Can You Live with a $200 Laptop?

– Hey guys, this is Austin We spent a lot of time reviewing high-end gaming gear, such as $3,000 gaming laptops, what we don't do enough, is check out things that are a little bit more reasonably priced and by reasonably priced, I mean $200 for the entire laptop

This is the Asus VivoBook E203MA Now at first glance, it looks every bit its $200 price tag, but when you're considering this kind of budget, plastic is kind of what you should expect and oh boy, is that what you get here Luckily, that's actually not really a big deal, I mean sure, it's not the most durable thing in the world, but I have no doubt that this will hold up for some decent use inside your bag or for normal kind of wear and tear Something I really appreciate is the size I used to use an 11-inch MacBook Air and the portability of that was so nice to have and that's sort of where it kind of brings me back with this

Yes, it is a little bit on the small side and there are some sacrifices based on that, for example, the keyboard is a little bit of a smaller layout, compared to standard laptops, but on the flip side, I've spend enough time using things like the Surface Go and the iPad Pro, that I'm kind of used to a slightly more shrunken layout Something that's a little bit harder to get used to is the display Now to be fair, it is decent for such a cheap laptop, I've seen much worse So yes, the white balance is a little bit on the cool side and the size, especially the viewing angles really aren't all that hot, but importantly, it does get bright enough and I can kind of make do with it for normal use, it is, you know, a $200 laptop screen I've also got to give Asus props for the port selection

Not only do we have a pair of full USB 30 ports as well as HDMI, but importantly, we also do have a USB-C port Now at this point, I've moved almost my entire life over to USB-C, so it makes a huge difference having it on my laptop Not only can I use my YubiKey, but I can use a ton of different dongles that I've collected over the last couple years to do basically everything I need to do on a regular basis with this $200 laptop and that goes for most of my experience with using this laptop Sure, have I been tempted to go for one of the expensive laptops around the office? Yes, but you know what? This is able to do pretty much everything I need it to

I've been using the $200 version of the VivoBook, but if you wanna go even lower budget, Amazon does have a version available for $150, which cuts the RAM down from four gigs to two gigs and the storage down from 64 on my model to only 32 gigs Now technically, this actually still can run Windows 10, but yeah, I think it's a worthwhile upgrade if you actually wanted to use this for anything more than like a Chrome Tab Even with the upgraded RAM, you do need to temper your expectations So for basic use, such as having a few tabs open in Chrome, as well as having Spotify and Slack running, it's usable, but the issue is it's just a little bit on the slower side, it'll get the job done, just not quickly Where the slowdown really happens is when you start to push the system with some crazy over the top tasks, such as watching video at 60p in HD or trying to have seven or eight tabs open at once, but as long as you can be a little bit reasonable, and I've kind of forced myself to be over the last week, I haven't had any major issues

Are you kind of sensing a trend here? It's not fast, it's only got a dual core Celeron, right? You're not expecting anything crazy out of a $200 laptop, but the important thing is, for the vast majority of what I do everyday, this has been able to get the job done What I'm most surprised about is battery life Now usually, when it comes to cheap laptops, you're getting kind of three, four, maybe five hours on a charge, but this is downright impressive That sounds so wholesome, it's downright impressive Even with the screen set to 100% brightness and Windows on high performance mode, I'm still getting almost eight hours on a charge, that's better than the vast majority of the laptops I take a look at and especially, it is way, way better than those gaming laptops that I'm usually reviewing

It's a very, very nice change to not even think about taking the power adapter To be fair, Ultrabooks also have great battery life, but they also cost, I don't know, like five, six times this, so yeah, I'm not complaining After over a week with the VivoBook, I've been pleasantly surprised No, you won't wanna do anything heavier, such as say, video editing or gaming, but I mean, it's $200, what do you expect? We recently did a video trying the cheapest laptops on Amazon and if the VivoBook was included, it probably would have won If you're looking for a cheap laptop on a budget, I really have no problems recommending this guy, although I am gonna go back to a slightly nicer laptop as my daily now (laughs)

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