Asus Vivobook V451LA Review
If you're willing to stretch your laptop budget further than our $500 limit, you can step up to the Asus Vivobook V451LA (starting at $640, Amazon). This model has a faster processor than the other models we researched, along with plenty of features. The 14-inch touchscreen has a nice design and works well, according to an Asus Vivobook V451LA review on CNET. The laptop is also pretty thin, at just under 1 inch, yet still manages to squeeze in an optical drive and an Ethernet port. It has plenty of power for common tasks such as working on documents, streaming video, and, of course, surfing the web. Having said that, the CNET expert notes that the Asus Vivobook V451LA isn't quite as snappy as similarly configured systems. The reviewer was also disappointed that the screen resolution is only 1366 x 768, the same 720p HD resolution as our low-cost picks, whereas pricier laptops are moving to 1080p displays. In order to keep this system within reach of $600, Asus had to make some compromises, and the screen resolution was one of them.
An expert reviewer at Laptop Mag considers this convertible laptop a bit heavy and thick by today's standards. She laments that the display lacks brightness and the colors appear bland. The touchscreen is very responsive, however. The Laptop Mag reviewer admires the overall performance of the Asus Vivobook V451LA, although she, too, notes that it's not as fast as competitors with similar specifications. The laptop's four-cell battery managed to last just shy of 7 hours. Ultimately this Asus Vivobook V451LA review concludes that the laptop is more of a dependable sedan than a flashy sports car.
Where to buy
The hardware is about what you'd expect for a laptop in this price range, the CNET reviewer says, and a cut above the budget models we looked at. The Asus Vivobook V451LA runs on an Intel Core i5-4200U processor and has 6GB of RAM. This laptop has a 500GB hard drive and a DVD drive, as well as an SD/SDHC memory card reader. The Asus Vivobook V451LA offers plenty of ports and connectivity options. It has support for 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connections as well as an Ethernet port. There are two USB 3.0 ports, one more than the typical budget machine. This laptop also has a USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port. The system weighs 4.9 pounds.
The Asus Vivobook V451LA will run faster than a cheap laptop thanks to its Intel Core i5 CPU, but it's not as speedy as other models with the same processor. It's also larger and heavier than the typical budget laptop. But buyers also get a good-size touchscreen, 6GB of RAM, an optical drive, and two USB 3.0 ports -- not a bad tradeoff considering this model's price.