CNET First Look
Asus VivoBook S451LA skimps on features to save on priceThis 14-inch notebook offers a responsive touchscreen for only about $700, but cuts too many corners to be especially worthwhile.
[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Nate Ralph of CNET, and today we're checking out the ASUS VivoBook S451LA, which is kind of a [LAUGH] mouthful. So this $700, 14-inch laptop is about an inch thick, so it's, pretty thin. But it weighs five pounds, so, it's not exactly an ultra-portable machine. But, you know what, it looks, it looks pretty. It's got a brushed metal lid. And a metal body, and a, plastic base. So at, at a blush, at first blush it looks like a really, you know, like a premium machine, but then you open it up. Now, it's a $700 machine so, we aren't too surprised by the 1366 by 768 resolution, still that's kind of disappointing. That said, it is a touchscreen. And it's nice, responsive touchscreens too, which is, you know, that's, that's pretty good. Especially Windows 8, if you like touching Windows 8, you know, you won't be too disappointed by this touchscreen. Let's, talk about the keyboard and trackpad, though. Now, because it's, again, because it's a 14 inch machine, you've got a lot of space. The keyboard and the trackpad, they're both nice and wide and spacious. That's good. Unfortunately, the trackpad isn't super accurate. There are a lot of gestures baked in to sort of, you know, get you a little more familiar with Windows 8, things like swiping in from the left to switch between apps, and things like that. But, it isn't too accurate you know, as I, as I try to track around, it doesn't always catch my gestures, and that can be kind of annoying. The keyboard isn't backlit, again, for a $700 machine we sort of expect a backlit keyboard. But that's still pretty disappointing. Now, inside we've got a fourth generation core Wi-Fi processor, six gigs of ram and a 500 gig hard drive. That's decent, but, it's a 500 gig spinning platter hard drive. Now, if it were, SST that'd be phenomenal. I would have settled for a hybrid drive at this point, but, that slower drive is going to affect the performance a bit. The rest of the specs though, you know, again, they're not bad. At $700, it's not a bad price, and it's not a terrible machine. But you can do better. If you spend a little bit more, you could get machines that are either, slightly bigger, or offer a better resolution, or maybe even a discrete graphics card. This machine offers Intel integrated graphics. Which, has gotten better, admittedly, but it's not going to be good if you want to get, very much, gaming done or anything like that or even, photo editing. Now, I personally believe that Windows 8 on a notebook is greatly helped by a touchscreen, but if you don't agree then $700 is, actually, kind of a steep price for what you're getting here. I'm Nate Ralph, and be sure to read the full review on the ASUS VivoBook S451LA. Again, that's a mouthful. Read the full review at cnet.com. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]