Ultrabooks are aimed at the crowd looking for the ultimate portability without sacrificing performance. The ASUS S500C it the largest ultrabook that we have had come through our labs. Having a display measuring an impressive 15.6 inches, it seems that we might just be pushing the borderline of ultrabook portability. Ultimately it is up to you on what is to big for your taste. Personally 14-15 inches is great for the usage, but 11-12 inches is certainly easier to carry around. It all comes down to what you’re looking for. Price is always a factor, During the time I’ve had with the ASUS Vivobook S500C I can say that I have come to enjoy using it a lot. When I found out the price I can truly say I was shocked. The ACER S7 that we looked at last month retails for $1099.99, since the ASUS Vivobook S500C is quite comparable in the hardware specifications I expected a comparable, if not higher price due to the larger size. Though as I said, I was truly shocked that the ASUS Vivobook S500C retails for only $699.00!
Last week when we took a look at the ACER Aspire S7 11.6″ ultrabook I really enjoyed the overall experience. This was the first touch screen ultrabook, and that alone made the whole user experience better in Windows 8. It also happened to be the smallest frame we’ve had in quite awhile. Overall it proved itself a very worthy contender in the world of ultrabooks. There were a few points that took a little getting used to, most notably the screen size and resolution combination. It took some getting used to but running 1920×1080 on an 11.6 inch screen felt a little to high. This week, we have a 15.6 inch screen on our ASUS S500C that could easily fit 1920×1080 without being to tight, and we are running at 1366×768. That’s one of the few things that I would change about the ASUS Vivobook S500C, increase the screen resolution. If not to 1920×1080 then 1600×900 would be a great choice as well. Though in order to maintain the budget friendly price of $699.00 going with the lower resolution display is likely considerably lower cost than an HD display.
If I had to pick one thing the gripe about, drive performance. During the regular usage the Vivobook S500C responded great and I never really noticed an issue. Unfortunately the numbers don’t lie and compared to the other ultrabooks we have looked at the Vivobook S500C had a pretty sad read and write performance in CrystalDiskMark.
The ASUS Vivobook S500C is the only ultrabook that doesn’t have a sequential read in the triple digits since it uses just a 5400RPM hard drive. In fact, the S500C has less than 1/3 of the performance of the next slowest model that we have recently looked at. The sequential write was slightly faster than the Dell XPS14 though. The ASUS Vivobook S500C and the Dell XPS14 both use a hard drive with a secondary SSD. The difference between the two is the Dell XPS14 is configured in Intel Smart Response Technology, while the ASUS Vivobook S500C uses the 24GB Sandisk U100 SSD to cache files for standby and sleep modes only.
As I sit here typing on the ASUS Vivobook S500C, there are really no complaints I have about it. Sure there are a couple of things to single out, but overall I am very happy with the ASUS Vivobook S500C Ultrabook. The overall size of the ASUS Vivobook S500C may be a little to much for some, it is certainly pushing the limits of Ultrabook specifications, the maximum thickness of an ultrabook is said to be 21mm for ultrabooks with a screen size greater than 14 inches. The specifications on the ASUS website list the Vivobook at 21.5mm thick, they are pushing the limits by 5mm (.02″). The Vivobook isn’t super light either weighing in at 2.1Kg or just over 4.6 pounds, personally I will deal with the slightly larger size and weight for the larger display, but that comes down to personal preference. If you want a smaller ultrabook, ASUS has them in this series as well.
Each of the different ultrabooks in the ASUS Vivobook series feature different specifications and in turn varying prices. If the Vivobook S500C isn’t quite right for you, ASUS is sure to have something to meet your needs. In the unlikely event that you will need it, ASUS has the Vivobook S500C backed by a 2 year hardware warranty and a 1 year warranty on the battery.
Legit bottom Line: While the ASUS Vivobook S500C Ultrabook may be pushing the size limits of an Ultrabook, it handles the rest of the requirements with ease and is a joy to use. Throw on the low price point of $699.00 and we have a great deal on a great product!