At first glance, Asus' VivoBook E402SA looks like a steal for business users on a tight budget. The $200 system provides a roomy 14-inch display, a solid selection of ports and connectivity options, and a comfy keyboard that's good for marathon typing sessions. Unfortunately, its underwhelming performance may hamper your productivity.
The best thing about the VivoBook E402SA is its keyboard, which is far more comfortable than we're accustomed to seeing on such a cheap laptop. It offers a generous 1.71 millimeters of key travel, which is noticeably deeper than the 1.5 mm we look for in a laptop keyboard. The keys could offer slightly snappier tactile feedback, but overall, the VivoBook E402SA is a winner for touch typists.
Plus, the VivoBook E402SA is more portable than its closest rivals. At 3.4 lbs., it's a bit lighter than Dell's Inspiron 14 3000 and HP's Stream 13. Commuters will also appreciate its solid battery life; the system ran for a very solid 7 hours and 12 minutes during our battery test, which beats most competing machines by more than an hour.
But the system's meager performance really hurts its potential as a productivity machine. The VivoBook E402SA is equipped with a low-power Intel Celeron N3050 processor and 2GB of RAM — a configuration that simply doesn't provide enough oomph for even moderate multitasking. Simply juggling a handful of tabs in your web browser can make the VivoBook chug.