Windows 10 S is kind of Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Chrome OS: it’s a light-weight operating system that can run on entry-level or high-end hardware that puts an emphasis on security and ease-of-use rather than support for the widest possible range of third-party applications.

One key difference between Windows 10 S and Chrome OS? You can upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro without buying new hardware.

Since Windows 10 S and Pro can run on the exact same devices, it should come as no surprise that companies like Asus are basically offering laptops that come with the option of both operating systems. Case in point? The new Asus VivoBook W202 supports Windows 10 S, Home, or Pro.

The laptop features an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display with a 180-degree hinge and a semi-rugged design featuring reinforced, rubber-lined edges and corners since the VivoBook W202 is designed for use in classrooms.

It has a spill-resistant keyboard, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI jack, a headset jack, stereo speakers, and a 38 Wh battery. The notebook has a 38 Wh battery, measures about 0.9 inches thick, and weighs about 2.7 pounds.

The version that ships with Windows 10 S has a list price of $280 and features an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core Apollo Lake processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage.

Pay $300 and you get the same exact laptop, except it comes with Windows 10 Home rather than S. Of course, you can also pay $50 to upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro.

For reference, the Windows 10S model number is W202NA-YS02, while the Windows 10 Home version is W202NA-DH02.

There’s also a higher-end version that will ship with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. It has an Intel Pentium N4200 quad-core processor, 4GB to 8GB of RAM and 64GB to 128GB of eMMC storage. There’s no word on the price or model number for that version yet.

via AnandTech

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6 replies on “Asus launches VivoBook W202 notebook with Windows 10 S (or Home… or Pro)”

  1. Outside the school context I’m having a hard time seeing why you wouldn’t just pop for the extra $20 and get Home. Maybe a device you only intended to use for web-surfing, you’re not picky about browser and you also need to use public wi-fi? Anyone else have ideas?

    1. It depends on whether you buy into the idea beyond Windows 10 S (which is a lot like the idea behind Chrome OS): that a stripped down operating system that limits what third-party apps can do offers better performance, possibly better battery life, and better security than you’d otherwise get.

      The problem is that it looks like Windows but doesn’t run most Windows applications that you’re familiar with because they haven’t been brought to the Windows Store yet.

      But if you think of it as a Chromebook that uses Bing instead of Chrome, you could basically run all sorts of web apps… plus whatever third-party apps you can find in the Play Store.

      And if that doesn’t work, a Windows 10 Pro upgrade is always an option.

      1. Oh, and of course the big thing here is that even if you as an individual have no interest in a crippled Windows laptop, educators might want them for use in classrooms. Chrome OS has a huge portion of the education market right now, and Microsoft is trying to offer a Chromebook-like experience.

        We’ll find out in the coming months/years whether that’s enough to tempt schools. If it is, expect to see a lot more competition in terms of price and features in this category. If not, expect Asus and others to continue cranking out Chromebooks… but to eventually give up on Windows 10 S the way they did Windows RT.

        One nice difference between this and RT though is that Windows 10 S runs on the same hardware as Windows 10 Home, which lets companies like Asus hedge their bets… which is kind of what I was going for with this article. They don’t have to scrap an entire product if nobody buys the Windows 10 S model. They can just keep shipping it with Home.

        1. I would not be surprised if Intel were to provide a unified windows_home/windows_s/chromebook chipset. The laptop is the same hardware wise. Intel is the winner here, netbooks are now the default school computing device (not ipads). Kudos to Intel for balancing (1) power consumption, (2) performance and (3) cost. I don’t believe an ARM SOC has broken 10% of the educational market yet.

    2. Home allows for a full OS instead of the streamlined Win 10 S that only allows programs from the Win store. Most users probably do not need pro ver.

    3. An individual might be interested in running Linux. So why pay the Windows tax? As an EU resident, you are also legally allowed to buy a Pro Windows 10 license off eBay for 5 to 10 euros or so.

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