Close on the heels of the 15-inch S550C ultrabook, ASUS has another ace up its sleeve -- the S400C. It sports a 14-inch screen and a compact form factor compared to its larger sibling.
Build quality is slim, unlike some other ultrabooks that have gained weight and width over a period of time. Its aluminum chassis is one of the best in class, and the sharp slim design has a sophisticated look. The dual-colour scheme of black and silver is a good contrast. The lid gets the dark colour finish, while the keyboard deck has the silver colour, while the touchpad gets a slightly brighter tone of the same colour.
The ASUS S400C is powered by an Intel Core i7-3517U processor clocked at 1.9GHz, with TurboBoost taking it up to 2.4GHz. ASUS has loaded this machine with 4GB of RAM. Get rid of a whole bunch of preloaded utilities to get the actual performance experience -- the notebook performs well. Gaming isn’t this ultrabook’s forte, since there is no third-party GPU -- just the Intel HD 4000 graphics installed.
You should be able to enjoy the latest HD 1080p flick without any trouble on the ASUS S400C. We found no problems with the laptop’s keyboard, it’s convenient to use with well-laid out keys. Apart from its overall performance, which is very good, the notebook’s touchscreen response is nice as well. Well, it is good to have this extra feature to enjoy the Windows 8 touch experience. The jury’s still out on whether this is a fad or an actually useful input method, and only time will tell.
The ASUS S400C’s battery lasted 200 minutes in our benchmark test, which is quite good among all ultrabooks at this price point -- expect it to last about 5 hours on a typical day of work (browsing the web, listening to occasional music, working with productivity suites, et al).
All in all, the Asus S400C is an ultrabook that you must consider, for its excellent build and good overall performance. If you want something with a dedicated graphics card and a touchscreen isn’t an important criteria for you, then the HP ENVY 4 could be an option worth considering.
>> Built well
>> Good performance
>> Touchscreen is a bonus feature
>> Lacks dedicated graphics