There’s no doubt about it. The ASUS VivoBook E402YA is one of the best budget laptops you can buy for college and basic home use. The trend with laptops in recent years has been moving towards the premise of less is more, with ultra-portables getting smaller, thinner and even lighter. And, the VivoBook from Asus fits that bill nicely, only that it costs much less than competing portable notebooks.
The VivoBook is a beautifully crafted laptop with an exquisite design and a jaw-dropping dark blue color scheme. It breaks away from the Iris blue hue of the ASUS E406MA, and it looks like Asus has finally given us what we’ve been asking for: a unique design and color option in a budget laptop.
At 9.2 x 13.4 x 0.8 inches, the VivoBook E402YA is quite compact for a 14-inch laptop. It has a similar footprint to the gorgeous Lenovo Ideapad 530s (14.1 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches) and is remarkably smaller than our Editors’ Choice for budget laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim (14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches). If you need something portable for daily commute, this notebook is very portable, at 3.6 pounds.
Port selection is good, and pretty much what we expected in a budget machine including: 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB Type-C, 1 USB 2.0, RJ45 port, 1 HDMI and a microphone/headphone combo.
It’s a shame that such a beautiful laptop has this dull a display. The VivoBook E402YA’s 14-inch 1366 x 768 display is sharp and bright, but it disappoints in the color department. When watching a trailer of the popular Captain Marvel film, the red and blue in Brie Larson
S suit looks dull as the fire ravages around her. And while the skin tone and white balance are accurate, the sci-fi effects don’t glow with the same pomp of color that you’d find on a higher quality panel.
This display covers just 45 percent of the sRGB color gamut, lower than the Lenovo Ideapad 120S (64 percent), with the HP Stream (82 percent) being more vivid. Still, all of them fall below the standard average for budget laptops (91 percent). Also, there’s a 640-by-480 camera, which is nothing short of a joke with dark and almost colorless visuals.
Keyboard & Touchpad
On this Vivobook is a surprisingly deep keyboard, with 1.7 millimeters of travel that require only 68 grams to press the keys. While that’s impressive, the keys are cut out of cheap plastic and the11.6-inch body doesn’t leave enough room to rest both your hands. If you’re a pro-typer, you can easily hit 112 words per minute, of course with a few errors in between.
The touchpad measures 4.1 by 2.4 inches and seamlessly accommodates Windows 10 S gestures that comes pre-installed with the system. It lets you swipe apps with three fingers, tap four fingers to open the Action Center, though it feels a little cheap and flimsy. More importantly, it gets the job done.
Equipped with an AMD E2-7015 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, the VivoBook E402YA breezes through most productivity tasks, swiftly loading 10 google Chrome tabs. The laptop won’t lag or freeze, even when you run simultaneous 720p YouTube videos and a Twitch stream. It packs AMD’s Radeon R2 that only suffices for the very basic of PC games.
However, the laptop’s 64GB storage fails to impress when tasked with duplicating 4.97GB of mixed files. It completes the task in over 3 minutes, sometimes averaging 69.3 megabytes per second. The Aspire E 15’s hard drive (256GB M.2 SATA SSD, 149.7 MBps) achieved a faster rate, and the Ideapad 530s (256GB PCIe SSD, 282 MBps) was more than twice as fast.
If your laptop requirements are in a way that you need to be powered throughout the day, maybe a day in school or work, remember to carry along the charger. This VivoBook won’t last all day on a single charge.
The much you’re getting is around 6 hours 27 minutes (running Windows 10 S) which is the much I got with continuous browsing the web and watching videos at full brightness.
The ASUS VivoBook E402YA is one of the most visually enticing budget laptops you can set on your eyes this year. And, it’s much more affordable than you might expect. Furthermore, the laptop has good performance, a keyboard that’s comfortable and a very reasonable price. The only considerable knocks against this 14-inch laptop are a dull display and hum-hum battery life.
But the Vivobook has some tough competition in this price range. There’s our Editor’s Choice for budget laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-43-R19L) with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U and 128GB SSD, and then you have the gorgeous Asus Vivobook 15 (F512JA-AS34), with a 0th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1, a backlit keyboard and 8GB RAM. Both of these are great alternatives, but if you’re on a tight budget, the ASUS VivoBook E402YA is a great option.