Review: ASUS VivoBook S550

By Mike Wheeler

By Mike Wheeler

ASUS has been the quiet achiever in the notebook space as it has slowly but surely made its presence felt over the past few years. It’s been five years since it launched its M70 notebook, while it’s also concentrated a lot on the tablet space with its Eee Pad offerings. Then there was the recently released Taichi ultrabook, and now they are going slightly more mainstream with its VivoBook range.

The one we’re looking at in this review is the VivoBook S550, which at the higher end of the range and its specs tell you why. First, is the impressive 15.6-inch screen, so this is ideal for looking at spreadsheets, watching videos and putting files side-by-side. It also offers up 1366 x 768 pixels, which when we streamed some HD YouTube videos, looked very nice indeed. It has the Windows 8 operating system, and you have the option of touch screen or keyboard.

The S550 comes with an i3, i5 or i7 Intel Core processor (we had the i7), and an impressive 6GB of RAM. You also get 500GB of storage, so you’ll not run out of space any time soon.  We found that flitting between apps was brisk, which we put down to the processing power.  You also get 32GB of ASUS cloud web storage, free for three years, which we initially found weird, but we guess if you have some super important files that you want saved in a place that will be safe from a critical hard drive failure, then it’s not a bad idea.

It also has a 24GB solid-state hybrid drive, and we saw nothing to disagree with the claim by ASUS that it helped with a quick start up; it did indeed.

Battery life was what you would expect with such a device and nothing more, which was just over 6.5 hours with quite a bit of surfing the web, playing YouTube videos and mucking around with some word documents. We didn’t test how long it would last watching a full movie file, but we’re guessing it will suck a little more energy. One claim that we didn’t test, but if true, certainly is handy, is that it will automatically back up your files when the battery goes below five percent.

Overall we think that this is a cross between an Ultrabook and laptop, and although a little heavier than most notebooks, we feel this is more due to the amount of oomph the device has as opposed to any unnecessary add-ons.

Pros: Fast, quick start up; great resolution; workhorse;
Cons: Pretty heavy; would like battery life to be a little longer

4 Shacks Out Of 5

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