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Last Updated : Sep 19, 2019 05:21 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Asus VivoBook 14 X403 review: This machine is for people looking for performance & power efficiency in a budget

What Asus has done with power management on the new VivoBook is nothing short of amazing.

Carlsen Martin

Asus recently launched the VivoBook 14 X403 in India. It is the newest addition to the compact, thin and light VivoBook line up. The VivoBook X403 features 8th Gen Intel processing hardware to give users all the power required for daily use. The X403 is priced in India’s mid-range laptop market. Beyond the spec sheet, there’s a lot more to the VivoBook than meets the eye. So, stick around and to see if the VivoBook fits the bill.

Design

The X403 gets a similar minimalist design from previous Asus VivoBook models, and that’s hardly a bad thing. The ultrabook features Asus’ trademark ErgoLift hinge design to offer better heat dissipation. The chassis’ metal build gives the notebook a premium look.

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The LCD screen on the VivBook X403 has very thin bezels, which looks good and maximises screen real estate. The lid is pretty easy to open with one hand. Moreover, the notebook also weighs a meagre 1.3kg and has a 16.5mm profile, making it ideal for on-the-go use.

Vivobook (3)

Keyboard

The keyboard on the VivoBook X403 also gets an excellent keyboard. The backlit keyboard features keys with a 1.4mm travel distance. The keyboard and wrist rest offers zero flex, while the spacing between the keys is quite adequate. Overall, the typing experience on the new VivoBook is a very comfortable affair. For a 14-inch laptop, it is a shame there’s no Numpad, but that’s hardly an issue.

Trackpad

The trackpad on this ultrabook houses a fingerprint sensor on the top right corner. The fingerprint scanner also features support for Windows Hello login. It sports a glass back and Windows Precision drivers. Using the trackpad was quite effortless and delivered a hassle-free experience.

VivoBook_14

Ports

In terms of I/O, the VivoBook 14 X403 gets a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, microSD card slot, and headphone jack. The laptop has a pretty strong assortment of ports, ensuring connecting accessories won’t be a problem.

Performance

The VivoBook 14 X403 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor coupled with 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 512GB PCIe G3X2 SSD. When it comes to performance, you get what you pay for. The VivoBook ticks all the boxes for mainstream business and personal use. The notebook can easily handle daily multitasking workloads.

Asus has also opted for DDR3 RAM over the latest DDR4 for better power efficiency. However, the difference in performance is barely noticeable. The PCIe SSD is also one of the best-in-class, delivering excellent read/write speeds. The X403 is not a gaming laptop, and it really isn’t trying to be one.

VivoBook_14 (2)

Yes, lowering settings on Fortnite, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will offer playable frame rates. We’d recommend casual gaming on titles that don’t require dedicated graphics. Overall, for a consumer notebook, the VivoBook X403 gets the job done on the performance front.

Display

The new VivoBook also gets a 1080p FHD display with slim bezels on all sides. The screen also offers excellent viewing angles but could be a little brighter. The panel brightness is more than sufficient for indoor use, while colours are pretty accurate. There’s nothing special about this display, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The screen is excellent for consuming entertain, browsing the web and working on documents.
ProsCons
Lightweight and CompactSub-par Speakers
Good PerformanceLong Charging Time
Excellent Battery Life
Reasonably Priced

Audio

The built-in 2W stereo speakers on the VivoBook 14 use Asus’ SonicMaster Audio technology. However, the speakers are placed under the laptop, significantly reducing audio output when placed on the lap or surface. Even on full volume in a silent room, listening to dialogue is difficult. Sound quality is quite poor, and we’d suggest using a headset.

Battery

Lastly, this compact 14-inch notebook packs a massive 4-cell 72WH battery. Fitting a battery that size in a thin and portable chassis is quite impressive. Impressive might be an understatement when looking at battery life on the new VivoBook X403. Asus claims that the VivoBook X403 can deliver all-day battery life.

VivoBook

While all-day might not be the same as 24 hours of battery life, it does get you pretty far. We got over 12 hours on a single full charge. At this price, 12 hours isn’t just good; it’s insane. If you’re operating in an office, content on the screen is visible without straining your eyes at around 30-percent brightness.

You are going to get through a full eight to ten-hour workday on this laptop, and still have a couple of hours of entertainment before you need to head to a charging port. Let’s face it, no one can use a laptop for 24 hours straight and even twelve hours in front of a screen is too much.

So, while you may not get 24 hours of use, you’ll certainly get over twelve hours of productivity, in the right environment, on the right settings. There are very few laptops, if any, at this price that can deliver such high standards of battery life, often expected in ultrabook which cost almost twice as much. The only drawback in the battery department is charging as the notebook can take over two and a half hours to get to a full charge.

VivoBook (2)

Verdict

At Rs 54,990, the Asus VivoBook 14 X403 is quite the bargain. It delivers the best battery life we’ve seen on a laptop under Rs 60,000 INR. And, while you could get better performance at this price, what Asus has done with power management is nothing short of amazing. And, while the X403 may not be appealing on paper, it’s everything done beyond the hardware that’s both appealing and impressive.

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First Published on Sep 19, 2019 05:21 pm
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