Taking a break from gaming laptops, ASUS lent us one of its recently-released VivoBooks – the ASUS Vivobook X401UA. We didn’t get the one with the highest of specs, but we’re here to test how far can this little laptop go.
Being a laptop for productivity, the design is subtle but with a language that is still attractive.
The metal-clad display shell is nice to feel, but of course, you wouldn’t be touching it all the time that you would be using this laptop. Opening it with one hand is a bit impossible but doable nonetheless. The rigidity of the display frame is amazing, thanks to the metal frame.
The textured and contoured plastic construction is far from being rigid, but the flex is forgivable. With a semi-glossy finish and differently-textured portions, fingerprints and smudges should be the least of your worries.
Underneath, accompanying the 4 circular rubber feet are the angled rear exhaust vents, intake, and stereo speakers. The bottom panel is secured by eleven (11) screws.
Overall, the X405U is well-built with a bit of room for improvements, especially with the body flex.
For what it goes for, connectivity is fairly standard.
Left: (L-R) Power port, Ethernet port, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
Right: (L-R) SD card reader, 3.5mm combo audio jack, 2 x USB 2.0, Kensington Lock
SD Card Reader
Capping out at 25MB/s, the SD card reader is decent for what you pay for considering how it is not for content creation.
Write: 10.4 MB/s
Read: 25.3 MB/s
In terms of pre-installed software, ASUS has been generous with their GiftBox for a bunch of recommended apps. Other than GiftBox, you will also get Battery Health, Live Update, and Splendid Video Enhancement Technology.
I have no complaints or whatsoever with the chiclet keyboard other than it gets borderline warm under load and that it flexes while typing. It’s always fun to type on a chiclet keyboard but it could’ve been a bit better with a more rigid frame.
The experience with the X405UA’s touchpad is similar to my UX405UA’s with Windows Precision Drivers. It’s accurate, and the Elan fingerprint scanner is handy and quite accurate (9/10) for quick access.
With the configuration that we got, it has a 14-inch NanoEdge 1366×768 that works well for your daily multimedia consumption and clerical tasks, but never for color-accurate work. It supports only up to 45% of the NTSC color space. Being anti-glare, looking at it under direct sunlight is tolerable.
Viewing angles aren’t great, but you have to keep in mind that this was meant mainly for office work.
An alternate configuration with a full HD display and 72% NTSC or 100% sRGB coverage is available.
|SPECS||ASUS VivoBook X405UA (our configuration)
|Display||15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare LED Backlight with integrated camera|
326.4 x 225.5 x 18.75~20.15 mm (LxWxH)
|Design||Textured plastic case|
Star Grey, Icicle Gold, Star Grey, Rouge and Pearl White
Intel® Core™ i5 7200U Processor,
|Memory||12GB DDR4 2400MHz|
|Keyboard and Touchpad||
TKL, Chiclet Keyboard
Windows Precision Drivers, single-body with fingerprint scanner
Built-in Stereo 2 W Speakers And Microphone
ASUS SonicMaster Technology
|OS||Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro – ASUS recommends Windows 10 Pro.
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Up to 4 hours of battery life
42Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery
Plug Type :ø4 (mm)
|Included in the Box||
45W Power Adapter
|Official Price||Php 39,995|
|Availability date||August 2017|
|Where to buy||ASUS Stores and authorized retailers|
With these specs, no one in their proper mind would even think of playing AAA titles on this laptop. But I’m not always in my proper mind, so..
..BENCHMARKS! What would a laptop review be without a set of benchmarks? The results that we got with 3DMark FireStrike, Geekbench, Cinebench, and Unigine Valley weren’t pretty, but you have to keep in mind that this is an office-oriented laptop.
Moving over to games, it goes from tolerable to bad in the first 10 seconds. Without an SSD, our config takes a long time to load games, especially unoptimized ones like PUBG. Lighter titles like Rocket League will play well enough in 768p Low, almost hitting an average of 65FPS. In eSports titles like CS:GO, Dota 2, and Overwatch, having the settings at their lowest in 768p will run these games at above 60FPS.
The hottest we got out of stress-testing the X405UA is 92°C but throttles once the CPU core reaches 90°C. The throttling wasn’t severe as per AIDA64 results, and in gaming, the hottest CPU core barely reaches 85°C.
At idle, the X405UA is virtually silent while running lightweight programs at 32dB. During the AIDA64 stress test, the noise peaked at 38dB which I suppose is not really significant unless you would use this for gaming all the time.
The 3-cell 42Wh battery lasted for over 4 hours of casual use. With what it’s intended for, this is actually reasonable all the more with its price point.
Speakers & Webcam
The stereo speakers are actually good with decent room volume. Even with the bias towards mid frequencies, the bass is discernible.
As for the 640×480 webcam, it’s really substandard. Quality is horrendous but it might be a bit decent for Skype.
Here’s the lowdown: the X405UA has a sibling that is priced similarly – the X405UQ. The glaring difference between the two would be the X405UQ’s dedicated GPU, a Nvidia GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM.