Asus is adding a 13 inch model to its Vivobook line of affordable ultrabooks. The Asus Vivobook S301 is expected to hit the streets soon for $700 and up, offering a range of options including Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 Haswell chips, optional AMD Radeon HD graphics, and more.
The folks at Ultrabook Review have posted an early review.
Up until now, Asus has offered Vivobook models with 11.6 inch, 14 inch, and 15.6 inch screens, but there was a void in the 13 inch space.
Like other notebooks in the Asus Vivobook family, the new Vivobook S301 is a relatively thin and light laptop, but it’s not quite as small and doesn’t offer the same kind of build quality you’d get from the Asus Zenbook line of premium ultrabooks.
But this model does have a few advantages. First, it’s one of the few 13.3 inch ultrabooks to offer optional discrete graphics. Second, unlike the Asus Zenbook ultrabooks, you can remove the bottom panel to replace or upgrade the storage or other internal components.
Ultrabook Review reports you just need to remove about 10 screws to get at the notebook’s insides — but while replacing the hard drive should be easy, the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which means there’s no easy way to upgrade the memory.
Other options include support for up to 8GB of RAM and up to 750GB of hard drive space. The notebook features 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, 3 USB ports, HDMI, and a 38Whr battery.
It measures 12.9 x 9.1″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 3.8 pounds.
There seem to be at least two weak spots. The 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel touchscreen display has limited viewing angles and a lackluster display resolution. And Ultrabook Review only managed to get about 4.5 hours of battery life.