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ASUS VivoBook 14 X403 Review: Slim, Lightweight Windows Notebook With Killer Battery
Asus has been aggressive with its VivoBook series of laptops. The company has managed to bring some smooth performing Windows notebooks to the table at a reasonable price without compromising on their performance. Well, the VivoBook 14 X403 is yet another device that keeps the momentum going for the brand and poses a serious threat to other laptops in its price segment.
- Brilliant Battery Backup
- Good Compact Design
- Impressive Keyboard
- Underwhelming Audio Output
- Not Meant For Heavy Tasks
It retails at Rs 54,990 and could be a great alternative for students and people working on-the-go. So, I got a chance to use the device for a few days and managed to test the device in almost all aspects. The device managed to impress and it's time we pass our judgment.
- 14-inch FHD display
- Intel Core i5 processor
- Intel HD Graphics 620
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel Wi-Fi
- 72Whr 4-cell battery
Super-Compact Design Complemented By Good Display
The moment I took the device out of the box, I was impressed by the minimalistic design reminding me of the MacBook. The VivoBook is extremely compact as it's tucked in a 16.5mm thin casing and weighs only 1.3kg. This makes it convenient to carry the notebook in a backpack. The narrow bezels reduce the overall footprint, making it smaller than laptops with the same screen size.
The all-aluminum chassis gives this laptop a sophisticated feel, something missing in other laptops in its class. The Vivobook 14 comes in a Silver Blue color which offers a more premium look.
The VivoBook 14 is also a MIL-STD-810G military standard certified for durability and reliability. The company claims that the laptop will be operational in harsh environments including extreme altitudes, temperature, and humidity.
As for the ports, you get a USB Type-A, Type-C port, and the charging socket on the left, while the right side houses another Type-A port alongside a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot.
Speaking of the display, the VivoBook 14 sports a 14-inch NanoEdge display surrounded by 4.1mm bezels, offering 87 percent screen-to-body ratio. You get an FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel with 178° wide-view technology, making the overall viewing experience better.
Besides, the screen uses the company's proprietary Tru2Life Video technology that claims to optimize the contrast and sharpness to produce vivid and realistic. Thanks to the matte anti-glare coating that makes using the laptop easy in bright lighting conditions as well.
Smooth Keyboard And Windows Gesture Touchpad
The keyboard is one of the best features of the VivoBook 14. It has an ergonomically-designed backlit keyboard that features one-piece construction with 1.4mm key travel. I found myself sitting through long typing sessions without any discomfort. Besides, the backlit keyboard supports three levels of brightness making typing in the dark a cakewalk.
The keyboard is complemented by a glass-covered touchpad that's smooth to the touch. You get all the essential gestures, thanks to the Windows 10 gesture support including multi-gesture input that makes it easy to switch between apps. It even supports handwriting recognition to input text or digital signatures.
The VivoBook 14 makes logging into the notebook pretty simple with the fingerprint sensor placed on the touchpad. The sensor supports Windows Hello and setting it up is also very easy. I used it all the time to wake up the device; however, make sure your finger isn't wet or greasy, as it could give you a tough time logging in.
The VivoBook 14 has an Intel Core i5 8265U at its heart, backed by 4GB of DDR3 RAM (expandable up to 16GB) and 512GB SSD PCIe 3.0 x 2 SSD for storage. The CPU is coupled with Intel HD Graphics 620. I faced absolutely no issues with the day-to-day tasks; however, it is not meant for heavy tasks like gaming or video editing. But, you can use it for mild gaming which is handled pretty smoothly.
I used the device as my primary device for almost two weeks and my usage included long typing sessions, video streaming, internet surfing, and sometimes a bit of photo editing. The laptop handled these tasks without breaking a sweat; however, the moment I used these applications at once, I noticed a bit of a performance drop.
We put the laptop through a few benchmarks, and the results were decent as per the industry standards. The laptop logged 3689 points on PCMark 10, while it scored 1308 cb on the CineBench. We also tested the read and write speeds of the device on the CrystalDiskMark where it scored 1649.4MB/s and 932.3MB/s, respectively.
Overall, I wouldn't call the VivoBook 14 a powerhouse, but it handles daily tasks pretty well. If you are someone whose daily work doesn't include any graphics-intensive apps, then this laptop will be able to handle everything thrown at it.
Underwhelming Audio, Overwhelming Battery
I was pretty disappointed by the audio quality of this laptop offered. The VivoBook 14 uses the company's proprietary SonicMaster that claims to powerful audio delivery and deeper bass. But, I honestly didn't notice an ample amount of bass and the volume levels were also pretty low. I had to use an external audio source almost every time I streamed something.
However, you do get an option to customize the audio with ASUS AudioWizard. This audio tuning software features five preset modes optimized for different kinds of content: Music, Movie, Recording, Gaming, and Speech Mode.
The Asus VivoBook 14 comes fitted with a 72Whr 4-cell battery, which is touted to offer up to 24 hours of backup. Well, that's not completely true, but it still does a great job keeping the lights on without having to seek a charger after every few hours. I used the notebook extensively and managed to get around 8 hours of backup which was enough to get through the office work and play a few episodes after work.
Besides, the laptop takes a little over two hours to charge from zero to 100 percent, which is a bit of a letdown. But, overall the battery performance of the laptop is impressive and it can be carried around without the charger once fully juiced.
Is It Worth Shelling Out Your Money?
Overall, the Asus VivoBook 14 X403 is a good value for money product. At a starting price of Rs 54,990, you get a well-designed notebook with a good display, impressive battery backup, and a decent set of hardware.
Although you wouldn't want to perform power-hungry tasks on this machine, it handles the daily tasks with charm. You can opt for the i7 variant of the device if you wish to perform slightly heavier tasks. Also, thanks to its compact form factor, you can carry it around in a backpack without stressing your shoulders much.
In my opinion, the Asus VivoBook is a brilliant alternative for students as well as professional. And, it is highly recommended in this price bracket as it is better in many aspects from its contemporaries.