Asus unveiled its new VivoBook E403SA notebook designed to be a lightweight productivity tool with a full-sized keyboard.
The VivoBook E403SA is powered by Intel's Pentium N3700 quad-core processor, which is a member of the Braswell Product family. The CPU cores are based on the Airmont architecture, which is essentially a die-shrunk variant of the Silvermont architecture in the Bay Trail product line. The core is designed for energy efficiency more than high-performance processing, but with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and a Turbo Boost frequency of 2.4 GHz, the Pentium N3700 should be no slouch.
The system also uses the iGPU in the Pentium N3700, which has 16 EUs clocked at 400 MHz with a boost frequency of 700 MHz. The CPU and iGPU share 4 GB of DDR3L clocked at 1600 MHz. For storage, the system contains 128 GB of eMMC NAND from SanDisk.
In my recent experience working with a similar laptop powered by a Pentium N3700 with 4 GB of DDR3L, I found that the N3700 delivered an acceptable computing experience. The system I used would at times slow down a bit while heavily multitasking with Skype and a dozen web pages open, but this was due to the system's RAM maxing out, and not due to CPU performance limitations. The iGPU should be able to run older games such as Fallout: New Vegas with low graphics presets and a game like Medieval II: Total War with the high quality settings and lower resolutions such as 1366x768 with playable framerates.
Performance results will, of course, vary based on the other components and thermal characteristics.
|Asus VivoBook E403SA|
|Processor||Intel Pentium Quad-Core N3700 1.6 GHz, 2.4 GHz Turbo Boost|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home Signature Edition|
|Memory||4 GB DDR3L 1600 MHz|
|Graphics||Intel HD – 16 Eus @ 400 MHz, 700 MHz Turbo Boost|
|Storage||SanDisk 128 GB eMMC|
|Camera||VGA Web Camera|
|Networking||Intel 7260 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi Bluetooth V4.0|
|Audio||Built-in Speakers And Microphone Asus SonicMaster Audio Technology|
|Connectivity||SD Card Reader Combo Audio Jack USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (5 Gbps) USB 3.0 USB 2.0 HDMI|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||13.37 x 9 x 0.7 inches|
The system is also fairly compact and lightweight, measuring just 0.7 inches thick and weighing in at 3.3 pounds. Asus fit the laptop with a 57 WHr battery, which the company claimed should last for up to 9 hours. To help increase the durability of the system, Asus opted to give the system a brushed metal case.
Asus opted to add a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which is quickly becoming a key feature on computers as more and more devices adopt the Type-C connector. The port supports only USB 3.1 Gen.1 (5 Gbps) and older USB protocols, however, and it is not capable of transmitting as much data as USB 3.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) devices.
The Asus VivoBook E403SA is available now in the U.S. from various online retailers with a MSRP of $399.
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I'm also commend them for going with flash memory, sacrificing capacity. I'd be happy to setup an WiFi ac router/AP then connect an external drive or NAS.