a DVD drive, but you can still purchase an external one if you ought to use. It also lacks an Ethernet port for internet connectivity. It however comes with an ultra-fast 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi connections that is exceptionally fast with wireless connection. The MIMO technology is an amazing feature that enable more simultaneous connections between a router and nearby devices. There is also Bluetooth 4.1 that is fast in connecting with other compatible devices.
The ASUS VivoBook E200HA-US01-GD packs an 11.6 inch LED-backlit LCD panel that features a standard HD display with a 1366×768 resolution. The non-touchscreen comes with a large bezel that makes it a little bit lost and the display is glossy thus reflective but it is better than the Acer Cloudbook 11 and the HP Stream 11. The screen however reproduces a more accurate color just like other devices on this category such as the Lenovo 100s 11. The viewing angles are average due to the lack of IPS panel. There is a set of software upgrades that deliver true to life colors and allow you to adjust your color settings amongst a wide variety of options. This feature is of great importance especially when you’re editing pictures and you want to know exactly how they’ll look once you print them out. There is a VGA 480 p webcam above the display that is not great for photos or video, it can however come in handy for video chatting with friends and family via skype.
The laptop has a fully-fledged keyboard with key travel distance of 1.8mm that is very convenient and enjoyable when typing. The trackpad is gesture friendly using the ASUS Smart Gesture technology, which is basically multi-touch tech. It is a bit larger than the average trackpad and it can detect whether you rest your palm on it or not. The trackpad allows you scroll, zoom in and out, swipe and tap with up to 3 fingers. On the other hand, it produces a relatively loud sound but it is not of good quality, it has very little bass to offer. However, being a budget laptop we did not expect more than that.
The ASUS VivoBook E200HA-US01-GD is an entry-level laptop for handling basic computing. The laptop is appealing on its portability and affordability with a good battery life and design. On the downside, the processor in this laptop lacks the muscle to handle serious multitasking without slowing down and experiencing lags. It is however better than the more sluggish HP stream 11 or the Acer Cloudbook which are on the same category. The screen is also lackluster making it more of a tablet supplement in the household. As such, if you are after a portable device with a longer battery life at a friendly price, then the latest ASUS VivoBook E200HA-UB02-GD can be a better option.