ASUS VivoBook F402BA-EB91 Review

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Asus’ motto declares to be “In search of incredible,” and it may have found the target with the 14-inch ASUS VivoBook F402BA-EB91. A competent, nice, and not-too-expensive laptop with decent screen-size for college work, casual image and video editing, and surfing the web. It comes with a bag of goodies, but you’re paying so little for it including: fantastic battery life, a light and premium design, usually a preserve for costly ultraportables.

This year’s model of the Vivobook gets a fan, which is a good thing over the fanless models from last year that would get warm on the bottom. However, it does compromise a bit on screen brightness, but it’s still a preferable option over chromebooks. Our top pick, the Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH51 has a few advantages over the Vivobook EB91, including an eighth-generation processor and a 1080p screen, but either would be a good choice for a daily-use PC.

Design

The Vivobook F402BA has a sleek, dark-blue lid that mimics the brushed aluminum found on the Zenbook line that cost twice as much. The same material is used on the keyboard deck, giving it a metal-looking aesthetic, which does a fine job supporting wrists. It’s the same feeling you get when you buy a car advertised as having leather seats, only to find they have vinyl on the sides.

In any case, the notebook is compact enough for daily commute, measuring 0.9 by 13.3 by 9.3 inches (HWD) and weighing 3.6 pounds. Compared – this is thinner and lighter than the 14-inch HP 14-an013nr (0.94 inches, 3.86 pounds), Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (1.19 inches, 5.2 pounds), but the Acer Chromebook 14 is even thinner and lighter (0.6 inches, 3.4 pounds).

Display

For a budget system, we didn’t expect the brightest or most accurate display in the market. That’s exactly what you get on the VivoBook F402BA. It uses a low-res 1366-by-768 panel, while almost all competitors including the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM and ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 use 1080p (1,920 -by-1,080) panels.

It looks fantastic, though, considering a higher-res panel would impact on the pricing. The 14-inch non-touch panel skimps on common luxuries like wide viewing angles often found on IPS panels, but it’s not uncommon among budget laptops.

Sure, windows-based competitors like the Aspire E15 all have screens with better resolutions, but the experience isn’t far apart. The Vivobook’s screen is therefore better if you’re planning on basically editing website layouts, or watching HD movies at native resolutions.  The screen is clear, with excellent detail when viewed in its sweet spot, but colors wash out a bit when you are far forward or backward.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The chiclet style keyboard isn’t backlit, a never-seen luxury at these prices. It is, however, comfortable to type on for longer periods, has good key travel, but there isn’t enough space for a numeric keypad, as on the larger ASUS F556UA-AB54-BL. The key layout is pretty straight forward, even though the shift key has been shrunken and arrow keys are placed a bit higher.

The one-piece touchpad stands out, a feat shared across the new Vivobook line-up. It is very accurate, and tracks fingers accurately, and provides good integration of Windows 10 gestures. For a moment, it feels like you’re using a touchscreen as you flick fingers over the trackpad.

Connectivity

Port selection is very good, for a value system. On the left panel, there is a Power connector, an HDMI port, a LAN connector, one USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader and one USB 3.1 Type C port. (USB C is the latest technology, and is very useful for connecting speedy hard drives, newer display adapters, and other peripherals.) On the right side, is a single USB 2.0 port, a secure lock port and a headset jack.

The placement of ports is very good, especially when you want to use a wired mouse and for the right-handed folks. More ports would have been welcome (maybe two USB 3.0 ports instead of one), but it’s still a good selection for a budget laptop. Wireless communication comes via dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.

Performance

With an AMD A9-9400 dual-core processor (with Radeon­ R5 Graphics), the Vivobook does acceptably in most day-to-day tasks. The processor in this unit sits somewhere between the older Skylake and latest Kaby Lake Core i5 processor, and with a CPU Mark of 2209 points, it’s a worth competitor. To that, add 8GB of RAM and you have an all-round system that’s certainly capable of doing everyday tasks in a timely manner. As expected, budget laptops score poorly in 3D gaming and frame rates will be single digits on modern titles. For that, stick to videos, regular websites, and all you’ll do fine.

The VivoBook F402BA-EB91 has 8GB of memory along with 1TB 5400rpm of storage. That does sound like a lot of storage space, but its slower than the solid-state-drive (SSD) storage you get on modern systems. For instance, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 comes with a 256GB SSD, while it isn’t a lot, it does suffice for faster boot times and snappy overall performance.

Battery Life

If you’ll be using the VivoBook F402BA for college or work, the battery may last long enough to see you back in the evening. It gets an average 7 hours 12 minutes on standards tests, but depending on usage, it may go up-or-down. If you need longer battery, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 offers 11 hours 9 minutes, and is worth a longer look.

A Budget Laptop with a Premium Feel

The ASUS VivoBook F402BA-EB91 has enough features and performance to outshine most budget-desktop replacement laptops. It boasts good build quality and design, a decent amount of storage space (though slow), and a useful array of ports. The newer Asus VivoBook F510UA-AH51 remains our top pick, for having much better performance with an eight-generation processor, larger storage, almost all day battery life, expansive keyboard with numeric keypad, but still remains inexpensive. That said, if you’re on a shoestring budget and, if portability is more important to you than performance, this VivoBook should be in your short list.

7.3 Total Score
GOOD

The ASUS VivoBook F402BA-EB91 has enough features and performance to outshine most budget-desktop replacement laptops. It boasts good build quality and design, a decent amount of storage space (though slow), and a useful array of ports.

PROS
  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • USB-C port
  • Inexpensive
CONS
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Slow HDD storage

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Last update was on: June 17, 2019 1:43 pm
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ASUS VivoBook F441 Light and Powerful Laptop, AMD A9-9425 Dual Core Processor (Boost up to 3.7 Ghz) with Radeon R5 Graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 14” FHD display, Windows 10, F441BA-DS95

ASUS VivoBook F441 Light and Powerful Laptop, AMD A9-9425 Dual Core Processor (Boost up to 3.7 Ghz) with Radeon R5...

ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home - F510UA-AH51, Star Gray

ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C,...

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$499.99

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Features
  • Efficient dual core AMD A9-9425 (Boost up to 3.7 GHz) Processor with Radeon R5 Integrated Graphics
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM (4GB integrated + 4GB SODIMM)
  • 256GB SSD Storage
  • 14" FHD (1920 x 1080) Display
  • Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
  • 14.2" wide, 0.8" thin and portable footprint with 0.3" NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 80%...
  • 15.6" anti-glare Full HD display with ASUS Splendid software enhancement
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB HDD
Aspect Ratio
16:9
16:9
Binding
Personal Computers
Personal Computers
Brand
Asus
Asus
Hardware Platform
Unknown
PC
Label
ASUS Computers
ASUS Computers
Number Of Items
1
1
Operating System
Windows 10
Windows 10 Home
Package Quantity
1
1
Product Group
Personal Computer
Personal Computer
Publisher
ASUS Computers
ASUS Computers
Size
14-14.99 inches
15-15.99 inches
Studio
ASUS Computers
ASUS Computers
Warranty
1YR International/1YR ADP with 1-way free shipping/30-Day Zero Bright Dot/2-way FREE shipping for standard warranty repair/24-7 tech support
1YR International/1YR ADP with 1-way free shipping/30-Day Zero Bright Dot/2-way FREE shipping for standard warranty repair/24-7 tech support
Color
Star Gray
Release Date
2017-10-18
Barcodes
  • EAN: 0192876040553
  • MPN: F441BA-DS95
  • UPC: 192876040553
  • Model: F441BA-DS95
  • Part Number: F441BA-DS95
  • EAN: 0889349770337
  • MPN: F510UA-AH51
  • UPC: 889349770337
  • Model: F510UA-AH51
  • Part Number: F510UA-AH51
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ASUS VivoBook F441 Light and Powerful Laptop, AMD A9-9425 Dual Core Processor (Boost up to 3.7 Ghz) with Radeon R5 Graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 14” FHD display, Windows 10, F441BA-DS95
ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home - F510UA-AH51, Star Gray
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Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

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Price
$329.99
$379.99

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61 new from $329.99
5 used from $306.89

as of June 17, 2019 1:43 pm
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Features
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit Display
  • 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD & 8X DVD
  • Up to 13.5-hours of battery life
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Binding
Personal Computers
Brand
Acer
Color
Obsidian Black
Label
Acer
Number Of Items
1
Operating System
Windows 10
Package Quantity
1
Product Group
Personal Computer
Publisher
Acer
Release Date
2018-09-01
Size
Intel i3/6GB/1TB HDD
Studio
Acer
Warranty
One-year International Travelers Limited Warranty (ITW)
Barcodes
  • EAN: 0191114635001
  • MPN: E5-576-392H
  • UPC: 191114635001
  • Model: E5-576-392H
  • Part Number: E5-576-392H
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Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H

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