ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14-Inch Touch Ultrabook Reviews





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6 Responses to “ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14-Inch Touch Ultrabook Reviews”

  1. R. Reed says:
    329 of 338 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Viva VivoBook!, November 3, 2012
    By 
    R. Reed
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14-Inch Touch Ultrabook (Personal Computers)

    I have been using this laptop for the last few days and my initial impressions are highly positive. I bought it as a gift for my wife but I had to take some time with it before giving it up. She was using an older 17″ Dell and was tired of carrying around an 8 pound laptop so I started my search. With Windows 8 coming out I knew I wanted a touch screen and the only model in my price range was this Asus. I have had plenty of experience with Asus motherboards and video cards and they have always been great products so I decided to take the plunge. So far it has been a wise decision.

    When I opened the box I was impressed with how thin and light the laptop is. Compared to my Dell XPS 15 this thing is tiny but packs a screen just 1.3″ smaller. While it is light weight it still feels very solid in your hands. The laptop weighs about 4.0lbs by my scale. Surprisingly the power brick is tiny as well, measuring about 3″x3″x1″ and weighing 1.2lbs. My wife wanted something smaller to carry around and this fits the bill perfectly.

    Opening the lid reveals a 14″ touch screen with 1366×768 resolution and the keyboard/touchpad combination. The screen is bright and clear and the viewing angles are very good. Love it or hate it Windows 8 is included and having a touchscreen makes it even better. The screen responds well to your touch and the only time I see fingerprints on it is when the screen is off. The top of the laptop however shows more fingerprints than the screen. I was initially concerned with the lower resolution but on this size of screen it works well and my wife actually prefers it over the HD resolution of my Dell as it makes text easier to read.

    The laptop has a Chiclet style keyboard that is not backlit. I have read about people having issues with the space bar on other Asus models but it appears to have been resolved because every key has been very responsive. The touchpad works well and supports multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom and two finger scrolling. After some use I like the touchpad and buttons. The touchpad and buttons are all one piece with the buttons slightly elevated to provide a click when you press them. You do not have to press very hard on the buttons and they do not feel stiff or mushy. In the center of the buttons is a line to show you left and right. I prefer the touchpad on the Asus over my XPS.

    On the left side of the laptop are two USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader and the microphone/headset jack. On the right side there is 1 USB 3.0 port, a full size HDMI port, a VGA port, an Ethernet jack and the AC jack. There is no optical drive but with high speed memory sticks and the internet I don’t see this as a problem. If you really need it there are plenty of small, cheap external drives available.

    We have had the laptop for a few days day now and the battery life is very good. Over the first few days we used it quite a bit and only charged it once a day. Tonight I unplugged the laptop from the charger (it was at 93%) and watched Netflix for the next 3 and a half hours and the battery meter says it still has 1 hour or 21% of the battery left. The brightness was set to about 30% for my test. I would guess 4 to 5 hours of battery life will be average.

    Sound on this laptop is good but not to the level of my XPS 15. There are two speakers on the bottom of the laptop to the left and right sides, angled to bounce the sound off whatever surface the laptop is sitting on. I cranked up some music and the sound is clear at any volume with no distortion but lacked a little fullness in the low and mid-end. I listen to a lot of music while at work and I certainly would not complain if I had to use this laptop to do it.

    The included wireless N adapter has good performance with speeds up to 7 MB/s when transferring files to and from my HTPC in the living room over 40 feet away. It connected to my wireless network right away and reconnects almost instantly when resuming from sleep. The wireless radio only operates on the 2.4mhz band and while Asus’ webpage says that Bluetooth is included, I don’t believe it is. I can’t find anything in Device Manager for Bluetooth Devices.

    Performance has been very snappy thanks to the dual core I5 processor and 24gb SSD caching drive. Applications launch quickly and boot times are minimal. Even my wife has noticed how much speedier the computer is than her old one. I have not done any gaming on it yet but will amend my review when I get a chance. I will note that there is some bloatware installed on the machine such as McAfee that you should get rid of as soon as you can. Windows 8 includes Defender by default so why Asus loads McAfee is beyond me. Asus Updater was also showing an error in the desktop when I booted but that cleared up after Windows 8 installed some updates.

    Overall this is a fun little computer and using the…

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  2. Pinfold says:
    202 of 210 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Almost Flawless – Unless you want Bluetooth, November 27, 2012
    By 
    Pinfold

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14-Inch Touch Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
    I’ll keep this short, and just put what I consider relevant. My first computer had a cassette drive, and my first laptop wasn’t much more advanced, so I’ve had a lot of experience with this type of technology.

    My opinion of this product is that it’s the finest built laptop I’ve ever handled, with one exception – the wi-fi. To be fair, it might be a Windows 8 thing, a driver thing, or a hardware thing, but the wi-fi goes out randomly every hour or two. Disabling the wireless and re-enabling brings it back.

    Other than this, and again I don’t know it’s the laptops fault – this is perfect. If you like the feel of a Macbook, but not the price, this will make your day. Aluminum chassis, excellent touchscreen (which brings Windows 8 to life, without it, Windows 8 is garbage), the weight, and the thickness (under an inch) are matched only by the quality feel and operation of the product as a whole.

    In short – this thing rocks, buy it.

    UPDATE: I contacted Asus, and although I can’t explain why, their fix worked. Uninstall the wireless adapter from device manager, restart, reinstall, and bam – I no longer randomly disconnect. 5/5 now

    Update #2: Asus website, and support, insist this product is not sold without bluetooth. The amazon page does not list yes or no for bluetooth. Long and short – somehow the system I received from Amazon has no bluetooth. Asus support insists that’s defective hardware, as they only sell it with the Qualcomm Atheros Bluetooth. They (Asus) gave me an RMA number to ship it back, and they will send me one with Bluetooth correctly functioning. Big hassle – and for this I took off a star.

    Update #3: So I got my Vivobook back, after only 6 days, which was impressive, with a note which read “This product does not come with Bluetooth”…

    That after 2 techs told me (pre-rma) that it did, the specifications page on their website still says it has Integrated Bluetooth 4.0. Removing a star.

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  3. Jackie says:
    207 of 222 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Nice machine if not for preinstalled bad software, November 10, 2012
    By 
    Jackie

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: ASUS VivoBook S400CA-DH51T 14-Inch Touch Ultrabook (Personal Computers)
    This is one of the cheapest 14″ touch screen laptops available (<$800 total). While this is the first touch screen laptop I used, I have/had several other laptops: Acer, Dell and Toshiba. I can say this Asus is the best among them.

    The screen’s display quality is good and the text is clear and easy to read.

    The stereo speakers have good and enjoyable sound for music and movies.

    The laptop is thin. This makes it possible to slip it into a thin bag.

    Fan spinning is noticeable but still pretty quiet.

    The keyboard is good and easy to type, with no problem so far.

    The microphone picks up voice well. It does have slight echo and a little muddy for voice but voice is loud and clear enough.

    Windows literally takes only a few seconds to boot. I have never seen it this fast.

    I get battery life of 4.5 to 5 hours, not the best. But the charger is compact so it is easy to carry.

    The BIOS has password settings for restricting access to HDD and IO ports. The password can protect HDD content so that others cannot easily assess data even if the drive is taken out of the laptop when stolen/lost.

    While only one of the three USB ports is USB 3.0. This can be extended by using a USB 3.0 hub if more Super Speed ports are needed.

    The touch pad does cause the cursor jumping around but it’s easy to disable by FN+F9 keys. With touch screen, I rarely need touch pad.

    There is no internal DVD drive. This makes laptop more compact and reduces the extra space and weight for something rarely used. For occasional use of DVD, there are many choices of cheap USB DVD drives.

    A small enhancement could be made to allow the FN to be sticky or ON by default so that volume and other controls can be done by single key press. These controls are more frequently used than the function keys. Hopefully Asus will make this possible in their keyboard filter driver.

    There is no built-in Bluetooth. So a USB Bluetooth adapter is necessary.

    Despite a few limitations, the laptop is well built. Windows 8 is fast. And the touch screen works really well.

    Updates

    1. Sometimes the system was unresponsive with very jittery mouse pointer movement. This happened multiple times a day, lasting maybe a minute or longer. I tried uninstalling and re-installing Asus utilities, and found the problems mostly went away after uninstalled the Asus Power4Gear Hybrid Utility.

    2. I added a 4GB memory module (DDR3 4GB 1666MHz for $30). This is a really worthy upgrade as it improved system performance noticeably by eliminating memory swaps to disk and by caching files in RAM for quick (instant) relaunches.

    The whole back cover is hold in place by 10 screws or so and they need to be removed. Once the back cover is removed, you should be able to see the open memory slot for installing the RAM module. After installing it, I can see the Windows Task Manager reports “Memory 8.0 GB DDR3”.

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  4. Masslfe says:
    105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Laptop, March 9, 2013
    By 
    Masslfe (Falls Church, VA) –

    This review is from: ASUS Ultrabook S500CA-DS51T 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop ( Black ) (Personal Computers)
    Bought this from another retailer with the i5 processor, which was more than enough speed. I hadn’t had any slowdowns even before I upgraded certain items. Windows 8 takes a bit to get used to but so far I like it. I’m getting more used to the app OS’s like Android so the mixture in Windows 8 is becoming more convenient.
    I still like the 15″ size over the smaller sizes so this was the way to go for me. I also find it convenient to have a keypad on the laptop since it cuts some inefficiency when doing a lot of accounting work. I also felt that if I were to get a new laptop with Win 8 I’d have to go touchscreen and that, I feel, has been a great advantage – makes surfing the web and other tasks much quicker than using a mouse.
    I’m used to an ASUS UL50VT so the screen was no drop off and thus I was still used to the 1366×768 resolution, some may find it lacking but for the price, you’ve gotta expect some shortcomings – I’m tired of seeing people posting how the screen is terrible when you’re only trying to spend $500-700 on the thing.
    I’m not sure about the other touchscreen laptops (from my research many of the others are difficult to upgrade in the ultrabook sizing) but it’s easy to take off the bottom cover to add RAM (I added aCorsair Vengeance 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Laptop Memory (CMSX8GX3M1A1600C10) bought off Amazon for $40 – NOTE: many stats say you can only add another 4 GB but I’ve found others using the S400CA were able to upgrade up to 12 GB instead). This allowed me to push(through the BIOS) dedicated graphics RAM to 512 MB. I also replaced the drive with a SAMSUNG 830 Series 2.5-Inch 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PC256B/WW. The hard part was reinstalling an upgraded windows (Windows 8 core which this comes with lacks support for media center) which required putting the Win 8 Pro iso on a jump drive (adding an ei.cfg file stating
    [Channel]
    Volume
    [VL]
    1
    to the sources folder) and turning off secure boot in the BIOS. Make sure to also download all the drivers on the ASUS website. The only thing requiring a specific install order is the IRST and Express Cache installation.
    The touchpad can be a bit annoying sometimes but once I get used to the click points I’m sure it’ll be fine.
    I also wanted to add bluetooth since mine didn’t come with the wireless so I added the Intel Network 6235AN.HMWWB Centrino WiFi Card Advanced-N 6235 Dual Band Bluetooth Retail for $22 which worked out perfectly. It would’ve been nice if I didn’t have to replace some of these things but at the price I got my S500CA for, it was well worth the additional hassle. If you can find a better 15″ touchscreen laptop with the ASUS warranty for these prices please let me know. Also with ASUS brand quality. I don’t think there are any new ones at this price (refurbs may come close).
    I believe the mSATA drive could be upgradeable if I took off the anchor removing the drive but I didn’t want to fully void the warranty (the drive is located to the right of the black plastic covering under the MB ribbon).
    Finally, I’m a bit old school so the only game I really play regularly is CS:Source and this laptop was good enough to run it at 60 frames/sec on mid level settings, even better than my UL50VT.
    Overall it’s a great laptop with quality build and I’d recommend it for anyone.

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  5. Duderino says:
    55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    So far so Perfect!, April 1, 2013
    By 

    This review is from: ASUS Ultrabook S500CA-DS51T 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop ( Black ) (Personal Computers)
    Overall:
    Fast, responsive, lightweight, solid.

    Screen:
    720p is off-putting after being used to 1080p or better. I overlook it because I knew those were the specs when I bought it.

    The touchscreen aspect is solid, no lags, very responsive.

    HDD:
    Before I replaced the hard drive, I thought it was really fast. The use of the 24GB mSATA is key here. I don’t think the ultrabook would be any use without it.

    HDD upgrade to SSD:
    And I thought the hybrid aspect was fast, this baby is blazing. 5 seconds or less to get this baby running, 5 seconds or less to shut down. I loaded Win 8 without all the bloatware, it’s amazing. Very easy, the BIOS seems to have kept my Win8 license key, so the install of the OS was easy with a USB DVD drive.

    6GB RAM:
    Plenty of memory for what I need it for: browsers, word processing, pic/vid viewing, skype, eReader, etc. I might upgrade eventually, but so far so good. Windows OS handles RAM a little differently since VISTA. More free RAM isn’t necessarily a good thing anymore. Win8 handles everything very efficiently.

    WIFI:
    Just had to update the driver and most problems go away. I still ordered the Intel Centrino Dual-band N wifi card because I have randomly lost wifi connection a couple of times. Not a big deal for me though.

    Bluetooth:
    Works as expected. My mouse connected perfectly. EDIT: at first it did but it’s having trouble staying connected. I’m working on figuring out if it’s the mouse, the OS, or the hardware. will update hopefully

    Touchpad:
    Takes a while to get used to, but once you “get it” you’re good. There are two types of clicking, soft-click, which is like a traditional pad, and hard-click, where you physically depress and release the touchpad.

    Battery:
    I get about 3.5 hours with this baby full charged. Not bad for me, but I also haven’t done an official test with it yet. I think I can get 4 hours of use if I wanted though. My power settings for battery-only are optimized to not sacrifice processing power, but other things like brightness and sleep-logic.

    Other:
    HDMI port works flawlessly, tried it out on my 50″ PLasma for Game of Throne season premiere. 3 USB ports are plenty these days. I haven’t tried out the LAN and SD card inputs yet. Will update when I have made any other upgrades.

    Disclaimer:
    IF you plan on buying this device, and don’t swap out any of the parts, be sure to UPDATE YOUR DRIVERS ([…]. Additionally, ASUS has some bloatware that does more harm-than-good, I believe the power-something utility is the worst. Just uninstall it and then your device is good to go.

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  6. Andy Do says:
    39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Affordable ultrabook-like traits with a 15.6″ size screen, March 27, 2013
    By 
    Andy Do

    This review is from: ASUS Ultrabook S500CA-DS51T 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop ( Black ) (Personal Computers)
    First, I didn’t get this laptop at Amazon, but from another retailer (for $600).

    The reason why I chose this laptop is because it’s portable (it meets intel’s requirement for ultrabook specification) and meet all of my specification as a school’s laptop. I debated for a long time between a touchscreen laptop (portable) versus a laptop that has superior processing capability with a good video card (a dinosaur). However, I realized that I wanted something to be able to take to a café or a library and be able to do my homework and other work.

    So from this point on, I’m just going to write my review based on what information that I find useful in the buying process.

    LOOKS
    Smooth edges all around, aluminum all around with the exception of the bottom panel, which is a smooth-rubberized finished. Screen is glossy and contained mostly glass, so it is a good idea to invest in a typical clear screen protector. There’s none at the moment, but you can find by a third-party seller on ebay.

    OPERATING SYSTEM
    Get retroUI or startdock version to bring the “start” button back

    HARDWARE
    This laptop has a 4GB built in ram with one additional ram slot. This model comes with 6GB so there’s an additional 2GB stick in the slot. Speakers are on the bottom (they sounds great by the way! I would say it’s louder and clearer than the typical speakers and “beats” brand on HP’s envy line). SD slot is there but your card will stick out like a sore thumb.

    TOUCHSCREEN/TOUCHPAD
    Navigating on the touchscreen is smooth and doesn’t produce that much lag when you’re zooming in or out. The response is quick and accurate. The touchpad too, is responsive. The thing I like about the touchpad is that it is not raised above or below the hand-rest area (it’s also a bigger than most touchpads). If you press down firmly in the center, it’ll do a right-click.

    UPGRADES
    I’m waiting for my SSD to come in next week so I can have it run all SSD instead of the slower 500GB HDD. There’s a lot of guides out there explaining how to upgrade if you are interested. However, since I don’t have a windows 8 installer cd (yeah I know fresh install is better), I usually use Acronis to clone my SSD (I did this with my other two laptops and it works fine after minor adjustment post-cloning).

    PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED
    I had an issue with my wifi not working after updating windows, installing avg and updating asus update utility. I couldn’t figure which of the three caused the problem in the first place so I tried doing a system restore. Of course, that didn’t work, so I was forced to do a factor reset since the laptop was pretty new anyway. After updating windows update again, I didn’t install avg, but rather avast, and I haven’t update the asus update utility yet. So far I don’t have any wifi issue and I’ve backed up all of my files, just in case.

    Check out my other images of this laptop, it might be helpful!

    UPDATE 4.09.13
    Just installed a Samsung 840 series 250GB SSD (7mm) this afternoon and everything is running fast, very fast. Boot and shut-down time is significantly reduced. I wanted to get the crucial m4 version but I couldn’t find the “7mm” version on sale so I had to go with the Samsung.

    No problem(s) at the moment.

    UPDATE 3.30.13
    I had some issues with smart gesture not working. It would automatically disappear after I resume and reappear after I restart the laptop. It already happened twice, so I went and uninstalled the old driver and updated it with a new one from ASUS website. So far it’s working fine and I noticed improvement in the touch response Ex. two finger touch (to bring up menu) is quick and more accurate compared to the older driver.

    The keyboard protector in my pictures can be purchased by a third party if you search for keyboard for ASUS K55A-DH71.

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